There are plenty of great blog posts about SEO tools, though you should be careful to look at a curated and updated list. Actually an SEO tool wiki would be an interesting idea. But I digress.
Instead of discussing the SEO tools I use I thought I'd share the other tools I use each and every day. Tools that have become indispensable, saving me time, energy and headaches.
Sharing files can be hassle unless you have Dropbox.
Dropbox is essentially a cloud based storage system. I started using it to sync files between my laptop and desktop computers. But what Dropbox is really good for is sharing files with clients.
Email is unreliable and you often wind up spending time waiting for folks to find and download files. Dropbox lets you create a shared folder for each client where you can keep all related materials. Not only can your client find the materials, they can point internal resources to it with ease. This is particularly useful if a client uses contracted or offshore developers.
You may have to convince clients to install Dropbox. Don't worry, the 2GB plan is free, installation is easy and the instant value it delivers will earn you quick kudos.
I love Instant Messaging. Short of being on-site, this is often the best way to communicate, clarify and remove roadblocks. Email is slow and asynchronous. The phone doesn't provide the added context of links or screen shots. IM is fast and effective. It can also be a hassle if you have clients on multiple IM platforms. Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, Jabber, AIM and more.
Setting up accounts with each is easy, but having every IM client up and running at once creates problems. Context switching between each platform's UI is not trivial. The messages arrive in different ways (with different sounds) and you wind up having multiple windows begging for your attention.
That's where Adium comes in.
Adium is a free instant messaging application for Mac OS X that can connect to AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, and more.
Adium unifies all your IM programs into one slick interface. The tabbed chat feature is particularly nice so that you don't have a new window for each IM conversation cluttering up your monitor.
You can even combine contacts (the same person on multiple IM platforms) "so that each one represents a person, not an account." This is nice when you don't care how you reach them, just that you reach them. Like the phone, you don't care who the carrier is, you just want to connect.
The good news is you can use Adium even if your friends or clients don't. The bad news, it's Mac only. Windows users might want to check out Trillian instead.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, perhaps a screen shot is worth a few hundred.
Screen grabs are a vital part of the SEO process. You want to show clients what you're seeing and how to fix it. If you're building a presentation deck this isn't a huge problem.
If you're having an IM conversation about an issue (with Adium I hope), the traditional screen grab can be slow and clunky. Enter TinyGrab.
Download this tool and each time you take a screen grab it saves it to the cloud and copies a tiny URL of it to your clipboard. Then simply paste it into your conversation and you'll be looking at the same thing in no time.
The free version of TinyGrab gives you 10 grabs a day. For a one-time fee of £10 you can upgrade to the premium version for unlimited grabs.
These tools make me more productive every day. Do you have other tools that make a difference in your daily life? Share them here.