My daily toolbox

by Amy Sample Ward on February 25, 2008

It’s Monday and it seems there is always a mountain to prepare for at this point in the week. I thought I would take a minute to write out what is in my daily technology toolbox – is it anything like yours?

(photo credit to: Zak Hubbard)
1. Email: I feel like this goes without saying, but, oh well. Email has become a pretty integral part of my daily life, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. I have a work account and a gmail account and check both, like, constantly. Despite what some say about not doing so, I use my email inbox as a to-do list or a reminder list. It’s just easier for me to have everything in one place, especially if the “to do” item requires connecting with others or sending out an email.

2. Google apps: I use Google Reader for my RSS feeds. There are so many different options out there to use, I prefer the simplicity of Google Reader and the sharing functionality. I have many more feeds than some and many fewer than others (I think of myself as falling in the median range for feed count) but still have to do a dump sometimes and just say “mark all as read” to get a large folder out of the way. I think managing and reading feeds can really help people more efficiently digest news and information, and stay on top of developments and conversations in their field. I have good days, and not-as-good days :)

I also use Google Calendar and Documents. What can I say, I like to share! I can share my calendar with my husband, I can share documents with coworkers, friends, co-organizers of events, or colleagues. Sharing is nice; it helps make us all better.

3. Blogging: I maintain two blogs (this one, and one at work). This is WordPress and at work we run Moveable Type. Both open source organizations. Both are very widely used, supported, and have great development communities. I like sharing, as I said above, so blogging is a great way to share information and ideas in another way.

4. Flickr: I use Flickr to search for Creative Commons licensed photos to use for projects and blog posts. I don’t upload photos there much right now, but I’m on there very often searching through everyone else’s!

5. Facebook: Some organizations/groups/events that I participate in use Facebook instead of or before email. Also, conversations take place on group or event pages instead of in email chains. And, still fresh in many of our memories, the Causes challenge that ended last month had me driving many of my contacts to the cause page and to the donation widget. I have used Facebook since 2004 and have enjoyed the evolution of users and purposes it has gone through as a tool and I have gone through as a user and as part of the community. Are you my friend?

6. Twitter: Last, but not least, is Twitter. I use this mini-blogging tool to listen and learn, ask and answer questions, and contribute to a community that is made up of issues including: Portland, News (local and around the world), Nonprofits, NPTech, Technology, Social Media, Start Ups, and just plain interesting. I have touted Twitter before, so you can Portland Net Tuesday.

So, that’s my top 6 list for must-use every day. I do, though, use YouTube (as well as other video sites specifically for nonprofits; check out DoGooderTV and YouTube’s Nonprofit Channel), watch screencasts, listen to podcasts, and much more. Other communities online, like LinkedIn, TakingItGlobal, and It’sGettingHotInHere also quite often find their way into my life. I’m not limited to the 6 areas above, but do go through withdrawals from those and not so much others :)

What’s your list look like?

  • http://www.nonprofittechnologyblog.org Jocelyn Harmon

    Amy,

    Love these tips! I’d also add Google Search and (because I do and share a lot of PowerPoint presentations lately) http://www.SlideShare.net.

    Cheers!

    Jocelyn