10 free tools to help you organize the internet

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The internet is a big place. For a long time, I found the task of organizing and remembering all the articles, images, videos, posts, tweets, and sites to be formidable. The mass of information only continues to grow, but I have latched on to 10 free tools that help me organize my online journey. 5 are common, and 5 are just getting big on the scene. I hope you can find some that help you as well.

1.) Evernote


I have been using Evernote on and off for a couple years now, intensively since January. It is the single most useful tool I’ve used for organizing and remembering online activity, notes, and ideas.

I use the Evernote web clipper to send pages directly to my account, which syncs easily between web, desktop, and iPhone. In fact, I’m writing this post on Evernote!

Coolest feature? - Evernote recognizes written text.

 

2.) Buffer


I’m a pretty new Buffer user, but so far I love the service. It makes your Twitter usage much more efficient and valuable. Buffer allows you to schedule your Tweets and Facebook posts at important times throughout the day. I don’t want to sit on twitter all day, but I also don’t want to only send tweets out 5 at a time in the morning and at night.

With Buffer, your problems are solved! Use the Chrome extension to grab web pages and convert them to tweets.

Coolest feature? - The main one, an ability to schedule your social media output.

 

3.) Flipboard


My brother turned me on to Flipboard, and it’s been my news and information source ever since. It connects your social media accounts and interests in to a customized e-zine layout.

Flipboard is easy to use, navigate, and share. Star your favorite tweets, instagram pics, and email news sites to remember.

 

The 5 New Tools You Need To Know About

 

6.) IFTTT


I joined a couple weeks ago, and this is my new best friend on the internet! IFTT stands for IF THIS THEN THAT, and you can create application tasks centered around answering IFTT.

For instance, IF THIS (happens) e.g. I take an Instagram photo, THEN THAT (happens), e.g. said photo is automatically saved to my Dropbox account. I set one up that will automatically sends a thank you tweet when someone follows me.

 

7.) BlissControl


This handy site allows you to control all of your social settings in one place. Change your profile pictures, bio, recover passwords, and more. You can use the service for 13 social media sites, including all your favorites (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest).

 

8.) SocialBro


This provides incredibly (almost overwhelming) statistics for your Twitter account. From the beginning, Social Bro syncs your followers and provides up-to-the-minute stats, custom searches, insights, and more.

Like I said, it’s a ton of useful information, and I’m still wading through it myself!

Coolest feature? - Shows the best times to tweet based on your followers and sync that up with Buffer.

 

9.) Pocket (formerly Read It Later)


This is a wonderful tool for simply grabbing an article or web clip that you want to read later (see what they did there?!), but don’t want to add the entire site to your RSS reader. Pocket, which has just launched yesterday, provides a clean, easy to read layout, and also can link up with your smartphone. All your future reading items in place, ready when you’re waiting at the DMV.

Coolest feature? - Pocket also directly integrates with Buffer and lots of other great sharing options.

 

10.) WorkFlowy


If you are the kind of person that always wants to be in on the next cool app, consider WorkFlowy for your list-making, note-taking, project management, and brainstorming.

About the author:

Matt Ragland is a writer who ranges on topics from productivity, social media and outdoor adventure. He is the assisstant Director at Camp Rockmont, and enjoys trail running, football and coffee. Find out more about him on his blog, on Twitter and Google+

  • http://imaginationac.github.com/ Dorian Patterson

    For managing my social media feeds, I use HootSuite. It covers a large variety of services and allows for scheduling. It also has analytics and team features, but I don’t use those.

    Workflowy is definitely one of my favorite apps. Glad to see it on the list.

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      Dorian, HootSuite is great. It’s definitely one of the best all-in-one social media apps. Thanks for mentioning it!

      • http://www.ugurozer.com/ uğur özer

        I agree with you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=572302235 Robert Clay

      I also use Hootsuite. Excellent tool, although the scheduling is a bit primitive compared to Buffer and other tools I’ve used.

  • Shawn M

    If I may press the post’s author, it appears to me that Workflowy and Evernote are very similar. Matt, does one work better for different work or social contexts? I’m already using Evernote and like it very much. I’m intrigued by Workflowy, but I would like to hear more of your perspective on it before I commit to yet another organization tool. Thanks!

    P.S. “Aspiring blogger” is what you were 6 months ago. After reviewing your blog, you seem rather well established as a blogger.

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      Good question Shawn. In my experience, Evernote is has so many more features and is a more powerful app. The integration between web, native, and mobile clients is also a huge plus. 

      The draw of WorkFlowy to me, is its simplicity. It does a couple things, and does it really well. Navigation is smooth, search is powerful, and you can communicate with other users. I think for work teams that WF can be useful because it’s easy to view and build on each other’s work. 

