Delicious bookmarks sold

Delicious bookmarks has been sold to the founders of YouTube – make sure you follow the instructions to transfer your bookmarks before Delicious expires!

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Cool stuff

Sometimes I find the coolest stuff on the internet and I feel compelled to share!

Meet the DODOCase – a handmade case for your iPad.

Why is this so cool? It turns your electronic gadget into something that feels like a book. It keeps traditional bookbinding skills alive and it’s made in San Francisco. And they use cargo bikes for deliveries. All my favourite things coming together in a single company!

Meet the DODOs from DODOcase on Vimeo.

Cool eh!

Using Evernote

Evernote is a notebook application that you can use on your computer and ipod to keep yourself organized. Here are some of the ways I use it:

  • A cookbook to store recipes I find online
  • A place to keep my to do lists
  • A place to save maps
  • A notebook for creative writing ideas
  • A shopping list
  • A list of movies I want to see and books I want to read
  • A list of things I want to change on my website

There are lots of other ways you could use Evernote – in fact, there are endless possibilities.

What makes it so cool, is that you can search all your Evernote notebooks like you would search with Google. Just type in a search term and it will find the note you’re looking for. And you can sync your notebooks across all your computers, ipods and ipads, so your notes are available whereever you go. Let’s get started!

1. Download and install Evernote on your computer and sign up for a free account.

  1. Go to http://www.evernote.com and click the Download Now button.
  2. Click Save As and save the file to your desktop, or somewhere you can find it.
  3. Double-click the file and follow the instructions to install Evernote and sign up for a free account.

2. Create a notebook.

You can create any number of notebooks depending on how you want to organize things. A notebook is like a folder in Windows – a way of keeping similar notes together.

  1. Click File, New Notebook.
  2. Enter a name for the notebook.
  3. Select Synchronized notebook if you want the notebook to be available to you on another computer or ipod. (If you don’t select this option, the notebook is only available on the current computer.)
  4. Click Make this my default notebook. (If you don’t want this to be your default notebook, obviously don’t select this option.)
  5. Click OK.

3. Add a new note.

Any time you have an idea that you want to remember, you can create a note in Evernote and enter it. Or use a single note to keep a list of ideas. It’s up to you.

  1. Click New Note.
  2. Give the note a title.
  3. Type in the content of your note.

4. Clip a selection of text or take a screenshot.

If there’s something on your screen that you want to save, like a recipe on a website, you can select the text and save that as a note, or you can take a screenshot and save that as a note.

  1. Right-click the Evernote icon in the system tray at the bottom right of your screen. (If you don’t see the icon in the system tray, you might have to open Evernote and make sure you are logged in.)
  2. If you have selected some text to save, select Copy Selection. A new note is created in the current notebook.
  3. If you want to take a screenshot of the webpage or application, select Clip Screenshot. When the crosshairs appear, draw a frame around the part you want to save. A new note is created in the current notebook.

5. Sync your notes.

If you want your notes to be availabe on another computer or on your ipod, you can sync your notes to update them on the server.

  1. Click the Sync button. Any Synchronized notebooks are updated on the server.

6. Install the free Evernote app on your ipod.

If you have an ipod, you can sync your notebooks from the ipod back and forth with the computer, so that you always have the notes you need.

  1. On your ipod, search for the Evernote app in the App Store.
  2. Touch Free, and install the app (you need to know your iTunes password).
  3. Once you’ve installed the app, open Evernote on your ipod.
  4. Enter your username and password (the one you created when you installed Evernote on your computer).

Evernote will sync your notebooks so that you can read all your notes on the ipod/ipad.

7. Save a local copy of notes on your ipod for when you will be offline.

If you are going out and know in advance that you need a copy of a note, you can make that note a Favorite. This stores a local copy on your ipod so that you don’t have to have a wireless connection to read it. I find this particularly useful if I have to drive to someone’s house. I clip a screenshot of Google maps showing where I need to go, sync my notebook on the computer, turn on my ipod, wait for it to sync my notes, then make the map note a Favorite. Easy!

