The end of the year brings so many joys. Holiday party hangovers, soon-to-be-broken New Year's resolutions and my favorite... top 10 lists.
Reluctantly, I've drafted a list of my own (top 7 lists are the new black). I split my time creating content for Pretzel Crisps, consuming content to stay current, supporting the marketing side of the brand and heading an industry-leading marketing staff. Each of these 'apps' rocked one or more of those areas.
Here's a quick disclaimer on this list: The moniker 'app' is used loosely here as a catch all, so don't give me any grief.
7 apps that rocked my world work in 2011.
7.) Editor by Pixlr. I want to be a Mac guy, but I'm not. I want to use Photoshop well, but I can't. Editor by Pixlr is an easy browser-based photo editing tool. It's easy to pick up and has more functionality that I have yet to learn. If MS Paint ain't cutting it and Photoshop is over your head, give Editor by Pixlr a look. Best use: Resizing photos to specific pixel dimensions.
6.) Dropbox.Dropbox is a great tool to set up shared folders for easy file transfers and document collaboration. I love their fee model too. It's free to try it out. You find out that it's working for your team when you've reached your file capacity. It starts at 2GB and increases with each new user you invite in (incentivizing referrals!). The premium packages start at 50GB for $9.99/ month and goes up from there based on need. IMO, the fee model founders Drew Houston & Arash Ferdowsi designed will help them beat out competitors like Foldershare and countless others. Their mobile app is dynamite as well. Best use: Eliminating the inbox-clogging 10MB+ email attachments and streamlining document collaboration.
5.) Evernote. It's just a simple note taking app that is synced across all your devices. I started using it to house all my travel reward numbers. Now it's my go-to for meeting notes, to-do lists and brilliant idea filing. In addition to notes, you can file webpages and images. Got text in those images? They're searchable (*love*). The free version does right by me but their premium model offers much more. Their new products, Evernote Food, Skitch for iPad, Hello and Clearly seem like nice additions, although I have yet to test them. Best use: File, search & recall anything and everything.
4.) Jing by TechSmith. Jing offers easily accessible cross hairs to capture any part of your screen- images and video- to copy & paste or save as an image or .swf file. This simple little yellow bug at the top of screen saves a minute here and there but makes image capture much easier. I've also found the pixel measurement scale on the cross hairs to be valuable in quickly sizing up image dimensions. Best use: image capture.
3.) Buddy Media- enterprise-level, web-based social media management software. Pretzel Crisps operates much of our Facebook community off the Buddy Media platform. They offer a suite of social applications (they call 'sapplets') that allow brands to easily offer custom fun, informative and engaging content on their Facebook page. Their Conversation Buddy tool is an effective post scheduler that is particularly helpful for a guy like me that only moonlights as the community manager. Next up is their Reach Buddy product that brings the idea of the social web to reality. For instance, if you build a cool sweepstakes on your Facebook page it doesn't need to stay there. Reach Buddy allows you to share it with any webpage- yours or others- with a few simple lines of html. This one is going to be a game-changer for them. Best use: helps community managers do their job more efficiently and effectively across all objectives.
2.) Words with Friends, whaaaa?! Yes, WwF has rocked my work. Why? We all need a break from the task list whether it's on the airplane (ahem, Mr. Baldwin) or in the restroom (let's be honest). It's social without crops and less mind numbing than flinging birds. I've improved my vocabulary and realized I'm not the best Scrabble player in my company (career development objective for my next review). Best use: a little downtime without all the guilt. Just don't try to use xi or qi in a meeting.
1.) Pinterest. As 2011 rolled on, the buzz around Pinterest increased dramatically. If you've been under a rock, Pinerest is a social network that let's you pin images from the web or the world that interest you onto boards you categorize. From fashion to decorating ideas and food to funny images- it's a different way to bookmark and share your inspiration. There aren't many brands on Pinterest yet and I hope those that join in 2012 take heed. This is a community that's more about giving than receiving. More about acknowledging great taste than promoting your own. Our brand has a Pinterest page. We have several delicious looking pretzel images but more than 90% of our images are of food, fun, fitness or craft inspiration we stumble across. It allows us to participate in relevant conversations that are outside of snacking. The bonus, about 10% of referring site traffic to pretzelcrisps.com comes from the Pinterest community. Thanks pinners! Best use: being inspired by people's inspiration.
What apps this year have rocked your work?