Getting more out of LinkedIn

InmapsWhen I talk with folks about social media, I usually recommend four basic tools: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a rolodex on steroids and is used for professional networking. As with most applications, its power is enhanced with the use of third party tools. LinkedIn is no different. With third party tools, I have gotten more out of LinkedIn. Here are some of the tools that I use and recommend.

LinkedIn for Outlook

LinkedIn for Outlook is a plug-in for Outlook that links to LinkedIn. When added, it enhances Outlook with a LinkedIn tie in. Here are some of the features:

  • When you select a message to read, you will also have an additional window showing the individual’s image with a link back to LinkedIn to see their profile and activity. If they are not part of LinkedIn, there is a link to invite them. If there are multiple people in the message, they will be listed.
  • Within the contacts folder, there is a new grouping of just LinkedIn contacts. These are all of your contacts from LinkedIn. You can email them directly from Outlook.

When crafting message, it is a nice way to see what has been previously written as well as what activity they have had.

InMaps

Basically, InMaps allows you to visualize the connections you have in LinkedIn. The image above is my LinkedIn network. The dark blue is Civil Air Patrol, the orange is UW Extension, the green is University of Wyoming, the gold is the Bujinkan, the light blue is Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and the grey is ASTD Northern Rockies Chapter. You can see your connections by going to LinkedIn InMaps.

Evernote Hello

Evernote Hello is a mobile tool that helps with relationship management. By building your contacts with Evernote Hello, you can leverage the power of both Evernote and LinkedIn. When you add a new contact, it searches LinkedIn to see if they exist, and pulls information from LinkedIn to help populate the new contact. As the site mentions, “Hello automatically brings in related information about the people you meet from your calendar, Evernote account, online networks, and more.” If you log each encounter with a person, you can develop a rich profile on them. Evernote Hello is backed up through Evernote.

TripIt

TripIt is a tool that will let you create an itinerary for your trip to include times, locations, and important phone numbers. These details can be accessed from multiple devices. TripIt will also sync with your favorite calendar programs. I just discovered today that I can mail my confirmation messages to TripIt and they will automatically be posted to my itinerary. If you are interested in sharing your experiences with others, you can post your itineraries to your favorite social media sites like LinkedIn.

SlideShare

Slideshare is another program that I get a lot of mileage out of. Basically, I post all of my presentations on Slideshare for others to see. Once they are posted, they automatically show up on my LinkedIn profile. There are also options to see presentations posted by fellow LinkedIn’ers.

WordPress

Finally, if you are a blogger, you can connect your blog to LinkedIn. In my case, I connect my WordPress Blog to LinkedIn to automatically share new posts. My personal goal is to share everything I create. Being able to do it automatically removes one more thing to do from my list.  Wordpress has plug-ins for making these connections.

All of these third party applications help to both disseminate information to my connections as well as help me stay in contact smartly with my connections.

Are you using any other applications to leverage LinkedIn? If so, I would love to know about them.

My favorite iPad apps. What are yours?

The other day, I was writing about the new New Media Consortium 2012 Horizon Report, and I briefly spoke about mobile apps I use. In this post, I would like to share the iPad apps that I basically could not live without. A little melodramatic, still, they are really useful apps.

Apps for getting things done

Evernote Evernote Evernote is a great application for saving everything. I have written quite a lot about Evernote in the past, and it still remains one of my essential applications. I have Evernote loaded on all my computers, my iPad, and my smartphone. I use it to save notes, images, and ideas related to anything and everything in my life. I have recently started to use it in conjunction with the Getting Things Done  (GTD) system, and it is working out great.
EgretList EgretList – Egretlist is closely integrated with Evernote, and basically takes my GTD system in Evernote, and turns it into a checklist or to do list where I can check things off.
Dropbox Dropbox – I use Dropbox to store everything I want to work on away from my primary computer, whatever that happens to be. It is a great convenience to be able to access files from all my computers, iPad, and smartphone. Dropbox is useful to collaborate with multiple teammates.

Reading Apps

Kindle Kindle – My favorite ebook application is Kindle. I currently have 40 books loaded on my Kindle and I have read or I am currently in the process of reading them all. I have become a more active reader because of the convenience of having a stack of books always at my fingertips.
Google Books Google Books – Because not all books are available through the Kindle app, I have also downloaded books to the Google Book app. I prefer the Kindle app because of the highlighting and note taking features. Still, I am able to get books I want to read.
Google Search Google Search – I use this application to read my Google+ account and for Google Reader. When I am away from my computer, I use this program to stay abreast of new findings in the world. Each program allows me to forward to my email or send a post to Twitter.
Flipboard Flipboard – Flipboard is my favorite way to read the posts I get from Twitter. Flipboard presents the information as a newspaper. The Twitter posts are expanded so that you can read part of an attached article, and you can see included pictures. You can set up Flipboard pages based on hashtags, search queries, Twitter lists, or your entire Twitter stream.
Hootsuite Hootsuite– If I just want to look at my Twitter streams and queries, then Hootsuite is my tool of choice. With Hootsuite, I can follow all of my Twitter accounts as well as set up unique queries and lists.
iBooks iBooks – If I need to have a PDF accessible anytime and anywhere, then I throw it into iBooks. I have placed the entire Civil Air Patrol regulation library into iBooks; it makes for a very quick reference.
Zite Zite – Zite is very similar to Flipboard, and it is the newest application I have added in this category.  With Zite, you can sign up for a number of attractive categories such as Arts and Culture or Social Media. Another great tool to glean new information from the Internet.

Other Useful or Fun Apps

AppStart AppStart – AppStart is a great program, especially for iPad newbies. AppStart recommends great iPad applications based on your needs. If I need to make recommendations to others based on unique needs, I first crosscheck my recommendations with AppStart. AppStart makes recommendations from the first ten apps to download to apps for sports, reading, music, email, and countless other topics.
Skype Skype – Since I use Skype as my phone in the office and home, I might as well have all my contacts available to me while on the road. I have Skype loaded on all my computers, my iPad, and my smartphone. Skype provides the added convenience of being able to hold an impromptu conference call.
Hotels Hotels – While on the road, I use this app to reserve rooms. So far, I have not been disappointed in what it has found for me.
Weatherbug Weatherbug – This app keeps me informed about the weather. The weather radar feature lets me determine the intensity and duration of a storm. I have all the areas of Wyoming plugged into it so I can see what trouble I will be getting into.
TripIt TripIt – I use this app to see where my friends are traveling as well as find people I know in places I am going. I am always looking for company for a meal.
Ancestory Ancestory – This is a great little application that ties into Ancestory.com. I use it to track and work on my family tree. It is nice to sit down with a relative and be able to show them the tree as well as add to it.
WoW Armory WoW Armory – This application allows me to check up on updates from my World of Warcraft Guild. I can check on various achievements, events, and messages without having to leave the game or while I am out on the road. I used it when working as a guild officer for Azeroth Training Society.

Well, these are the apps I use, what apps do you recommend and why?