Essential Tools for the Starter Executive

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In today’s complex business world, executives are increasingly relying on devices and Web applications to manage schedules and stay in touch with team members, business partners and clients. With the right devices and applications, starter professionals can prioritize, organize and continue to excel in their professional and personal lives.

Dropbox offers an easy solution for sharing large files with anyone anywhere. David Stephens, Founding Member of the Grameen Technology Advisory Board and Advisor to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, knows first-hand the pain endured when a device vanishes. “You don’t realize the amount of information stored on your computer until it’s gone,” he says, advising people to back up files in a cloud-based application, like Dropbox or an alternative.

Noodle is an intranet platform with robust communication capabilities. According to Covario Chairman of the Board Russ Mann, “Noodle is an excellent communications tool and offers us the ability to hold video conferencing with our global team.” Other platforms for collaborating include:

Skype offers a cost-effective solution for conducting domestic and international calls as well as holding video conferencing sessions on either a one-to-one or a one-to-many basis.

WebEx is useful for on-demand collaboration, online meetings and video-conferencing from remote locations.

LinkedIn helps professionals make new connections and manage contacts. With more than 10,000 contacts of his own, Stephens explains that the platform allows him to maintain relationships and conduct business quickly.

Google+ is an efficient communication tool that permits group video chat, collaboration and file sharing among members within the circle.

Twitter is used by many as a way to acquire and engage with new or existing contacts — outside of crowded email inboxes.

Tumblr integrates with Facebook and Twitter, allowing users to share content such as images, video, audio, quotes and short posts with others.

Blogs permit users to share content with internal staff, customers, partners and associates. Mann adds that maintaining a blog helps organize and disseminate the right information to the right people effectively and efficiently.

Instagram connects with other social networking services and a brand’s website. Mann mentions that it’s useful for posting and tagging photos of products, events or customers that spur conversations. Just like other social networks, companies can offer incentives for visitors to follow, like and post comments.

YouTube (and webinars) are useful for sharing demonstrations or educational information.

Private Social Media Networks such as Yammer and Clubster offer members the ability to collaborate securely across departments, geographies, content and business applications.

Buffer app, a social media scheduling tool, is a time-saving application that deploys messages to different sources — Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts — according to a desired schedule. Paul Hattimer, social media professional and club communications for Pine Hills Country Club explains that this tool improves messages by delivering them to the right audiences, at the right time and via the right channels. In addition, Buffer app offers extensions for the major browsers, mobile devices and integrates with many news-reader apps.

When traveling, the experts interviewed here agree that their emergency packs include a cellphone, laptop or notebook, 12-hour backup battery, power cords and a Bluetooth device for hands-free communication while multi-tasking. Integrating these portable devices with Web applications has become central to establishing and maintaining business relationships.

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