12 More useful online tools for journalists

In a continuation of 12 Useful online tools for journalists, here are 12 more tools for getting the job done.

Computer-free podcasting

Who needs thousand of dollars in equipment (okay maybe hundreds) to record a podcast, when Gcast lets anyone record a podcast by calling a toll-free number on their phone? The recording isn’t exactly broadcast quality, but it is useful for recording in the field.

Listen and Write
Improve note-taking

In the last post, Learn2Type was suggested as a means of improving typing skills. Well once you have the keyboard mastered, it’s time to visit Learn and Write and practice recording skills while listening to actual news stories.

Find out what’s going on

Wikirage lists the pages in Wikipedia that are receiving the most edits per unique editor over various periods of time, according to the site. This means journalists can find out what’s popular (or controversial) on the web and the world without leaving our cubicles.

Urban Dictionary
Speak the lingo

Language changes all the time and if you’re covering teens and preteens, or just very cool adults, Urban Dictionary will help in translating those unheard of words. The dictionary was especially useful in helping a former editor understand the word homothug and whether it should be used in print.

Compare data

Tech savvy journalists love a good Excel spreadsheet, but if more of us use Tablefly, a useful tool for comparing one or more things to each other, then Excel may go the way of the dinosaur.

Manage appointments

The free service makes it easy to juggle multiple appointments with sources, editors or whomever, by sending alerts directly to you by email, phone or text. The site can also send traffic and weather alerts, baseball scores and gas prices, or updates about your favorite websites.

Video distributor

Journalism is all about getting as many eyes on a story as possible. Hey!Spread makes it easier with their tool for distributing video to almost 20 different video hosts, including YouTube, Google Video and DailyMotion. P.S. It’s not free.

Block out distractions

Newsrooms can be a noisy, raucous affair that makes it difficult to concentrate when writing a story. The white noise generator from SimplyNoise will block out your surroundings with just a slide of a little orb.

Find sounds (yes, it’s that simple)

Producers, especially those in radio and multimedia, will appreciate this online search tool for finding all the booms, clicks, bangs and dings that make audio projects sing.

Stay in touch with the world

Eufeeds is a one-stop shop for finding out what newspapers around the world are reporting. Its front page can be used for quick scanning and reference or click one of the almost 30 countries to read several of its newspapers at once.

The Alphabetizer
Sort your lists

The aptly named Alphabetizer takes any lists and sorts in alphabetically in just a few seconds.

Time and Date
Distance calculator

Journalists, present company included, love to say this place is about X miles from this place. Instead of pulling out a ruler and map, use Time and Date’s distance calculator to get a more accurate number. The calculator came in handy in this post when determining the distance between England and Israel.

And one bonus tool:

Tell Zell
Resignation form creator

For our colleagues at Tribune Co. properties, including the Los Angeles Times, this handy form will let you craft your resignation letter with just a few drop down menus. This would be hilarious if the situation wasn’t so dire.