Category Archives: tools

On Palomino Blackwing pencils

Plenty of people are big fans of these pencils, including the person who wrote this: Palomino Blackwing Pencils review | Creative Bloq. (10/10) One thing they highlighted about them was their softness:

The Blackwing is the softest, then the Pearl, then the 602. We would compare them to 5B, 4B and 3B pencils in value.

I’ve been using a Blackwing consistently over the past few week and I found that as well: it does write like a 4-5B pencil. If you like that kind of line, great. If you like a harder lead like I do, you might want to avoid them.

Other reasons to avoid them are they are expensive and you have to sharpen them a lot because soft.

It’s a nice looking pencil. But I think I might stick to harder pencils that cost less.


For MacOS users who need a simple and free stopwatch or timer

 This tool seems pretty good. Using it right now.


It’s Monday. You need to do great things. Here’s some great tools to help you.

This is a really good list of apps that will make you life and your work more productive: 17 Great Apps That’ll Make Your Life Easier.

I’ve used a number of them and have found them helpful. You may not use them all, but even adding 2 or 3 to your toolbox will make you better.


MindMup 2: a good web based mindmapping too

I’m a fan of mindmapping tools in general. One I’ve been using and enjoying lately is MindMup 2. 

Two things I like about it:

  1. It’s simple to modify your mindmaps on the go. You don’t need to do much to add or modify your map.
  2. It’s also simple to export your mindmap into a number of different formats. If you occasionally use mindmaps or you want to start with a mindmap to generate ideas but then you want to do the majority of the work in Word or some other tool, this is a good feature.

Mindmup_2 is a good tool. Go map your thoughts.

You need good work tools to be your best at work. Here’s 11 for you to consider

We all get in ruts where we use the same tools every day for our office work. When that happens, what we need is someone to come along with a new list of tools and what makes them great.

Here is such a list. I didn’t create it, but I have used 3 of the 11 tools here and I can say they are key to making me more productive every day. I plan to use the rest of them too, based on the description of them.

Sure, you can do fine with Microsoft Office tools. This list will help you do better: 11 Most Used Tools & Apps Essential to my Work – DESK Magazine

(Image via

How many days until….

If you want a simple way to determine how many days until a certain date, or have a count down clock on your screen, consider the web site If you go to that link, you can see all the things you can do with the site. If you want to determine how many dates until a certain date, enter For example, if you want to know how many days until January 1, 2020, enter:

Great little site!

My new productivity tool: Timer – a simple countdown timer

My new favorite productivity tool is this site: Timer – a simple countdown timer. Whenever I am procrastinating, I will use it to get myself to focus by starting it for 5, 10, or more minutes and telling myself: I will focus until the timer goes off. I have found this approach very effective, and this site helps me. It also helps because if I find myself going to my browser to mindlessly go on some time wasting site (hello, Twitter!) I will see this and I will remember to focus.

Fans of the pomodoro technique will see there is a special timer just for it.

As a bonus, you can use it to do a high intensity tabata workout.

Great tool. Highly recommended.

Want to start a startup? All you need for that is here

And by here, I mean this site: Startup Stash – Curated resources and tools for startups. It is an amazing collection of tools you likely will need, for one thing. Plus, it has a superb user interface that not only groups the tools well, but gives you a sense of all the things you need to think about if you are going to go forward and create your own startup.

If you aren’t seriously thinking about startups, but would like to know about new tools to make you more productive at work, then I recommend you check out this site too.

Kudos to the creator of the site. Well worth a visit.

Are you trying to convert Word documents to HTML?

If so, you know of all the …stuff…Word will add in there. I understand why Microsoft does it, but I would rather not have it. If you are in the same boat, I recommend you check out this site: Convert Word Documents to Clean HTML. It gives you the ability to take snippets of said HTML and clean it up for you.

It has it’s limits, but worth a look. Or to your tool box.