      Hope that helps!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=572302235 Robert Clay

      I use both, and there is no resemblance. Evernote is brilliant for storing and instantly retrieving extensive notes on any manner of subjects. Workflowy is an outliner. It allows you to brainstorm and structure your thoughts whether you use it as a planning tool or a writing tool.

      • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

        Thanks for clarifying Robert, you made good points on the differences between the two. Much appreciated!

  • Mark

    Great post! Definitely haven’t heard of some of these before, very helpful.

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      Cool, glad it helped you out Mark

  • Antonio Calero

    Lots of new ideas, some of which I was not aware of. Thank you.

    It would be good to know also the “negative” or “not-so-cool” features of each of them, I am sure they all have their downs. But in any case, I really appreciate the post, it has given me fresh ideas for my own blog and internet activity.

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      Antonio, that’s a great point. It’s important to consider the fullness of an app when you’re deciding whether or not to use it. Let me work on some of those for you!

  • Heath

    Interesting read. Apparently I need to move into the 21st century a little bit more–great info!

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      Heath, the important thing to remember when jumping in to these web/social/productivity apps is to figure out what works for you! I use some of these more than others, testing and prodding to get the most out of them. Just don’t get bogged down! Thanks for reading the blog

  • Ddavis1206

    Very helpful information.  Thanks

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      Glad you found some tools that helped, appreciate you stopping by!

  • Walker Runner

    Google Reader is amazing and I use it everyday. Looks like I need to check out pocket though.

    • Anonymous

      I’ve really enjoyed using Pocket so far, I think the simplicity of the layout encourages users to simply read. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=572302235 Robert Clay

    I use 6 out of the 10 constantly, so I agree with this list. I would add two more. Wunderlist and Dropbox, both of which help a great deal when using multiple devices.

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      Robert, thanks for adding to the list, I really enjoy using Dropbox as well, has been a big help. I strongly considered putting it on the list, but decided I used it more for personal file storage and productivity than organizing web content. 

      I haven’t heard of Wunderlist, will check it out! 

  • Ems56rn

    Fantastic article! Can’t wait to try them all out. Evernote is the only one I’ve used and is great, as you said. Just tweeted this link! Thank you!

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      Glad you found it helpful, Evernote was my jumping off point as well, hope some of the others help you out also. Thanks for reading!

  • http://www.bmjt.co.uk BMJT

    CamelCamelCamel and the Camelizer plugin are an amazing accompaniment to your Amazon wish-lists. Live e-mail alerts for price-drops on all Amazon items, including 3rd-party sellers. Indispensable.

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      Nice, that’s very useful for deal hounds like myself. Thanks!

  • Daniela

    I use many of these, but you left out Symbaloo for visual bookmarking, great organizational tool ;-)

  • http://www.SocialSkoop.com @DanielaBolzmann

    I use many of these, but you left out @Symbaloo for visual bookmarking, great organizational tool ;-)

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      Awesome! I’ll have to check that out as well. Thanks for sharing

  • http://twitter.com/Redjakova Valon Canhasi

    I’ve been using SocialBro and Buffer i like them both a lot . I Also would add to the list Rockmelt Browser , Hootsuit and Bit.ly 

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      Thanks for recommending a few extra tools Valon!

  • Anonymous
  • http://www.andrewcaldwell.info/ Andrew Caldwell

    Some cool tips here. I don’t think Matt emphasised enough how well Social Bro and Buffer work together, like Magic!

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      You’re right Andrew, they are seamless! Be sure to run a “Best Time to Tweet” report weekly, and adjust your Buffer schedule as needed!

  • Martin

    Great article, but did you know if you click on the word ‘Buffer’, just after the point 2) – it jumps to http://www.buffer.com and not bufferapp.com

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      Wow, thank you Martin! That’s my bad, improper formatting of links. Appreciate you pointing it out. 

  • http://twitter.com/NormGregory Norm Gregory 

    C’mon let’s combine #1 and #2.  How do fill my Buffer from Evernote??

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      I like your thinking Norm! I tried to create a IFTTT recipe that would complete that task, but for now Evernote does not support a “trigger” that would allow it to feed directly in to your Buffer. 

      What may help is @LeoWid has created a recipe allowing you to text directly to to your Buffer! Check it out here http://ifttt.com/recipes/8510

  • http://thelawyermichigan.com/ Michigan DUI

    Hi Matt Ragland really good article.Thanks for share.

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      Thanks for reading, appreciate it!

  • http://www.sharpshades.com/ sunglasses online

    Thanks for sharing this post.you in which share very informative information.

