When it comes to running your business, what online or offline tool/ product/ service do you find has saved you time and money and helped you run your business more effectively in one or more of these areas:
Michael O'Connor Clarke of Freshbooks offered the following ......
For personal use, I think I'd have to go with two main tools (or categories of tool):
1. My Blackberry. I've carried a cellphone since 1988 and can hardly imagine being without one. Once I discovered the joy of an all-in-one PDA, it became an absolutely essential tool. I had a company-provided Blackberry at my last place. When I left, I found I really missed it. Thought hard about iPhone vs. Android vs. Bb, but having a real keyboard won out in the end.
Why is my 'Berry an essential? The ability to manage email on *my* schedule, plus keep my calendar and contacts with me at all times. (Note: it's not about being permanently connected to your email system - it's about having the ability to timeslice and choose when and where you're going to process your inbox, rather than being tied to your desktop/laptop). These days, near-instant access to Google from anywhere is kind of a killer app too.
2. The Cloud. In general - the more of my personal and business data I can keep online, the better. It's more secure, more accessible, more affordable. I'm steadily switching everything over to a cloud-based way of working, migrating Word documents to Google Docs, pushing all email through my Gmail account, doing all backups through a cloud-based service (the utterly awesome Mozy.com). If I had to choose just one deciding factor/benefit of this approach, I'd say: I know the big Cloud Computing vendors can do a much, much better job of things than I can with any home-grown solution.
So, in short: instant 'Net access in the palm of my hand + cloud-based storage of all my data = productivity joy.