10 ways to get more out of another great tool, Evernote

Yesterday was about ifttt. Today it is all about another great tool I highly depend on: Evernote. Evernote has become my go to tool for capturing information. (Bonus: it works great with ifttt). There are many great ways of using Evernote. If you are using it or planning to, here are at 10 for starters: 10 Tips On How to Use Evernote To Its Fullest « The Solopreneur Life®.

Please share any other tips you have. I find the one key tip I have for users of Evernote is this: the more you use it, the better it gets.


Buddhify – an app for the harried

Buddhify is an app I read about on the Swissmiss blog that “teaches you to meditate and relax on the go.” I haven’t tried it yet, but I did check it out and it looks promising. For more,
see swissmiss.

A nice background switcher for your desktop (with Web 2.0 features)

John’s Background Switcher over at John’s Adventures web site is a really nice tool that easily allows you not only to switch your background, but has links into flickr, Picasa, and more. Lots of great features for the tool, too. I highly recommend it.

Get smarter! Go use some creative tools from has these great creative tools that can

help you and your organization become even more creative.

I highly recommend them.

Stuck for a new idea? Here’s the tool you need! :)

Go here!

Right now I am working on a “nutritious neon appliance”…I think my kids will love it. – build better personal sites with Uber and take advantage of the web 2.0 facilities

is a site for building your own web site around web 2.0 concepts. It is “alpha” if you ask me, but it has alot of potential to be great.

One feature I really like is the ability to make great slideshows. This part is good. Here’s a few I made as a test

or go to Uber for more info.

What is the Rasterbator?

What is the Rasterbator?

The Rasterbator creates huge, rasterized images from any picture. Upload an image, print the resulting multi-page pdf file and assemble the pages into extremely cool looking poster up to 20 meters in size.

It could also be useful for technical documents, too.

Zoho Gets better and Better

Over at the blog Compiler from is a good review of the latest AND greatest features in Zoho Writer. Key quote:

While it isn’t feature complete just yet, Zoho Writer is getting very close to the ideal in online editing with word processing software that works equally well in offline and online modes. With big names like Google Docs, Microsoft Live and even Adobe all vying for your online office loyalty, there’s no doubt that if offline functionality matters to you, Zoho has the lead.

Like Twitter? Try Snitter!

What is it? Well

Snitter is “Snook’s Twitter”: an Adobe AIR-powered application for twittering

It is really COOL….lots of nice features. You can find it here: Snitter: Snook’s Twitter –

chumby and other low cost computing devices

chumby is just one of latest low cost computing platforms coming on the market, like OLPC. Plus, they are darn cute! Check it out.

Problems with HassleMe

I blogged about this site before: HassleMe

It’s a great idea, but I think they need to make it more timely. Until then, based on my experience, I would recommend others ways to be reminded to do things.

Zoho keeps getting better and better

Zoho is adding new capability all the time. Now with offline features and integration with Facebook. I highly recommend you check it out. See here: Zoho Online Office, Word Processor, Spreadsheet, Presentation, CRM and more – a good mindmapping tool is a nice mindmapping tool that is web based. I like it’s export features, among other things. It makes nice jpegs like this:

(Actually, it makes even nicer drawings…I just crunched it down to make it fit. Try it! :))

Your next flashlight is a Blackberry


One alternative use of a BB is a flashlight.

When you have the backlight on high, it can illuminate more than you might think.

Something to think about in a jam. (pun intended.)

5min = DIY + YouTube

My friend Jean-Francois told me about this site. People post Do It Yourself videos on the web for others to see. If this takes off, it could be quite something. I wonder if Home Depot knows about this? Beat them to it. See

5min – Life Videopedia

The great Kevin Kelly

One of FM’s author is Kevin Kelly, of Kevin Kelly — Cool Tools

He’s much more than this. He has been doing cool stuff for many years, whether he was working on the Whole Earth Catalog (the Internet in a catalog form 🙂 ) or helping launch WiReD (before it became TiReD). His cool tools section of his web site always has interesting articles in it.

It’s a shame the Whole Earth Review isn’t around anymore. But KK’s web site is: soak it up.


For people who need to produce PDF files for whatever reason, this tool has been recommended to me:

Download |