3 Print Utilities I Use Nearly Every Day

These print utilities make my life easier every day. Each one has a free and paid version, and I use the free versions currently.

Fine Print.

This awesome utility allows you to:

  • Bring up a print job and view it before you print (similar to print preview)
  • Delete pages that you don’t want to print
  • Shrink pages and print multiple pages on on page (2, 4, or 8 pages)
  • Manual duplexing if you don’t have an automatic duplex printer

I usually choose 2 or 4 pages, depending on the print size. It really cuts down on the paper, especially when using duplex.

They don’t really advertise the free/trial version, which prints a small banner at the bottom of every page.

http://www.fineprint.com/products/fineprint/benefits.html

PDF Redirect

I have tried many PDF creation utilities, and PDF Redirect works the best for me. One feature I really like is the ability to combine multiple PDFs into one document.

If you’ve never used one of these before, they allow you to create a PDF document instead of printing.

http://www.exp-systems.com/pdfredirect/Features.htm?1

Faststone Capture

This is a “print screen” utility, and I absolutely love it!

It allows you to:

  • Print the whole screen, the active window, or a portion you select
  • Print it or save it
  • Crop and resize

The current version of Faststone is no longer free, but you can download a prior version from:

http://www.portablefreeware.com/?id=775

All of these utilities will cut down on your paper consumption, if used properly.

Let me know how they work for you!

Project Management with Google Apps?

There are hordes of free and non-free project management tools available, especially online.

If someone wants a reliable system and doesn’t want to spring for Basecamp or any of the other myriad of systems available, what is he or she to do?

Well, with the addition of Google Sites to the Google Apps suite, we have one more option to try out. I’ll be giving it a shot for one of my projects.

While it’s not a true project management system, it does provide an easy way to create new projects (simply create a new site) and group all the required files in one place. You can easily create pages with lists or whatever you need to track with the built-in page templates.

Some of the helpful links I found:

http://www.enterprise-dashboard.com/2008/02/29/google-sites-dashboards-project-management-dashboard-example

http://sites.google.com/a/altostrat.com/project-eggplant/Home

https://uto.asu.edu/blog/2008/02/29/strap-on-your-rocket-shoes-google-sites-for-asu

http://meetings.abanet.org/ltrc/index.cfm?data=20080317 (scroll down to the second post)

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P.S. I made a 17 minute video explaining how to use Google Apps for project management in more detail.

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It’s risk-free! If you don’t like it for any reason, just let me know within 30 days and I’ll paypal you back a 100% refund.

The Canon MX310 Scanner/Copier/Fax Wondermachine!

My old Visioneer flatbed scanner recently died…no big loss because I was having trouble getting drivers for it.

It’s hard to find a scanner now without also buying a multifunction machine.

What I ended up with is the Canon MX310. I bought it from Costco for $95.

It’s a great little piece of equipment. It can do:

  • Flatbed Scanning (duh!)
  • ¬†Sheetfed scanning (30 sheets instead of the standard 10 in this class)
  • Color and B/W copying (and the color copies are surprisingly good)
  • Fax

Now I’ve not had the need for a fax machine before, but interestingly I faxed 3 or 4 documents in the first week of owning it. Sometimes it’s just easier and faster to fax rather than email a scanned document.

Free Camtasia Plus Inexpensive Tutorials

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve heard about Techsmith’s big giveaway of Camtasia 3.

It’s a fantastic tool for doing full motion screen capture video.

Granted, it’s not the most recent version, but it’s pretty cool nonetheless.

If you haven’t grabbed your copy and registration key, do so right away:

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Camtasia Studio download:

http://download.techsmith.com/camtasiastudio/enu/312/camtasiaf.exe

Camtasia Studio Key:

http://www.techsmith.com/camtasia/pcpls.asp

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Next, do yourself a favor and check out this fantastic Camtasia tutorial. I just bought it myself and it has already saved me hours of time learning and experimenting:

Recipe for Producing Hot Video Tutorials with Camtasia

It’s about 60 pages with many screen shots to explain everything you need to get started.