A fellow entrepreneur recently asked me about the unique and interesting tools I use on an everyday basis to be more productive.  I thought I'd share my list with you today… consider this to be a list of must haves that I'd put in an "entrepreneur's software suite" if pressed.  Note that I am going to limit this to things you may not have heard of… I'm certainly using no-brainers like Google Adwords, Typepad (obviously) and Skype for instance.

Here goes… 7 essential apps/products for Web/Tech entrepreneurs (and maybe others also)

  1. Mikogo — screen sharing app… simple, fast, easy to use, not too ambitious but gets the basics right.
  2. Twhirl — Twitter client that just works.  I find a lot of the Twitter clients have a random functionality or stability problem that ends up making me give up.  Here's hoping they add useful features over time so I don't have to reconsider.
  3. Live Mesh - Folder synchronization… maybe this is a theme but it is easy to set up and it works well.  On two separate occasions, I've been able to access files offline that I thought I didn't have.
  4. Balsamiq — Easy prototyping.  I can draw screens in record time using Balsamiq — probably in about a quarter of the time it was taking me in Powerpoint.  I'm going to write more about this app sometime in the next few weeks or so… it is very impressive.
  5. FreeConferenceCall.com - The name says it all.  Not exactly a Web 2.0 technology per se, but I can put together a conference bridge in a few seconds & be on the call moments later.  Definitely comes in handy when you have a distributed workforce.
  6. Audacity — Free audio editor.  I use this to put together podcasts and edit myself.  Easy to use & effective.  It made me realize that I say "uh…." and "ya know" way too much when I'm rambling.  Need to work on that.
  7. RescueTime - Time management.  This app runs in the background and records the screen that is active so you know how you are spending your time.  Aggregates statistics to show you just how useless or productive you are.  This is good for an occasional sanity check.

Honorable Mention — ActiveWords — lets you assign keystrokes to common tasks like opening your e-mail, creating a new Tweet, etc.  This one is listed as Honorable Mention because I go through spurts using this.  When I remember to use it, I love it and it makes me more productive.  The problem is that it hasn't been seared into my brain just yet.  Maybe it will over time.

I'd also like to mention Buzzstream here.  Stealth startup that I've heard a little about… when they get going, I'm sure I'll be an avid user.  They're worth keeping up with.