The multimedia tools I actually use (and you should too)

I wrote a post about two years ago about the tools I actually use and realized the list could use some updating. The following are a list of tools I use on a daily or weekly basis.


Probably my most used and most essential tool for multimedia and online work. I use it for everything from editing photos to creating web graphics and interactives.

The premiere tool for creating interactive stories on the web. You may have heard about HTML 5 taking over Flash, but it can’t create multimedia the way Flash can.

Adobe Audition
Audacity is a popular and useful tool for audio editing, but when you’re ready to step up your audio editing game, check out Audition.

Final Cut Pro
An advanced but easy to learn video editor. The industry standard.

An incredibly versatile tool for creating all kinds of embeddable maps. Very simple to use and creates highly customizable maps.

Map Builder
I use Map Builder for most map-based projects that have a lot of data or require heavy customization, including this one and this one.

An easy to use timeline tool recently used by the Seattle Times in its Pulitzer Prize-winning story.

Flickr/Creative Commons
When I’m looking for a photo of something and I don’t have time to shoot it, I sometimes look to Flickr for publicly available photos I can incorporate into my work.

The reason you don’t see a lot of posts about BlackBerrys on this blog is because I love my iPhone. Check out this post and this post for apps that can be used for multimedia production.

Social Networking

Twitter is such an integral part of my professional and personal life that I require several tools to keep track of it all…

An invaluable tool for finding out what people are talking about on Twitter. It searches your friends’ Twitter feeds for content they are sharing. I receive a fresh batch of popular content in my RSS reader using the site’s RSS feature.

I use this primarily for the California Watch Twitter account to schedule tweets to publish throughout the day. It works much better than a service like Twitterfeed that simply pulls from an RSS feed and makes the Twitter stream look robotic and cold.

A Firefox extension I always keep running that shows an alert when I receive new tweets.

I use TweetDeck a lot for work but when I just want to view a continuous stream of tweets that I can stare at for hours on end, I use Twitterfall.

I use LinkedIn perfunctorily the same way you accumulate a stack of business cards. I know the site has great community features, but I can’t say I ever use any of them.

The unsung hero of social networking. A great way to find new and interesting online content with people who share your interests.


Google Docs
I use Google Docs for everything, including sharing documents with colleagues and keeping track of upcoming 10,000 Words posts. I recently became especially intimate with Google Docs after using it to write my entire book.

I have a Delicious account that I use often, but do not share publicly because I use it for bookmarking both professional and personal online content.

Used for making internet calls (especially long conference calls) without running up the phone bill. Especially useful for video conferencing.

I recently upgraded to the free music player’s premium service. Listening to a continuous stream of music helps the day go by faster.

Publish date: April 14, 2010 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT