Google Tools

Google tools will be your friend.  They're free and easy to use, and integrate with each other. 

Google tools are excellent building blocks for your digital presence.


Gmail is the key to unlocking all the Google Tools.  Get yourself a Gmail account, and you can use all the Google elements to create you digital landscape.  Plus it's a rockin' and portable email tool.


Blogger is to place to stake your claim.  Lighter and faster than a standalone website, it's easy to keep it immediate and current.  You can use it to communicate, advertise, and even sell.  Plus it integrates with about everything else on the world.  Did I mention it's free?  And that you can maintain it yourself?  And that a Blogger site rises to up thru the Google search engines much faster than an expensive, hard to maintain standalone website?  

Of course, this little secret costs me dearly to share with you...after all, if you do it yourself, you don't need me!

Google Docs

Google Docs--holy cow!  Use it, make your life easier!  Did you know Google Docs replaces Microsoft Word,  Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Powerpoint, plus it's a LOT easier to use.  And did I mention, it is FREE???  The Microsoft Office Home and Student version costs around $80 for a PC and $110 for a Mac.  Why give away your money when you can do it just as well for free?

Oh, by the way, Google Docs makes and reads PDF's eliminating the need for Adobe Acrobat, which these days runs around $270 and is hard to use.

Estimated savings:  $350 or more.  Now, don't you feel thrifty???

Google Calendar

Get organized, keep a schedule, make it private or share it with people, or post it on your blog (great for event management).  Easy to use and portable, also printable.  Like many Google applications, it can synchronize with Microsoft Office products.

AND, you can put it in your blog or web page where it will update automatically!

Google Photo

Google Photo is a great online photo organizer (much like Flickr) plus, if you have a new operating system (Mac 10.4 or Windows XP or higher) it has a substantial photo editing component called Picasa that meets most user needs and eliminates the need and expense for Photoshop or other photo editing software.  Any pictures you post to your blog are held in your Google Photo account be default, so if you blog with Blogger, you are already using Google Photo.  It's a good tool for creating on-line galleries that you can link to and share, and is in some ways more flexible than Flickr inside the free accounts.

Google Reader

If you read a lot on the web Google Reader can be a real time-saver.  The reader collects all of your favorite sites in one spot and notifies you when there's a new posting to any of them.  No more need for endless browsing to read your favorite blog or newspaper, wondering if any new posts were put up since your last visit.  


Flickr is the gold standard for photo hosting on the web.  Used by many professionals, it is easy an easy way to develop an image presence on the web that is widely known and easily found.  The free account is pretty powerful but has limitations on the number of galleries you can have and the total number of images visible at a given time  (3 galleries max and the most recent 200 images visible).  Upgrading to a pro account gives you pretty much unlimited space in both regards, and is only around $25/year.

Here's an example of a free flickr site.  It works for people as well as objects!


Utterli is a voice, sound, picture and video recording/posting to web tool.  Good for media of all kind.  You can use your cellphone to post audio to your blog by dialing in, or texting a picture or video to it.  Also, you can post anything to your Utterli and blog accounts from your computer.  Have something interesting to say, share or show to the world?  With a cellphone and Utterli, it's published in minutes, no muss no fuss.

Mobile post sent by justmakingstuff using Utterli. reply-count Replies. mp3


PodBean is for podcasting.  Make a podcast, and post it to your PodBean site and it will crosspost to your blog.  The podcast can be listened to from either spot.  It looks like this for sound:

and this for video:

It's free and pretty easy to use.  You make your podcast/recording on your computer, upload and publish it to PodBean (each account has it's own show blog/player page) and then copy and paste to your blog.  Advantage is having your media easily accessible in two spots, at no cost.  

Podcasts are great for interviews, lengthy discussion on a topic, or for musicians that want to get their work out into the world in a cheap and easy format.  Also, PodBean podcasts can be configured to be downloadable from either your Podbean or blog sites, which makes it an excellent distribution platform for audio.

Free Podbean is limited to 30meg per upload (not a really big file if you're doing video but sizeable for sound). Larger files can be done for 1.99/month.

I have the idea that Podbean could be great for studio walkarounds and artist interviews. Also, it integrates with iTunes feeds.

Blip TV

Blip TV is a video hosting site.  It is free, clean and has the best support of any web application I've ever used.  I work with an international group of web-based video artists and everyone uses Blip for their hosting.  Their free accounts are solid and get the same level of support as the pro accounts which says a lot about their company.  Blip has a smaller subscriber base than YouTube but their quality is volumes better.  Easy to use and great on-line help and support.  Blip offers numerous crossposting tools to integrate with blogs.

here's a sample of what is possible:

Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click to Play


Senduit is a web-based file transfer tool.  If you have large files (up to 100M) to move, this is probably the easiest way to do it.  You upload the file, a link is automatically generated, and you email the link to the recipient who then can download the file.  Pretty fast, depending on your connection, and you can set a time limit on availability of the file for the recipient for security.