Cliffs Notes on Cool Online Tools

i-toolA client expecting his first child lamented he wished there were Cliffs Notes for all the baby books stacked on his nightstand.  It got me thinking — I feel the same way about the amazing marketing webinars, blogs, podcasts, and newsletters out there.  So many great resources and so little time to review them! I decided I’d start producing my own version of Cliff Notes on some outstanding content.  I promise to condense it down to a five minute read, pulling out the golden nuggets so you don’t have to.

This week’s installment is on a recent one-hour webinar I listened to by Kellye Crane, Solo PR Pro founder, hosted by Cision, entitled Tool School.  It is an amazing round-up of 100 of the best PR tools. I’ve included a link to the webinar and the slideshare presentation.

Some are free and some cost money but the ones that cost she believes gives you the most bang for your buck.

First off, if you do have to spend money figure out what your hourly rate is or would be if you were in an agency and then figure out how much time the tool would save you. Then you can make a case for purchasing it – or not.

Secondly avoid the ”shiny new tools” and just focus on what could be most beneficial.

I won’t list them all, just a few of the ones I think are the coolest in each category, but try to checkout slideshare to see the entire list.  It’s worth it:

Productivity Tools

Rapportive: Pulls up the LinkedIn profile of whomever you’re emailing or receiving email from and displays it in the sidebar

Boomerang for Gmail: Allows you to schedule email for later delivery

Yesware: Tells you when someone has opened your email and clickthroughs

Evernote: Notes and clipper app on steroids that allows you to sync/capture info across platforms

Traditional PR

The two obvious/must-have ones: Cision/Vocus media database and HARO Help a reporter out to get emails of press inquiries and Talk Walker: They replace Google Alerts for monitoring alerts

Who shared my links: Enter a url to see how many times it was shared on social media and by which blogs and journalists

AP Stylebook Ask an Editor: Searchable Q and A for AP Stylebook.  Hey, this beats buying an updated copy.


SumAll: View all of your data from social media, google analytics, ads, email, etc in one dashboard

Social Crawlytics: Track your competitors most heavily shared posts

Visual (this is my favorite section so I went overboard)

Picmonkey: Easiest and most powerful imaging editing tool for non experts

Wordswag: Easily add text to iPhone photos

DaFont: Searchable archive of over 13,000 free fonts free images (I used an image from there for this blog.)

Piktochart and DIY infographic tools

Social Media

Facebook Debugger: Such a cool tool: This will help if your FB tool is not expanding properly

ManageFlitter: Kelleye’s favorite tool for managing Twitter followers/following

BuzzSumo: Discover trending stories across all SM channels on a given topic


Anymeeting: Free web conferencing for up to 200 people

Project management

Asana: Very popular, free, robust project management tool

Trello: Uses “cards” to manage work/stay on track


theSkimm: Quick overview of the day’s news in your inbox every morning

LastPass: Secures and remembers passwords

 Other cool tools

JotNot: Turn your smart phone into a hi rez scanner

SurveyMonkey: Create and share your own online surveys quickly and easily

MileIQ:  Automatically remembers your drives for mileage reimbursement with these.

Have fun with these.

Image courtesy of khunaspix at


Webinar link:



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