Here at the end of the year, though completely unrelated to that auspicious occasion, I give you for whatever inscrutable reason a list of helpful online geek tools I use frequently.

Just in case you might find something helpful which herein you… ah… find. Here.


  • Folder Share
    • I use this to keep different folders in synch between my home computer, my “tentmaking” computer, and my laptop. Namely, My Documents, and a folder which I use to drop files into that I want to transfer betwixt them – without the hassle of FTP’ing the files up to a web server… open FTP on my computer to transfer to… downloading the file via FTP… deleting the file(s) from the web server… closing FTP… kicking self because I actually didn’t want to delete the file yet… re-open FTP… re-upload… you get the picture.
    • I also use this to keep Outlook synched between my three ‘puters. I created a hidden subfolder (“_outlook_xfer_”) and put my .PST files that I want synched into it. Obviously, Outlook should only be open on one ‘puter at a time with this method; but it works real well. Also, so that you don’t have huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge .PST files and the consequently looooooooong synch times, embrace the practice of breaking out your archives/inbox into several subfolders (and attendant .PST files).
  • Log Me In
    • Free, secure, browser-based remote access service. I use this to access my home ‘puter when away from it, and my work ‘puter from home. Or either from the road. Works very well.
    • The free service does not permit file transfer – but when you combine Folder Share with Log Me In, you get the same thing in effect – all for free. Bu-wah. Bu-wah-ha-ha. Bu-wah-ha-ha-ha-haaaaa…
  • Xdrive
    • Free, easy-to-use online file storage – for stuff I not only want synched, but completely backed up somewhere other than my sundry assortment of ‘puters. And with a 5GB limit with the free service this is a NICE supplement to the previous two…
  • Flickr
    • Online photosharing. The free service offers you 200 photos. I got the premium service – all of $25/year, which has unlimited bandwidth, uploads, or stored photos. Plus, I can put a Flash badge on my blog (see pane to the immediate right) which shows a spiffy slide-show-ish whatever of random recently uploaded photos.
    • I like this better than Photobucket only because I saw it first.
    • Which brings up a trick if you’re super-duper cheap: When you run out of space on one, sign up for an account on the other. Tee hee hee.
  • Backpack
    • Great free online collaboration tool.
  • And believe it or not, YAHOO! Groups
    • Another great free online collaboration/community tool. We use this on the Lakeshore here to keep our Servanthood and Children’s Ministry volunteers in the loop. Has online file storage (limited, but still useful), online database, contacts, calendar, list-o’-links, and listserv-ish functions. We use it primarily to set and send reminders for events and stuff. I’ve sort of moved away from using it more in recent months since my “tentmaking” work hours have vastly ramped up … but I think I need to get back into using it more.
    • I stole this idea from CC Sunset Coast, which used to host one for their youth group.
  • Bloglines
    • Web-based (and free) RSS aggregator – allows me to track all the blogs and podcasts whose feeds I subscribe to in one interface.
    • Even has a system tray icon which notifies you at a preset interval of changes/updates to any of your blogs.
  • Dictionary-dot-com and Thesaurus-dot-com
    • Not exactly geek tools per se, but I make heavy use of both.
    • Online bookmarking service. I never bookmark to my browser anymore; I always “tag with” when I want to keep a page for further reference. Why? Because when it’s on, I can access my bookmarks from any browser on any machine. Plus, with the use of tags, I can use it for (and this is a huge one for me) research; say I find a great article that I know is going to be useful during our yearly prophecy update; I can it, with a (for instance) prophecy-update tag, perhaps add a quick bit of text into the description to remind me of why I found it so interesting (or highlight a part of the text of the webpage in question prior to clicking “add to”) and viola! it is saved, and I can pull it up again anywhere. Sweeeeeet…
  • The Blue Letter Bible Project
    • Even though I have Logos on my ‘puter (and e*sword), I find sometimes that it’s quicker just to jump up onto and do searching/word studies there – especially when I’m not at my home computer or laptop. Very convenient, and actually quite powerful.
  • GMail Space extension for Mozilla Firefox (link to Firefox here.)
    • …what? You’re still using Internet Exploder? …and you call yourself “culturally relevant…”
    • This Firefox extension allows you to use your GMail space as online file storage.

There’s more, which I’ll likely add to this list in the coming days, but this is a good start.