The tools below are services that we personally use and recommend. You will find some free tools, as well as some paid services. What you WON'T find are any tools (free or paid) that we don't recommend! In the spirit of being a good www citizen, we kindly ask you to consider donating to the developer of free plugins and extentions if you find them useful. Enjoy.
TextExpander is a snippet expansion app for Apple mac. Basically, you type a snippet of text that you use often (such as your address) into the app, along with a shortcut that's easy to type and remember (e.g. ;add). The app then expands the entered text when you type the shortcut. Simple, but saves you a ton of typing.
In addition to text, the app also handles images (such as your scanned email signature). Similar apps are available for Windows, such as Breevy, which I've never used, but appears broadly similar. PhaseExpress, a free app for Windows, is along the same lines, but has received very mediocre reviews.
Laspass is (IMHO) the best password management software out there. It generates and stores all of your passwords in a secure database, which is accessable through remembering one 'master' password. It also automatically fills online forms and can log you in automatically if you so wish!
The basic version is free and the premium version very reasonalbe (premium works with mobile devices and adds a few bells and whistles). Keeps you secure and saves you the massive headache of having to keep track of multiple passwords. Highly recommended.
I'm a big fan of simple, no-nonsense apps that do just one thing really well. Tiny PNG fits the bill! By simply dragging and dropping an image (png or jpeg) onto the designated area you can optimize it for the web. IT reduces file sizes by approx. 70% each time with no percievable loss of quality. Great for anyone involved with blogging or the web (anything to avoid opening Photoshop!).
A plugin for Wordpress that does exactly the same thing for every image uploaded has just been released (been waiting for this for a while! Simply the business.
If you are not an Outlook.com (free email from Microsoft) user, it may interest you to know that you can access lite versions of the MS office applications right from the interface after the Outlook.com login. In addition, you can also take advantage of 15GB of free storage on the cloud storage service OneDrive.
The Office Online suite includes Word, Powerpoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Excel. A useful alternative if you don't want to shell out for an Office 365 subscription.
Not to be overlooked are the range of fantastic applications that come bundled with email accounts these days. The big-hitters Gmail and Outlook in particular offer so many perks that it's worth opening the account just for the applications! As frequent users of Google Docs, as well as Google Hangouts, we recommend checking out the (many) possibilities.
PortalHub, a site that gives reviews and stats on various providers, as well as help to create a gmail account, deal with Yahoo Mail login issues, etc. is helpful to get an overview of what each provider can offer you in terms of helpful applications.
Firefox offers numerous extensions to augment its functionality. We're a big fan of Ad Block Plus - who wants to be faced with blatent commercialism every time you go online? The app is particularly effective in blocking all sorts of ads, including YouTube and Facebook advertisements.
While Firefox can be slightly slower than other browsers on occasion, the added functionality can make up for this ten-fold. Search for what you need at https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/
A favorite among web-developers, Firebug makes editing css and dealing with website mods a snap. Infinitely more usable than the Safari web inspector. Highly recommended.
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