Apps & Technology

This is hot off the presses! Amazon recently introduced a true competitor for Skype and Zoom meetings. Amazon Chime is free for 1:1 video conferencing and with their first paid level, you can have up to 100 people participate in a video meeting at one time. In our use of the platform, it’s proven very reliable and easy for the “not-so-techy” to set up and use. We use Amazon Chime for our show on Facebook called, “It’s Up to ME!”

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Do you want to have your own membership site for eLearning, online courses or a team “portal”? If you’ve got a wordpress website and use either Active Campaign or Infusionsoft to manage your contacts, Memberium is the membership software we’d recommend. Hands down, every day! We love those guys. They’re our role models for how to serve customers and leave them better off than when they came to you! After trying several different solutions for esuite.me, we finally found Memberium. We {heart} Memberium!

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It works just like texting, but it’s using the connectivity and power of FACEBOOK! With Facebook Messenger, you can stay in touch with your friends, fans, followers and prospects in a way that keeps you top of mind and let’s you connect with them right where they are. You can send a simple text, hold a voice call or video call with just one person OR a whole group, and you can even use Messenger to schedule your next meeting so that everyone in the group gets a timely reminder!

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Cinchshare’s making your mission of finding and creating great content a cinch! With this easy-to-use tool, you can post to Facebook and Pin to Pinterest using their intuitive interface. You get unlimited posting to your Facebook parties, groups, and business pages. You can upload images, capture and save images, post across platforms and post in batches. And, with their free trial option, there’s NO WAY you want to miss trying this tool out!

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Are you still using the old “free teleconference” for communicating with and training your team? Let’s get you plugged into a more powerful solution — video conferencing! It doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to gather your team together to meet “face-to-face” even when they’re miles apart. Zoom is a great tool that you can try for free to bring up to 50 people together for 40 minutes. If you need a more robust solutions, more time or to produce more of a webinar, their paid subscriptions are within reach, too!

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We’re total nerds when it comes to trying out software and by far 2016 was the year of OBS Studio! If you’re dipping your toe into Livestreaming, OBS Studio is the first encoding software you’ll likely try out! Check out our FB LIVE SHOW and see OBS Studio in action. It’s what allows us to stream into a FB Page, Profile, or Group (and Youtube, our website, etc.) from a desktop computer. We can add a Skype or Zoom interview, windows, slides, music and all sorts of added inputs to make a plain video branded and with more value. It’s free, and we {heart} it! Your next step up from here is Wirecast.

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Do you wish you knew how to use photoshop or some other fancy graphics program — but it’s just not going to happen? Yeah, we’ve been there, too. Canva came on the scene a bit ago and has changed the way marketers create and design graphics for everything from social media posts to magazine articles! Canva has a free level with most of it’s robust features, and if you want to be able to create your own style guide, upload fonts and a few other fancy things, their business membership is quite reasonable. Check it out! Oh, and here’s a little tip: Save your files as .png type when uploading to Facebook … you’ll get a crisper result. And, if you need help making sure you stay out of Facebook Jail check out this video.

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Adobe Spark is a free desktop accessible and mobile graphic design app. You can create beautiful images, videos, and web pages that help tell your own story. Want to create eye-catching, social videos in minutes? You can record your voice, add images, photos or icons and then set the whole thing to music. Use Adobe Spark Video. Need a quick graphic to illustrate your idea? Use Adobe Spark Post.

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Create eye-catching, animated posts using Ripl, and app you can download for iPhone or Android.

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Looking for a digital tool that you can use to keep track of and organize all of your thoughts, notes, files and so forth? Evernote is a great tool that allows you to have access to everything you need at your fingertips on multiple platforms … desktop, laptop, tablet, ipad, android and iphone. You can use it by yourself or as a collaborative tool.

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Looking for a different way to plan and schedule your social media posts? Take a look at Buffer! It’s an easy-to-use tool for scheduling your posts without a whole lot of hassle. Share easily to your profiles and pages on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+.

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Want your email signature to reflect your brand?  Transform your boring, outdated signature into clickable, interactive buttons and images that drive people to your website.  Every email becomes an opportunity to “show” people what you have to offer!  It’s easy to set up, and you can change it whenever you want.  You can also choose to have My eSig create a custom signature just for you.

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It is even easier to stay in touch with your friends – near and far (internationally). This is a cross-platform mobile messaging app in which you can exchange messages without having to pay for SMS. We love that! WhatsApp Messenger uses the same internet data plan that you use for email and web browsing.  And now, with WhatsApp Web, syncing your messages between your phone and your computer is easy.

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Skype is a great way to stay in touch with people – personally. It goes beyond just messaging; you can actually see and speak! Skype keeps the art of communicating with people alive. You can share files with Skype, make video and voice calls. It is easy to use and works on a multitude of devices: computer, mobile phone, TV, tablet, and more! We love the versatility of Skype, but most importantly we love the personal touch of face-to-face communication.

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Adobe is the global leader in digital marketing and digital media solutions. They have a surplus of tools and services to help you create amazing digital content.  They help their customers make, manage, measure, and monetize their content across every channel and screen.  Adobe makes it possible for even the amateur to be able to create like a professional.  Their products are so versatile and easy to navigate!

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With Animoto, you can make great videos easily! It’s a super tool for marketing videos, how-tos, telling your story or just sharing a slideshow.

