Gliffy is an online diagram tool similar to MS Visio.  The tool runs in a web browser and has a very clean interface. There is a free account that will allow you to save upto 5 drawings online. You can export the diagrams created as SVG, XML, JPEG, or PNG.

Google Docs – Form

Google Docs has an integrated form builder, and it is extremely easy to use. (Howto) Once logged in to your Google docs account, it is as easy as clicking New -> Form. Any form you create will have a back end spreadsheet to hold the data gathered.

Remote Backup

Get some personal Disaster Recovery before it is too late. I mentioned this to a few work friends last week, but Francis Ford Coppola is a great example of why you need a service. Backblaze is a web based backup solution that we are starting to use this service in the IT Support team to ensure that remote laptops are backed up in safe and secure manner. There are a few other notable competitors in the space, notably Carbonite, Mozy, and the one I am testing at home – Crashplan.


 IOGraph is “an application that turns mouse movements into a modern art.” Take a look, it is pretty cool.


Use Gestures in Web Browsing. Gestures will allow you to open/close windows, move forward and back on webpages and even create bookmarks all by holding the right mouse button and drawing shapes on your screen. I have been using this one for a while and it really does improve productivity while working in a web browser. Here are links to my two favorite.

Chrome – Smooth Gestures

Firefox – All-in-One Gestures

Windows 7 Screenshot

Windows 7 now has a built in Screenshot Snipping tool (Snippit) Open Snipping Tool by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Snipping Tool. Click here for more information

Chrome Sync

Use the Google Chrome browsers sync feature to keep all of your web browser data in sync across all of your computers. (Home, Work, VDI, etc). It will sync bookmarks, extensions, apps, theme, and browser preferences.

Chome Sync

Chrome Pin Tab

Google Chrome Tip – Pin tabs in the browser. If you want to have a tab always appear at the front of your tab list, and auto pop up when you restart a browser session. Try this. Right click on any open tab and select “pin tab”

Evernote (app)

Evernote – A great note taking application for Windows, Mac, Web, iPhone, Android, Tablet, etc. – http://www.evernote.com/

Lastpass (app)

Lastpass – is a great tool for organizing and synchonizing your passwords. I have been using it for the past year it works great. Check it out here –https://lastpass.com/

Windows 7 Window Management

Windows 7 added some new features for managing windows. They are called Aero Shake and Aero Snap, and allow you to focus on just one window, or tile two windows side by side. Give them a shot with the following keyboard shortcuts.

Windows key + Home = Aero Shake (hide all window other than the current active window)

Windows + up arrow = Snap top (maximize current window)

Windows + down arrow = Minimize to the Super Bar

Windows + left/right arrow = Snap left/right


Add your Jabber chat rooms as buddies in Pidgin, and then right click the buddy and select “auto-join” and “persistent” to have them always open.

Google Minus

Use the minus (-) to remove matches from a google search.

Example – Search pirates -pittsburgh

bonus tip use lmgtfy.com for showing people how to use Google features, or teaching your relatives.

Task Manager

On any windows machine, hold control+Shift+Escape to launch the task manager.

Google Conversions

Use Google to do unit conversions. Just type the statement at google.com

3 pints in cups

27 miles in kilometers

1099897 kilobytes in gigabytes

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