Your office documents are in your official mail, your personal documents on Gmail, your official photos on Picassa Web album, your personal photos on your Flicker Account, your professional contacts on LinkedIn and your personal contacts on Facebook. Grappling with your online existence? Or is there a way to organise it better.
It is a bit like the sweet tooth syndrome. There is a sweet new service online, one that puts you in the seat as the content creator; one that's hard to resist. Simply because everyone you know is on it, or wants to get on it. Or maybe you want to be the first in your peer group to be on, say, Foursquare network or be the first to flaunt Layar augmented reality.
The truth is in less than three or four years into your active online existence, there is a good chance that you have already lost track of things. Things that are critical to your online experiences — contacts, bookmarks, documents, images … just like the way some of us misplace our purse, keys and all those items so essential to our everyday life.
So, are there ways to get your self better organised online with simple tools that work? I, for one, cannot even find my coffee mug on my desk before the piping hot filter coffee turns into a bitter, cold kashaayam. In the interest of similar people, I scouted for some of the better information management solutions online. With cloud computing having gained widespread acceptance, I was surprised at some of the options already available for online data management.
Evernote: One of the more popular note-taking software around, Evernote has become a chart-topper in almost all software review fora for the simplicity and depth it allows. You can take text notes, audio notes, clip web pages while browsing (plugins available for internet browsers) and even click a photo and post a note to it. Evernote is one of the top downloads both on mobile and PC platforms.
The free version though has a cap on the amount of files you can upload in a month. It is restricted to 40 MB whereas the premium version allows 500 MB of uploads a month. There are also some restrictions on the number of audio notes and high-definition images you can upload for free in a month. But despite this, it is a very handy service worth trying out and getting used to. More so now because Livescribe, a digital smart pen that could well be on every tech enthusiast's wish list soon, has offered support for Evernote. The possibilities are quite honestly innumerable. Just check the YouTube video on Livescribe.
Dropbox: Another interesting service that may not offer the level and depth of Evernote but is extremely handy is the Dropbox. It is, as explained by the company's YouTube promotional video, like a magic purse. You just drop all your files into it and rest assured that it is safe residing in the cloud computing servers, for you to download later at your convenience in any device of your choice. It offers up to 2 GB free storage and one could even host a small website entirely out of the Dropbox server.
Delicious: Though the previous two services are relatively new, for my selection of bookmarks manager, I would still recommend the old faithful. One of the first full-fledged bookmarks manager on the cloud, Delicious scores with its simplicity. Get to store all your favourite websites and online resources on the cloud, so that you can access them from anywhere. Very handy for people who constantly make presentations. The delicious plug-in is available for all the browsers, though the functionalities are not fully available on some. My preferred browser is the Mozilla Firefox 3.6 and this works like a shot. Also do note that ‘Xnote' is another highly recommended bookmarks manager. But the thing about bookmarks service is, once you are in, just stick with one service. Better that way.
Nimbuzz: There are plenty of services that let you connect to multiple IM services under one roof. Nimbuzz is one of the many that has generated positive hype among smartphone users. With one secure login via Nimbuzz, users can chat with friends across all popular IM services. The recent additions include Facebook Connect. Nimbuzz also allows users to make free VoIP calls (thought the data usage charges still apply). Other notable mentions for similar services include Meebo.
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