Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tip sheet

My favorite list-minder, Sandy, is going out of business in a couple of weeks. While I hunt for a new to-do solution, I thought I'd share with you my go-to list of handy productivity sites.
  • I've just joined Zenbe, a site that allows you to create pages for projects with a shared calendar, task list, relevant tagged mail, links, and discussion. My office is hoping to use it to keep track of progress on various yearly events which have elements spread out among many staff members. Personally, I like having my Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail Talk interfaces always available in the same sidebar while I work. And the Favorites e-mail view, which shows conversations only involving those people you identify as top priority, is a nice way to quickly hone in on the mail that's relevant to particular initiatives.
  • While I've never used much else from the Backpack suite, I couldn't live without Writeboards. Nothing else makes collaborative writing as intuitive.
  • Thanks to a Ravelry thread, I discovered the PocketMod, a little customizable notebook that prints out on a single sheet of paper and folds to give you eight pages. If you need portable notation space on individual projects, this is the answer. You can add music staff paper, grids, lined paper, calendar pages, to-do lists and much more. I put one inside every knitting project to keep track of progress, make notes on problems or modifications, and even sketch charts.
  • Skitch is the screen capture and photo uploading software I've been waiting for. Take a screen snapshot or use photos from your iPhoto, then add annotations. Get an embeddable URL in one step. It's no-fuss image-making.
  • And for my personal (as opposed to project) to-do lists, I'm trying out the venerable Remember The Milk. I like having lots of ways to add items to my list; I typically send e-mails to add tasks right in the Gmail conversation about the project, and I also like to send them as tweets. RTM isn't as chirpy as Sandy was, which I find I kind of miss, but it provides similar task lists embedded into Google Calendar and as a gadget in the left sidebar of Gmail, and I'll add its calendar to my Zenbe agenda. Believe me, I need all the reminders I can get.
What websites make you more efficient and better organized?

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