Nearly every job involves working in groups, and sometimes that can mean (yawn) long hours as everyone struggles to stay organized and productive. Pump up the project with Stixy-- an online white board tool that allows you and your collaborators to brainstorm and share ideas, images, links and much more. Its intuitive interface makes it ideal for planning individual projects as well. Best of all, it’s free.
When it comes time to turn in expense reports or compute your total hours on a certain project, the cool kids are turning to tools like Calcoolate. This online calculator calculates, converts and shows a history of previous calculations. Calcoolate can be used over the web or downloaded for free in about three seconds. Unlike Google, it doesn’t keep a history of your computations, and it works on your computer – instead of sending the query around the world.
Let’s face it – Quicken and Quickbooks can be overwhelming for someone who just needs to keep tabs on a few expenses. PearBudget is a budget and expense tracking service without any frills that's easy to use and fully exportable and compatible with any operating system. It’s free for the first 30 days and $5 a month thereafter. PearBudget works like a giant spreadsheet, with the ability to track fixed, irregular and variable expenses separately, which is optimal for budget analysis. Unlike some of the other systems, you will have to enter transactions manually, which keeps you on top of your project spending.
Spam on your work account? Get free, temporary addresses from Mailinator if you have to post on a forum or fill out a form. Mailinator can help you protect your privacy. You can create as many temporary accounts as you need, and you can even check it from an RSS feed, from the Mailinator website, or a widget. Keep your work spam-free! One thing to keep in mind: all mailinator.com mail can be public, so don’t use it for any, um, private photos or messages.
Thank you for your message. We will respond to you as soon as possible. Have one of those jobs that forces you write repetitive emails over and over and over again? Then Quicktext can help. Using Thunderbird, Quicktext is the perfect tool to help you quickly answer routine, repetitive emails. The program can perform both simple and complex tasks. The program can insert different signatures into your emails depending on whom you are sending the email to.
The average person has more than twenty passwords to remember, and with all the variations – lovepup93 versus 93puplove – who can recall which password goes where? And when it comes to protecting information at your workplace, it is even more important to keep tabs on those passwords. Fortunately, LastPass is here to help. LastPass keeps all your passwords safe and secure, and can fill out forms for you. Never fumble in front of the boss again!
Social media is making up more and more jobs – especially fist jobs. So if you’re handling the twitter feed and Facebook page for a vegan bakery in between whipping up carob-chip breakfast cookies, HootSuite can be a huge help. With one window, you can manage multiple streams of social media content from Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and lots of others. Because, you wouldn’t want to miss a comment on your gluten-free blondies.
Pictures are everywhere, but editing them is a pain. With Picnik, you can get images for the company newsletter to fit perfectly AND crop out that can of PBR in the vice president’s hand. Picnik is the best web tool for quick and easy web editing – no Photoshop skills required. It works completely on the web and allows for all sorts of resizing, recoloring, cropping and the like. (Bonus: it’s what we at Tom’s Guide often use for our photos!)
Bouncehelps you share thoughts on website design. You can write notes on screenshots of a website, and send feedback to lots of people. Sure, not every first job involves web design – but enough do that tools like Bounce will be helpful to the sweaty masses trying to keep their employers happy. No longer will you have to print out websites and scrawl notes about design with a pen. Get with the 21st century, okay? Bounce is free.
In elementary school, we always had to make these things called mind-maps – it meant to take an idea and brainstorm things around it. As it turns out, the workplace isn’t all that different from grammar school. With MindMeister you can work simultaneously with colleagues around the globe to mind-map, brainstorm and track the progress of projects. You can also work offline and have all the information uploaded the next time you have Internet available. Take charge of the team in Singapore and get those juices flowing.
For those of us who still carry around a small notebook to jot notes in, a better way is here. Simplenote lets you keep track of notes, lists, chores, and share them with others. You can keep notes with tags (to find them better later) and publish certain notes or lists. Simplenote comes as an app on the iPhone as well, and is more sync-able than the Mac Notes function.
When the boss hollers, “I want answers and I want them yesterday!” you can always have a little extra information in your pocket with Woorank. Woorank is a free web-analysis tool that gives you lots of information on how your website – or your company’s website – is performing. Don’t worry if your woorank is a mere 36 out of 100 because Woorank will help you perform better – that’s where the fee comes in.
Ge.tt lets you share files and links with a snap. You can share a link to your file immediately, without waiting for the upload to complete, and it doesn't use Flash, Java applets, or any other plug-ins. You can even share the link before the upload is finished—files will update on the download page in real-time, as they're uploaded, and the user on the other end can start downloading a file while you're still uploading it. In fact, you can also add files to the share after you've shared the link. Any new files you upload will automatically show up on the other person's end without reloading the page. Ge.tt would be great for any office that needs to share medium-sized files super-fast without hassle. You could probably impress your older colleagues with your lingo and knowledge of .tt URLs.
Coolendar is a hybrid to-do list and calendar. It syncs all calendar apps and understands syntax to get you scheduled and on time – with the most important tasks at the top of your list. You add items to Coolendar using plain language, and it can arrange everything for you from that point on. Instead of a matrix, Coolendar gives you your daily tasks in a simple list. When you get notified of a new event, one click will schedule it. Coolendar requires a Google account to use.
If you only have a couple minutes to tweet but want your updates to be spaced out, Buffer can help. Buffer will release tweets over the course of a day. The tool also gives you full analytics for each tweet you send. Sending tweets out at certain times of the day can maximize your impact – and pre-planning those times means you don’t have to have your finger on the button the whole time. Impress your boss with your subtle know-how!
You know what those reports need? Perhaps a little fanciful font to set them apart from the rest of the pile? With fontstruct you can create your own custom fonts for free. make your own fonts! What could be cooler than that? Impress your boss with your uncanny knowledge of sans-serif.
So, about that first job. If it doesn’t work out, there are good places to start your hunt for a NEW first job. Jibe aggregates your current friends list on Facebook and your connections on LinkedIn to show the companies and industries that you are connected to through these networks. You can also use Jibe to apply to jobs that are posted on custom resume and cover letter for each. It really is who you know, not what you know – so make sure you know who you know!
Offices save time and money by having virtual meetings and conference calls, but sometimes those systems are glitchy – and expensive. Impress your boss by setting up a free, web-based system like Tinychat. Not everyone needs document sharing, screen sharing or other fancy conferencing tools. Tinychat is a simple service that allows you to stream up to 12 webcams simultaneously while participating in audio and text-based chat. You can have hundreds of chat-based users, mind you, but only up to 12 video cameras going at one time. With a mere click, you can create a chatroom, share the link and your colleagues streaming in from anywhere can videochat together without signups or pincodes.
Good luck with those first jobs!