My Favorite Tools and Plugins

My Favorite Tools and Plugins

I was having a conversation with a friend yesterday about what tools and tricks we collectively use to get sh*t done in our lives (thanks to @ShaunaSwerland for the inspiration). I lean toward tools for startups/research/task management. If I was a Developer it would include things like GitHub.

So I thought I’d post a list and encourage you to add your favorites below in comments.

  • Slack – every once in a while I find myself frustrated that people are still sending me an email!
  • Grammarly – for checking grammar, spelling, and punctuation when I’m blogging in WP or on Chrome. It also includes definitions and synonyms.
  • Asana – is a task management tool. If something hits my inbox that takes >5 minutes, it gets forwarded to  that allows me to forward an email and capture a task to be completed later. Shout out to @BryanZug for making me a believer.
  • TextExpander – is a tool by SmileSoftware that tracks my frequently typed phrases and text templates. I can use a shortcode – think “;ci” to translate into “Checking In” on an email subject line. I use it a lot on template emails where I don’t want to use an email service provider.
  • SalesforceIQ – is a great UI that was put in front of (it so needed a refresh) and it integrates with other tools well.
  • TopicsExplorer – I’ve written about this before. It allows me to pick themes and find out what company has the majority of the traffic on that theme including the monthly traffic and CPC on the associated keywords.
  • Open SEO Stats – allows me to quickly look at a site’s traffic, age,  keywords, etc.
  • Key Words Everywhere – is another Chrome extension that displays traffic and CPC data with every Google Search.
  • Google Page Analytics Chrome Extension – this tool helps me visually understand Google analytics data on a site – so for this site, I can tell what % of people click on Blog (29%) or About (14%) as well as Bounce rates Average Times
  • Google Mobile-Friendly – since I’m on a Google Theme for a minute… it’s worth checking what your site looks like on Mobile.
  • MailChimp – for email service provider, monthly emails newsletters.
  • A Lot of Word Press PlugIns
    • Sumo Dashboard – for email capture and “mouse out” functions. See below for offers and content – shout out to @SumoMe.
    • YoastSEO – for tracking Readability and SEO for blog posts.
  • In the Noteable, but too early to tell category
    • Atlas Recall is great for research where you want to combine documents, searchs and emails into one view
    • Google Keep – is like EverNote and
      Google’s New Scary Extension

      Apple Note (hopefully it works and syncs across machines). Thought the description of the extension was scary because it can “Read and Change all your data on the websites you visit” what happend to do no evil???

Some additional “Cool” tools and Blogs

Here are some other tools I use, but not as frequently, as well as some geeky blogs I like to follow.


  • – is a Chrome Extension that connects to LinkedIn and assists in finding email addresses. But you don’t need to ask for an invitation or request to forward.
  • – I’m a fanboy of the team at Moz, just not a regular social media manager. Moz helps your business be found on SEO.
  • FollowerWonk – is a tool now owned by Moz. You can find people that follow specific themes – think “Mommy Bloggers” if you’re launching a site with that target customer.
  • SquadHelp – is a fractional design site for Naming, Logos, and Marketing.
  • 99Designs – same as SquadHelp, just another option.
  • Upwork – though I don’t use it as often as in the past when it was Elance (now merged with ODesk), it’s still a great site for finding contractor resources for tasks.
  • Fiverr – similar to Upwork, but also things like voiceovers and other talent/tasky options.

Blogs & Newsletters

  • and their email StartupsDaily newsletter is a great startup resource.
  • Tom Tunguz at Redpoint for his Blog and newsletter (shout out to @ttunguz).
  • SumoMe – now just Sumo. Noah and team crank out some amazing offers and tools to help you grow your business. My favorite is SumoDashboard for WP for all the tools to help me grow my email list.
  • CBInsights for venture capital news   .
  • Goodreads – I’m on a mission to ready 100 books this year. It’s good to know if they are recommended.
  • Matthew Woodward for being a great blogger – I’m so not there…
  • Finally, given the nature of the post, you could have guessed, LifeHacker?!

What should I add to my arsenal?

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