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We help out at an urban farm and I cannot recommend it enough as an antidote to city life or even an online life. Being around animals and nature is thoroughly grounding, even more so when you get to take those animals out to the countryside as we did yesterday.

Yep, I got up at the farmer-style time of 5am to help take the rare breed sheep to a country show where they won best of breed! It was wonderful to hang out with other farming folk, breathe in fresh air and, best of all, see Lily the lamb led around the ring by my daughter.

Back here in London I have been thinking about that ease country people seem to have as opposed to us stressed-out city types. One thing I thought I could do to bring a little of that ease into your life is find a whole bunch of useful new tools to make things easier, faster or simpler for you…

And here they are. Best thing of all, of course, is that they will cost you nada!

Let’s start with something that we all need at one point or another – a PDF editor. There are, of course, paid for options but this does as good a job:

http://www.pdfescape.com/windows/

Another essential tool is one that enables you to add calls to action to just about anything…after all, with no call to action, how do you get your prospects and customers to do what you want?

No need to worry about that because here’s that essential item:

https://www.cliclap.com/

Images are, of course, another marketing essential so it stands to reason that tools that make this part of your life easier are something else you should have in your arsenal.

So let’s make that happen with these…

First up, an excellent screenshot tool:

http://www.awesomescreenshot.com/

Then a fabulous new design tool that will turn you into a graphic and design genius with a few simple clicks:

https://www.fotojet.com/

And finally a nice tool for when you want to make a few simple changes to a pic rather than having to break out the big guns:

http://www.picstouch.com/

Quizzes are something I use a lot to boost engagement and drive traffic and leads – with Qzzr you can create, embed and share your own using the Basic option:

https://www.qzzr.com/

When it comes to creating content – or indeed anything – I use the Pomodoro technique a lot but here’s something even more motivating…an app that literally forces you to keep writing or you lose the lot (I love the name!):

http://www.themostdangerouswritingapp.com/

Social media is another essential to a marketer and measuring your reach and influence is paramount to getting it right.

You can do that for Instagram, and a whole lot more besides, with this:

http://ink361.com/

And this:

https://simplymeasured.com/freebies/instagram-analytics

While, for Facebook, this will give you an analysis and report on how your page is doing:

https://simplymeasured.com/freebies/facebook-fan-page-analytics

Other cool social media tools include:

Flare:

http://filament.io/

Gleam:

https://gleam.io/

Turning to email marketing and this will help combat the no. 1 problem for those of you mailing out – finding out whether or not your email will get blocked, canned or marked as spam.

Check before you hit send with this:

https://glockapps.com/

Your TED talk this week returns to my original topic of work-life balance or maybe just life balance…

This teaches you how to get better at the things you care about:

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