You gotta love free online tools, especially if they aren’t for mission critical items. I hesitate to use anything free for essential items, but these are pretty darn good and should definitely be tinkered with if you’ve got some elbow room:
SpyPig.com: Read receipt on steroids. Need to know if an email you sent was received (press, client, blogger, copyright violation notice, etc.)? Then use this tool. Write your email, hop over to Spypig, enter a message title, your email address, pick an image (you can create an account to upload your own – which means you can disguise the image as a social network icon) – yes they have a ‘blank’ image, copy and paste the resulting image into your email and when it’s opened (for the next 5 times – including your own opens) you’ll get a notification.
Bonus: You get IP address info and info on the client and system used to open the email so you can theoretically determine if they read the email while mobile, etc. Downside – if you are an ‘untrusted’ sender and images don’t open automatically on the recipient’s end it won’t work. This is essentially an easier version of a very old post I wrote for email tracking, with a notification option.
I’d love to see a premium version of the service that included simpler inclusion in messages (i.e. through a Chrome and Outlook add-on), more than five opens, etc.
Markup.io: Ever need to markup a webpage or site and share that info with someone else but it’s not worthwhile or too difficult (due to length) to screengrab the page? This is your tool. Simply drag a bookmarket to your toolbar, go to the site you need marked up, click it and markup the page to your heart’s content. When you’re done you’re presented with a URL you can share with colleagues. Check this sample of KnowYourMeme’s Hater’s to the Left entry.
ChangeDetection.com: Does just what you expect it to do from the name. Enter the URL, your email address, and some details on what level of change you want to monitor and once a day this lil tool will check the page and email you if there are changes. Works on Wikipedia pages as well, so if you’re monitoring (we won’t discuss editing here) a brand’s pages it’s a quick way to get notified on a daily basis if there are changes.
UseFreeSms.com: Need to send an SMS (text) message but want something more convenient than typing into your cell phone (or perhaps you have lousy reception), try this tool. Why not just use your cell? Perhaps you need to send to a bunch of people – an entire team that’s travelling or there’s been a change of meeting location? Who knows the reason, the tool is there. Just be sure to identify yourself within the body of the message.
ReminderGuru.com: Need a quick and easy way to set reminders (even recurring reminders) and want to be able to get them by SMS, Email or call? Try ReminderGuru.com. Pick your method of notification, when you want the reminder sent, what you want it to say, hit enter (or whatever the button is labeled) and you’re off to the races.
Article reprinted with persmission from PRBreakfastClub