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Surviving The Networking Frenzy: How To Stay Connected and Sane (Part 1)
Victoria Reitano is a speaker, multimedia journalist and social media addict who currently covers technology news for a trade magazine and freelances on the side.
I’ve had multiple people tell me, throughout my life but more so lately, that they just don’t know how I do it. How I am able to stay organized, look fashionable and manage multiple projects at once.
At the risk of sounding obnoxious, my answer is generally along the lines of “I just do it?,” but since many don’t buy the corrupted Nike slogan, I’ve decided to dedicate today’s post to telling you what tools I use to stay on top of my game. Staying connected in today’s society IS a job in and of itself, but it’s important to not let it weigh you down.

Surviving The Networking Frenzy: How To Stay Connected and Sane (Part 1)

Twitter

The Twitter application for Mac and iPhone is, by far, the best out there. The ONLY downside to this application is that you cannot schedule tweets. It allows you to search for people or hashtags, favorite tweets (which is generally a way to save them for later) and it also allows you to follow, RT, quote and mention other tweets.
It’s a full service application that is lightweight enough to run on your desktop in the background. I keep it open all day long and use the taskbar icon to notify me of new tweets and/or mentions. On my iPhone, I have the notifications set so that any time someone mentions me, I get a push-notification with the actual Tweet on my iPhone screen.

Google Apps

I know, I know — it seems strange to head over to Google after expounding upon my love for all things Apple, but it’s true, Google has great apps. Let’s start with Gmail.
  • Gmail: I love of clean inboxes — which is nearly impossible to do without Gmail’s folder system. The folders sync with Gmail on my iPhone and allow me to keep all emails dedicated to a specific project in one place. You can even search the folder groups individually for specific emails, which comes in handy when you need to keep digital records.
  • Calendar: I use Google Calendar as a Web App and then sync all my calendars, from Yoga to Work, to my iPhone
  • Documents: Collaboration projects are a breeze with Google docs. I even have a to-do list on there that I can access at home or at work. It allows me to jot down ideas throughout the day, because you never really know when “genius” will strike (or when I’ll remember that I need milk). I’m not a big fan of the To Do Apps that seem to be flooding the App Store, but I do like to have a working list. I am also a huge fan of Post-It notes, which are all over my desk, car and office desk.

Hootsuite

Having run several Twitter chats for @UniversityChic, I quickly learned that you needed a way to schedule questions, update the hashtag feed quickly and respond to people who responded to you. Hootsuite, a Web app and also a mobile application, allows you to do all that. You can even shorten links and schedule tweets days, weeks and months in advance. It’s a great tool for anyone managing multiple Twitter and Facebook accounts as well.

Instagram

This photo app is a great way to enhance, edit and upload iPhone photos. The best thing about this app — including the cool new capabilities and filters in 2.0 — is that it lets you upload to several different networks, chief among them being Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. I found it was a great way to stay connected to my Tumblr without actually posting on my Tumblr. Instagram is a great way to share what you’re doing on a real-time basis without sitting for ten minutes or more uploading images to all your different apps.

Foursquare

I use this app to win badges, because who doesn’t like #winning?? Of course, I also use it to learn about new things in my town. The explore tab is a great way to do this and it’s kind of fun to see where your friends are, or at least I think it’s fun, with friends scattered all over.

Paper.li

Your Twitter feed is filled with people you deem relevant. So, your followers probably want to know why. Share a paper with them via Paper.li. It takes all of the tweets on your timeline and turns them into a digital paper of sorts. It can be delivered to users’ inboxes as well, which is how some prefer to receive their news these days.

MailChimp

Who wouldn’t love a chimp dressed up like a postman? I mean, how frickin cute is that!?!? He reminds me of the Paul Frank jammies I got every Xmas. Anyway, this service lets you create newsletters from templates, add social tools, send it out for Free (there are pricing plans, but most lightweight users can get away with the free plan to start) and create different landing pages for different lists.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where Victoria will share how you can use these applications to stay organized and sane!

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