Free tools to never lose a site or post ever again

In this post, I’m going to bring together some of the great resources which are available to help improve personal knowledge management and research. I hope you’ll find a link or two helpful and if you’ve got one to add please do let us know.

If you can’t find something, then you can’t use it

Web browsers are terrible at hoarding bookmarks never to be seen or heard from ever again. Finding, using and applying great content has the potential to accelerate outcomes and avoid mistakes already documented by others. So just what are the best choices for keeping the stuff you found, sharing it with your colleagues and keeping up to date with industry trends. Read on to see our pick of the best tools you can use for free.

You can use the tools below to find, share and collect best practice. There is no need to be stuck with how to create a presentation, explain a process to your boss or improve your self-service resources.

Replace browser bookmarks with one of these tools

  1. Pocket
    Is a great tool to capture articles you’ve found on the web and save them to read on your way to or from work. When you find a webpage you want to read later the browser plugin will do the hard work of saving it for you to read later, it even works in the tube or offline. It’s a wonderful tool solving a real issue and I use it everyday.
  2. raindrop.io
    A great tool to use instead of keeping bookmarks in your browser. It works across all your devices and its nice design makes you want to come back later to find the items you saved.
  3. Dropmark
    Enables you to save resources from across the web into one place and share them with teams. Similar to Pinterest (in fact you can import content from there) it includes controls to keep content private to you or the teams you work with.
  4. Memit
    As a content curator memit allows me to gather together resources and share and follow the boards of others.

It might be apparent that raindrop, dropmark, and memit are all pretty much the same thing. Having tried each of them tools for the last 3 months Dropmark fits my needs the best to bring order to online research.

Best sites for sharing and finding great stories

  • Slideshare
    Slideshare is a great resource to explain a concept, tell a story (as a presentation) or present some facts and figures. Upload your Powerpoint and share it with the world.
  • Medium
    The home of original stories, Medium provides a home to stories which should get told but perhaps can’t get cut-through elsewhere.
  • Storify
    Used fondly by news and events sites to build a story based on social news from twitter and other outlets.
  • LinkedIn
    Provide many useful networking features but for research tools these two stand out:

    • Pulse like Medium is in effect a b2b blogging platform, you can find thought leaders sharing helpful material.
    • Groups provide you with a way to exchange ideas with people in your field.

Aggregators

  • Feedly
    The go-to RSS reader
  • Flipboard
    Presents your social feed in a magazine style making it a pleasure to browse through everything which is going on in your interests and networks

Forums

  • Quora
    Fascinating, entertaining and distracting. This list would not be complete without a mention. Quora is just so good you have to have an egg timer next to you to close the page after a defined time or face the reality that you’ve just spent an afternoon on the site.
  • StackOverflow
    For those of you with a technical background, you’ll know of this already. It really does have the answers to weird bugs, gotchas, and questions.
  • Reddit
    User-generated news content and links. Community driven content on almost every topic you can think off.

Research Tools

  • Buzzsumo
    Influencer Marketing is key right now and Buzzsumo leads the pack on analyzing who, what and where content is working the hardest across the web. It’s clever sauce indexes social media to determine the content which is being shared and endorsed the most.
  • Yossarian
    A visual search engine offering you the chance to discover and explore information in visual form. The process itself opens your mind to new connections. Watch the demo here

Browsing, Curiosity and Social

  • Twitter
    Twitter lists provide a great way to filter through the stream and pick up on the content from the people in your network who matter to you the most. You can organise people into colleagues, friends, family, an event and many more. More info on this feature here: Twitter Lists and some great ideas on how to use this here
  • Pinterest
    A smorgasbord of eye candy brought to you from across the web. The most popular use of Pinterest is cooking, health and fitness and home décor, but if you do venture into business, design, user experience, leadership, marketing you will be rewarded with some incredibly useful resources.
    Pro Tip: I find it valuable to gather together some ideas to fuel a discussion with a client or colleague.

Communities

  • Slack
    It brings people together in one place, we are big fans of slack as it automates and centralizes lots of a communication. It has real impact once you start to centralize your events, teams and processes to come through slack. Confused check out this link for what is Slack
  • Facebook
    Private groups can be created by anyone, are by invitation only and as a result provide a great environment to connect with people and share ideas. Its works extremely well for those who you might not typically interact with or your group is geographically dispersed. I’ve been involved in groups from 50 to 500+ people and have always been impressed by how helpful the community is.
  • Yammer
    Is an enterprise communications platform, popular in some circles it now has strong competition from these other rivals. If your community or team is on it then it’s a useful resource for sharing, getting feedback and asking for support.

 


Author: Paul Brown is a learning technology entrepreneur. Helping to realise the potential of technology for education. It all started in 1999, teaching farming practices to underprivileged kids in New York State via a volunteering program. Today he designs, assembles and delivers knowledge and learning solutions with a clear focus on user experience and simplicity.