Alright so I’ve been playing around with a lot of cool stuff lately and I just wanted to fill you in on some cool programs you should all definitely check out. Some apps you may know, some, not. Some items in this post have to do with GTD (Getting Things Done). I’ve been doing a lot of reading about it from the hipster PDA to the best note taking tools, and my copy of GTD by David Allen FINALLY came from Amazon after I had to reorder it, so I’m reading that too. Needless to say, I’ve been a little gung-ho about this whole GTD thing. Anyways, all of these programs here could be called utilities and thus be said help you get things done in some sense- so check it out:
New to me Today
Ok, first off, Jott is pretty sweet to start. It’s basically a free call in memo service, but it goes a step further. Not only can you call a free 800 number (technically 866) and leave a voicemail for you to listen to later, it transcribes the message and sends it to your inbox, or your friends inbox, or a group of inboxes. And with the help of an OmniFocus mail actions script edited by Dr. Drang, you can go straight from Jott to OF. (See the bottom of this post for the file). It’s got enough to it, that, if you so choose, you can use it as a action management too all by itself.
Now just image all those late night drunk dials to your buddies voicemail. What if instead you Jott’d them. Not only would you have a sweet message to listen to later (the audio from all memos is also archived for you to listen to, incase the transcription is wrong or jumbled) but you could also be slightly amused by what a computer thinks you are trying to say when your too sloshed to talk straight. As an added bonus, if it’s brilliant enough, you can choose to share the memo (audio/transcription) as a public link from Jott! Marvelous!
UPDATE: Unfortunately/Fortunately, Jott is out of beta now- so although the basic phone jotting is still supported for free, to get the notes transcribed and sent to your email now only comes as part of a paid membership.
So, I haven’t extensively tested evernote yet, but just by watching the video, I’m hooked. I’m most curious however about the OCR technology present in the software, that evidently can index text from images for search purposes, even handwriting. Like I said, I haven’t given it a full hands on go yet, but I’m sure to soon and I’ll let you know- for now though, take a look at the Youtube vid of it in action.
I’m also really digging the OS integration with comp to web synchronization. Especially the phone camera to evernote capture. I’m a big fan of none phone app phone functions, like updating twitter from your phone, Twitpic, Jott and Text to Omnifocus by texting to [email]+omnifocus@[isp.com].
Stuff I’ve been using
Now Dropbox is really cool. I found out about it from, I think Mashable, a long time ago when they promoted DB as the next big thing. All the link took me to was getdropbox.com with a simple movie and a beta sign up. I signed up for the beta, but forgot to bookmark the page, then for some reason could never remember what it was called and always ended up on box.net, which I knew was not it. Then I felt stupid every time I tried to tell people about it but couldn’t…(It would always go… “oh yea this online thing with windows and mac client thats like iDisk and media fire but better, some kids from MIT… yada yada…no, I forget what its called… :(“) Until about 2.5-3 weeks ago when I got a glorious letter to my inbox. It was an invite to the beta of DropBox. I recognized the name immediately and had a little Eureka moment. Needless to say, DropBox is pretty dope.
- Two gigs of space
- seemless integration with os x, including right click options and task bar icons- Dropbox shows up and behaves exactly like a regular folder system on my comp
- Great web side application and menus
- Version tracking and folder invites, plus a public folder with sharing links (no more need for mediafire, yousendit, zshare or the dreaded SendSpace, ew.) [However, Mediafire will still be my top choice for the quick and dirty stuff when I'm on a borrowed computer and don't want to bother logging into DropBox for some reason....which probably won't happen]
- Image management/editing, which, I have not tested first hand but looks sweet in the video
- Version management/backup which is like built in, automatic Apple “Time Machine”
- Smart updating which only changes the delta of the file, not overwrite the entire file- very quick and saves bandwidth
- Virtual shared folders for that act like network shared folders when two people have dropbox
Just watch the video for the full taste. But I do suggest you sign up for the beta and try it out. It’s sweet.
@DropBox, just watch your back with that “just works” stuff. You might earn yourself an email from Mr. Jobs legal staff.
Imagine replacing your iDisk, Mediafire, Flashdrive and Shared folder with one application/web solution. Get things done quicker with less mess. Word.
- After signing up for the beta then chickening out and not doing anything with it because I was really skeptical with entering every last digit of all my account numbers, financial passwords and etc into a brand new beta web app. So I waited it out a few months for some giant news break about an internet startup found committing identity theft and financial fraud on a mass scale. This never happened, in fact, some blogs started raving about Mint, so I finally sat down and got “Minty” by setting up my accounts. I gotta say, it’s pretty sweet. It’s helped me visualize and better track my spending. It also saves me a ton of time by allowing me to see all my info at once instead of opening 4 tabs, each with my different bank statement open and logged in on. Additionally, I’m in love because it allows you to send custom alerts and statements to your email. Now, this seems pretty standard, but since Bank Of America has always and STILL lacks the most elementary alert of sending me a daily balance of my credit card statement (it will do your checking account, but cannot do your credit card), the fact that I could now do this (and more) with a free web app makes me smile. I don’t hve to waste time in a browser logging into BoA.com with the multiple password, security checks, instead I just look in my inbox. The way it makes money, I’m assuming, is through the “Ways to Save” tab, where it analyzes your spending habits and financial situation and recommends things you can change to save money. Like switching to a CitiBank Credit Card with 10.49% APR and a better points reward system instead of my BoA card with the 30.9% APR (I never carry a balance, so I don’t care). It’s definitely a nifty and useful tool. Certainly worth checking out. As a bonus, it’s pretty and nicely designed. Check out the demo video.
Just out of Beta
Recently out of beta (at least there no more mention of beta on the site) is CurdBee. I’ve been playing around with Curdbee but haven’t really gotten a chance to use it because I’m already pretty good with my Excel/OmniFocus method, but it could use improvement, so when I get a chance to actually use it, I’ll let you know. In the meantime, if you’re in need of a cool FREE online invoicing system- take a peek!
Well that’s all for now. I’ll continue to keep updating as more becomes available, new features arrive and new sweet betas surface. Until next time
The file I promised…
Looking for the compiled version of Dr. Drang’s script- look no further, I removed all those pesky line number and compiled it for you here- get it from my DropBox public link: http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/68778/jottactions.scpt