Best SW tools tricks tips_-apmp_intl_conference_wingate_june_2010


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Best SW tools tricks tips_-apmp_intl_conference_wingate_june_2010

  1. 1. Developing Your Proposal “Green Thumb” Using the Best Software Tools, Tricks, and TipsPresented to APMP International June 2010 Beth Wingate
  2. 2. Overview• Review and demo 33 free and commercially available applications useful at many proposal stages• Online and computer-based applications• Discuss: – Type: – Vendor: – Website: – Cost: – Purposes: – Templates: – Similar tools: – Proposal phase(s): 2
  3. 3. Wordle• Type: Graphics development• Vendor: Jonathan Feinberg• Website:• Cost: Free• Purposes: – Generates “word clouds” from provided text – Gives greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in source text – See how many times particular words appear in RFP or proposal (Amy Barden – APMP-NCA Chapter)• Proposal phase(s): Graphics development, review preparation 3
  4. 4. Wordle 4
  5. 5. MindManager• Type: Mindmapping• Vendor: MindJet• Website:• Cost: – $349/person – Free 30-day trial• Purposes: – Visually organize and manage information, people and projects. – Create graphical diagrams (mind maps) starting with a central theme and adding branches with ideas, notes, images, tasks—even hyperlinks and attachments. – Improve work processes, visually document and implement best practices – Visually connect ideas and information to help save time, solve real business problems, improve business processes, and drive innovation – Brainstorm and document meeting minutes/actions• Templates: included with product• Similar tools: FreeMind, iMindMap, Inspiration, Compendium, Freeplane, XMind• Proposal phase(s): Solutioning, RFP review, storyboarding, writing, planning meetings, during meetings 5
  6. 6. MindManager 6
  7. 7. FreeMind• Type: Mindmapping• Author: Christian Foltin• Website:• Cost: Free• Purposes: – Mindmapper and easy-to-operate hierarchical editor with strong emphasis on folding – Often used for knowledge and content management (Kirste Webb, APMP President)• Similar tools: MindManager, iMindMap, Inspiration, Compendium, Freeplane, XMind• Proposal phase(s): Solutioning, RFP review, storyboarding, writing, planning meetings, during meetings 7
  8. 8. FreeMind 8
  9. 9. dtSearch (Desktop/Network)• Type: Search tool• Vendor: dtSearch• Website:• Cost: – Desktop version $199/single seat – Free 30-day desktop version trial – Network version $160/seat for 5 seats• Purposes: – Instantly search terabytes of text across a desktop, network, Internet, or Intranet site – Scrolling word list for instant feedback as you type in a search – Look-up word feature, detailing effect of fuzzy, phonic, wildcard, stemming, and thesaurus search – Browse and customize thesaurus options – Field button showing all indexed document fields – Search history display – Search reports showing hits in retrieved documents, along with requested amount of context – Clipboard options, file launching, and other tools for working with retrieved data – Exporting of search results in various data formats for easy use with other programs• Similar tools: ISYS Personal Edition, Google Desktop, Windows Search 4.0• Proposal phase(s): All 9
  10. 10. dtSearch 10
  11. 11. Dogpile• Type: Meta-search tool/meta-crawler• Vendor: Dogpile• Website:• Cost: Free• Purposes: Searches multiple search engines concurrently• Similar tools:,,,,, (searches blogs, Twitter, etc.)• Proposal phase(s): Solutioning, storyboarding, writing, graphics development, research 11
  12. 12. Dogpile 12
  13. 13. GanntProject• Type: Project manager, graphics development• Vendor: GanttProject (collaborative development effort)• Website:• Cost: Free• Purposes: – Cross-platform, open-source desktop tool for project scheduling and management – Runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX – Create work breakdown structure, draw dependencies, define milestones – Assign human resources to work on tasks, see allocation on Resource Load chart – Generate PERT chart from Gantt chart – Save charts as PNG images and generate PDF and HTML reports – Import projects from and export them to Microsoft Project formats – Export to spreadsheets with CSV – Share projects with colleagues using WebDAV• Similar tools: Dia for Windows, MS Project• Proposal phase(s): Solutioning, storyboarding, writing, graphics development 13
  14. 14. GanntProject 14
  15. 15. Dia for Windows• Type: Graphics development• Vendor: The Free Software Foundation and authors• Website:• Cost: Free• Purposes: Draw structured diagrams• Templates:• Similar tools: MS Visio, Open Office Draw, GE’s Imagination Cubed online whiteboard , MS Paint• Proposal phase(s): Solutioning, storyboarding, writing, graphics development, reviews 15
