Since this blog is about resources I’ve found useful, I thought it would be good to collect a list of those resources on a single page so you can refer to it as a starting point. I’ll be adding to it as I discover more products and services, and I’ll try to keep it up-to-date. Enjoy!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Nonetheless, I have used all these products and recommend them because of their usefulness to me over the years, not because of the commission I receive.
- DreamHost – An inexpensive shared hosting company that provides a wealth of “one-click” installable applications as well as virtual private servers if you want more control. Make sure you use promo code PYTHONISITO to get $50 off and a free domain registration!
Online Accounting / Bookkeeping
- FreshBooks – Since starting my consulting business, this has been one of my favorite web applications. You can track your time, automatically create invoices that get emailed to your clients, manage subcontractors, get nice reports, etc., all in a beautiful web interface. It also has great integration with …
- Expensify – I was introduced to Expensify to get a reimbursement from 10gen, who uses it internally to manage expense reports. There’s an Expensify app on both iPhone and Android that allows you to snap a photo of your receipt, which Expensify will OCR and automatically attach to an expense report for you. You can then throw the receipt away. It also has ACH and PayPal integration for reimbursement, and you can export your expenses (if you’re a business owner like me) to FreshBooks easily and quickly.
- Evernote – Evernote has become (more or less) my external brain. Evernote is a service with web, Mac, Windows, iPhone, Android, … and many more … clients that lets you easily store just about any kind of file in a form this is kept around forever, synchronized to all the platforms where you have Evernote installed, with a full-text index thrown in to boot. Like Expensify, the mobile app lets you upload snapshots which get OCR’d and indexed. You can also forward emails to Evernote, which automatically get added to your account (with OCR thrown in as well if you send images or image-like PDFs).
- DropBox – DropBox is like a shared folder across all your computers. It’s not exactly a networked drive, since it stores everything locally and synchronizes in the background, but it’s basically the same. Clients are available for tons of platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, iPhone, and Android, and you can easily choose to share a folder with another DropBox user, allowing them to synchronize it to their desktop as well. I use this for anything I need to share, big binaries I need to transfer, transferring eBooks I download on my laptop to my phone and my Kindle, etc. Awesome service.
- EventBrite – EventBrite makes it super-easy to set up an event (paid or free), open up registrations, and collect payment. It also has excellent integration with MailChimp below, so sending out nice-looking invitations to your event via email is nearly effortless. One of the nicest features? You can collect registration payment via credit card without the pain of getting a merchant account. Highly recommended.
- MailChimp – MailChimp is a nice web app for setting up a non-spammy double-opt-in mailing list. I use it for sending out blog posts for those who subscribe (you can set up an RSS-driven email campaign to do this in MailChimp) and maintaining a list for people interested in my Python and MongoDB Training Classes. It’s also a good match for an early-stage startup’s sign-up form for a product, as it allows you to create a nice form, capture relevant information, and have a mailing list opt-in all in one package (that you didn’t have to code yourself).
- Rapportive – Rapportive is a gmail plugin that shows you tons of information about whoever you’re emailing in the sidebar, including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn profiles, Mailchimp info, and any notes you keep about a particular person. It’s invaluable if you have a lot of people you email and want a bit of context when carrying on a conversation.
- TripIt – Here’s how TripIt works: when you’re going on a trip, you forward all those confirmation emails you get from the airline, hotel, car rental, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org. TripIt creates an online itinerary that has all your reservations, confirmation numbers, weather reports, driving directions, etc., and you can access it online or on your iPhone or Android. To sign up, just start using it by sending an email to email@example.com and they create an account for you. Frictionless travel.
- The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses – To me, this is a must-read for anyone starting a new business. I deals with customer development applying lean manufacturing principles to the process of finding a scalable business model.