Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My SharePoint Consultant toolbox

So, it’s been about 6 weeks since I’ve stepped into the role of full-time SharePoint consulting. In that short time I’ve already worked with several clients, and I’m definitely enjoying the variety. But juggling different clients also means that I need to keep my self organized, and to do that I use kool tech! :) So I thought I’d share some of the tools I’ve come to rely on over the past few weeks to keep this SharePoint train running like a well-oiled machine:
  • DropBox & SkyDrive
    I’m sure some of my other tools also fall into the category of cloud-based storage, but these two are the ones I like to use for on-the-go mass storage of all that good stuff I need. What makes them somewhat unique is their integration into Windows Explorer (almost like a mapped drive) so that I can drag-n-drop my files w/o thinking too much about some clunky upload interface in order to do it. Sweet.

  • Evernote & OneNote
    I get a lot of ideas (some of them are even good ones) throughout the day. Evernote and OneNote really help me capture them. One day I might even get to organize them. :) But for now I’m just happy to know that all my scraps of virtual paper are at my fingertips, waiting in the cloud for me to access via mobile, or any other Internet-connected device.

  • VirtualBox & Windows Virtual PC
    I use VM’s a lot these days, particulary to prototype solutions in the recently-RTM’d SharePoint 2010 environment. The 6-8 Gigs of RAM that my machines have, tho, are crucial to making the use of these VM’s enjoyable. With that amount of memory, I can run a VM in the background with relatively little affect on the rest of my work. Nice.

  • HTC Touch Pro 2
    Tho I haven’t blogged about the TP2 as much as I would have liked, you might be able to tell from some of my previous posts that I’m a big Windows Mobile fanatic. So my TP2 is central to my productivity. Particularly, the seamless integration of my Exchange account, and OCS instant messaging access, allow me to stay connected with the office. And having my Calendar, Tasks, and 700+ contacts at my fingertips is a big help also. But what’s particularly important for me as a consultant is my built-in turn-by-turn GPS navigation, which helps me get to client locations. And of course, the voice-activated MP3 player to listen to Stevie Wonder on the way. :)

  • 3-monitors
    On a typical day, I’ve got a bunch of stuff running on my machine at the same time. I’ve got my email client open, I’ve got my social networking apps like Tweetdeck running, I’ve got a virtual machine and/or remote desktop session(s) going, and I’ve probably got some reading material on the screen as well. So, not 1, nor 2, monitors is enough for all that. I go with a 3-monitor setup to give me plenty of space. Using the Matrox TripleHead2Go, my 3 monitors work together seamlessly, and as far as my computer’s concerned, it just thinks I’ve got one really big 3840x1024 screen to play with. This is especially useful now that Visual Studio 2010 has better multi-monitor support.

  • My SharePooch
    I’ve got a 4-year old Boxer named Kwali who also plays a roll in the SharePoint machine – he guards the house while I beef up my SharePoint 2010 capabilities. :)

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I know I’m missing something, but this is definitely some of the main tools I use in my ongoing quest for SharePoint euphoria. :) What tools do you use?

1 comment:

  1. I've been using my HTC Diamond of navigation and I tell you, it's nothing short of awesome.

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