Things I Love…Plaxo, Firefox, Feedblitz, Feedburner – (and lessons learned about $ and free tools)

Plaxo. Firefox. Feedblitz, Feedburner
I’ve recently started using Plaxo. I use it for one reason…it seamlessly synchronizes between Microsoft Outlook and Plaxo so that I always have an online version of my contacts and other information.
Months ago, I downloaded Intellisync for Yahooto enable me to sync to Yahoo, but it was manual and didn’t work too well so I stopped using it.
With Plaxo the synchronization is automatic and works quite well. There was one problem though.
I joined up to be a premium user of Plaxo so I could take advantage of the excellent de-duper, which removes duplicate contacts. It works like a charm. But three times, I went back to Outlook after de-duping about 200 records and the duplicates came back.
I called Plaxo support – since I’m a premium customer I get to PHONE them. The person on the phone helped me as best she could but I finally solved the problem on my own, after looking through the Plaxo sync logs. (Lesson learned – support reps should be GEEKS who know technology and not scripted reps)
Solution – Plaxo was also syncing with Yahoo (because I also set Yahoo up as a sync point, in addition to Google) but for some reason, Yahoo was dumping my old records to Plaxo instead of Plaxo dumping the proper records to Yahoo. Once I removed Yahoo from being synced, my Outlook and Plaxo records are just fine.
About paying for “free services”
If you are going to rely on a “free” service as a core part of your business, it’s best to pay for it and know you get support when you need it. Google hosted email being free is nice, but if you are going to run your business on it, it’s really best to pay a bit more for support.
Firefox is simply wonderful because when it crashes, like many programs due, you don’t lose all the web sites you have open in the tabs! I would easily pay $50 for this program, just for this feature. is not the fanciest blogging tool on the market. In fact right now my web site is being upgraded to Movable Type. However, you know what I love. The new version of (owned by Google) updates posts as you type. I’ve lost posts at times and had to retype everything.
Feedblitz is the reason that Small Business Technology Report is so much better. Read more about why I like it here.
Feedburner is simply awesome as it helps publish and provide stats for my RSS feeds.
There’s a few other really nice tools I use, like Skype for free phone calls and Audacity for editing and recording audio.
These are some of my favorite tools that I use all the time. What tools do you use?