What online and tech tools do you use daily in your personal and professional life? Have they changed in the last two years? What has failed to ‘work’ for you?

I am having a little tidy – before the New Year – and was thinking about 2011. This is a brief ‘Christmas’ post (a list really) of sorts. I hope you have the time to add a comment.


Firstly, the following are dearly beloved but now departed:

  • My iPod(s) are collecting dust. They have been superseded completely.
  • Internet Explorer. I have just stopped using it completely.
  • Yammer was something I’d grown fond of in 2010. I mourn the loss of this great tool from my professional life but hope my employer chooses to use it again in the future.


My new favs:

Adobe Lightroom 3 is a fantastic tool for photographers. I love the plugins for Flickr, Facebook & Photomerchant.

A Macbook Pro became my companion, at work and home, travelling and overseas. It never failed me and is a thing of beauty. I am a convert.

Booko.com.au – is brilliant for ‘real’ books and finding the best price

Browsers – (Chrome, Safari, Firefox) each have different roles and make it impossible to return to IE. I used each before, on and off, but now they are staples.

Diigo – replaced Delicious (allowing me to save to that old fav as well) and I have gradually warmed to it.

Google Plus – is fantastic for photographers who wish to share images and learn from the best creative souls around.

Google Translate – saved my life for the 4 months we spent overseas this year. Love the app too.

Nikon D700 – my new full frame DSLR has been a joy. Here’s my photography gear.

Photomerchant – helped me establish a professional, if fledgling, photography site.

The VPN Witopia – was ‘peace of mind’ while travelling. Highly recommended.


Some old favs:

Email – although much maligned, still is an online workhorse. I seem to have a growing list of acounts – Gmail, Yahoo, DEC, Bigpond and my new photography email address – that are essential.

Facebook – I have to admit that I like it more than ever at the same time bemoaning the ‘one ring’ that rules them all nature of this omniscient tool.

Flickr – I love. Some point out that the company is hardly innovating any more but it just suits me fine. I often use Alan Levine’s plugin to help my workflow when acknowledging creative commons licenses.

cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by Liam Higgins

Google Reader – has been updated and from my POV continues to work effectively for RSS feeds.

Kindle – I love the iPad, iPhone and Macbook apps that allow the whole family to share.

iPad – cannot really wrestle it from the kids often.

iPhone – and apps. More a companion than a tool.

Skype – kept us in touch with everyone this year. Hope Microsoft doesn’t wreck it!

Twitter. Life.

WordPress blogs, this self-hosted one and the dozen others I have are fundamental to much sharing, teaching and learning. After playing with Joomla this year, I must say how much I prefer WP.

Your thoughts?



    • Viviana Mattiello

    • 12 years ago

    I must admit they are all tools I also love , except for the photographer’s ones since I know 0 about manipulating images 🙂 However, I disagree with your bookmarking tool Darcy! Pearltrees is way better! Love its brilliant visual interface. Only one disadvantage, you can’t bookmark anything you’re not willing to share. I use Livebinders for those things I’d like to keep secret. Shhh 🙂

    • Stu

    • 12 years ago

    Fave cloud services – Google Docs, Evernote, Dropbox
    Fave gadgets – Microsoft Arc Touch Wireless mouse – probably the best mouse to use with a laptop / Creative D200 Bluetooth Speaker – for $110 it breathes life into your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch by allowing for great sound from your portable devices.

  1. I remember howvYammer was so important for you Darcy.

    Frequently used apps for me:

    Safari browser.
    Reeder on iPhone, iPad and Mac for reading RSS feeds.
    Osfoora on iPhone and iPad for Twitter.
    DropBox for the Cloud. All devices.
    Comic Life. Guides, posters, handouts.
    Wordpress. My web sites.
    Media apps: SMH, ABC, SBS, Guardian, Reuters, Time, Life.
    Onyx. Mac repair & maintenance tool.
    Games: Machinarium, Flight Control, Osmos.
    Canon SX20 is my photography workhorse as you know. ^_^

    Have been trying to be self disciplined with Evernote.

    Regarding bookmarks… I think Delicious, Diigo and even browser bookmarks are all becoming less relevant. Bookmarking is an artifact of an earlier web. How often do you go through your bookmarks? A tool that allows you to rapidyly curate an on-the-fly stash of bookmarks for a project, topic, blog post or specific web page would be better. A tool that takes advantage of the principles of kaizen just-in-time production and satisfies your immediate needs.

    • Darcy Moore

    • 12 years ago

    @Viviana I will properly investigate Pearltrees (only had a quick look previously).

    @Stu I seem to have ditched Evernote and Reeder this year but use Dropbox. I need to check out that speaker – ‘sounds’ cool.

    @John It is interesting what you say about bookmarking. I tend to share my tags with colleagues more than any other use. For example, some one says, “Darcy, what have you got about” blah blah and I send them the tag link from Diigo.

    I should also mention that MOODLE has fallen off my radar too but Edmodo looms large as a ‘portable’ tool that was super handy when I was in Denmark.

    Thanks John, Stu and Viviana for your input and Merry Xmas!

  2. Hi Darcy, Merry Christmas!

    I too love WordPress, Flickr, Edmodo (which I find easier to use than Moodle), Google+, Twitter (of course) and Facebook. I still use Glogster and Prezi for presentations.