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      Thanks for checking it out! Glad it was helpful

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for this update on these tools, Matt. I was using EverNote and then started using Clipix. I’m finding myself
    navigating more easily on Clipix, especially when I don’t have a lot of
    time to clip things. I also use their syncboards feature at work for
    sharing links instead of through email. You can upload pdfs, word docs
    too. Have you heard of Clipix, Matt? It’s still pretty new.

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      I have not seen Clipix before, thanks for the heads up! I’ll definitely give it a look. Thanks for reading and contributing to the list!

  • http://productivewebapps.com/ Productive Web Apps

    These are some fantastic tools Matt. Love how you laid out the post as well and it’s really well written! Always a fan of someone who shares web apps and productive tools!

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      Thanks for the kind words, I was honored to be able to post here. Have a great day!

  • http://janakyadav.blogspot.com/ Janak Kumar Yadav

    A nice and informative article…Thanks Matt

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      Cool, glad you liked it Janak!

  • Megan Atkinson

    Killer article, Matt – really appreciate the coolest feature call outs. I’ll also suggest iDoneThis as a great addition to this list. Wondering though, do you know of an app or tool one can use to ‘bookmark’ Facebook posts, links, and video shares so one can revisit the list later? 

    • http://mattragland.wordpress.com/ Matt Ragland

      Hey Megan, I am not aware of that kind of tool for Facebook, will definitely do some digging though! Thanks for reading!

    • Johnr

      Give
      http://www.likejournal.com/ a look for archiving facbook likes

  • Laura Byrd

    Can you clarify the difference between Evernote and Pocket? At first glance, Pocket seems almost like a subset of Evernote. I tried saving a page I wanted to read to both services and Evernote actually captured the page better. I also used to use the Read Later feature of Diigo for this purpose, but Diigo has pretty much been supplanted by other tools for me.

    • http://mattragland.com/ Matt Ragland

      Hey Laura, thanks for reading! In Evernote vs. Pocket, the clipping features of each service allow easy access to articles you want to read later. However what I enjoy about Pocket is the simplicity of its layout, and that it’s a single-function service. Evernote is so powerful and does so much, I often get distracted with other tasks. If I just want to read 1 article, I go with Pocket. Plus, this method doesn’t clutter up my Evernote storage limit. 

      But, you should go with what works best for YOU, and serves your needs. If you can use 1 less app, right on! Simplicity rules :)

  • http://hackertarget.com/ i_hack_sites

    Great list, looks like some time saving tools in there that I have yet to try out.

    • http://mattragland.com/ Matt Ragland

      Glad it helped, have a great day!

  • Megan Woo

    Great post!  Thanks for posting new features I didn’t kow about

    • http://mattragland.com/ Matt Ragland

      Thanks for reading Megan, glad it was helpful

  • http://alphaefficiency.com Bojan Djordjevic

    OmniFocus, Hazel, Byword, Scrievener for your offline lives on a Mac

    • http://mattragland.com/ Matt Ragland

      Cool, thanks for the extra resources!

  • Jack Jenkins

    I’m going to clip this to Evernote for later reading :p

    • http://mattragland.com/ Matt Ragland

      Haha, well played Jack, thanks for reading!

  • http://christopherbattles.net/ Christopher Battles

    Thank you.
    I use Buffer and Read and have an Ifttt(but not utilizing it now).  I will check some of these out.
    Thank you very much Matt.

    K, bye

    • http://mattragland.com/ Matt Ragland

      You’re welcome Christopher, thank you for reading!

  • Rusha Sams

    So much good information!!! Several new sites I hadn’t heard about!

    • http://mattragland.com/ Matt Ragland

      Great, glad it was helpful! Thanks for reading

  • http://twitter.com/dan_hopwood Dan Hopwood

    There’s a key product that is missing here: http://clipboard.com/ (I’m in no way connected to the company, it’s just genuinely brilliant).

  • http://twitter.com/susan_kuhn Susan Kuhn

    Superb! Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/Paul_Pruneau Paul Pruneau

    Awesome. Love the BlissControl. Who knew? Looking forward to a little Social Media profile sanding. Many thanks for the list!

  • superseiyan

    What is the practical difference between Evernote and Pocket? i already have Everonte. I’m not opposed to trying out pocket, but does it do anything better and faster and easier than browser bookmarks and Evernote?

  • http://www.webthesmartway.com Ghua

    never used buffer unfortunately… it’s a bit… weird? :)

  • Lorenzo

    Why is this post not displaying on mobile phone, just comments? I want to read this! Anyone help? Thanks!

  • wireddavinci

    Why can’t I read the %$Y&* article?? I jumped through the hoops and signed in. What gives?!?!

  • http://www.brightontheday.com/ Brighton Keller

    This article rocks!! Thanks!!!

  • wizonesolutions

    It must be Sunday. This article jumped from 3 to 6 o_o

    Perhaps I need more sleep.