The Internet makes virtually everything more efficient, from research to communication. But there are so many online tools that can save you incredible amounts of time, keeping you focused and productive. Are you making the most of your online workspace? Check out some of our favorite tools below for online professionals and find what you never knew you were missing.
- Buffer is a simple and intuitive social media scheduler that allows you to schedule posts to multiple channels at once. Buffer’s Chrome extension is an incredible tool in itself that allows you to schedule posts as soon as you come across them on the web. In other words, there’s no need to go back to the Buffer website in order to get the post ready to launch. Social media content curation has never been easier!
And as an honorable mention, Buffer also offers a free and insanely easy-to-use image editing tool for social media called Pablo. Images are more likely to be shared on social media and are more simply more likely to receive any kind of engagement, period. You don’t have to be a Photoshop wiz to get the job done. Pablo makes it super easy to find a high-quality image, add easy-to-read text, add a logo and size the entire image based on where you want to post it. Spend less time finding and creating images and more time engaging with followers!
- Google Position Checker takes all the hassle out of a quick keyword ranking check. Don’t scroll through ten pages of Google to find out that none of your site pages are ranking well! Instead, use this free tool to do the work for you. Simply enter the domain name you want to search and the keyword you’re researching, and the Google Position Checker will tell you where your site ranks for that keyword. Don’t forget, you can do the same keyword research on your competitors’ sites too! Also, the site that hosts the Google Position Checker also has many other simple, free tools that are useful for SEO. Check out the list on the right-hand side of the web page.
- Nominus.com is a nifty free tool that helps you brainstorm domain name ideas. All you have to do is type in a few keywords into the search box, and Nominus will bring up all kinds of combinations and ideas to help you find the perfect domain name (which, by the way, should be straightforward to write and easy to remember). Can’t make up your mind yet? Save your favorites to your account so that you never lose track of them. And if you want to explore all kinds of options in terms of domain extensions or new gTLDs, this is the perfect tool to help you put it all together until you have developed the ultimate domain name for your online business.
- The Pixlr Editor will save the day when you need to edit an image but don’t have the money (or the mental bandwidth) for Photoshop. Pixlr’s learning curve is very gentle, although you may need to play around with it at first to get the hang of it. This is a browser-based image editor, so there is nothing to download and you can access it anywhere. Use it to crop and resize images, to do touch-ups, to create artistic backgrounds, to create a holiday greeting card or for virtually any other use you can think of. A major drawback is that once you close the window, you cannot reopen the image layers for editing, so it’s best for quick-and-easy projects. But as the poor man’s Photoshop, it will save the day time and time again.
- Toggl is an intuitive and easy-to-integrate time tracking tool. It works on your desktop, in your browser, as a Chrome extension, as a phone app or even as a widget within some of your favorite productivity and workflow apps, like Trello (see below). You can use it to track your personal time to keep yourself focused and to prevent yourself from wasting hours on mindless Facebook scrolling, or you can use it to provide accurate time log details to your clients. Simply type in what you’re working on and press the play icon, and it will track your time. You can also easily add time entries retroactively. Enable extra features (all for free) if you want to receive a reminder to get up and stretch, or if you want to be notified of “idle” time. No matter how you decide to use it, this tool is perfect for anyone who thinks they spent an hour on a task that, in reality, only took 15 minutes.
- Trello can be used by individuals or by teams large and small. At first, its open-ended design is a little daunting. How exactly is this supposed to help? But once you see all the possibilities, it’s clear that Trello is the ultimate workflow designer. Easily tag people when you’re ready to pass a task off to them, keep track of pending items, create content calendars or simply store lists of brainstorming items for future reference. Trello is an excellent place to keep important documents or information that gets lost in email, too. Privacy is easy to control as well, and you can use the same interface to create personal to-do lists as you do to organize your professional life. Trello also offers an incredible amount of widgets that bring other popular tools, like Dropbox, Google Docs, Slack, MailChimp and more, all into the same place.
Have you tried any of the above tools? What would you add to this list of must-haves? Let us know in the comments below!