Top 7 Tools for Office Workers

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Here is my top 7 (at 7) free online tools to use at work..or maybe home. I use these pretty regularly, some daily, some weekly and the rest monthly. But they make my life easier, whether it is keeping track of industry news, blogs and other social content about my company or dealing with huge powerpoints, this list has you covered.

Here’s what’s on my list:

  • A service for emailing large files
  • A tool to keep track of news coverage
  • Full-featured multi-network web-based IM client
  • Online file conversion tool
  • Free business directory and info
  • Online professional network

1. Driveway. Do you need to email people huge files. Does your mail server have a small limit, or your recipient’s mail server stop at 5MB. Driveway let’s you send files up to 500MB. Or send multiple files. You upload your file, it creates a link you can email out to anyone to your files. You also don’t need to sign up to use the service. Or even enter your email address. It is a lifesaver if you (or your colleagues) do not have access to an FTP and need to send large files.

2. Google alerts. My first job after college was working in a PR firm. Everyday we logged into Lexis-Nexis to track our clients coverage, and the competitors coverage. I never knew how much this service cost, but it was expensive. Now every few months, I get an unsolicited call from a similar vendor. The vendors offers to track international coverage on me and my competitors. In each trial the service only terms up 2 or 3 items that I did not find via google alerts. They are typically in a language that doesn’t use English characters. So use the Google Alerts to find news, blog posts or web pages that reference you, your company, your space or your competitors. You can schedule the alerts for any frequency. This is free and in beta like all google Services, but I find it works pretty well. Especially for the cost. 🙂

3. Meebo. Do you need to IM all of your friends across all the networks. Are you locked out of installing a new chat client on your computer? Try Meebo. Covers AOL, Yahoo, Gmail and MSN. And you can even embed it in your blog and chat with your visitors. (I did!)

4. Zamzar. Convert your files from one format to another. Have you ever been sent an open office doc or a tiff file you couldn’t open. Do you not have word or excel installed on your computer? Do you need to make a quick PDF? Try Zamzar. A free online file conversion service. It covers the biggies: PDFs, Office, Open Office, images, audio and video. Amazing!

5. Free Conference Calls. Do you ever need to set up a conference call for lots of people, but you need a bridge? Are your corporate lines full (or non-existent). Try this service. Now that everyone has free unlimited long distance minutes, dialing a long distance number is no biggie, and Free Conference Call has been around forever doing just what the name says. You need to sign up, but after that, you’ll have your own permanent number.

6. Zoom Info. Looking for info on a company or person? Zoom Info is basically a web info aggregator, but you might find the person you are looking for, or the company executives. It isn’t as good as Linked In or Jigsaw, but you can find phone numbers, people and addresses without clicking around on their site, Google or the web. Or you can just see where you’ve been mentioned. 🙂

7. Linked In. I know every one knows about this one (maybe). But here is a great way to do a “background check” on people or find other people. See where they used to work, what their colleagues say or just answer questions to prove your thought leadership. It’s like an industry association without the dues. Try to connect with your current and former coworkers and acquaintances and you never know, you might be less than 4 degrees away from that person you were looking for….

Check out my faves or add your own in the comments.

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