  16. 16. Dia for Windows 16
  17. 17. ColorPix• Type: Color picking utility• Vendor: Color Schemer• Website:• Cost: Free• Purposes: – Color picker grabs the pixel under your mouse and transforms it into multiple color formats (RGB, CMYK, others) – Use built-in magnifier to zoom in on screen and click on a color value to copy it directly to clipboard – Can keep ColorPix on top of other applications• Similar tools: Instant Eyedropper• Proposal phase(s): Graphics development 17
  18. 18. ColorPix 18
  19. 19. ColorSchemer/Adobe Kuler• Type: Color scheme development websites• Vendors: Color Schemer; Adobe• Websites: – –• Cost: Free online ($49 for PC copy of ColorSchemer)• Purposes: – Color picker grabs the pixel under your mouse and transforms it into multiple color formats (RGB, CMYK, others) – Use built-in magnifier to zoom in on screen and click on a color value to copy it directly to clipboard• Similar tools: Instant Eyedropper• Proposal phase(s): Graphics development 19
  20. 20. ColorSchemer/Adobe Kuler 20
  21. 21. Periodic Table ofVisualization Methods• Type: Graphics development• Vendor:• Website: – –• Cost: Free• Purposes: – e-learning tutorial on visualization for communication, engineering, and business – Focuses on visual literacy or ability to evaluate, apply, or create conceptual visual representations• Proposal phase(s): Storyboarding, graphics development 21
  22. 22. Periodic Table ofVisualization Methods 22
  23. 23. Google Earth• Type: Graphics development• Vendor: Google• Website:• Cost: Free• Purposes: – Get views of where work will be done (Kirste Webb, APMP President) – Fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to canyons in the ocean – Explore geographical content, save toured places, and share with others• Similar tools: NASA World Wind• Proposal phase(s): Solutioning, storyboard development, graphics development 23
  24. 24. Google Earth 24
  25. 25. Billion Dollar Graphics• Type: Graphics development• Vendor: Billion Dollar Graphics• Website:• Cost: Free• Purposes: – Free library of business and information visual solutions – Search for graphic solutions (sample graphics/styles online) – Save time and money when developing presentations, proposals, marketing materials, business documents, white papers, or educational materials• Similar tools: Information graphics article on Wikipedia• Proposal phase(s): Solutioning, storyboarding, graphics development 25
  26. 26. Billion Dollar Graphics 26
  27. 27. Magnifier• Type: Magnifier• Vendor: Microsoft (already on your PC)• Location: – Start Button >All Programs>Accessories>Ease of Access>Magnifier• Cost: Already on PC• Purposes: See small details in graphics and on screen• Similar tools: ZoomIt v4.1• Proposal phase(s): All 27
  28. 28. Magnifier 28
  29. 29. Snagit• Type: Screen capture utility• Vendor: TechSmith• Website:• Cost: – $49.95/person – 30-day free trial version• Purposes: – Screen capture utility – Edit and combine captures (entire screen, window, active window, region, fixed region, object, menu, web page with links, sequential captures) – Share them via favorite applications – Organize and find them again later – Grab and mark up screen shots to help guide teams through using new technology (Amy McGeady, APMP Regional Director and Wendy Frieman, APMP-NCA Chapter)• Similar tools: Snipping Tool• Proposal phase(s): Solutioning, storyboarding, writing, graphics development 29
  30. 30. Snagit 30
  31. 31. Snipping Tool• Type: Screen capture tool• Vendor: Microsoft (already on your PC)• Location: Start Button>All Programs>Accessories>Snipping Tool• Cost: Already on PC• Purposes: Capture images from screen and use in documents, presentations, user guides• Similar tools: MWSnap, Snagit• Proposal phase(s): Solutioning, storyboarding, writing, graphics development 31
  32. 32. Snipping Tool 32
  33. 33. AcroWizard 2.1• Type: Acronym manager/finder/list generator• Vendor: Anvil Logic, Inc.• Website:• Cost: $79.99/person (Free fully functional evaluation version)• Purpose: – Analyze document and build accurate table of acronyms in seconds – Find acronym definitions – Show if acronym is defined in document and defined at first use • Include this information in resulting table of acronyms• Similar tools:• Proposal phase(s): All 33
  34. 34. AcroWizard 2.1 34
  35. 35. Acronym Finder• Type: Acronym manager/finder• Vendor:• Website:• Cost: Free• Purposes: – Online tool to find out what any acronym, abbreviation, or initialism stands for – World’s largest, most comprehensive dictionary of acronyms, abbreviations, and initialisms – Combined with Acronym Attic, contains more than 4 million acronyms and abbreviations – Has more than 900,000 human-edited definitions• Similar tools: Free, DoD Dictionary• Proposal phase(s): All 35
