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BrainDumping July 17, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Collaboration, Lists, Mobile, Personal, Uncategorized.
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Sometimes you just need to capture a thought in your head or else it’ll be gone forever. There are many ways to record these ideas or brainstorms, but none of them truly take full advantage of the social media and social networking benefits available today. Sure, there are many good mindmapping tools online but none of them work well with mobile devices which is critical when it comes to capturing thoughts wherever and whenever you have them. The process needs to be quick and easy too. Here are some mobile methods for handling your braindumping on the go.

Wridea has just released 2.0 after two long years in Beta. It was previously reveiwed here in the Best Checklist Sites. Judging from my initial experiences with the new look and feel of Wridea’s totally overhauled GUI, I have to admit that it is much improved.
Here are some of the key new features:

  • Full API support for integrating Wridea with third party projects, systems, websites, desktop and mobile applications
  • New user interface for faster idea management
  • Improved idea collaboration with friends or other Wridea users
  • RSS feeds of your idea pages and idea comments
  • Better friend management
  • Expandability with Idea Tools

The best feature of Wridea is the ability to send your ideas to your account via your own email address. The format of the email is Idea_username@wridea.com so it’s easy to remember. Just add the entry to your cell phone’s address book and you will be able to capture your thoughts and ideas anytime, anywhere straight to your wridea account. You can share these entries and collaborate if you want but mostly I think it’s best suited for braindumping.

Here are a couple of screencasts of the new and much improved Wridea.
What is Wridea?
What are the best new features of Wridea 2.0?

Jott is an excellent service to use for capturing your ideas thru your cell phone. Unlike Wridea which does this thru the use of a personalized email address that posts to your online account, Jott accomplishes this in a unique manner via your own phone number. Once you call Jott it asks “Who do you want to Jott?” and you simply reply with “Me” to capture thoughts and ideas to your account. The nice thing about this is that Jott also transcribes your audio message to text and emails it to you so it can be copied and pasted as you wish. The accuracy isn’t that bad but it isn’t 100% either so you must double-check every time. Here’s a visual explanation. Here’s a list of all the tricks you can do with Jott on your cell phone.

Zoho Planner also allows you to send thoughts and ideas to your online account via your own unique email address. You can then turn those notes into to do items, appointments on your calendar or add them as notes to your planner. While the functions work and come in handy, the interface is gludgy and not very user-friendly.

Remember The Milk is mostly for tracking tasks and appointments but you can very well use it to manage your thoughts and ideas because it also provides you with your own email address. So, you can use your cell phone to send any idea you had right to your RTM account. Another perk is the way that RTM integrates seamlessly with GMail (thanks to Firefox)! Here’s a video of how that looks. Here’s a tour of what it can do.

Utterz is like a hybrid of Twitter + Seesmic + Tumbler + Jott. It has some new features that allow you to send ideas privately to your utterz account via email (the format is very easy to remember, username@utterz.com). You can record private audio messages on your cell phone and send them to yourself privately to play back later on or make public and embed on your website or in the utterz public timeline.

Final Thoughts on Thought Capturing
Look for this space to continue to catch on fire thanks to the ever increasing popularity of social networking and mobile devices like the iPhone, Blackberry and many others. It will become increasingly easier to capture and share whatever we want, even those thoughts that used to vanish into thin air.

43 People Places and Things March 30, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Lists.
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1 comment so far

The following three sites are excellent ways to help you accomplish your goals of meeting the people you most want to meet, places you want to visit and things you want to accomplish in life. The best part of these services is the social network aspect which allows you to communicate with those people who have the same goals you have. You can also learn valuable lessons from those members who’ve already accomplished the goals you’re trying to achieve. Why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from the mistakes of your predicessors?

43 People is for tracking the people you most want to meet in life. They can be celebrities which is the most popular type of person for members. However, your list can include more realistic and perhaps enjoyable types such as people from your industry or profession. They can be fellow bloggers or members from twitter or social networks. It can be strictly business or personal or a combination of both. 43People can actually help you accomplish your goals by letting you learn how others managed to meet the very same people you want to meet.

43 Places is the same concept as 43 People but for places you want to visit. It’s also a great place to learn more about those places by reading the experiences others have had while visiting those places. You might even become interested in visiting new places after reading these reviews. It’s a good way to learn the best do’s and don’ts about places and cultures and could save you much embarrassment as well as time and expense.

43 Things is my favorite of the bunch. It actually started it all by allowing members to track all of the things that they want to accomplish/experience in life. The same principle of learning from the experiences of others applies in this case. Learn how to accomplish your goal as well as learn about any hurdles or obsticles.

Final Thoughts:

Personally, I wish they would merge all three sites into one service. Still, I think all three serve a good purpose and do it simply and quickly. If nothing else, it’s a great way to brainstorm and come up with a shortlist of the people you want to meet, places to visit and things to accomplish.

