As storytellers go, I have a large "inner geek." I love good tools. The websites, services, software programs and equipment listed below are all ones I use as part of my work (and, hey, a good tool is fun, too).
Some of them took me a long time to discover. I pass them on to you!
iShowUlets me record what's on my computer. It gives flawless video and audio of what I do and say. This is perfect for creating instructional video! I love its reliability, ease, and speed! The New Zealand coder provides stunning support. Plus, at just $20 it's very reasonably priced. View the 30-second video or download the free demo or and try it for yourself. (For Macs only; sorry, Windows users.)
Moodle is the program I use for my online courses. It's open-source (free to use!), expandable, scalable, and reliable. Using it has changed my life; I now can offer interactive instruction online, easily and dependably. (This is a program that sits on your web server, not on your local computer. So it doesn't matter if you have a Mac or a Windows-based computer.)
I use BBEdit as one of my primary programs for coding the pages in this web site - as well as for writing. It's fast, slim, and reliable. Click on the logo for more information.
I only use Microsoft Word at the stage where I need to format a document for printing. For writing my first drafts of anything, I love the speed and straight-forwardness of BBEdit. (For Macs only; sorry, Windows users.)
I make and sell access to recordings of my storytelling and marketing instructions. As part of that, I record myself on the phone, in performance, and alone in my office. So audio equipment is never far from me.
For an overview of the state of the art in recording equipment for storytellers, see my free video.
Some audio equipment is so useful that I even offer a course for non-techies in how to use it. As a service for those who sign up for that course, I will even buy your choice of equipment for you and ship it to you. The following links are for those who may want to buy this equipment directly.
The AKG c520 head-worn microphone. This mic has great sound, especially in the lower frequencies. Because it's head-worn, it's close to your mouth and ignores most sounds around you. You know, like the dog barking in the neighbor's yard or the sound of distant traffic. (Sorry, the dog barking in your office or the truck just outside your window will be picked up by any microphone!)
Sennheiser 280Pro headphones. These headphones give clear sound. Best of all, they cut out the sound around you. There are even better headphones out there, but none that give such good isolation at this price.
The Radio Shack telephone adapter. This $25 "Wireless Phone Recording Controller" plugs between your telephone headset and your phone. It includes a separate wire that will plug into a recorder, thus allowing you to record your phone calls. This works with any telephone that has a headset jack, even with a cordless or cell phone.