My Tool Belt – Productivity, Internet Marketing & More


I learned a powerful lesson about tools one day when I got to work at my wife’s family farm. Mathew and I went to hoe the onion patch but we found only 1 hoe and a shovel. I learned quickly that the right tool made all the difference.

I’ve often been asked what tools I use. I thought I would turn that question into this page so you can check them out. Here is a rundown of the tools I use and recommend every day that make all the difference when internet marketing.

Jason’s Current Favorite Tools

Asana: If you take only 1 thing away my tool set take Asana, I’m so much more productive with a to do list I can use on my desktop and mobile phone. And since it integrates with almost everything including Google Calender my team and I can hit our goals and stay in sync for free. For more on how I use Asana, checkout my post.

Evernote: Love Evernote! This application allows you to keep all of your notes in one place. Clip webpages, notes, files, …whatever! And Evernote keeps it secure for you. Accessibility is huge for Evernote as you can access it on your Windows/Mac computer, the Web, and even your mobile device. It’s where I archive only the best articles tagged by topic for later reference. And all for free.

Feedly: I love reading blogs and using a tool to track the RSS feed so I don’t miss a thing. I was sad when Google Reader died but I really must thank Google, it lead me to a better experience with Feedly. I recommend you sign up for free and enter your top blogs you follow today.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Sometimes I miss my Iphone but then I look down at my huge 5.5 inch screen and forget about it. And I still love to take notes by hand so the note has been a dream come true.

Sharing Documents: I love Google Drive & DropBox for sharing documents with anyone. And better than that, they integrate with most everything including Asana. And of course all for free.

Stealing Others Ideas: I’ve always been told to learn from others mistakes. Same really is true about learning from others successes. These are my top bloggers & resources for local web marketing that I steal from all the time.

Top Internet Marketing Tools – Paid & Not

Moz: Yes I’m a Moz tool set and community fan. And since they pick up David Mihmn to run their local set of tools, things will only get better. Their is nothing like their On Page Grader, local training videos, webinars, OpenSiteExplorer.org(limited free daily), GetListed.org(free), Follower Wonk, blog posts, and training beginner guides. Hands down the best $100 a month set of tools and ongoing training under the sun. And since they will let you try their service free for 30 days that’s the cheapest way to optimize your first site right for free.

CallRail: Tracking calls by source never was so easy. $30 a month gets you 10 tracking numbers and you only need 8 to do keyword level tracking. Paired with AdWords you’ll know exactly what words got you that lead call. Helps close the gap between just web forum tracking. And in Some industries like home improvement you should expect more calls then emails. Thank you Derek Ostler for introducing me to call tracking years ago. And thank you GetFoundFirst.com for putting me onto CallRail.

BufferApp: This is one of those ideas that is so simple and so elegant, you slap yourself on the forehead and say, “Of course!” You add tweets, facebook posts, and LinkedIn shares to your Buffer whenever you want. It then spreads them out during the day according to a schedule you pre-determine, so it doesn’t overwhelm your followers and hits them when they are most likely to see them. Some also really like HootSuite.

Find People On Plus: Google+ is great and all, not really but it’s on its way and hear to stay. Kind of like Moz’s FollowerWonk you can find the most influential people by region or topic on Google+ for free. GPlusData.com is also just as good. Thanks NiftyMarketing.com crew for putting me onto these tools.

Local Search Forum: So Linda does her best to answer business owners web marketing questions by herself. Well she has a community that sometimes has good advice. If you take everything with a grain of salt and especially if you are strapped for cash this is the forum for you. Be sure to participate for a while before asking a questions and fill out your profile first.

Google Voice: Great for understanding if people called you from your email signature. Also for calling people in Canada for free. And no I do not recommend this free service to be used as a businesses phone number.

Google Keyword Planner: No one is going to tell you what keywords and web pages your website needs. But you can use this tool to see relitivly what words and topics are being searched more often. It’s the only Keyword tool I use and it’s completely free.

Google Page Speed Tester: Slow websites don’t convert visitors. Test your websites page load time with this free tool. Anything above 3 seconds should set off alarm bells. It’s been confirmed that every increase in a load time equals happy customers. And happy customers stay, participate and buy things. It’s that’s you getting a better web host and using a caching plugin like WP Total Cache can help get you below that 3 second mark.

Rank Checking: I’ve tried tools like Bright Local, Rank Checker FireFox plugin, Moz and more. No Rank checking tool works accurately. Checking a few keywords rankings on the 15th and 31st by hand can go a long ways. Here is how I check website rankings by hand for free.

Barnacle SEO: So this it more like a classification for a bunch of sites you can use as a tool. There are a lot of well ranking sites out there that allow users and user generated content. They are like huge ships anchored in all the right search result harbors. And even sometimes they aren’t there yet but with your profile they could be uses to get there. Things like SlideShare.net(wonderful for making your sales pitch into slides), Yelp, and social media accounts. Thanks Mary Bowling for introducing me to the phrase.

MailChimp: If I have to send mass emails or templated emails I use MailChimp. Well beta canned messages from within Gmail for ugle basic stuff but MailChimp for anything that needs to look pretty. It has a super easy-to-use interface, great analytics, and is 100 percent reliable and free up to 2k subscribers.

Chrome Extensions: Most listed below in Chrome Extensions are for Internet Marketing as well.

Blogging: Most listed below in Blogging are for Internet Marketing as well.

Chrome Extensions

Big thanks to Rick Skidmore for reminding me I forgot this whole category of tools.

Rapportive: I love this tool because it shows you someones last posts on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Linedin) right in Gmail. This can help you be more relevant in your outreach and networking. I recommend you install Rapportive it and it’s free.

LastPass: The last password you ever have to remember is their slogan. And for anything you can log into from a website that is so true. But the best part is not that this is free, it’s that you can grand and revoke login access to anyone. Even a time limit to how many days they will have access. Like DropBox you just send an invite request. They get access to the site via plugin auto fill but never see the login themselves. So useful for giving employees access to important programs. Derek Waterson and John Broadbent thank you so much for putting me onto this tool.

Moz Tool Bar: Tons of useful SEO metrics right in your Google searches.

BuiltWith Technology Profiler: Play with this cool exstension and you will learn things you never new about sites you love such as it is built with WordPress or uses this cool plugin… Totally free.

Check My Links: Finds broken links for free. Useful? Sure for your own site but makes for an easy email to other sites to help them correct a broken link.

Evernote Web Clipper: You know I love Evernote. I only send the best articles I must keep forever to Evernote and I tag them things like social media, link building, etc… Makes for easy reference when trying to review what I’ve learned about a topic. And more then keeping the article I love taking my top 5 takeaways in the comments section.

Awesome Screenshot: Capture & Annotate: Anything on the web you can screen capture even the stuff below your fold scroll bar into one single photo. Then blur, crop, annotate then share it however you would like. Free and amazing 🙂

Blogging

WordPress.org: WordPress is the #1 blogging platform. I like it because it grows with you. It can handle the smallest personal blog or the largest company blog. It is also free and there is lots of free customizations possible. If you want to install it on your own domain, check out HostGator.

HostGator: I use HostGator for my blog hosting. They offer simple quick setup and 1-Click installation of WordPress. They have been extremely reliable for me at less than $10 a month.

Google Analytics: This is the gold standard when it comes to analytics. If you want to track your unique visitors, page views, bounce rate, and a host of other metrics, you need to sign up for a free account and then use the plugin All in One Pack to add Google Analytics to your blog. And all for free.

All in One SEO Pack: This free version of a WordPress SEO plugin is all I do to manage my meta titles, descriptions and integrations with Google Analytics and more. (Some really love Yoast instead) Thanks Derek at BartonSEO.com for introducing me.

Up Time Robot: Free website up time monitoring. Sometimes sites go down and when it happens you don’t want to go days without knowing. Reliable and free with monitoring up to 50 sites choose Up Time Robot, enough said.

Google Web Master Tools: When did Google last come around to your site, do you have any vireies on you website, and did Google index all of your web pages? I don’t know but Google Web Master Tools does and more. Signup for free and use the All in One SEO Pack for verification. I also use XML Site Maps plugin to create and the submit a site map. That way Google is up to date on any new pages you add.

