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My Top 10 free and low cost online tools – PART 1

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I was asked to do a presentation some time back, and originally focussed on talking about one online tool I use a lot. This then got me focused on the fact that a lot of these ‘free’ and low cost tools just aren’t known about, or there are so many that people dont know which ones to trust!

So, I scoured through my laptop for the key ones I use a lot, and have come up with my top 10! Unfortunately I can guarantee that the minute I put this ‘out there’ something else will come along to top it, but hey, that gives me an excuse to come back to you with some updates!

Something that has made a lot of these favourites is the fact that I can now use virtually all of them ‘on the go’, using apps (for me on the iPhone but a lot have apps for Blackberry and Android – or soon will have!)

So, here are my numbers 1 – 5;

1. MailChimp

Mailchimp is an online email marketing system, which allows you to set up lists, build campaigns and monitor the effectiveness of them all. It also integrates into Eventbrite, so that you can use your existing lists without having to import them into another system, and also create stylish, individual email invitations. You can then tweet (or update Facebook) with your campaign, and get the promo going that way!

2. Eventbrite
Eventbrite is an online event management tool, which allows you to publish your event, send invitations, track bookings and print all relevant on the day information. Free to use if your event is free, and if you are charging for tickets they take just $0.99 + 2.5% per ticket sold. I use this a lot and it takes a huge amount of hassle out of the administration of all of my events.

3. Hootsuite
My favourite of the Social Media ‘management’ systems. It allows you to bring in all your favourite streams, update all your social networks at once, and also schedule updates if you are going to be off and on the road (without your mobile obviously!) Also, for those who want someone else to do the work, you can add ‘managers’ to each for the networks so they can tweet for you (beware!!)

4. XMind (another one is FreeMind)
XMind is the world’s coolest brainstorming and mind mapping software and the best way to map and share your ideas. This works really well when getting stuck with planning content for your website / blog, or planning a new product.

5. Remember the Milk
I love this, and the great thing is it comes with apps on virtually all mobile devices. An intuitive interface makes managing tasks fun. Set due dates easily with next Friday or in 2 weeks. You can alsoshare, send and publish tasks and lists with any of your contacts to get them to do the work!!

Part 2 will be here soon with the next 5, but in the meantime let me know in the comments below any others you love to use!

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