I have a confession to make: I have a rather unhealthy obsession with digital tools and apps. I’m on a never-ending mission to finding the next best app or browser button that will make my life that little bit easier with just one click. I feel that I’m currently at a comfortable stage where I have a decent number of tools and applications that cover just about everything (as far as I’m aware), and so proud am I of my little collection that I want to be able to share them and, with any luck, inspire a few people to get in on the tool action.
The perfect app or tool will tick the following boxes:
- It’s accessible offline
- It can sync across a variety of devices and other apps
- It is available in browser form as well and app form
- It offers a free option of use
- I’m able to add a little button version to my browser window
Currently my favourite apps and tools are:
I am forever signing up to newsletters and coming across articles on the go that I like to be able to bookmark and re-visit at a time when I can actually read the content and come back to if need be. I like to be able to collect information wherever I am, and Instapaper allows me to do just that with a handy ‘Read it later’ button that you can add to any browser. Better yet, it also saves everything for offline reading, meaning I can catch up on everything on any device regardless of internet connection.
This is a nifty little link shortening app that generates Tweets and Facebook posts based on what web page you’re currently on, making it easy to share sites or articles quickly. It also lets you edit the tweet, so you can add your own comments in there as well and monitor the reach with some useful inbuilt analytics.
Delicious acts in a similar way to Instapaper in that it bookmarks links and shares them in an online community, in which you can follow other users with similar interests and collect various links. I am a particular fan as it is an app that can connect to various other tools, such as WordPress and IFTTT.
Page Rank is a way of measuring how Google ranks website pages based on their reputation, popularity and quality of content. It’s ranked on a scale of 1-10, with 2-5 being the most popular rating among the majority of sites. My PR checker tool, installed as an add-on in my Chrome browser, lets me see the rating of every website I visit, which allows me to judge just how much traffic the page receives.
I have only recently started using Flipboard, but I really wish I’d discovered it sooner! It allows you to browse your social media pages in a visually stimulating way similar to that of a magazine, making social media even more entertaining. It also allows you to link to Instapaper and create your own ‘magazine’ collections depending on what content you’d like to save.
If This Then That – this is such a useful tool that links various channels together through selected actions. There are so many possibilities with this too – far too many for me to explain here – but it’s a fantastic way of organising all the various tools, apps, programs and feeds in your life so that they all work the way you want them to. It’s a good’un, trust.