Essential Tools of Amanda BucklowBy
This week’s Essential Tools series features Amanda Bucklow, a commercial mediator, instructor, blogger (at Mediation Times) and consultant who is a leader in her fields’ technology use. Amanda, along with Tammy Lenski, co-founded the Mediation Business Summit virtual conference, where I will be speaking later this month on the topic of website essentials for small businesses.
In Amanda’s own words:
My interest in technology and the web goes back many years. I had an email address and no one to email! I am naturally an early adopter and while that has been an expensive exercise, it has been fun. I am completely self taught and enjoy the adventure of being absorbed in learning a new skill. (I consider Lynda.com an essential tool as it provides the best tutorials on everything from web design, digital photography, Excel and more.)
I do all my own graphics for my web sites and I am a passionate photographer so life would be very difficult without Photoshop and Illustrator. Topaz filters are an essential tool for my graphics as they allow me to create a more arty feel.
As for my daily tools:
- One of the best additions to my toolbox this year has been Evernote . I particularly like that I can send a tweet that I don’t have time to explore when it whizzes by. I gather them all up on Evernote for reading later together with web pages and screen shots. Having them grouped together like this often gives me a great idea for a blog post and the links are already there for me to create connections.
- 1Password (Mac only) has been a blessing and helped me develop a better protocol for creating passwords. I am now happy to use a complex password because I know that I have the info on hand, secure and backed up. I just need to get it on my BlackBerry.
- For my AmandaBucklow.co.uk web site I use AdaptYourCMS. This is not a perfect set up but it makes updating my web site very easy indeed. I can add documents, videos and, best of all, any number of secure zones and membership areas which I use extensively for my training. Each course is a community of its own and I find that providing the platform for people to engage with each other before and after the classroom sessions makes for better outcomes at assessment. The friendships created during training can become a real source of support and encouragement for fledgling mediators. I know I still value mine from 15 years ago. Providing students with a ready made home has been a great success.
- Twitter. I haven’t taken to Facebook at all except to keep in touch with my nephews and niece who don’t seem to be able to communicate any other way! I do remember it took me about a week to send my first Tweet – I couldn’t imagine that all those strangers could possibly be interested in what I might have to say! Phil Gerbyshak is entirely responsible for my besottedness with Twitter. He was one of the first to follow me back and start a real conversation. The discipline of saying something interesting in 140 characters is a very good one to have.
- One of the best gadgets I have ever used are my Flip video which is with me wherever I go. I can’t believe such a small thing can produce such high quality video and audio.
- Even more cherished is my Livescribe 2 GB Pulse Smartpen. I have no idea how I managed without that before I had one. Interviews are a doddle now. I like very much that I can pay attention to the person I am talking to rather than be looking at my notes. One keyword and you can find the part of the interview just by pointing the pen at the paper. Magic.
- The tool I would really like is Blackberry Messenger on the iPhone. I would love to switch to the iPhone as I am a complete Apple fan but the BlackBerry Messenger is so good especially when I am working abroad and need to keep in touch with my training partner. I takes the stress out of meeting up and changes in plans. I like the encryption on the BlackBerry but it is useless for browsing the web.
Thanks Amanda for sharing such a great assortment of tools – some of which are totally new to me and I can not wait to go try out!
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