is the design of kevin kennedy

Tools of My Trade

I wanted to take some time to share some tools that I have started working with over the past several weeks.

mainAt Signal Hill, we eat, breathe, and sleep Basecamp. As time goes on, we are continually finding more and more ways to integrate it into our workflow.

This app sits in your menu bar, and every 5 minutes, it grabs all the recent updates to your Basecamp projects. From there, you can click on the icon to get a listing of everything that’s changed. When you see something you want to read more about, simply click on the item, and it will point your web browser to that item.

Be warned that the first launch will be overwhelming, because everything will be considered “new.” My recommendation would be to mark all items as read initially, and from then on you will be kept up to date on any and all activity.

main(11)Chances are I’m way late to the game on this one, but I think this tool has a lot of potential to help me stay organized. My use case is sitting in a waiting room, patiently waiting my turn, and then something pops into my head. Maybe it’s something I have to do, or just something I want to remember. I could e-mail myself, I could write it on my hand, or I could use my iPhone and launch Evernote.

After that, when I get home, I can launch Evernote on my desktop and my new note is right there. The thing I like most about this service is that there is capability to also store images and audio in addition to text. The free plan is currently limited in size, so I won’t be storing a ton of anything just yet, but I think the ability to catalog more of my journey will prove to be invaluable.

main(12)SSBs, or Single Site Browsers, are becoming more and more practical as time goes on. I already mentioned Basecamp, but sites like Gmail, Facebook, Google Reader, Twitter, etc. have grown to become more akin to applications than traditional websites.

What Fluid does is take a URL you give it, and then creates an application around it. This new application behaves just like a browser, but doesn’t have a location bar or URL field, just a title bar and the webpage content.

The main benefit is that you can have a site that you visit constantly live outside of your normal web browser tabs. I use it for Google Reader, so rather than constantly loading that site or searching for the tab that I launched it in, I can simply click an icon in my dock.


I am always on the lookout for what’s new, and often times I end up trying something once, then stopping, only to come back to it months later. I guess I could rationalize and say I am in search of the perfect tool, but I think it’s deeper then that. I think I have work to do on myself, things that a tool can’t fix, but with a little persistence, could probably help.