TOOLS

SEND RECURRING


This Web-based app allows you to set up recurring daily, weekly and monthly e-mails to whomever needs to see them.  I use it to send reminders to staff, friends, and customers about things that need attention on a regular basis. The site describes the service as versatile and easy to use, and it is.  Use it to remind yourself and/or others for action, share to-do lists, and request information from others that must be had on a fixed schedule. As an example, if you have a weekly meeting on Monday afternoons at 3:00 p.m., in less than a minute you can set up an e-mail reminder that gets sent to you and your pal an hour ahead of the meeting. See www.sendrecurring.com


LINKEDIN (contacts sync)


With 225 million members worldwide, many readers are already aware of LinkedIn.  Born as a Web interface service, LinkedIn also has Smartphone apps for Apple or Android.   I use the Android App primarily as it allows me to have contact information for all of my LinkedIn contacts on my Android phone.   www.LinkedIn.com


PAGING APP


You may already be using a paging service with a desktop Web interface, but check with your paging provider to see if they have a Smartphone app that will allow you to page your people right from your Smartphone, or just check Google Play or Apple Store.  An app of this type will allow you to send text messages directly from your device to any alphanumeric pager on the paging network, and you will have the same abilities as you do from your computer. 


DROPBOX


I take a significant number of pictures and videos in the field, ranging from photos of equipment installations in the field, to pictures and video for incident documentation, to simply record details (serial numbers, spec plate information, etc.) that I need to be accurate about.


Nowadays my digital camera is basically a paper weight, as I use the camera in my Smartphone exclusively.  In the past I had to come back to the office and pull the pics or video off my camera (or Smartphone) with a USB cable, copy them to a hard drive, and then e-mail them or whatever.  It took forever.


A couple of years ago I discovered Dropbox, a free service that lets you wirelessly sync photos, documents, video, and audio to one place, instantaneously. Installing Dropbox on your computer (there are SmartPhone apps, too) takes a few minutes, and after a simple set up, any file you save to Dropbox will automatically save to your computers, your Android device, and even the Dropbox website.


The thing I appreciate most about Dropbox is that it does its thing in the background and literally within seconds, the pictures, video, and audio notes I create on my android Smartphone are synced wirelessly to my Dropbox account.  No more cables; no more fussing.


www.dropbox.com


TIME FLIES


I have this Android app installed on my Smartphone and use it to keep track of how long issues have been on-going. It measures the time passed since something happened.


Once you set up an event, you can review the event and all other events to see how much time has passed.  I use it at the office to track how long projects have been going on so I can track if things are taking too long, how long it has been since I had a certain discussion with a colleague or customer about a certain matter to see if things are progressing as they should, and so on.


See Google Play Store:  TIME FLIES


VOCA NOTE


This is one of my favorite apps because it saves me time, and using it is as simple as making a phone call.   The app allows you to record a voice note, convert it to text and have it sent as an e-mail or SMS.   Rather than trying to write yourself a note on that scrap of paper while driving, much less the forbidden and ill advised e-mail or text while driving, Voca Note sends you a short email or text message by converting your speech to text,  and sends the actual audio file along with the message.  


Voca Note sends email or text completely in the background and there is no email app to select and no Send button to push. Just start talking and it does the rest unless you tell it to stop.  Voca Note has a laundry list of options and functions too numerous for this overview and also has Bluetooth support for on some phones.


Shane Sweet is in management with a major Northeast marketer of heating oil, propane and motor fuels.  From 1993-2007 he served as Executive VP/Director and Lobbyist for the Vermont Fuel Dealers Association, and from 2007- 2010 was president & CEO of the New England Fuel Institute.  He lives in Shaftsbury, Vermont and can be reached at shanemsweet@gmail.com or 802-558-6101 cell/text.   Suggestions by readers for future column content, as well as general comments, are welcome.


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