Its funny how this happens: You are on the road, out of your comfort zone, and you come to realize some of your favorite tools and sites.

I am leaving out sites like Google Maps, Yahoo Finance, WordPress, Bloomberg, Google Docs, Twitter, etc. in favor of smaller entities.

These are my 5 most helpful sites: An incredibly useful and easy service — send an email to FollowupThen to get an email reminder in the future. You can get specific as or as general as It works flawlessly. puts a widget on a browser that allows me to create custom emails specific to any site. Lets say I want to sign up for something on, but I am reluctant to them my email address. Leemail creates an address that I can use — BR@ — that I can easily shut off (much easier than unsubscribing). And, if I get spam to that address, I know funkysite sold my address (and therefore must die).

DropBox: I assume most people are familiar with this — a free 2GB account is yours for the asking to store docs, PDFs, etc. I find myself using it more and more — client info, author photos, big files — it just works.

Instapaper: works well to create a library of articles I want to read later. It also allows my assistant Anna to easily help me create the Reads that grace these pages so often. Works great with an iPad as well. gives me access to 1000s of economic data series and charts. Allows for fast and easy creation. FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data) is another killer site that allows free access to different runs of economic numbers. Between the two of them, if you cannot find what you are looking for, you need to get a Bloomberg terminal.


Thats my fast five.


What are your favorite websites & tools?



Category: Technology, Web/Tech

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32 Responses to “5 Most Useful Websites & Tools”

  1. Bob A says:


  2. constantnormal says:

    I love Dropbox also … But it has been tagged as a site that stores authentication data in clear text form.

    I’d question how you move your client data through there. At a minimum, wrap it in an encrypted disk image file.

    I suspect they will quickly respond to this if true, and if not true, they will refute it.

    Worth taking some extra precautions for sensitive info.


    BR: Nothing secure, only presentations, spreadsheets, proposals, etc.

  3. bda_guy says:

    Another global economics website worth checking out:

  4. polizeros says:

    Evernote is where I store notes, reminders, client task lists, etc.

    Dropbox Automator.
    All sorts of useful functions. Drop a pdf in a specified folder and it converts to text. Post photos on Flickr. Send then to Google Docs, lots more.

    Create all manner of tasks. Email reminders. SMS if it will rain tomorrow. Post on if I favorite a Flickr picture. Post a video on posterous if I like it on YouTube., etc.

  5. constantnormal says:

    I just stumbled across this site a few days ago. Still evaluating, but it looks promising, with a selection of metrics I haven’t seen at others …

    If I were to limit myself to just a few sites (other than the obvious google, Wikipedia), I’d pick the following:

    The next 3 would be non-financial sites: (I perceive this as beyond mere financial issues)

    Beyond those (and the generic search sites mentioned above), I can think of few that are essential.

  6. theexpertisin says:

    Kayak is where I jump start before booking trips. It presents a good travel survey.

  7. MelJ says:

    Monitors the status of your favorite web services,
    combining user reports and official announcements
    to tell you when there’s service trouble.

    What’s Playing on the Radio
    Get name of song and artist currently playing on any radio station;
    Create own web page to monitor several radio stations simultaneously.

    Plan and share events.

  8. blackjaquekerouac says:


  9. James Cameron says:

    > What are your favorite websites & tools?

    1. Google email, docs, maps and voice extensively (maybe too much), though with the phone-based verification system.
    2. Dropbox on occasion, though I’m wary about what I drop in.
    3. NYTimes, LATimes, Bloomberg, The Economist
    4. Big Picture for the provocative/irreverent commentary and article lists


    BR: I’ve been using Google Voice as well — great way to test if I want to give someone a real number. (Real Estate agents, etc.)

  10. 4whatitsworth says: backs up the internet.

    Before you meet with a client you can see the history of their website.

  11. formerlawyer says:

    Internet Movie Database:

    Google: scholar, translate, maps


    Internet wayback – frees stuff

    Reference Desk – Cornucopia of links:

  12. widmanstatten says:

    in an effort to get more done and work better with colleagues i’ve been testing out

    instapaper is cool but it’s even cooler when tied to longform ( i save long articles from longform with instapaper and then have instapaper mail them to my kindle. make for really great reading when traveling. i rarely have the bandwidth to read really long articles but always enjoy it when i do.

  13. yuan says:

    2 gb is peanuts. i often downlaod 50-100 gigs a month at home and terabytes at work.

  14. Frilton Miedman says:

    Constantnormal, checked out vectorgrader, excellent site , it even has the CAPE – it now has a home in my favorites.

    I personally like
    (best custom screener I know of, excellent insider buy/sell feature, great general features)
    (for contrarian concensus – “dumb” money)
    (to observe mutual fund movements in bonds, domestic & foreign equity, as long as flows are negative, the “dumb” money is still on the side)
    (a playground of information for locating extremes in over-sold, overbought stocks or sectors)

    Lastly, my favorite all time site, tons of humor, entertainment and great reading –

  15. Frilton Miedman says:

    (I needed to vent, it’s that time of year)

  16. Jojo says:

    Scrapbook Firefox extension is essential for saving webpages or snippets for later review:

  17. lunartop says:

    Thanks for posting these!

