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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Another Friday, another installment of Essential Tools!! Through my involvement with the Kellogg’s Snackpicks site, I met yet another incredibly talented web designer, Jenn Chamberlain. Jenn owns Pixel Pop Designs, an interactive design and social media company.  She has been recognized as one of the best female web designers – and for good reason – her portfolio of work is just amazing, including brand names we are all very familiar with.

I asked Jenn what tools she considers to be essential for running her business online. Her favorites in her own words:


YouSendIt is a free service that allows you to send large files over email. It’s fantastic if you work remotely and handle large files. I used to pay $50/month for Basecamp account, but found clients thought it was difficult to use or burdensome. They just want their files sent to them directly without clogging up their email and without having to remember any extra passwords or usernames. That’s


This service is also a life saver for those of us who work remotely and sometimes collaborate with others. Instantly I can share large files with another designer – or access them myself from another computer.

Tweet Deck

Tweet deck is always open on my computer. Not only does it allow me real-time updates simultaneously from all my social media accounts (Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter) but it allows me to stay up to the minute watching what’s happening with my social media clients as well. I can see who’s saying what about my client’s brand instantly.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is great free service that allows me to track how my blog, websites and client sites are doing. Each morning I can’t wait to see what content is hot… and well, what’s not so hot with my users. I’m constantly learning and evolving content based on user engagement.

Apple Magic Mouse

If you have a Mac, you need a magic mouse. It now comes standard with new iMacs and it’s amazing. It’s wireless, with no buttons or scroll button. Instead, it has a smooth “multi-touch” surface and it supports momentum scrolling (similiar to iphone and itouch).

Smart Brief

Recently I was lucky enough to have met Wendy Goldman Scherer of The Social Studies Group at the Blissdom Conference. She was one of the keynote speakers. I asked her what she read each day to stay current and she told me to sign up for my industry briefs at It’s great! Every morning I receive the headlines for my clients’ industries. It’s impressed them numerous times.

Jenn’s not all business, though. Catch up with Jenn at her personal blog,, too or follow her on Twitter at @pixelpopdesigns.

Don’t forget to stop back next week for more essential tools for success, featuring programmer turned super affiliate marketer, Eric Nagel . If you are interested in sharing your essential tools for business, drop me a line at cpolanosky [at] gmaildotcom.

Categories : Essential Tools
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