My Favorite Tools

When it comes to services for your company, there is no shortage of providers who would like to have your money. I’ve used quite a few since I started consulting, but there are a few that, at this point, I couldn’t live without. I don’t have stock in these companies and I don’t get any referral fees from them.

These are just my favorites.

Evernote – The best note-taking and organization app ever. Automatically syncs across the web and all devices. Easy to use notebooks and tags to categorize content. A great web clipper. Multiple ways to take notes. A must have. Free and paid versions

Tableau – I deal with a lot of data when I analyze client businesses. There are lots of compelling stories to tell, but many times the spreadsheets look intimidating. Tableau is an easy-to-use data visualization tool. Turn data into pictures that are easily understood by everyone in the organization. Starting at less than $900 annually

Office 365 – If you still have Office 2007 or 2010 on your PC that you installed from a CD, make the switch. This subscription to the Microsoft Office Suite is the way to go. New versions are installed automatically. I”m consistently pleased with the new functionality that shows up in the new releases. After 30 years, the product continues to get better. Subscriptions start at less than $10 per month

Movavi Screen Capture – Super handy and easy to use. Occasionally, I need to walk someone through a new app, a spreadsheet or a PowerPoint. This piece of software captures your computer screen and lets you narrate the capture and save it as an MP4. There”s a lot more functionality (video editing, etc), but this alone is worth the price. Less than $100

TSheets – Want to know how you’ve spent the day? Use TSheets from Quickbooks. Sync it with your Quickbooks client list, then, using the web or smartphone application, click on the client name when you start a project for them or a call with them. Click it again, when it”s over. At the end of the week, you can get a full report on how your time was spent. It also syncs with Quickbooks if you need to import the time. Free and paid versions

Fiverr – Need something done fast and cheap, use Fiverr. I’ve used it to resize photos, photoshop someone out of a picture, remove the background from a picture and several other graphics related projects. Search for the service you want, pick a provider, pay the $5 and your project is back to you in a matter of hours. $5 plus service charge

Crowdspring – A favorite for more sophisticated graphic design projects and light tech work. I’ve used it multiple times for client logos. Enter the specs for the logo (industry, colors, story, target audience) and pick an award amount. I’ve had as many as 90 logos submitted for a single project. Pick the one you like, the creative gets the award and you get the logo including all source files. $299 and up

And one for the house –

Amazon Echo – If you haven’t purchased a home assistant, this is a good one. The shopping list, alarms, timers, music and quick questions are worth the price, but that’s just scratching the surface for functionality. The companion app is easy to use. We purchased ours for $69 on Prime Day. They are usually $99.