My Weapons of Business War, Circa 2012

Todd SchnickThis annual exercise has proven to be quite popular, wherein I review the tools I use to do my work.

Now in my third year (you can find 2010 and 2011 below), I am finding this process helpful in analyzing and determining which tools are most important to me, and the ones that aren’t making the cut.

And in the end, with the ones that are making a difference, I do two things: One, strive to get better at utilizing them, and learn strategies to maximize their impact on my work. Far too often, we only use a small percentage of a tool’s capacity.

You don’t necessarily have to write a post on it, but I’d recommend performing an audit of your professional tools. It does sharpen the saw.

1. WordPress. WP has been my blogging platform of choice since 2008. Easy to use, and great for SEO. All of my companies, and all of my podcast landing pages, use WordPress.

2. Dropbox. As you know, I host and produce dozens of podcasts each week. Dropbox is an amazing tool to store all this audio and ease the transfer amongst my team for editing. In fact, just this weekend, I have moved 90% of my documents and files to Dropbox, as a means to have a backup of all my digital property. And oh so simple to use, and the Dropbox apps for both iPhone and iPad are great, making it VERY easy to view and manage files from those mobile devices.

3. Skype. My preferred vehicle to record my podcasts and video interviews over the internet. Simple, easy-to-use, and syncs very nicely with Call Recorder (seen below). Personally, I use Skype more for client and business conversations than I ever do my iPhone. And the ability to conduct Skype sessions on both my iPad and my iPhone continues to improve.

3.5. Google Hangouts. Just starting to ramp up my usage of Hangouts, and so far, finding great value there. The audio quality of actually quite good, and the ability to enable the Hangout to automatically upload video to your YouTube channel is a simple and easy way to generate and publish content. We may be using Hangouts more and more to record internet-based podcasts.

4. iPhone. A year ago, I was still using a Blackberry and my FlipCam. Man. What a difference. My Flip crashed my Macbook, and I never used it again. And not long after, I bought the iPhone 4S.

5. iPad. I love this thing. In fact, I wish I could run my business on it. But I cannot. So, I consume on this device. I read blogs, scroll thru my LinkedIn connections here, and with my Kindle app, this is mostly where I read my books.

6. Macbook Pro. Will be switching to an Air sometime in 2013. I love this computer, more than any other in my lifetime. Spend most of my time on this writing and editing all my podcasts and radio shows.

7. Moleskine notebooks. If I could only keep one thing on this entire list? It would be my Moleskine notebooks. I just love writing in these. This is where I sketch ideas, list To Dos, makes notes during radio broadcasts. Usually, everything jotted down here ends up strategically placed for action and execution.

8. Uni-ball Vision Fine point pens. I’ve tried a lot of pens over my years. This pen works perfectly on my Moleskines, and is easy to write with. Black ink, btw.

9. Google Drive. Formerly Google Docs, this is where I store spreadsheets, proposals, memoranda, invoices, and much of my writing. The ability to share these docs with others makes for very simple collaboration and co-creation.

10. Gmail. My email platform of choice. Simple. Easy. Syncs well with all of the other stuff I do within Google World, and functions nicely with my mobile devices. I particularly like the archive and search functions behind the service, and continue to learn hacks to make it even more impactful.

11. Blubrry. This is the platform where I store all of my finished and edited podcast audio, and through this service, I stream all of my podcasts to iTunes.

12. Evernote. This is where I store ideas, photos, videos, and business cards. On my browser, I have added the Evernote extension to Chrome, and whenever I find an article that I want to keep, I merely click a button, and the file is saved to Evernote. This is also where I keep digital photos of the business cards I receive and want to keep. I can pull them up on my mobile devices when I need them.

13. Swiss Army SwissGear Airflow Backpack. I have to be pretty mobile going from studio to studio, coffee shop to coffee shop, and especially when broadcasting from trade shows. But I dig this backpack!

14. Notational Velocity. This app on my Macbook is where most early drafts of my writing are started. A great, simple little writing tool. No frills.

15. Google RSS Reader. RSS is getting a little old-school these days, but I still love it. This is where I consume blog posts (Macbook and iPad), where I stream news, monitor LinkedIn connections, and where I monitor personal and client Google Alerts. For me, almost indispensable.

16. 37Signals’ Highrise. This is my personal CRM system. Tons of various CRM products on the market. Tons of products that are too complex, rigid, unncessary for my purpose. This is a simple, easy-to-use project that works well on both my Macbook and by iPhone.

17. Call Recorder. This is the app (for Macs) I use to record my conversations (both audio and visual) on Skype. This produces that file that I ultimately edit and use to publish my radio shows.

Here are my reviews from the last two years:

My Weapons of Business War, 2010
My Weapons of Business War, 2011

Tell us what weapons you use and recommend!

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Join my list, and learn about how we all make better use of various weapons of business war!

  • http://twitter.com/rondavisw Ron Davis

    Todd,
    Let’s do a podcast to discuss the tools you and i use on a daily basis and why. I think sometimes we concentrate to much on the “big” tools on the radio show and miss the productivity you can get from our everyday tools.

  • Todd Schnick

    oh man, brilliant. simply brilliant. we’ll make arrangements soon…

  • http://twitter.com/leantricity JP

    Hi Todd:

    I also was a Highrise user but changed it for Daylite. Seems more expensive because you have to dump more than 200 dollars to start, but fills several wholes I’ve found in Highrise. This is my opinion, perhaps it´s not a problem for you:

    I’m a 100% Mac user since 1989, so I’m used to seek “simple and easy”. I’ve tried Daylite and found it buggy and cumbersome in the past, so I’ve continued discarding it until recently when I’ve found the advantages out-weight the cons. The main pros I find are the integration with email (you can do everything from an email: link it with anything already in the CRM or create something new right from there (company, contacts, opportunities, tasks, projects, etc) and the much more powerful pipeline and forecasting tool. Yes, I hate overcomplicated pipelines, but Highrise’s is non existent and the integration with third parties is fine but I haven’t found something that fits my style.
    Lastly, the cloud is marvelous, but as I already have a Macbook Air 11″ (I find myself asking me why am I carrying the iPad around as this is soooo light and powerful) and a high percentage of time to update the CRM is at 10.000 feet in flights with NO connection… I’d rather have my data always with me not depending on outside data.

    Thanks for your review!

    JP

  • Todd Schnick

    thanks for sharing details about daylite. i have not heard of it, but will check it out…