Sep 222012

Here are a few of my favorite digital helpers.

It’s a very short list, but for each of these, I’ve tried the alternatives, and have found that these are the best solutions for me, and would probably be helpful to most computer users, especially those who, like me, enjoy the versatility of PC use.

I’ve thrown in a great, free, learning site that can help you learn many of the programs you’re likely to encounter in your daily digital life.

LastPass: LastPass helps you store your passwords and online accounts. With so many accounts to keep track of, a secondary value is the ability to scroll through and see all the places/sites/services you’ve signed up to try.

Dropbox: If you’re not already using it, I have to ask why. It’s your most active, in-use files, available to you wherever you go. Great initial free space, with various ways to accumulate additional free space, and many options for paid upgrades.

CrashPlan: Put simply, it works. It backs up your files in the background, and if you crash, you can quickly download your files again when you’re ready for them. I had a crash, and the restore from CrashPlan helped me feel WAY cleverer than I might actually be. You get to choose which drives (including external), folders and files to back up, and when. And not too resource-heavy either.

SimpleNote: So easy and simple, it’s the note-pad you always thought should exist (and work the way it does) but -if you’re not already using it- thought didn’t exist. It’s easy, a notepad that can reside on all your devices, synchronize intuitively, and with no distracting fancy buttons or functions. Just your ntes, wherever you are.

Alison: Great free tutorials on many popular software programs. Give it a shot. I’m sure there’s a lesson there on something you’ve been meaning to learn to do better. Also tracks your lessons so you know where you left off.

I’m sure I’ll add another post to this topic, but other favorites include Chrome for speedy, extensible browsing, Truecrypt for encrypting files and drives, Hootsuite for social media publishing, Google Analytics, for figuring out what’s going on with your site traffic-wise, and Duck Duck Go for  well-organized online search that doesn’t track the living s* out of your online searching. There’s more to come, but these are a few of my favorite digital things.