Tools & Resources

13 Apps From My Digital Toolbox

I always enjoy when people share the tools they use everyday to do their jobs. Today I am sharing with you a few of my favorite apps from my digital toolbox. As a small business owner, designer, developer, and missionary these are all tools I use to get my work done. These are in no order, and the costs I listed are what I have paid, even though most of these have some free plans.

Have any cool tools you use? Let us know in the comments!

Google Apps – Free for non-profits.

Our email is setup using Google Apps, so I can access it anywhere. I also keep all my documents uploaded to Google docs, to make sure that if something crazy happens I can grab a copy. I also create most of my blog posts in Google Docs.

Dropbox – Free for 2GB

Dropbox is by far my favorite app. This little app creates a new folder on your hard drive, anything that is saved into that folder gets synced to the dropbox servers, it also will sync that file to any other computer Dropbox is running on. My wife and I save all our documents, photos, PSD files into our Dropbox and it automatically syncs to all of our computers! I could go on forever about how useful this is, so trust me, download this now.

Sparrow – Mac Only – Lite Version or $9.99 for Full

I hate, hate, hate the Apple email client. It feels bulky and old. Sparrow is a fantastic email client that has replaced Apple Mail. It is small, simple, and well designed. It also started as a Gmail client, so all your folders, labels, stars, etc are supported. A must have for any Gmail or Google Apps user.

Evernote – Free

I use Evernote to capture everything. Receipts, important emails, blog posts, ideas, and hand written notes. Evernote gives a way to sort and find anything you want to capture. It also scans all the text in anything you save to make it searchable later. This has allowed me to go paperless, other than my Moleskin notebooks.

Basecamp – $24/Month

This is the hub of all my project management. Basecamp is a simple project management tool that allows us to track our client’s projects and collaborate on them. If you are using email for project management and customer communication please take a look at Basecamp.

Highrise – Free

Highrise is a contact management application by the same guys who created Basecamp. This amazing app allows me to forward any email into the system and keeps a running log of all our communication with that person. It also allows me to track potential deals as well.

Skype – Free

Most of you know what Skype is. It’s a communication client that allows you to chat, video chat, or call users. I use this all day to talk with my staff and sometimes my clients.

Adium – Mac – Free

Since not every person has a Skype account, I use Adium to keep in contact with the rest. It has a great design, and connects with just about every chat system available. I use AIM and Google Talk just about everyday with this.

Coda – $99

This is my code editor of choice. It changed the way I coded sites when I found it last year. It is simple, gets out of the way, has FTP built in, subversion control, and also includes books to help you code better! If you do any coding, get this app.

Adobe Photoshop – Starting at $699

Yep. Photoshop. If you are a web designer, this is probably the tool you are using. I know there are a good amount of web designers that use Fireworks, but Photoshop is still in the majority here (I also don’t like Fireworks).

EarthClassMail – $40/Month

Earth Class Mail is an amazing service for anyone who travels a ton, or hates physical mail. Since my wife and I live abroad most of the year we needed this service. Earth Class Mail give you a P.O. Box or physical mailing address, when you have your mail sent to this P.O. Box, they scan the mail and give you access to the scans via their web app. Earth Class Mail has done a lot with this service, and it deserves it’s own writeup, so check them out.

Google Voice

We use Google Voice to send text messages while out of the country. When we are back in the US, we use it as our cell phone number, which forwards to whatever cell phones we have handy. It also will transcribe voicemails for you, which I love, because I hate voicemails.

Firebug – Firefox Plugin – Free

As a web developer this is a great plugin that will allow you to edit any website in the browser. Great for testing ideas, trying out new code, and you can look to see how certain websites were coded.

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