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The one question everyone asks when we’re doing a Facebook Live show or program is, “What camera are you using?” or “How did you do that?” … If you’ve moved from going LIVE via mobile to your computer or laptop, it may be time to invest in a better cameral. (Note — sometimes adding a better camera, one that is not built-in, makes syncing audio and video tougher. So, always test before you go live with new “tools” and equipment. For cameras, we recommend your first step into an HD webcam — a LOGITECH. The 920 or 930 are good choices!

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Looking for a “plug and use” USB microphone for your computer or laptop? We’re fans of the Audio Technica USB mic you can check out with just a quick click.

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FREE IMAGES online! One of our favorite sources for free images you can use in your articles, in social media and for graphics you create is PIXABAY. Check out their plethora of images.

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Don’t just tell people … SHOW them. This interactive meeting site allows us to visually teach people by screen sharing. We LOVE Join.me as an efficient and easy way to conduct training sessions and group discussions that warrant a visual aid.  We can chat on the phone and share a screen, or we can chat via computer with our headphones for a hands-free experience just in case we need to take notes!

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Want to better manage all of your social media platforms? Hootsuite offers just that! You can schedule messages for future publishing on all of your networks, analyze results to see what kind of impact your efforts are having and listen to what your audience is saying. You can add team members to your site for added help in maintaining your brand. Hootsuite offers a 30-day free trial so you can “try before you buy”… we LOVE that!

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Sometimes, the most simple tools make a really BIG impact! Do you find yourself searching for new articles on certain topics that relate to your business or lifestyle? Try using GOOGLE ALERTS to have Google crawl Google and send you an email with articles and new publications you might like to read. It’s super easy to set up — and is like a free gift that keeps on giving!

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This site offers accounting services such as invoicing, time tracking, and project management all in one place.  We love Freshbooks because we can create professional-looking invoices, accept credit card payments, send payment reminders, and we can bill in any international currency.  Logging our data ensures that we are not over or under-billing our clients.  This site is so easy to navigate, and getting paid is simple and painless now.

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Want to take your pictures to the next level? Use PicMonkey’s photo editor, graphic design features, and collage maker to really make your photos stand out. We love transforming our pictures into spectacular works of art!  PicMonkey is so easy to use with its endless design options and photo effects and filters.  We especially love their wrinkle remover and teeth whitener tools!

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GoDaddy is our go-to source for all of our website registrations. Do you own the URL to your name? In today’s marketplace, personal branding is becoming very important and we recommend you own yourname.com and yourname.me so as you grow your business you are prepared to harness the full potential marketing that you have to offer your clients and team.  Their exceptional service team is available to support your every need.  We love GoDaddy!

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Want your music to reflect your mood at a given moment? With Pandora you decide what type of music you listen to. As the tempo of your life changes, your Pandora stations will change with you. It is free and with limited commercials, unless you opt for the upgraded commercial-free membership option. We love Pandora—listen from your computer, Blue Ray player, or download the app on your smartphone!

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Anyone can be a rock star! SoundCloud is a sound platform where you can create sounds and music and share them with anyone, anywhere, anytime. You can choose to share your content with just friends and family or make it public for everyone to enjoy. You can communicate directly to share your sounds on a variety of social media platforms. Download the smartphone app to be able to access SoundCloud anywhere.

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Entrepreneurs…let Grasshopper be your virtual phone system! Today’s businesses are not always neatly tucked into one location. Grasshopper pulls all of your employees and coworkers into one seamless answering system with the flexibility of call answering, caller id, fax and message transcription right to your cell phone or computer. Run your business from anywhere in the world.  We love the boundless possibilities of Grasshopper!

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Flipboard is your personal magazine, filled with the things that are important to you. Search for anything—topics, sources, magazines, people—and then flip through articles, updates, photos and videos, all in a beautiful magazine-style format. Just find the articles and stories you want to follow from publishers you know and trust about topics that interest you and add them to your Flipboard.  So easy, so personal!

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Some of the best photo editing software can be found on PIXLR. Enhance your photos with over 100 special effects, and a multitude of cropping and styling tools. They offer stickers, overlays and borders to make your pictures pop. With a product for your mobile device, desktop or to use on the web, PIXLR has the solution no matter where you are editing your photos.

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A community of shared photographs at your fingertips. Professional editing tools allow you to refine your photographs and share them with others. A wonderful feature of Flickr is the 1000GB of free storage for every member – that’s more than 500,000 photos! They have a simple and powerful search engine to find what you are looking for easily and you can sync the photos from your phone to your Flickr account so everything is in one place.

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No more, “I love that song…what was that again?” We think Shazam is so awesome in that the app will identify a song or TV show. The app creates a digital fingerprint of the audio and matches it against its database of music and shows to identify which song or show it is. Then, it gets better by offering you detailed information about the song and it’s artist, and you can purchase the song or show immediately.

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It doesn’t get easier than being able to watch a movie or your favorite TV shows anytime you want and anywhere you want. We love a commercial free viewing experience, and we love the option of streaming in HD for the best quality! You decide which membership plan is right for you and your family. You don’t have to sign any long-term contracts; they offer a simple month-to-month plan and even a free month to try it out.

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Who feels safe in today’s world of online threats and cyber viruses?  We do!  We use Norton Antivirus protection for all of our equipment.  As long as we know that Norton is working in the background, we can feel safe downloading files and working on the internet.  Norton is the best proactive protection you can take for your devices, but they are also super at reacting to threats that may have infiltrated devices you have not protected.  How much is peace of mind worth to you?

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