work smarter not harder

The key to being a productive employee is working smarter, not harder. Over the years I have embraced this idea but only with the help of some amazing programs and websites. Below is a list of programs and websites that should help increase your daily productivity and impress your boss. Enjoy!

Rex Swain’s HTTP Viewer
Rex Swain’s HTTP Viewer lets you see exactly what an http request returns to any browser or user agent. Never ever trust someone when they say they have “redirected” the URL. I always use this tool to spot check 301 redirects and 404 page responses.

Open Site Explorer
Need link data? Open Site Explorer by SEOmoz.org is one of the best. I use this paid tool when running competitive link analysis. It is fast, and the data it provides is truly amazing.

Google LBC Categories Preview
When claiming Google Local Business accounts for local SEO it is sometimes hard to figure out what category your business should be placed in. With this tool, simply input your core keyword and it will return a list of relevant categories.

Geo Sitemap & KML Generator
This tool has saved me hours worth of work! Like the title says this nifty tool will generate your GEO Sitemap and KML file in just a few minutes.

Keyword Permutation Tool
SEO Book provides a free keyword permutation tool; it is especially useful for keyword research when I have set of keywords that need to be combined in every possible way.

Netvibes
Everyone needs a good RSS reader to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of the search engine marketing industry. I prefer Netvibes because it displays your RSS feeds in a panel interface rather than a list interface. Also, the tab function helps me organize my RSS feeds by topics.

KeylimeTie Sitemap Generator
The best paid xml sitemap generator out there. Enough said!

Snagit
Snagit is the best screen-capturing software on the market, hands down. It is very affordable for all the features it offers. I truly love the built-in photo editing software because I can add some nice drop shadows and shiny red arrows in a matter of seconds.

Imacro
Imacro has saved me hours worth of work. As I said, I like to work smarter, not harder! Imacro is a Firefox plugin that can basically record and replays repetitious work. I have used this tool to create various macros for SEO work, but my favorite macro I created will pull product data from e-commerce websites that I then use to submit to Google Base.

Skype
Skype has to be the best IM / Chat client available, and it is free! My favorite feature is its multi chat session because I can talk to all parties at once. Their video conference feature is a great way to actually put a face and voice to name.

Mockflow
Mockflow is my favorite wire framing software for website design. It is web based, but it also has a downloadable client that comes in handy when you need to work offline. With this software, anyone can start making wire frames in seconds.

Pandora
I have to listen to music when I work. It helps me focus on the task at hand. Pandora is seriously the best free streaming music client out there. Personally, I spent the extra money for the upgraded account because of the higher quality music stream, ad-free listening, and the downloadable desktop client.

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