    I’d add Easy to use online/phone notebooking.

  18. Rightline says:

    When travelling to unfamiliar territory I like to use Trip Advisor to get an idea of what others think about local attractions and restaurants. I think if you read through and find the posters with credibility it is very helpful.

  19. TapeReader says:

    My favorite freebie is the WOW Index over @

    It shows the real-time orientation of buy programs and sell programs within the CME’s e-Mini S&P 500 futures market.

    It’s color coded so that you can tell when the Buy Programs are dominant as they are plotted in green.

    Conversely, you can see when the Sell Programs are dominant as they are plotted in red.

    It’s really easy to see trends ending or beginning. When the market goes down and everyone is freaking out…you will frequently see the WOW Index print green, green, green. This means that the smart order flow is buying the low.

    What do you think happens after that? The buying pressure that they create coupled with an over-extended move down forces price to go up. Voila! Basic supply & demand at work.

    The same things happen in uptrends….the market extends, the smart money sells, the WOW Index turns red, and look out below!

  20. MoreLiver says:

    I often resort to searching my own blog, as it kind of acts as a personal “instapaper” of mine.

    Readitlater or instapaper for multiple platform access and “temporary bookmarking.
    Firefox Speeddial to quickly go through my regular must-sees
    Screenscraper, screenshot or any screen capture soft.
    AddThis for quick multiple platform sharing

  21. Chad says:


    - Amazon: In place of Dropbox, as Amazon gives me 5GB.
    - TripIt: Awesome for keeping multiple flight and hotel information in one place (App and online).
    - Instapaper: Same as everyone else
    - Flipboard: News aggregator (iPad)
    - Tinyurl: Some of the web addresses can get a bit long
    - OnLive Desktop: iPad App that gives you the full functionality of Word, Excel, PPT on the iPad

    And for fun:
    - Happy Hours: iPhone App showing all happy hour locations and specials
    - CBSsports/ESPN Apps: Need to update my fantasy leagues on the go.

  22. mathman says:

    (in another dimension to being a professional) this comes in handy on a moment’s notice:

    super easy to use, adjustable, flexible, multi-use, storage, transmission and retrieval features and it can be used free.

  23. zdog says:

    In place of DropBox we use (formerly Does all that DropBox does and more *and* your data is encrypted. 5GB account free.

    Trying smartsheet for collaborative project management. Has lots of features that doesn’t have, but has a steeper learning curve.

    Just started using Prezi as a PPT alternative. As long as you don’t “overdo” it the concept is pretty cool.

    A love hate relationship with Salesforce. It makes my day and clients so much easier to manage, but getting it setup and extending it requires time and or $$$.

  24. Drizzt says:

    Here are some cloud apps and apps that i find it difficult to live without. most of them have clients for different operating system.

    An alternative to Instapaper which i felt is better. archive your reading articles and read it anywhere yet not tied to stupid Apple. Read it later

    Randomize all your login passswords in a password vault. Have it auto login or auto fill. Lastpass

    Teamviewer: Its free version is a cheap solution to access your home pc on the go on your ipad or android device

    Evernote: enough said, last year’s company of the year gives away a bloody good free product that is ubquitous. Take your notes and review your notes everywhere

    MyLifeOrganized: Need a ubiquitous to do list that does unlimited subtasking, repeating tasks, context tagging and cloud sync? MyLifeOrganized does that though i find it a tad expensive – the best place for international investors to look up your stocks information, irrespective of which exchange it is on.

  25. philipat says:

    Followupthen. Don’t get it. What’s wrong with Outlook and gmail which already do all this? Every dat gmail calendar emails me a daily schedule at 5AM and I can input recurring events, such as birthdays, insurance renewala etc. So what;s new?

  26. philipat says:

    Incidentally, gmail also provides 7Gb of free storage per account. I have multiple accounts, some of which I use just for storage.

  27. [...] are some excellent suggestions of useful sites that are not in most people’s top ten list.  Be sure to read the suggestions [...]

  28. dixpic says:

    My favourites are: a great tool for screen capture a bar button which let you print every web page in a good layout a great free service to email content to your dropbox directly a little software to sync Microsoft Outlook with Google Calendar

    Some apps

    Zite, Flipboard, PDF Splicer, doc2pdf, url2pdf, tuneIn, songsterr, pulse, dragon dictation, fotoframe, soundhound, easyQR: all fantastic iPad apps

    And finally a great app from italy: hundreds of cooking free recipes and videorecipes from: giallozafferano.

  29. gkm says:

    I add: for access to work computer from home for charting short term plus custom indicators for long term for controlling multiple computers with multi screens /resource splitting

  30. [...] few weeks ago, I mentioned my 5 favorite websites. One of those was DropBox, which works flawlessly, cross-platform, and on [...]

  31. denim says:

    Sophos has some interesting free tools. One is a file encryption app.

    If one carries private data on thumb drives or in the cloud encryption is some protection, but I would go for the paid consultant stuff for sensitive info. I use the freebie stuff, but I am not in business.