Blog Post

5 Applications and Services For Which I Am Thankful

Last week Mike shared some thoughts on some of the reasons he is thankful he is a Web Worker. With the announcement that popular apps I Want Sandy and Stikkit are to close, I thought I would take a moment to list the acknowledge the tools or services that I am most thankful for.

These aren’t the only ones I use, but they are the ones that make my Web Working experience the best it can be.

Gmail – It is the lifeblood of my daily communication. I use a single inbox to aggregate a number of different accounts and it seems that the bulk of my information passes through Gmail at some point in my process. I am addicted to the ability to search and find all of my correspondence so quickly and easily. I’d love better contact capability, but my next application handles that well.

BatchBook – While Gmail is the conduit for the bulk of my communication, BatchBook helps me keep track of who I need to communicate with. A small business CRM product that is remarkably simple to use, but with a bunch of super powerful options that put it ahead of similar products. Their batchbox functionality lets me email important correspondence right into the system and automatically links it to my contacts.

BlogDesk – The only desktop application on my list but one that makes my contributions to the web so easy. I use BlogDesk to compose all of my articles for WWD and elsewhere and I would be lost without it. I can write offline and easily submit articles to just about any compatible blog platform. It handles images flawlessly, produces clean code, and it’s free. I’ve tried LiveWriter and others but nothing beats the ease of use of BlogDesk.

Toodledo – Task management tools are a dime a dozen and I’ve looked at or used a good share of them. The feature set and functionality of Toodledo makes it an indispensable part of my web working life though. It is fully GTD ready (when I make that leap) and offers me numerous ways to display my lists. I can enter and retrieve my task information via email, Twitter, Jott, as well as a handy Firefox extension so I can capture a task from just about anywhere.

Google Calendar – Keeping track of meetings, events and other deadlines is critical to me and my Google Calendar handles the task admirably. I like the way I can create and share multiple calendars and have it all appear in one place. My Toodledo tasks show up right next to the meal plans my wife makes. I can view it on my mobile and get reminders via email or SMS.

I’ve really come to rely on these tools to keep me organized and productive. With recent events reminding me that I can’t take the availability of applications for granted, I want to acknowledge how thankful I am for them while I can.

13 Responses to “5 Applications and Services For Which I Am Thankful”

  1. @Michelle – Thanks to you and your team for putting out such a useful service. I find I rely on it more and more each day I use it.

    @Brian – I have yet to find another to-do manager that is as flexible as Toodledo. It really works just like I need it to.

    @Steve – I’ve heard good things about Things but haven’t had the opportunity to test for myself. There are trade-offs indeed for choosing one platform over the other. I know there are similar blogging apps for Mac – sounds like it might be useful to do a round up.

    I think BatchBook has its charms – I really appreciate that it doesn’t look like every other app out there. I believe there are some greater personalization options coming soon.

    @AB Absolutely – I tend to just jumble all that in as Gmail but the domain tools are a great productivity tool.


  2. More important than Gmail for me is Gmail for Domain Names. Basically, it is gmail hosting (free!) but it uses your domain name instead of at More professional, and Google doesn’t brand your outgoing emails like Hotmail and Yahoo and all the other Web 1.0 companies.

    BlogDesk is awesome. I maintain dozens of blogs, and without it I’d be lost.

  3. I’m just trying out BatchBlue now, and it looks like it could be useful, but is a bit crowded and not particularly aesthetically pleasing. I’ve been spoiled by beautiful web apps and the bar is high!

  4. Sounds like you might benefit from being on a Mac! I discovered Things this year for my to dos and it’s a cracker application. However, I was disappointed to see that BlogDesk isn’t available for Mac, so perhaps it’s swings and roundabouts…

  5. @Brandon and Stuart – Thanks, Blogdesk is one of those perfect for me applications. It is rock solid, easy to use, and gives me one consistent interface that I can use for all of my blogging work, despite them running on different platforms.

    @thisismyurl – I agree. I figured that most readers would be familiar with it but there is no denying just how useful it is.

    @feedback secrets – Good point, I didn’t mention costs in this overview but all of the above are either free or have a free account level available so you can try with no cost / risk.

    Thanks for comments everyone,