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Essential Tools featuring Tammy Lenski

By Char

Essential ToolsThis week’s Essential Tools series features Dr. Tammy Lenski, conflict management specialist, author and consultant who also happens to be a very successful blogger (at Conflict Zen). Tammy is also the co-founder of the Mediation Business Summit virtual conference, where I will be speaking in September on the topic of website essentials for small businesses.

Like many small business owners, Tammy’s business has to be ready to run from anywhere – on the road, in a client’s office, in a home office or anywhere she happens to be that day. As a result, the majority of her business is run in the “cloud” (here is a great article from one of my essential tools, FreshBooks, with 3 Reasons Your Business Needs to Run in Cloud).

In her own words, Tammy’s essential tools for running a small business in the cloud…

I default to tools that I can use cross-platform from wherever I am (I travel a lot for business), so I prefer the cloud (with good backup mechanisms) and apps that have companion iPhone apps. These are the ones I use every day:

Highrise: I use it for client relationship management and as my task manager — all emails to and from clients end up here, as do notes from client calls and visits, along with documents. I can tell in an instant what I need to do next for a client or project and I can give my assistant access for when clients call and I’m not in the office.

Dropbox: I have several MacBook Pros and an iPhone and want to spend zero time remembering to sync. Dropbox takes care of it all for me and I can get any files I need from wherever I am. It’s saved me in a pinch more than a few times!

Evernote: I use it for, well, everything. Hotel and flight confirmations, notes for speeches, screen grabs of websites I like, gardening ideas, you name it. It really is my external brain.

WordPress with StudioPress: I love the ease and extensibility of WordPress and customize my sites myself using Brian Gardner’s terrific, powerful themes as the design foundation.

Google Voice: I work all over the place – office, home, hotel rooms, on-site while visiting a corporate client. Google Voice helps make me accessible, sends me my messages as texts for quick reviewing, and automatically knows to send business calls to voicemail during evenings and weekends.

Google Apps for Business: Mostly use Gmail and Calendar, both syncing to my iPhone.

Chrome: It’s light and fast and since I do so much of my office work using the cloud, it’s a timesaver, even with the Mac version still in beta I’m loving it.

Thanks Tammy for giving us a glimpse into your business and how the sky (I mean the cloud) is limit!

Subscribe to the Essential Keystrokes feed so you don’t miss a single Essential Tools feature. If you are interested in sharing your essential tools for business, drop me a line at cpolanosky [at] gmaildotcom.

Categories : Essential Tools



Thanks for featuring me, Char! It was actually pretty helpful for me to go through the mental exercise of deciding which tools are most critical to me, so thanks for that, too.

I’ve been a fan of your Essential Tools feature for a while and always check out the tools other folks are using. It tickles me pink to be among the folks you’ve invited to be part of this.


Tammy – thanks for being part of this project! It is amazing how the tools we use to run our businesses has evolved over time and I think we are so lucky to be able to operate in the cloud.

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