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Hootsuite/Permute/Ask Nature

If you’re enjoying Recomendo, check out our other Cool Tools Lab newsletters: What’s in my bag?, Book


August 30 · Issue #216 · View online
A weekly newsletter that gives you 6 brief personal recommendations of cool stuff. Check out our new book Recomendo: The Expanded Edition @

If you’re enjoying Recomendo, check out our other Cool Tools Lab newsletters: What’s in my bag?, Book Freak and Gareth’s Tips, Tools, and Shop Tales

Social publishing center
I publish the same material on different social media platforms from my computer using a web-based app called Hootsuite.  With Hootsuite I can pre-schedule material ahead of time. I can post images from my camera on Instagram, which otherwise is hard to do. I get analytics, respond, and manage Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, etc, all from one dashboard. There is a limited free version but I pay for the basic $30/month small business version. — KK
Easy file format conversion
Permute is a Macintosh desktop app that converts video, audio, and image files from one format to another. It’s versatile and has not failed me yet. I was able to use it to convert a video that was terribly jittery that no other application could fix, but Permute converted it to an mp4 and it came out perfect. It costs $15 from the developer and it also comes with Setapp’s large library of applications available by subscription for $10 a month, which is how I found it. You can try Setapp for 7 days for free. — MF
Learn from Nature is a free online tool where you can search thousands of nature’s solutions to various challenges. Like how a decentralized society helps ants to recover from a food shortage or how maple tree seeds twirl in a tornado-like vortex to increase the reach of where their seeds are planted. You can also discover nature-inspired ideas like this design for a thermos inspired by polar bear fur. Just ten minutes a day exploring this website will get you thinking differently. — CD
Fire TV Stick 4K
I bought the original Fire TV stick when it first came out a few years ago. When the HD version with a voice-activated remote control came out a couple of years later, I bought that and I appreciated the extra speak and talk-to-search feature. Amazon recently released the Fire TV Stick 4K. The remote comes with volume controls and an on-off button for the TV so I don’t need to use the TV remote anymore. It’s also much faster than the previous versions of the Fire TV stick. It’s a worthy upgrade. — MF
Funny watchable
Ronnie Chieng makes me laugh. Might be because most of my relatives are Asian American, but I think his humor is much broader than that. You can catch him on Netflix’s stand-up special Ronnie Chieng: Asian Comedian Destroys America. — KK
.new shortcuts
Google’s .new domains are exclusively reserved for action-based shortcuts, like for creating a new Google Doc. And now there’s a growing list of companies who have created easy-to-remember shortcuts for things you might already do. Like “” to create a new post on Medium or “” to create a new listing on eBay. For the up-to-date list check out this page. — CD

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