Best Wishlist Websites November 28, 2007

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Lists.
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There seems to be new wishlist websites every day! Here are the best that I’ve tried.

www.wishpot.com is my favorite these days. It has the most modern web 2.0 look n’ feel and social networking features like sharing lists. Another strong feature is the ability to send ideas for gifts from your cell phone right to your wishpot account!

www.wists.com is another strong newcomer. It has nice options to embed your wishlists on your blog or website.

www.boxedup.com is yet another hot new kid on the block. Their real-time listing of new items added to wishlists is unique but is it useful? Their widgits are very good. The ability to show what you already bought and own is nice for youngsters who want to show off their stuff.

www.giftboxhome.com is similar to boxed up. Easiest to use. Not as slick interface as the other newcomers.

www.MyThings.com is also new. Its unique feature is the ability to get ratings/feedback from others for any gift ideas you have.

www.MyITThings.com is not to be confused by MyThings.com. It offers some nice widgits to show off your lists.

www.wishlist.com has been around the longest and excellent when it comes to lists but it suffers from ugly outdated interface.

www.thingsIWant.com is another grand-daddy that shows its age with a hideous design. I do like their concept of being able to add any item you are viewing on any website straight to your wishlist, but the catch is to install their toolbar link.

Summation: There are still a lot of features missing from the wishlist services offered up here. Some do things nicely while others don’t. Wishpot and wists need to merge, perhaps? 🙂 Amazon invented the category with a powerful wishlist feature but it is limited to its store, of course. We need a similar service for ALL websites. Perhaps all vendors can agree on a standard wishlist option and add a single Add to Wishlist button.

Best Wedding Sites November 25, 2007

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Lists.
1 comment so far

A friend of mine is getting hitched so I started compiling the best wedding websites around today. There is a slew of new ones every day too!

Here are the best ones that I’ve seen thus far.

www.TheKnot.com is one of the first sites for weddings. Does most of what you need. Great free tools such as to do lists.

www.weddingwire.com is a newcomer that rivals The Knot with features.

www.nearlyweds.com is yet another new kid on the block with web 2.0 features including a blog and website.

http://ourweddingday.com offers an impressive amount of features. Includes free website.

http://weddingcontrol.com does not have a great interface. Mostly manages the guest list.

www.seeyouthen.com (coming soon) Mostly for sharing everyone’s photos from wedding and reception.

www.bestweddingsites.com lists a ton of wedding resources.

Summation: The ultimate wedding website should allow the happy couple to manage every aspect of their magical day. Not only that, it should allow them to continue running their website as a family website instead of just their wedding website. The key would be to build it upon google’s OpenSocial which would allow you to pick the web parts/services you want from other services such as photo’s from your Flickr account or music from ILike or videos from YouTube, etc. etc.

Best Checklist Sites November 21, 2007

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Lists.
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Seems as if the web is a breeding ground for AR (Anal Retentive) types judging by the amount of new websites that keep popping up for tracking lists. They range from the very basic to do lists (TaDalist.com) all the way to the other extreme into full blown online organizers (Zoho Planner). There is something for everyone in between from this list of list makers.

Voo2Do Does things differently than the rest in this group. They allow you to link tasks to projects and tracks tasks by due date, priority and time estimates. It has good collaboration feature and nice interface. 

www.RememberTheMilk.com Task lists that you can email to and share with others.

www.TadaList.com Very fast AJAX to do list keeper. Simple but powerful.

www.listigator.com offers unique ability to turn lists into RSS feeds! You can share any list as well.

http://planner.zoho.com ok…zoho planner is not just a list maker but a full blown online organizer ala outlook. However, I include it here because it has a powerful list maker in the notes section. What I like best about zoho is that it lets you send thoughts and ideas from your cell phone straight to your online planner! Just type note: or todo: in the subject line and give it a title and whatever you want in the body of the email and it all gets entered in your planner in the notes or to do section!

www.worst3.com Mostly just for laughs, you can share lists of the best3 and worst3 things you can think of.

http://seekler.com mostly just displays lists of people’s favorite things.

www.wridea.com Also offers RSS feeds and sharable lists.

www.43things.com lets you lists your goals in life and connects you to others who have either already achieved those goals or who are also currently pursuing the same goals.

www.43people.com Another sibling site to 43things only geared towards…yup..you guessed it…for people you want to meet instead of things to do.

It is a unique concept that can actually help you make your dreams come true, big it or small. Eventually, you can become the mentor for someone else who wants to achieve the goal or dream you achieved.

www.43places.com the natural sibling site to 43things only geared towards…yup..you guessed it…for places you want to go instead of things to do.