It feels like I write a post every week about tools to make your easier to manage as an indie developer. From marketing tools to productivity tools and beyond, we cover lots of tools here. But that’s okay! That’s the beauty of the era we live in: there are so many stellar tools and services available for everyone. Searching and finding the best ones can be time consuming, so as a result, I’m back again to fill you in on some of the tools you should consider using in your work life.
Today’s array of tools doesn’t really have a theme. Some of these are some that I found as recently as this week, while others I’ve known about for years. At any rate, you’re going to be glad you used these tools – and the best part? Most of these tools can be used for free! So without further ado, here’s a handful of stellar tools that will make your work life easy to manage.
Many people swear by Google Docs to write and share their notes with others, but for my money, Evernote is still the best online writing tool out there. I feel like calling Evernote a writing tool is doing isn’t doing it justice, though. It’s so flexible, that you can copy and paste nearly anything on the Web, in a Word Processor, etc., and it will copy the same format and look of the original doc into the new Evernote doc.
My wife copies and pastes research data daily, and as recently as last night, she was singing the praises of how amazing Evernote actually is.
Moreover, you can clip entire articles you find on the web, capture notes that you write, and even capture photos and store them in Evernote! Evernote even has a useful search feature that allows you to search a word or phrase and find anything in your Evernote dossier – even if it’s stored in an image!
Plus, you can share and view your docs from your mobile devices. The free version is probably the only one you will need until your indie studio grows, and when it does? The premium version of Evernote is less than one McGriddle per month (no idea why I used a McGriddle as a reference point just now).
Don’t mind spending a little money to learn every little detail about your competition’s web presence? That’s where SpyFu comes in. This handy powerhouse allows you to search for any domain you can imagine and discover everywhere they’ve shown up in Google. You can see their organic rank, how profitable some keywords were in AdWords campaigns (which will allow you to eliminate your own poor keywords), and so much more.
The real kicker? This information can be searched back to up to six years ago! Curious to see Double Fine’s most profitable keywords in 2008? SpyFu will tell you.
The downside is it’s a little pricy ($79 a month), but if used properly, it could end up paying for itself in spades month-to-month. And if you want to see if it’s right for you? SpyFu offers a free-trial version as well.
If you don’t need to search back six years ago to see every little detail of your competitor’s marketing strategy, Alexa will suffice. These guys have been collecting analytical data for nearly 20 years, and they are the gold standard of measuring how well your web presence ranks. You can find information on any website out there. For instance, you can see how well a certain site ranks, how many pages the average visitor views, how long the average user is on the site, whom is searching the site (male/female, education level, where they browse), and the country of origin for most visitors.
You can even search and view how visitors get to the site.
Alexa offers premium services as well, but if you only want a quick glance at how visitors get to the site? The free version will suffice.
Have any tools you feel are worth mentioning? Let us know in the comments below!