I’m often asked which tools simplify my life as a private investigator. The top three on my list are:
- Truthful witnesses
- Forthcoming clients
- PayPal for Business
Aside from that:
Evernote – I scan and save important documents and things I may want to refer to later when browsing the web.
Bitly – I share links on social media, in emails and when writing reports dozens of times daily. Bitly helps me shorten those long, ugly links. I also have a cool branded link for my business if that is interesting for you.
Zapier – This helps me automate tasks between web apps. So if I put a new client into QuickBooks, Zapier automatically adds their contact details into my client newsletter in MailChimp or WordPress. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Social Media and Content Marketing
Constant Contact – With Constant Contact, you can schedule, publish and analyze all your social media posts in one place.
Canva – I use Canva to create images for social media, blog posts and just about anything else. It can instantly turn you into an amateur graphic designer.
Feedly – Add your favorite blogs and websites to start filling up your feed with content that rocks.
Google Analytics – Easily track site traffic and visitor behavior to see how your content is performing.
Dropbox – Dropbox has become synonymous with online file sharing, and for a good reason.
QuickBooks Online – We switched from QuickBooks to QuickBooks Online about four years ago, and have not looked back. It’s become better and better every year.
Google Docs – I use Google Apps for Work and Google Docs to collaborate with other investigators on documents. It’s the best collaborator that I have worked with for things like word processing documents and spreadsheets.
Microsoft Office 365 – Even though I am huge fan of Google Docs, I still use Microsoft Office to write reports. In part, because Google Docs does not have all of the advanced formatting options that Microsoft Word does.
LastPass – With access to hundreds of databases and websites, it’s not easy keeping track of passwords. But LastPass stores difficult-to-crack, encrypted passwords in the cloud that can be used on multiple platforms.
Google Authenticator – I am a huge proponent of two-factor authentication, which protects your accounts with a second form of authentication by adding an extra layer of security to your account. Google Authenticator protects your account with both your password and your phone, by providing a “secret” code so that nobody can get in.
StrongVPN – A VPN secures your computer’s internet connection to guarantee that all of the data you’re sending and receiving is encrypted and secured from prying eyes. I have been using StrongVPN for several years without a glitch, primarily because it allows me to have a static IP, but there are a number of great services out there.
Website Hosting / WordPress Theme
Synthesis – I used a number of different web hosts for the first few years until I came across Synthesis. It’s probably not the cheapest service out there, but it’s reliable and fast, and the support is great.
StudioPress Themes for WordPress – If you like the way this website looks, then you need to have a WordPress site from StudioPress. These are the best WordPress themes out there.
ProofreadNOW.com – I can write like the wind, but I am no grammarian. I leave that up to ProofreadNOW.com. For a nominal fee, they will have professional proofreaders make sure that every blog post I write has every “t” crossed and every “i” dotted.
BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.
As always, stay safe.