My Digital ToolBox – Over 150 of my Best Tools, Apps & Gear


New Media Europe 2016 - London


I can’t tell you how many hours and days I’ve spent researching the kit, tools and systems I’ve got in place to run my businesses effectively. It’s a good job it’s something I love doing.

I thought it was time to share a list of the tools, apps and gear that I use on a daily basis to help with running Seriously Social as well as promoting, marketing, engaging and more!


 

Physical Gear

Although this is a list of my digital toolbox, I do have to start with some physical items. We do live in the real world after all! Here is a list of my computers, smartphones, gadgets, coffee and other stuff.


 

Desktop Apps

Although I’m a Windows user, most of the following are available for Mac users too.


Productivity Apps

  • Brain.fm (I’m not usually into listening to music while I work as I find it too distracting, but brain.fm really works for me. You can choose different soundtracks for relaxed and focussed work)
  • SimplyNoise – If I am working in a noisy coffee shop, then white or brown noise is great at blocking out all the noise and not as distracting as music.
  • RescueTime – tracks your productivity on your computer, browser and smartphone. Gives you a weekly report.

 

Mobile Apps

I’m an Android user, but most of these apps are available for iOS or at least there are alternatives. Do let me know if you have found an alternative for iOS in the comments and I’ll add them here.


 

Social Media Management Tools

Social Media Management Tools try and help you with all aspects of managing social media accounts – not just publishing/scheduling, but help with engagement, reporting and analytics. I’ve included TweetDeck in this list mainly because it allows me to manage multiple Twitter accounts. I do use TweetChat occasionally to help with Twitter Chats.

Alternatives: SproutSocial & Jollor


 

Publishing & Scheduling

Although social media management tools should have a very robust publishing platform, I prefer to use separate apps in my system for publishing and scheduling.


 

Follower Management & Community

Growing your audience and followers takes time and effort. I don’t believe in buying followers! I use the following tools to help me segment my followers or find new targeted people who are likely to engage with me.


 

Reporting & Analytics

How do you optimise your content or give some feedback or reports on how successful you’ve been with your social media and content marketing? I use these tools to help me with that!


 

Alerts & Monitoring

Sometimes you want to be alerted when someone links to you or mentions you or there is a potential issue you need to deal with. Perhaps it is a new opportunity. I use the following tools to help with this.


 

Marketing Software

Attracting new leads, helping with managing my list and sending newsletters out, creating surveys, free videos and lead generation tools are all important in my marketing process. I use the following tools as part of this:


 

Automation

These are magic tools that automate a lot of potentially repetitive tasks. I don’t believe in automating engagement, but these tools can do some amazing things to turbo boost your productivity


 

Project Management

To help manage projects for our clients or with the booking process or with a mastermind group I am in I use the following tools.


 

Research, Content Marketing & Amplification

The world of social media, marketing and technology is very fast moving and it’s very difficult to keep up. Using tools to help to find and contain the latest articles is so useful. I also use tools to help with my blogging process, taking notes, doing research and to help with amplification of my blog posts.


 

SEO & Web Analytics

How often do you check your website’s analytics? Google Analytics is an amazingly powerful tool. However there are other tools that can help you get the most out of understanding your analytics as well as with SEO. These are the tools I use.


 

Images & Design

Images and design have always been important, but with visual networks such as Pinterest and Instagram becoming ever more popular, good design is vital.


 

Security

Using strong passwords as well as managing them effectively and storing them securely is vital. I also use a Virtual Private Network service if I ever find myself having to use a public WiFi hotspot- so that my connection and data is secure.


 

Browser Extensions

Where would we be without browser extensions. The following are for Google Chrome, but most are also available for Firefox.

  • Awesome Screenshot – The best screenshot extension I’ve found. You can take a screenshot of the visible browser screen or the entire page. You can also take a shot of a selectable area and take a delayed screenshot. Once taken, you can add text, arrows and other callouts.
  • Grammarly – state of the art spelling and grammar checker.
  • Video Speed Controller (although you can speed up YouTube videos, you can’t normally speed up videos on Wistia, Vimeo and other videos. This extension allows you to speed up any HTML5 video so that you can get through more content)
  • Measureit – measure the dimension of certain elements on webpages.
  • ColorPick Eyedropper – get the hexcode of colours on the screen.
  • What Font – like a font on a web page? This extension shows you which font was used on elements on a web page.
  • uBlock Origin – I’m a great believer in supporting content providers. Unfortunately ads can get out of hand, and I’ve seen some malicious ads try and infect my machine. uBlock Origin is an Ad Block on steroids and can speed up your browsing significantly.
  • The Great Suspender – I love the Chrome browser, but it can get very slow, especially if you have a lot of tabs open. This extension suspens tabs after a period of time. You can reload tabs easily and even add certain websites to a whitelist so they never get suspended.
  • Klout – Adds Klout scores to Twitter usernames.
  • gorgias – smart email templates for GMail. GMail does have canned responses, but gorgias allows you to organise into a library. It can paste in first names and other smart data and you can use keyboard shortcuts.
  • Web App Extensions: Buzzsumo, MightyTextBufferEdgarLastPass

 

Podcasting & Video

I love video and I love podcasts. Whenever I am creating video, in a group chat or being a guest on a podcast, I use some of the following websites.


 

Web Hosting

I run a small web agency, Select Performers, where we manage and host customers websites.


Security & Speed


WordPress Development & Management


 

WordPress plugins

Here are some of the main plugins I use on my site as well as many of my customer’s websites.


 

WordPress Themes

I have used and would recommend the following themes:


 

Backup & Cloud Storage

How often do you back up your data?


 

Hacks & Scripts


Currently Investigating

I’m always on the look out for new tools and gear. Here are ones I’m currently testing. I don’t necessarily recommend them, but they look cool!


 

What’s in your Toolbox?

What tools and gear could you not do without? I’d love to know! Share away in the comments below.

A note about some of the links above. Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. These generates a little income for the site. If you end up signing up for the service and paying it may result in a small proportion going towards the upkeep of this site. You shouldn’t notice any difference in the sign up process.

The editorial line is NEVER impacted by these links. I will only ever recommend a product or service if I think it is worth recommending! If a product or service does not have an affiliate scheme, then we will still include it in the same way.


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About Ian Anderson Gray

Ian is a speaker, coach, social media consultant, web developer & Partner of Select Performers. In real life he is a husband, dad and geek and is rather partial to tea, coffee & Indian cooking. Find out more



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