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9 High-Tech, Low-Drag Tools For Daily Use



My love affair with technology is no secret. Heck, I make a living on the internet so it’s tough not fall prey to the glitz and glamor of new tech and services, “Ohhh, shiny!”

Truth be told, though, I’m actually more of a low drag operator. Word processor? Too bloated. Yeah, I have one but you’ll always find a text editor open on my desktop. High-tech, low drag, no bloat. They do one thing without unnecessary bells and whistles.

Anyway, thought I’d share some of the essentials that I find myself using every day:

  1. Evernote – an awesome service. While it’s great for taking notes, I tend to use it more as a swipe file – come across a headline, button, page layout, or ad that I like I save and tag it for later reference.
  2. Mindjet Mindmanager – This program makes it into my videos quite a bit. It’s a great mindmapping software for laying out ideas, articles, etc in a graphical format. Mindmanager easily makes the best mindmapping software out there.
  3. Firebug – I can’t imagine developing websites without this Firefox add-on. With a click I can see a page’s CSS code and layout making it easy to troubleshoot that WordPress theme.
  4. Roboform – Click a button and you’re automagically transported to your website of choice, your username and password entered, and automagically logged in. Killer password/bookmark manager. I introduced my wife to it, who then got her entire company hooked on it.
  5. Notetab Pro – I write everything with this full-featured text editor. Seriously, everything gets written in this program. Client commissioned sales letters, emails, articles. This is my tool of choice.
  6. – a url-shortening, link-tracking service with a pretty decent interface (sorry but you’re ugly as hell.) Great for sharing URLs on Twitter or in emails.
  7. Read It Later – Like most online workers I click over to a a bunch of cool articles without the time to read them at the moment. This killer Firefox add-on makes it easy to save those articles for later reading. Just be sure to clear it out 😉
  8. Blackberry – This little thing is a big essential. It lets me handle my email, twitter, google maps and more. Ipod, schmipod. I dig my BlackBerry.
  9. Moleskine Notebook – okay, not high-tech but this is a low-drag essential for me. This is in my back pocket everywhere I go. I can whip it out and take a note quicker than with my BlackBerry, it never locks up, and doesn’t require batteries. It’s my main tool in daily planning and provides a great tactile feel when crossing something off “the list.”

This stuff gets used daily. Check ’em out and let me know what high-tech low drag essentials you rely upon.

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  1. Mark Eibner

    February 2, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    we’re at it again 9 High-Tech, Low-Drag Tools For Daily Use: Get out of your feed reader and co..

  2. sheilabragg

    February 2, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    9 High-Tech, Low-Drag Tools For Daily Use: Get out of your feed reader and comment on this post- we PROMISE that..

  3. Island Trust

    February 2, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    9 High-Tech, Low-Drag Tools For Daily Use

  4. Missy Caulk

    February 2, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Mark, you mentioned some I have not tried, always good to get advice on what makes us more productive in our business. I’ll have to check out NoteTab Pro and Read it Later.

  5. Jim Gatos

    February 3, 2009 at 2:11 am

    I used to use Roboform until last year; I found “lastpass” ( and it’s every bit just as good as roborform, not limited to a certain amount of passwords, able to be used with Firefox and IE, and best of all, FREE! I never liked Roboform because even when you pay for it, if you install over a certain amount of times, the program cannot be used anymore unless you either buy more or send them an email asking them to “reset” the installation counts..

    You didn’t mention Openoffice?

  6. Jim Duncan

    February 3, 2009 at 6:44 am

    Google is going after paper … but I’ll stick with my Moleskin.

    1Password – for mac users only, though. It’s awesome.

    For my “read it later” I have a “readlater” tag in (not that I actually ever go back and “read” said pages)

    Blackberry – Check.

    Moleskin – Check.

  7. Dan O'Halloran

    February 3, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Mark- I hadn’t heard of and have been testing it out…definitely an awesome tool to have-Thanks!

  8. Jim Gatos

    February 3, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Are you guys deleting comments?

    Instead of Roboform, I use Lastpass. It’s free, has NO ridiculous “limited Installs” (paid version), and works with IE and Firefox..If there’s one piece of software I can’t stand, it’s Roboform.

  9. Benn Rosales

    February 3, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Read about OpenOffice here

  10. Jim Gatos

    February 3, 2009 at 11:04 am


    I don’t know why I couldn’t “see” my first comment.. Now I see it with no picture of me.. Sorry, wasn’t intentional.

    Maybe I typed something wrong?

    Benn, thanks for the OpenOffice link. That’s the only software I use now for the tasks it does..

  11. Benn Rosales

    February 3, 2009 at 11:12 am

    We have to visually verify every link that’s placed in a comment and will be held in moderation (active or not) until we can- sometimes it takes a bit for us to get to it, sometimes it’s within seconds.

    I’m not sure why your gravatar isn’t showing up, it’s automated by them so I can’t speak to it.

