I have three great free tools to tell you about this week.

The first is a free online survey tool by Kelly McCausey and Lynette Chandler.  You can use surveys to find out more about your customers pet care habits or find out what they love or hate about your pet sitting service.  A survey is a fun idea to place on your website or in your newsletter.  You can link survey topics up with current celebration days or months.  For example January is  ”Walk Your Pet Month”.  I am sending out my online newsletter to clients this month and plan to include a survey that asks them how many times a week they walk their dog.  I’m then going to announce the results and tie in to an article about pet fitness in my next customer newsletter.  Feel free to use this idea yourself!

The link to the free online survey creator is www.easyinternetsurveys.com.  This is an online application so you don’t have to download any software. It gives you the HTML code that you can paste directly into your website, blog or ezine.

The second great free tool is a short report by Alice Seba called “3 Steps to Make Quick Work of Blogging”

This report will give you some tips so that you can fill your blog with great articles without spending hours writing your posts.  Basically, it contains tips to make your a more efficient blog and save you time.

The third tool is the Google calendar.  This is available to anyone who has a google account – which is free to sign up for – just go to www.google.com and look the top right hand corner of the page for the Sign In link.  Google calendar allows you to schedule all your events and tasks on an online calendar that you can see from any computer – and also share and let others view.  This is great if you have a business partner or a virtual assistant as you can let them know what committments you have this year.  You could also use it to plan projects and due dates.

Another great discovery that I made is that using the Google calendar you can copy over events from other peoples calendars.  There is a great listing of all the dog related events for 2009 that you can access and put on your calendar called “Days Honoring Dogs”. Once you have your calendar set up – go to the “Search Public Calendars” and type in Days Honoring Dogs and you will find this calendar. All you do then is hit the Add button to put them on your calendar. This will really help to give you some topics for blogging and for your customer ezines for the whole year!  I’ve already started using them – it’s how I found out about Walk Your Pets week.