Technology is great—our Gmail (plus 17 Google Labs and plug-ins), Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and [insert favorite social network here] accounts help us connect with friends and family, make an impression on potential employers, and engage with professional contacts.
But all that digital activity can be overwhelming, not to mention time-consuming.
Enter: a whole crop of new tools, apps, and plug-ins out there designed to help you weed through the social noise, organize your friends, followers, and contacts, browse more easily, and generally streamline your online life.
Here are six you’ve (probably) never heard of, but that are definitely worth checking out.
For Faster, Better Browsing: Disconnect
With this browser extension, you can increase security and stop third-party sites from tracking you. Plus, Disconnect loads pages 27% faster and removes the clutter—like ads, widgets, and analytics—from your web browsing experience. Faster, cleaner, and safer web browsing? Sign us up.
For Sorting Through Content: Archetype
Take a short quiz to find out your "archetype," then get online content generated specially for you based on your interests, industry, preference for visuals versus text, and more. By dishing up only what’s fresh and tailored to your liking, Archetype takes the stress out of reading tons of extraneous blog posts and tweets to find great reading material—not to mention gives you content to share with your networks that won’t be the same regurgitated headlines everyone else is sharing.
For Updating Your Contacts: Writethat.name
This handy tool automatically pulls info from your emails to keep your contact list up-to-date—no more tedious updating from business cards and email signatures. It even includes people's social handles so you can email, call, or tweet them right from your address book. It works with both Gmail and Outlook, and if you use HighRise or Salesforce, you can sync the system there, too.
For Keeping All Your Friends in One Place: Brewster
Along similar lines, the Brewster app creates an awesome all-in-one address book by taking everyone you know across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Foursquare, and your email accounts and creating a unique profile for each person by displaying their contact and social information all in the same view. Brewster then leverages all that social data by notifying you about updates from your contacts, like if someone has moved to a new city or landed a new job.
For Sharing Content in One Click: Dlvr.it
I don’t believe in automatic social media content publishing in general, but automating the delivery of your blog posts across social networks is one valid exception. Dlvr.it makes that process super-simple, bundling each blog post for publication to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can even measure audience engagement and reach with each post. You can easily shave off 15 minutes per day (or more if you blog multiple times per day).
For Finding New Events: SpotOn
Ready to get offline? Instead of trawling through your dozens of Facebook event invites, use this web app, which intelligently analyzes your calendar to suggest new real-life events and activities based on your hobbies and interests. Love to run, and have a free day on Saturday? SpotOn can suggest running clubs or races for you to join.
Tell us! What tools would you add to this list?
Photo of woman on laptop courtesy of Shutterstock.
Allison Stadd works in marketing & communications and is also a freelance blogger, digital life coach, and social media consultant. She's a fan of good books and good beer with equal enthusiasm, and when she's not slinging tweets, pins, and posts, you'll find her at the nearest concert hall.More from this Author