I am a Geek, a Musician, Podcaster, Broadcaster and provide training for people on Social CRM, and yeah… a Motivational speaker.  

If you're searching for alternative media, ideas on automating your business, and developing a podcast …  then I can help.  


There are so many great tools available in the market that it's really a challenge to keep track of what you want to use, save, or grab for that special moment.   I LOVE testing, breaking and testing new stuff.  I want to outline this list in a "tool" (Tackk) that we can use to publish, share and modify as the information changes and we develop a new message. Technology can be daunting, and at times, a pain.  That is why you need people like me.  The person that loves to solve the puzzle and create solutions to ordinary and sometimes, not so simple problems.   

Rent My Brain


I am going to start the list with that helps you collect the information, you don't want to forget, or use a little later.  This list will change and evolve over time and is not intended to be all encompassing.  If I left out a great tool, or one I need to know about, track me down on twitter, follow me on facebook, or email me at Russ@RussJohns.com

Lets get started.

Tools for collection

We all need to have a place to collect out special items that always vanish when we need them, Right? I have a collection that I like and wanted to share a few items.  

Evernote Evernote is invaluable for capturing the moment and returning later and having the opportunity to still use it.  If you are a PC | Microsoft fan the best option is MS Onenote    

Saved.io This little gem is a very mimimal and simple to use.  Take any web address (URL) and place your cursor in front of the address and type saved.io and it save the address in a special site that you can go look at later.  The second part of this minimalist tool is the opportunity to create lists on the fly.  All you have to do is type tools.saved.io/www..webaddress.com and the list for tools will be created automatically.  The saved.io site launches and you have the opportunity to edit and use tags to further describe your topic.  I just love the simplicity.

Remember the Milk This application is web based program, based on the book by David Allen "Getting things Done" (GTD)  The checklist for the productive.  There are several different types of applications that meet the requirements for GTD.  Another one that I like and have used is Thinking Rock.  I'm not sure if it is still going or not,  I checked the website and it was down  Thinking Rock is cross platform so it was available for almost anyone.  

There are a lot of other programs that I could include in this category, and will review and update the list as I think of more tools for collecting information.

Automation - Data

Automation is one of the topics that can develop into a very wide variety of subjects and elements.  As I develop this list I will have to make adjustments and that is what is so cool about the tools being developed every day.   Lets start the list.  

Zapier  This gem of a program allows you to create and use the internet for goodness.  you have the opportunity to create connections between applications that previously would have cost thousands of dollars on development.  

IFTTT IFTTT is short for IF This, Then That.  this is another program that I use to connect different systems together now and then.  Both solutions are great in their own way and many times if one isn't working for you, try the other.

Email - Gmail

This statement by Robert Tew, is how I feel some days about the tools I test in Gmail and also Chrome Browsers.  There are a lot of great programmers creating amazing tools and we are all thankful for the hard work and dedication.   Now on to my list,

GMail Plugins

Flash Issue This is a great tool for developing beautiful email newsletters directly from inside Gmail.  This tool also includes a Chrome browser plugin that allows you to capture websites and articles from the web to place them directly into a new email campaign. Right from Gmail.  BAM.  I love it.  

Nimble Contacts Widget This tool links my Nimble account to Gmail so I can see the contact details from within Gmail.  Nimble is one of the solutions I use for managing contacts and my Social Customer Relationship Management (SCRM)  I love the opportunity to see what the contact or business has posted recently and get an idea of the types of information that appear to be top of mind.  

Rapportive This plugin really has been valuable to identify people in the social stream from my Gmail account.  It rests in the sidebar and provides information on the my contacts social feed.  

Contact6 This plugin is really interesting and still in beta.  It provides the same type of information that you get with Rapportive and also includes a similar feature as the Nimble browser feature.  This plugin sometimes feels like it is taking over so I am watching what they end up doing in the near term.

So many programs and so little time.  

Creative Tools

Here are a few tools that are really getting a lot of use these days.  I'm going to to be productive and gather this family of products into a list and then allow you to share in the comments below what you are using and what you like about each one.  

Here is a list of all the products I use for creating content.

Canva  |   Pixlr.com (Editor) | PhotoForge2  |  PhotoToaster |  TitleFX

I really enjoy creating different images and using filters and overlays.  PhotoForge was just purchased by Yahoo (Congrats to the team) and not sure where it will take the rest of us. PhotoToaster and TitleFX are both iOS platforms.

Canva took me a long time to warm up to and I know that a lot of people like PicMonkey.  I have other image editing software and have always like the clean nature of PixLr  so I continue to use it all the time for quick changes.

Bonus Tip: Check out Colorpicker 0.9 for Chrome Browsers.  If you do a lot of design and need to match color for online development, you need to check it out.  

Audio Tools

I'll keep this brief and focused on the top few programs that need to be considered if you are thinking of developing any audio.  

Audacity This a FREE open source tool  that is used by almost everyone at some point in their audio history.  It does the job.  and WORKS!

AudioFinder This is a great tool of you have a lot of samples and you need to improve your workflow.

Ableton   This is a full music production solution that is amazing to work with if you want to create music with samples and loops.  

Auphonic This web based gem helps in the development of great audio.  You can send a file over and have them process it and normalize it to broadcast standards.

AudiBase This solution is one that is just fun to experiment with and create short samples and tracks.   

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