Bing Web Master Tools: Bings less cool but still very useful so I always signup for free with Bing as well.

Other Tools

Google Chat: Not only do I use G Chat, I integrate it into my gmail so whenever I’m checking email my team knows they can chat me. 1 tip I found is you can tell people your what I’m doing status only if you change it in something like the downloadable G Chat. I have mine set to “Doing Internet Marketing”.

Pinterest Pin Button: Pinterest is just so visual it’s really my social bookmarking tool of choice. Anything new and exciting I add to my boards the second I find them. And no I am not gay, just an early adopter as 30% of piners are men. Just try searching cars in Pinterest to see what I mean. If you are really crazy try following my Internet Marketing board on Pinterest.

Online Meetings & Webinars: So I like Join.me because it’s free and no software installation for the attendees. I like Go To Meeting for how easy it is to record a private meeting and how professional it is. But I’m really starting to like Google Hangouts. I’ve never liked Skype. Tons of feature differences so check them out and everything but Go To Meeting is free.

Screen Cast O Matic: So cool for only $15 a year. It’s really good screen casting with features like scripts, push to YouTube and so much more. And I can record without internet unlike Google Hangouts. I had a small learning curve so watch the help videos.

Gmail: My email of choice and I’m in good company. Wired magazine did an article where they mentioned that gmail is the preferred email of choice for terrorists. Yahoo a close 2nd. And it’s because they provide such a great and easy spam free service. Since Wired is a magazine and I can’t find a link to the article online, I also found the quote here if you want to see it for yourself.

Tools I Wish I Had More Time For

LocalU Forum: I know it’s not a tool in the traditional sense but no better place to ask questions about geographic online marketing. It’s a way to pick the minds of the top 8 guys in local Internet marketing. You can’t do that with just consulting from one of them. And their is a huge database of other people’s questions being answered, so chances are the answer to your burning questions is already there. Worth the $100 a month hands down. Next best free option is following their blog and asking a question in the comments.

Challenge.co: This year was all about making a Kindle information book from start to finish including marketing it. It’s always free every year for a limited time. Don’t have time, think again it’s always only 1 month long and broken into 30 minutes a day chunks. In the past they have covered PPC, affiliate marketing and more. Signup to get notified when the next free session is up.

Lynda: So much education you can’t ever find time to learn everything you need. However if you are in a bind to learn a quick skill like retouching a photo they have you covered. Checkout their whole database of education calling your name. $25 a month. Thanks Bart at GoFastWeb for the tip on this tool.

Big Thanks To My Fellow Bloggers

Inspiration and some wording for a few of these tools came from these great bloggers.
Michael Hyatt – MichaelHyatt.com/my-tools
John Jantsch – TimeManagementNinja.com/tools-and-resources
Craig Jarrow – DuctTapeMarketing.com/resources
Don Campbell – Expand2Web.com/blog/resources

Thanks for sharing your tools and giving me the idea for this page.

And a big thanks to all my friends and the bloggers I follow for always sharing your tool and tricks. I’ve heard a wise man learns from himself and an even wiser man learns from others especially their mistakes.

Share Your Favorite Tools Below

Please do share your favorite tools from productivity to Internet marketing below in the comments.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 thoughts on “My Tool Belt – Productivity, Internet Marketing & More

  1. Jason thanks for sharing! Here are a few that I really like to use along with the ones you already shared.

    Firebug helps me pick apart webpages code. https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/firebug/?src=ss

    I know you mentioned Moz, but I wanted to add their browser Moz Toolbar. I like being able to see the authority and https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/seo-toolbar-by-seomoz/?src=search

    I am a sucker for Jing and taking screen shots that allow me to edit and past directly in an email. http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html

    Finally I will share join.me which makes it really quick and easy to connect with a client and walk them through a problem or whatever they need by using a screen share. http://join.me/

    • I used to use Jing and Join.me a lot. Still really great tools. I’ll add my screen capture tools up in the mix, forgot those. I’m not much on code so I haven’t used Firebug in a long long time but was great. Also I use the Moz Bar so I’ll add a whole section for Chrome extensions too. Thanks Rick for sharing. And I’ll have to have you speak at a meetup sometime.