Sunday, May 4, 2008

Thing 16

Thing 16 is online productivity tools. This one is a bit harder for me. I've spent a lot of effort at developing my current productivity system. Thus, moving to another system would be extremely difficult at this point. Still, it does provide for some interesting comparisons.

Bubbl- Easy to create mind maps. You can also export them to either HTML or XML. Currently, I use VUE (Visual Understanding Environment) from Tufts Unversity (for FREE) to create mind maps. Bubbl looks interesting but not enough to get me to switch at this point. It was easy to create a map though.
Zoho Show - Online presentations. This looks pretty impressive. Note that Zoho Show is just a part of the Zoho suite. This is similar to Google Docs. Zoho Show looks more complete than Google's Presentation. Zoho also has more parts than Google currently. A similar tool is DimDim. DimDim allows for free on-line meetings. DimDim allows you to share not only a presentation, but also your desktop. I've not had an opportunity to put these to work in the "real world" yet, but both sound fascinating.
Remember the Milk - I've spent some time working with productively tools. I read David Allen's book "Getting Things Done" (commonly referred to as GTD) last summer. I've spent some time trying to find the very best way to do devices (I've gone from a Palm, to a Pocket PC to using the iPod Touch) and a variety of software tools (Things, Thinking Rock, etc) to help me keep track of things. I really can't face one more right now (this is a really busy time of year). So, I took a quick look at this. It seems to have some power, but I'm concerned about how long it took me to enter tasks (this is true of most task managers). For now, I'll stick with using Apple Mail and iCal to manage my tasks.
30 Boxes - Here is an online calendar. Again, I have lots invested in a calendar program that works for me. Thus, I registered for this and checked it out. I played around with it a bit. There are some advantages. You can share your calendar with others. This would make it easier for a busy family to keep in touch. Or, as a teacher, you could share a classroom calendar with assignments on it. For me though, I'll stick with Plaxo and Apple Mail. (Plaxo allows me to sync calendars between Mail and Outlook - and Google Calendar. That way, all of my calendars (including those on my iPod and phone) are kept up to date.)
Library Thing - (as of May 4th its' down. Thus, a review will need to come later.) My daughters use Shelfari instead of LibraryThing. Shelfari allows you to create a virtual bookshelf. It also allows you to establish groups and reading circles. However, like all social networking sites, it requires a large number of participants. I'll have to go off of my daughters' experience. They've set up a couple of groups but didn't get a lot of participants.
Knowtes - Flash card study program. The pitch sounds interesting. However, clicking on the "News" section produces an empty page. The same thing happens with the "Help" section. Not a good sign. This is a beta program. There is also a desktop version. Many of the publicly avialable "decks" (groups of flash cards) are from just a couple of people. This could be a very useful tool for students to study, especially since you could share study cards. I'll wait just a bit though. I will keep an eye on this service though.


3 comments:

arvind said...

Thanks for using Zoho and writing about it!

Arvind
http://zoho.com

RESA 23Things said...

Thanks for your thorough review and alternative suggestions. Like you, most people will have to try a few tools in each category, and then pick and stick with the one that best meets their needs.

Technoguide said...

Thanks for checking out Dimdim!

Steve, Dimdim.com