With so many tools available to manage time, money and ideas, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.  And these are the resources that are supposed to keep you from getting overwhelmed in the first place!

Recently, I’ve found myself making the same suggestions over and over again.  Here are three terrific (and FREE!) tools you should be using.

Doodle

This online tool allows you to schedule events at times that work for your participants. Suggest times in a quick poll format and your participants indicate their availability.  Select the best time from the survey and notify your guests. Create Doodles through your internet browser or check out the new Doodle Apps for iPhone and iPad users. Optional registration provides access to additional features.

SurveyMonkey

What would you like to know? If you need to gather information quickly and easily from a group of people with access to the internet, SurveyMonkey is a great way to go.  After completing a free registration, you can create surveys, request, receive and analyze results.  There are even templates and question banks to get you started.  Send the link to your survey via e-mail, embed it in your website or post to Facebook.  I’ve found this tool easy and effective for a variety of tasks, from collecting training satisfaction feedback across an organization to planning Christmas dinner with my family (no joke!). Additional features available with paid upgrade.

Wordle

Ah, Wordle! This self-proclaimed “toy” provides a fun spin on any text, by generating “word clouds” to highlight key words. Customize the color scheme, layout and max number of words to be included. Or just keeping hitting the Random button until you get something you like. Great for the visual learners among us. No registration required!

Wordle

The Wordle effect on this blog post.

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