    I still love to use Animoto but have also added Smilebox to my collection for sharing photos and videos with friends.

    I use Weebly as my webpage creator – easy to use but a professional look.

    I also use BrainFlips for flash card creations – proved a great resource in the lead up to the SC.

    I still use wikispaces for storing and sharing resources for my classes, especially Year 11 & 12.

    I have given up on BlogEd and Maang – sorry DEC, I tried but just don’t do what I want them to.

    Probably more to add but that will do for the moment.

  3. Some useful observations that share a high degree of consonance with my own experience

    – I’ve never owned an iPod, I’ve always used my phone for listening to music and podcasts.
    – The Delicious saga is a tragedy. I was networking with students and staff with this tool, encouraging everyone to
    tag and share, but it’s been rendered close to useless now.
    – IE is only something I use on DEC computers if there’s no choice.
    – Yammer’s loss and replacement has effectively reduced my input to a trickle.

    In terms of new favourites, well of course my MacBook Pro continues to be a winner, replaced only when I’m at home, by my iMac.

    The iPad is a versatile tool used by everyone in the household, particularly since we gave the old one away and bought an iPad2. It’s replaced the morning newspaper. It lies around like a magazine, ready for the next user. When mirrored on the HDTV screen it way looking at the family album. At work, I find it a useful diary and since it works on the DER WiFi, it has numerous other immediate applications.

    Google translator is constantly used for quick rough draft translations. It is quite rough with Indonesian, but does a lot of hack work. In the end, for quality translation it’s back to the old dictionary.

    I agree on Facebook. The whole extended family uses it, plus a number of my international connections.

    I’m finding iCloud most effective for synching images and the usual tools – iCal, address book etc.

    Of all the areas you address, I left feeling most downcast about the end of a functional version of Delicious and my struggle to ‘warm’ to Diigo.

    • allanquartz

    • 12 years ago

    Pearltrees is the one I’m most excited about. The ability to search other people’s trees and pluck pearls is marvellous. But I see it more as a personal curation tool than a bookmarker. Diigo for bookmarking because of the way you can share lists and use highlight and sticky notes.

    Big new tool for me – MOOC. For keeping myself up-to-date with the latest on EdTech. A PLN for a specific topic just leaps out at you screaming to be used.

  4. Since moving to the university context the Blackboard LMS has become a staple for me. At first I resisted it (its so plain and clunky to use!) but now I am working it better 😉 I was disappointed to hear that Moodle never really took off at the high school i was at previously, but I think that is down to the lack of staff involvement, not the platform itself…one thing that is abundantly clear with using Blackboard is that it only works well for students when most/all of their teachers have ‘bought in’ to using the tool.

    Twitter still rocks my world. Google+ has a lot of potential, yes yes I know…but I just can’t warm to it. Facebook FTW, evil and all!

    Scoopit – I have loved digging through other people’s Scoopit pages! But I wasn’t tempted to make my own because I didnt want to replicate what was already there. (2011 seems to be the year we collectively learned the word ‘curation’, am I right?)

    Tumblr = love. Just don’t mention it on Facebook…

    TBH I didn’t notice that Delicious had fallen through…which just goes to show that I am a crappy user of it! I have used it to save my bookmarks for soooo long…resisted using Google bookmarks even…but I haven’t shared a link to it for awhile. Do I have to shift to another service now then? For reals? Gah!

    Deviantart is still my site of choice for sharing art/photography. I do like Flickr, but with free photo storage at Picassa, I’m not really motivated to upload to Flickr. I just use it to find Creative a commons images, and check out Darcy’s pics!

  5. I am addicted to

    http://pinterest.com/ (Great for visual culture reference and there is a user-movement to push Pinterest to allow non-public boards). Has superseded Delicious for me.

    I use Google docs and Chrome. Total convert. I just wish everyone would! Surely it would make schools/printing/file sharing etc easier to use?

    @Kelli I love Blackboard but find (probably a bit like Moodle) that anarchy reigns with some unis. Macquarie is particularly good at reining in ‘broadcast’ style blackboard discussion. Without some tutor control, I switch off.

    @Darcy a nice idea came to me when I noticed Alice Leong bemoaning students spending so much time copying notes. I thought teachers might like to use the voice record function on an iPhone and email a short voice file of the notes to students. They’re on their devices all day anyway…Bring the mountain to Mohamed so to speak. So little consideration is given to auditory learners..Just a thought.

    Loving the skype call recorder for recording interviews for original research. Worth the money (about $30 from memory).

    Darcy for photography portfolio sites, if you are interested, I love indexhibit. It’s DIY and users appear to be too cool to care about design! Which I also love. Check out Paul Barbera http://www.wheretheycreate.com/ and my husband’s site http://julianwolkenstein.com/ All free, loads of forums on how to DIY, and design-free, allowing viewers to concentrate their attention on the work.


  6. Great post!

    My top 10:

    1. Teacherblogit
    2. Animoto
    3. Prezi
    4. Pinterest
    5. Edmodo
    6. Skype
    7. Twitter
    8. Quizlet
    9. Livebinder
    10. Weebly

  7. […] years ago I posted about the tech tools I use daily. Many I continue to find essential, others have fallen by the wayside. What follows is a brief […]

Leave a Reply to Rebecca Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *