I engage with lots of apps, tools and networks every day, as I’m sure do you, but I’m learning. Here is what I’ve learned and what I still need help with.
- Twitter: this is my favoured network and also my favoured time-wasting tool. I have a voracious appetite for news, interesting articles, blogs, general knowledge, theology and nothing, bar nothing, gives me more useful, interesting and thought-provoking leads than twitter. It’s also useful for insulting mouthy wanna-be mancunians. You know who you are. I use Hootsuite on my laptop but Twitter’s native app on my android mobile. I’m open to persuasion here.
- Buffer is my most useful tool that works alongside twitter, making it very easy to schedule tweets, retweet things and I mostly use it to spread out through the day the flow of links that come from my mornings reading. You can use it to do the same on other networks like Facebook, but I don’t.
- RSS: Blogs are my favoured source of online reading and once I find an interesting blog or source through twitter it gets added by RSS so I get a regular and varied diet. Feedly is my reader of choice now Google Reader has expired. I use it both on laptop and mobile.
- Facebook: To be honest I’ve totally lost interest in Facebook but I’m on it because well, who isn’t and it’s just a standard place to have a presence. I’ve a personal profile and a page, which did help in diffusing the sheer amount of static noise you get on Facebook, the daily splurge of inanity that comes flooding your way. I need to rethink how I connect my more favoured spaces to Facebook so that I don’t actually have to visit it all that often except when I want to watch silly videos.
- Google +: I’m a committed Google user (they own me really) – search, Gmail, calendar, picasa for photos, maps, blog analytics, android on my phone, YouTube of course and I use hangouts instead of Skype but I still haven’t quite got the hang of G+. My aim this year is to figure it out and see if it should be the hub for all the other spokes.
- Vimeo: Just seems to be as good as YouTube without all the dross, so that makes it better. Would love to know how to create good videos but I don’t.
- LinkedIn: I’m on it, I don’t use it, I don’t know why I’m on it. Every now and then I get endorsed for preaching from someone who’s never heard me preach. I need help. Should I stay on it and if so, why?
- I’m not on Pinterest or Path, I don’t use tumblr, snapchat or instagram.
- WordPress: This blog is hosted on WordPress and nearly all the other blogs and websites I build or help create, are all on the WordPress platform. Free, flexible, open source, massive knowledge base, themes and creative designs. Works for me and nearly 20% of the internet
- Evernote: I wish it had a better task management feature but I’m using it to clip articles, make notes, create lists, file receipts, plan talks, organise events, it is slowly replacing the stack of lever-arch files that sit on my shelves. Nearly everything gets filed & stored there. I can do better in making it work for me but that comes with practice.
- Zotero: This is library – everything; print, digital files, films get logged on zotero. I can cross-reference books into multiple categories (something you can’t do on a shelf) and I can append notes, bookmark articles and organise research. It functions as a research complement to the daily run of Evernote. The fact that it is designed to handle all the bibliographic data of books make sourcing and citing books really easy. Incredibly useful.
- Dropbox: Excellent sharing and tons of storage, definitely not making the most of it yet but incredibly useful.
- Firefox: To be honest I keep switching between Firefox and Chrome but I found several tools, like Zotero, function better with Firefox. It’s currently my browser of choice but that could change. Again.
Those are the main ones. What do you use that’s new? What have you learnt that could help? Let’s talk.
Photo by Jason A. Howie