Social media management

Do you manage multiple social media accounts for your business and find it hard to keep up with them all? Hootsuite is a great service that lets you connect to multiple accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn). You can post updates to multiple accounts at once, schedule updates for the future, automatically share blog posts across sites, and more. Plus you can use the service for free for up to five social profiles.

Sign up for free!

Update 4/8/14: I recently discovered Buffer, which is easier to use and gives you many more social media accounts you can post to. Try it out!

Optimizing PDFs

If you need to share a PDF online (via email or on a website) that doesn’t need to be printed, make sure to optimize it to be the smallest file size possible. No one likes downloading 25mb PDFs!

Here are two great tools I’ve found for PDF optimization:

Record your computer screen

If you have Mac OSX Lion (10.8) installed* you can easily make your own screencast (a video of what’s happening on your computer screen). This can be helpful if you need to demonstrate how to do something or illustrate a problem you are having to someone who isn’t with you.

Open up Quicktime Player (in Applications), go to File > New Screen Recording and then click the red Record button when you’re ready. If you click on the arrow button you can choose a microphone for audio input as well.

*If you don’t know the version of operating system (OS) you’re running, click on the apple icon in the top left corner of your screen and choose About This Mac. The OS/Version number is right above the Software Update button.

Uninstall Mac applications

Typically if you want to delete an application, you just drag it to the trash. But that doesn’t actually remove all of the files associated with the app (like preferences, widgets, or other files). Over time those files can take up space on your computer. I suggest using a program called AppCleaner. Open it, drag the app you want to delete onto it, and it will tell you which files are associated with it so you can delete them all. Plus it’s free!

Try it!

Keep your Mac awake!

Caffeine is a tiny free program that I find essential. Normally your computer is set to go to screensaver or sleep after a specified period of time. But what if you want your computer to stay awake while you read an article, watch a movie, or give a presentation? Caffeine lives in your menubar and with one-click it disables the screensaver and sleep-mode.

Try it out!

Sharing photos and files

Attaching photos or other files to an email isn’t always the best way to share them. Here are several free services that allow you to upload files and quickly share a link to them. This is especially handy for sharing on IM or social media.

Dropbox: Already have an account? Just drop any file into your public folder and right-click to get a link to share it with anyone.

Dropmark: Sign up for a free account and share collections of photos, videos, music or links. It has a really simple drag and drop interface.

TinyPic: Upload images or videos and get a link to share or send via email.

Imgur: Upload an image (or whole gallery) and get a link to share.

Image optimization

If you’re putting photos on the web, you should make sure they are optimized to load quickly. Here are a couple of free tools to make your image file sizes smaller.

Yahoo Smush.it (Mac/PC)
ImageOptim (Mac)

It’s also good to make sure your photos aren’t bigger than they need to be on the screen. If you need a free photo editing tool (for cropping/resizing), check out this previous tech tip.