  36. 36. Acronym Finder 36
  37. 37. Computer Desktop Encyclopedia• Type: Dictionary/encyclopedia• Vendor: Computer Language Company• Website:• Cost – $44/yearly subscription of 4 CDs (moving to $10/year web-based updates) – Free download demo version with 250 terms – $4.99 from iTunes Store for iPod Touch/iPhone• Purposes: – Straightforward definitions of all major hardware and software technologies – More than 25,000 definitions of hardware, software, IT, and consumer electronics – More than 3,000 noteworthy illustrations, photos, charts, and diagrams – Explains correct/incorrect use of terms and includes synonyms• Similar tools: Free, DoD Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Dictionary online• Proposal phase(s): All 37
  38. 38. Computer Desktop Encyclopedia 38
  39. 39. Merriam-Webster Dictionary• Type: Dictionary• Vendor: Merriam-Webster• Website:• Cost: – Free online dictionary and thesaurus – $29.95 – annual subscription to unabridged dictionary/thesaurus – $25 – hardcopy with CD to take anywhere on your computer• Purposes: – Easier than carrying heavy dictionary around – Better word choice than MS Word’s dictionary• Similar tools: Free, DoD Dictionary• Proposal phase(s): All 39
  40. 40. Merriam-Webster Dictionary 40
  41. 41. DoD Dictionary of Military Terms• Type: dictionary• Website:• Cost: Free• Purposes: – Browse DoD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms and Joint Acronyms and Abbreviations master database • Managed by Joint Doctrine Division, J-7, Joint Staff, as amended through 10/31/09 – Download PDF of JP 1-02, DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, as amended through 10/31/09• Similar tools:• Proposal phase(s): All 41
  42. 42. DoD Dictionary of Military Terms 42
  43. 43. Free Dictionary• Type: Dictionary• Website:• Cost: Free• Purposes: – Contains English dictionary, medical dictionary, legal dictionary, financial dictionary, acronym listing, idiom listing, encyclopedia, and Wikipedia encyclopedia link – Contains over 200,000 boldface terms and over 33,000 written examples – Augmented with Collins Essential English Dictionary and 30,000 illustrations, audio pronunciation feature, etymologies, abbreviations, biographical entries, and usage examples from classic works of literature – Provides translations to Spanish, French, German, and Italian—including everyday business, computing, current events, and tourism terms• Similar tools: Merriam-Webster Dictionary• Proposal phase(s): All 43
  44. 44. Free Dictionary 44
  45. 45. ABBYY PDF Transformer 3.0• Type: PDF converter• Vendor: ABBYY• Website:• Cost: – $79.99/person – 15-day/50-page free trial• Purposes: – Intuitive, versatile, multilingual tool converts any type of PDF into editable formats with original layout and formatting retained – Create PDFs directly from MS Office applications with one click – Combine multiple files from different sources into one PDF – Adjust PDF, redact sensitive information, add stamps, turn files to searchable and protected PDF documents, or turn them into PDF/A format• Similar tools: PrimoPDF Converter• Proposal phase(s): Solutioning, research, RFP review, storyboarding, writing 45
  46. 46. ABBYY PDF Transformer 3.0 46
  47. 47. PrimoPDF Converter• Type: PDF converter• Vendor: Nitro PDF, Inc.• Website:• Cost: Free• Purposes: – CNET® "Top 30,” #1 ranked "PDF Software" utility on – PDF creation utility that enables printing to PDF from virtually any Windows application – Worlds most widely-used free PDF creation tool – One-click, drag-and-drop PDF creation – Create PDF files that can be opened in any PDF viewer – Convert 300+ file types to PDF – Protect and encrypt information with strong password-based PDF security – Set PDF metadata• Similar tools: ABBYY PDF Transformer 3.0• Proposal phase(s): Solutioning, research, RFP review, storyboarding, writing 47
  48. 48. PrimoPDF Converter 48
  49. 49. Chicago Manual of Style• Type: Style manual• Vendor: The University of Chicago Press• Website:• Cost: – $35/year for a 1-year individual subscription – Free 30-day trial• Purposes: – Classic style guide for writers and editors available from any computer to answer style-related questions – 15th Edition available in book form and as subscription Web site (same content in both) – Substantial sections discussing electronic publishing, editing for online publications, and citing electronic sources – Includes chapter on grammar and usage by Bryan A. Garner (A Dictionary of Modern Usage)• Similar tools: AP StyleBook Online• Proposal phase(s): Writing, editing 49
