Essential Keystrokes is…

where I share my favorite tips, tools, reviews and commentary on web design, marketing, blogging, new media and related topics. For more about this site and the voice behind it, check out my About page.


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Essential Tools – PracticalBlogging Style

By Char

Essential ToolsAfter my conversation with Liz last week, I decided to make my Essential Tools post a weekly feature on this blog. I am very excited about it as I already have quite a few bloggers lined up for the upcoming weeks.

Robyn Tippins is a professional blogger whose work can be found at Practical Blogging, Inside Motherhood, Games Industry Wire, and a handful of other sites. With so much time online, enormous amounts of research and writing to do, how does she manage? It’s all in the tools!

Robyn’s Essential Tools include:

  • Google Reader – Robyn says she uses this constantly. I also use it to keep track of all the blogs I read. It’s free and extremely easy to use.
  • Adsense Extension for Firefox – If you are not using Firefox yet, you need to be (its free and it is easy to get started)! The Adsense extension is a great tool for Firefox that allows you monitor your Adsense earnings realtime on the status bar of your browser. Robyn says this tool keeps her motivated.
  • FireFTP - Another great added value for Firefox. FireFTP is a free, cross-platform, secure program for file transfer. You can transfer files quickly and easily, synch directories, and more.

Robyn is all about efficiency, and these tools help her acheive her goals with ease.

What’s in your toolbox? Leave me a comment and let me know what keeps your online world moving. Would you like to be featured? Just drop me a line and let me know.



FirreFTP is a new one for me. I’ll have to look at it to see what it has to offer.
I think this feature is a real winner, Char. It’s fun to picture people using their tools. :)


This is a cool idea Char.

Like Robin, I’ve found Google Reader to be my new best friend. It’s become my conversphere dashboard, where I read, tag stuff to blog about or comment on, and organize all my RSS stuff.

I write all my posts in HomeSite. Being an old school (X)HTML coder, I like having text editor control.

Since a lot of my blogging and writing involves my cartoons, I use GIMP and Fireworks daily.

For communication, I’d be lost without Skype and Gaim.

And for FTP I use FileZilla.


Liz – I haven’t tried FireFTP yet either – but I will definitely check it out.

Tony – I use Fireworks and Dreamweaver daily, but haven’t tried GIMP yet.

To me this is the best way to learn about new products and tools! One of these days, I’ll post mine as well.

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