Firefox Web Browser. Firefox is an open-source Web browser, meaning anyone can add features to it. The result is an endless stream of clever “extensions” that make this browser a pleasure to use. Some major advantages are that it:
- blocks pop-up adds,
- allows you to open multiple browser frames,
- has built-in spell checking for Web-based e-mail,
- automatically restores your session if your computer shuts down unexpectedly, and
- features a google search engine that is built right into the browser interface.
Find out more about Firefox here.
Gmail. Google’s version of e-mail offers several innovative features. Until recently, Gmail was only available to those who received an invitation from a Gmail user. Now, Gmail is also available to those who can sign up for it with their cell phone. Gmail is great because it:
- offers virtually unlimited storage space for e-mails,
- has an innovative labeling system that allows you to tag and archive e-mails in an organized manner, and
- automatically recognizes and inserts the e-mail address of anyone who you’ve previously contacted via Gmail.
Google documents and spreadsheets allow you to store documents in a place that you can access anywhere. Like the calendar, you can invite others to collaborate with you. This can be more efficient than e-mailing the same document back and forth.
Find our more about Gmail here.
RSS Feed Readers. Don’t let the technical sounding name keep you from using this handy tool. “RSS” stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” An RSS feed reader is like an e-mail account that automatically notifies you when a particular Web site or blog has new content. This saves you from having to keep checking Web sites or blogs everyday.
To find out more about the Bloglines RSS feed reader click here.
Del.icio.us. Think of Del.icio.us as your online filing cabinet. It allows you to create an account where you can “bookmark” and store online articles. For example, if I’m researching vacations to
Del.icio.us also keeps a running list of the “most bookmarked” articles.
Find out more about Del.icio.us here.
Blogs. The perception is that most blogs feature the controversial opinions of unknown people. But there are many blogs out there that offer an almost unlimited source of practical information. A great example of a worthwhile blog is http://www.lifehacker.com/. It is mostly devoted tips for increasing productivity such as helpful computer shortcuts. An interesting B2B blog is http://paulconley.blogspot.com/. A marketing blog that I like is http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/