  12. Mark Eckenrode

    February 3, 2009 at 11:30 am

    @jim duncan: when i was with franklincovey it was interesting to see how many folks prefer paper over digital when it comes to tasks. there’s something fulfilling about actually putting a pen to paper and scratching a task off. moleskine FTW

    @jim gatos: ever find openoffice slightly varies the formatting of word documents? i had that prob a few years back but haven’t explored since then. i really only use Word when i have to… i simply prefer to write everything in NotePad Pro. aside from style formatting, i actually think it’s a more powerful editor.

  13. Chad A. Johnson

    February 9, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    I have been using Firebug for several months now and don’t know what I ever did without it. Working on WordPress themes is tough since the code is dynamic. By using Firebug to see the actual code, it is easy to fix problems.

    Read It Later looks like a real gem. I just created an account and installed the Firefox plugin. Thanks.

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Business Marketing

“House has spark” – burning up the MLS with typos and other bloopers



The year is starting a march toward its natural ending, friends…and it seems a few real estate careers may be also. This week I found some real head-scratchers in local real estate ads and the MLS.  However, I get submissions from all over the U.S., so no one is safe from the eyes of  the Blooper Scooper. Check out these blunders:

Do You Smell Smoke?

“House has spark” (Apparently your real estate career isn’t the only thing going up in smoke.)

“Big pep area in kitchen” (Is that the cookie jar where Mommy Dearest stashes her uppers?) 

“Dull Viking ovens” (Methinks there’s something in the cookie jar that will perk up those dull Vikings.)

“Large greenhose in back” (Large, naked Jolly Green Giant in yard.)

“Mush added to this house” (Was that the overflow from between your ears?)

I Think I See Flames

“Beautifully remolded guest” (Another cosmetically-altered Barbie hits the Hollywood party circuit.)

“Enjoy a drink poolslide” ( Hell, if the pool is sliding, I’ll need a whole pint of Jack.)

“Each bedroom has own bedrooom” (Hello-o-o, Alice, how are things down there in the rabbit hole?)

“Separate pod to build GH” (That should please my pea-sized buyers.)

“Play room for the kiss” (Something tells me this is the back seat of a ’67 Chevy.)

Still Smoldering…

“Ideal for gusts” (That’s great…if you want to live in a wind sock.)

“Impaccably detailed” (Incredibly challenged)

“Stylish pewder room” (Try burning a match.)

“Stone pillars flake driveway” (Flakey agent got stoned in driveway.)

Nothing But Embers (This Week’s Fave):

“From a bygone error” (You have just written your own epitaph.)



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Business Marketing

“New bd pans inc” – Making a Splash on the MLS



I have two things to say this week: 1. When you drink, you can’t think. 2. When you drink you can’t- … uh, what was I saying? Oh, yes – the MLS.  It was so full of bloopers this week that I am led to conclude that happy hour started Monday and never stopped. Read these and tell me if it is any wonder I was driven to throw back a few martinis myself:

Booze ‘N’ Fools

“Free membership to gin inc” (It seems someone else beat us to it, Martini Mary.)

“Grab now use imagination” (That’s what Arnold said to his housekeeper.)

“House has new edition” (Agent lacks erudition.)

“Babblying broke runs in back” (Bumbling buffoon runs amuck.)

“Drop by for cocktail ho” (Oh, is the Sunset Strip for sale?)

Puff ‘N’ Stuff

“Near Sacramento airpot” (I believe his name is Jerry Brown.)

“Claw me for selling” (I’m too busy clawing my eyes out over your spelling.)

“Reduction on mid-century ner Holywod” (Another mid-sixties porn star is looking for work.)

“We can sake your home” (Can I get fried rice with my sake?)

Proof or Goof

“Nice streem” (Said Grandma to Grandpa after his diaper  exploded.)

“Nice for dog kids” (Uh, they’re called ‘puppies,” pal.)

“New bd pans included” (Thank you, Nurse Nancy – can you warm those first?)

“Good stable in neighborhood.” (Have you contacted Mary and Joseph?)

“Drawing for plasma” (Is this a blood-bank?)

And This Week’s Winner Is:

“Good school in areola” (Thanks for keeping me abreast of things.)


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My secret office organization tip – Sharpies and tape

If you’re still practicing to be OCD, here is a secret I don’t typically share with anyone, but I’m willing to share with you today…



Keeping organized

I used to be obsessed with the P-touch machine. I labeled everything. Drawers, shelves, folders, canisters, and anything that I could think of putting a label on.

But the label makers weren’t as pretty as my own handwriting and didn’t come in every color a Sharpie does, so I got the brilliant idea one day to write in light blue sharpie in my beautiful handwriting on clear tape, placed neatly on the shelves in the pantry. Visitors thought I had written on the cabinets, “what if you have to move things?” they asked. “It’s just tape, look!” I said as if I was performing a complicated magic trick.

Not just shelves!

It’s great to use this tip on files and folders so you can reuse them (especially if you have custom files or designer files), on drawers at the bottom of each section where pens and tape goes, and especially in the break room.

No more label maker, no more refill cartridges and no more mess, especially someone else’s mess! Trust me, this is an OCD person’s dream organizing tip!

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