Technology

Free tools to make your life easy and organized

I have been reconfiguring my laptop – really adding software that I can use to better organize my life. One of my main challenges is to keep my self organized. So I decided to find ways that are simple and yet powerful and accessible for organizing. When I am saying organizing, I mean the following things: – Daily to-do’s/action list – RSS feeds – Blogging – Emails. So what are the tools that I feel are the best for this. Two tools that I really like a lot are Firefox browser and Spicebird.

SPICEBIRD Lets talk of Spicebird first – it is based on MS Outlook like took from Mozilla called Thunderbird. It strength is that it is Gmail client and other pop ups + RSS reader + IM client + Calendar. Its calendar has an auto sync with the Google Calendar and the IM is basically for the gtalk. So it has a very strong connection back and forth with Google. In fact it has a main portal page where you can even embed the Google gadgets from Google’s personalized page. I find it awesome! The only issue this time was that when it wasn’t up on the desktop then all the emails in my gmail account that were received at that time somehow were not brought in when I clicked on “Get Mail”. Also, somehow the IM client did not start automatically. I know these two features have worked flawlessly before. .. so its something that I am doing wrong! FIREFOX However, I felt like looking at Firefox seriously and seeing all the Extensions I could use for my purposes. Here are some that really hit the mark! Feedly: This is News Management on Steroids! People love Google Reader because it lets you share the stuff you read with your friends without emailing it and also integrate it all with the vast Google network you have (gtalk etc). Well, one issue with Google Reader I have had is the interface.. that SUCKS! I wanted a more compact interface where I could see all my feeds and the items as well we their text. Well, Feedly is just the answer! First of all, it is based on and integrated with Google Reader. More importantly, It has a very intuitive interface – one, it puts all the categories on the top menu.. so there is a page for every category. It has the feed sources on the left and the links/text in the middle and the friends and their sharings on the right sidebar. If that weren’t enough, it also brings in the YouTube videos and Flickr pics for those categories on that page along with the feeds! When you open a feed item, it allows you to share with the rest of your Google gang, and email, or mark to read it later.. but it even allows you to Tweet it! Thats VERY powerful! ReminderFox: This is your list management add-on extension. You can have several lists along with your daily to-dos and a small calendar and pop up reminders. All this can be synced with a calendar at an ftp address if you so want. I loved this extension. Shareaholic: For someone who blogs, this is excellent! You can actually submit your blogs to various different social networks like – StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicous, facebook etc. It is very easy to keep earning more visitors for your site/blog with a small investment of time. Specially if you have signed in to those sites and your login is already “remembered” by the system, then its just a click away. DIGSBY Now comes another great tool – Digsby. It is a multi-IM client. You can send IMs through Yahoo messenger, Gtalk etc from it.. – all in one place.. but wait thats what a lot of tools do! What its greatest feature? You can get signed on to Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook Chat as well! So basically you can get all sorts of updates from all these sites AND interact with the crowd there. Additionally, you can even check your emails from Yahoo and Gmail apart from others. I think with these two tools – even if Spicebird is not working flawlessly – you can manage your life fairly well! ADDITIONAL NOTES RememberTheMilk Btw, for the to-dos I also like the Remember The Milk and you can integrate it with your Gmail in Firefox, but I will try the ReminderFox for a while and see how it works. OneNote and EverNote For daily notes taking I love the OneNote product from Microsoft Office. It is a virtual notebook where you can copy paste whatever you like.. and it is really flexible and well created. You can even record an audio and video and take notes. And if you want you can create an MS Outlook task from a line item for any day. It is a great way to organize yor life as well. The Free alternative – though not as good in these features is EverNote. What tools do you use?

Desh Kapoor

The panache of a writer is proven by the creative pen he uses to transform the most mundane topic into a thrilling story. Desh - the author, critic and analyst uses the power of his pen to create thought-provoking pieces from ordinary topics of discussion. He writes on myriad interesting themes. Read the articles to know more about his views and "drishtikone".

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