  50. 50. Chicago Manual of Style 50
  51. 51. Google Translate• Type: Language translation• Vendor: Google• Website:• Cost: Free• Purposes: For quick, short translations to common languages (Kirste Webb, APMP President)• Similar tools: Babelfish• Proposal phase(s): Writing, editing 51
  52. 52. Google Translate 52
  53. 53. What time is it?• Type: Time zone manager• Website:• Cost: Free• Purposes: Helps determine time in another city/continent (Kirste Webb, APMP President)• Similar tools: Time Zone Converter, The World Clock• Proposal phase(s): All! 53
  54. 54. What time is it? 54
  55. 55. GoToMeeting• Type: Online collaboration Vendor:• Vendor: Citrix• Website:• Cost: – $49/month – $468/year (20% saving)• Purposes: – Online meeting solution – Hold on-the-fly or scheduled presentations, perform live demos, and collaborate on documents in real time – Participants dont need your application to view your files – Takes 2 minutes to set up and a few seconds to start a meeting – Unlimited use for same monthly fee• Similar tools: WebEx, Skype, DimDim• Proposal phase(s): Solutioning, RFP review, storyboarding, writing, planning meetings, during meetings 55
  56. 56. GoToMeeting 56
  57. 57. Skype• Type: Online collaboration• Vendor: Skype• Website:• Cost: Free• Purposes: – Free, face-to-face, internet-based communication versus using a telephone – Can show desktop – Can send text messages while talking – Requires a headset (or use computer’s built-in microphone and speakers) to talk to each other – Requires web camera to make free video calls – Secure, encrypted Skype-to-Skype (computer-to-computer) calls – Calls to standard telephone or mobile numbers are encrypted until they reach public switched telephone network (PSTN) – Easiest and cheapest way to talk to international folks. Particularly with the video conferencing – easy to read people’s facial expressions and to literally hold up pieces of paper or whiteboards to say “is this what you mean?” I find it essential when dealing with different cultures to see the people I’m talking to. A lot gets lost in translation in email or even in words over a telephone. (Colleen Jolly, APMP-NCA Secretary)• Similar tools: WebEx, GoToMeeting• Proposal phase(s): All 57
  58. 58. Skype 58
  59. 59. Philips 660 Digital Voice Tracer withDragon Naturally Speaking v10 • Type: Document dictation and speech recognition • Vendor: Phillips/Nuance • Website: lfh0660_10/prd/us/ • Cost: $140 • Purposes: – Dictate documents and notes on the move – Back in the office, plug recorder into PC, transfer file, and let Dragon NaturallySpeaking automatically transcribe dictation – 99% speech to text accuracy – 140 hours recording, 1 GB storage w/ MP3/WMA player and USB mass storage device functionality, 5 MP3 format recording modes – Alarm clock with voice play, user configured timed recording, file split, auto divide, and time stamp insertion – Voice activated recording - automatically records only when sound is detected, no wasted memory when operated hands free – Extra large screen provides at-a-glance overview and extra large speaker reproduces quality sound • Proposal phase(s): All 59
  60. 60. Philips 660 Digital Voice Tracer withDragon Naturally Speaking v10 60
  61. 61. Sony eReader/Reader Library/Overdrive Media Console• Type: eBook and software• Vendor: Sony (Sony Reader and Reader Library)• Overdrive (Overdrive Media Console)• Website: – Sony eReader: – Reader Library: – Overdrive Media Console:• Cost: – Sony eReader: $169-$399 – Reader Library: free – Overdrive Media Console: free• Purposes: Store/search RFPs in meeting, borrow reference books from library, carry favorite reference books with you (style guide, dictionary, APMP articles/body of knowledge papers)• Similar tools: Kindle, Nook• Proposal phase(s): Pre-RFP research, solutioning, storyboarding, writing, reviews, editing 61
  62. 62. Sony eReader/Reader Library/Overdrive Media Console 62
  63. 63. Morale booster• Type: Online pizza ordering!• Vendor: Papa John’s, Dominos, Pizza Hut• Website: – – –• Cost: Free (minor charge for pizzas and other items)• Purposes: – Vital tool to support the health and well-being of your proposal teams at all hours of the day and night – Also useful for providing support in home-based situations while developing proposal-based materials• Proposal phase(s): All! 63
  64. 64. Conclusion• Bonus –• Questions?• Your favorites? Beth Wingate, AM.APMP APMP International Director of Education Managing Director Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. 12202 Fox Hunter Place, Fairfax, Virginia 22030 Office: 703.266.2653 Cell: 703.638.2433 64