  1. Find the note and touch the Star icon.
  2. When you are offline, touch Notebooks at the bottom of the screen, then touch Favorites to see all the notes you have saved on the ipod.

8. Create a new note on the ipod.

  1. In Evernote on the ipod, click the Plus button.
  2. Give the note a title.
  3. Type in the content of your note.
  4. Touch Save.
  5. Next time you’re online, the note is automatically synced.

Try it out and let me know what you think!

Keeping up-to-date with your favorite blogs

I’m a late adopter. When new things come out, I don’t pay them much attention because I’m used to making do with what I have. When I bought a video player, everyone else was buying a DVD player (okay, not quite, but DVD players were just around the corner). And so it was with using a large screen with my computer (you want to spend $700 on a screen – are you insane? For the record, I LOVED that screen for close to 10 years). And using two screens (a client couldn’t fathom how I worked on a laptop, and so to say thanks for a project she bought me a second monitor to plug into my laptop. Yet another case of how did I live without this?) And blogs. What the heck is a blog and why do I care?

I suspect I’m not the only one to have just discovered the incredible wealth of cool stuff in the blogosphere, so if you’re a late adopter like me, here are five tips to help you make the most of your favorite blogs.

1. Remember the blog address.
I think we all start out this way. You hear that a friend is blogging, and you know the URL for their blog. You remember it, and when you have time, you go to the blog to see what’s new. The problem with this method is that you have so much to do and so many things to remember, that life gets in the way. You end up missing the good posts, the ones the blogger wrote especially with you in mind. But you can always catch up, right? As the Kiwis would say – yeah, nah. Who has the time or inclination to go back and read the ten posts since last time you looked at a blog?

2. Add the blog as a Favorite/Bookmark.
When you follow a few blogs, remembering their addresses starts to become a problem. So I’d suggest, that when you find a cool new blog, save it as a Favorite or Bookmark, or use Delicious, so that you can find it again. There is nothing more annoying than remembering that you read something fascinating, and then digging through your browser history trying to find the site again. Been there, done that!

3. Share it.
These days Sharing is all the rage. You can click the Facebook Like or Share button to share an interesting story with your Facebook friends, Tweet it, Digg it, or Stumble it. In fact, there are hundreds of tools for sharing things with your friends, but just pick a couple that you find easy to use. (There are also ways of linking your different social networking tools so that when you do share something, it is shared with all your social sites, but I think that’s a story for another post.) Look for these buttons or something similar at the bottom of posts:

Some people follow blogs this way too. You follow a Facebook fan page for a blog, and when the blogger posts links on their fan page to new posts, you can open the link to the blogpost directly from Facebook. I do this sometimes too, but for the blogs I’m more serious about I like to be more assured that I’m getting all the posts (see the next two tips).

4. Subscribe by email.
Most blogs let you subscribe by email. That means you enter your email address, and from then on, new blogposts are sent to you directly by email. This is great, because it means that you never miss the posts from your favorite blogs. And bloggers love this because it gives them some idea of who their audience is, and they can tailor their blogposts to things you might find interesting.

5. Subscribe to a feed (RSS).
When you subscribe to more than a handful of blogs, you need a better way of checking your blogs. You don’t want all those blogposts cluttering up your email Inbox, getting in the way of email that you have to answer or act on. RSS feeds (real simple syndication) provide an XML feed that can be read by a feed reader, so all your blog feeds can be read in a single place. There are lots of feed readers, but two of the common ones are Outlook and Google Reader.

If you decide to use Outlook, look in the left pane for the RSS Feeds folder. Right-click on the folder and select Add a New RSS feed. Enter the address for the RSS feed for the blog. Usually the address ends in xml or rss. (If you need help with this, give me a yell.) Each feed that you add, appears in your RSS Feeds folder. Like with your email folders, when there are new posts, the feed name is bolded, and the number of new posts appears to the right.

If you decide to use Google Reader, sign into Google, and click on the Reader link. Then you can simply click the RSS button on the blog, and select Google, then Google Reader. You can sort the blogs into categories to make it easy to find your cooking blogs, your craft blogs, or your cycling blogs. But the best feature, is that if you click All Items, you can see the latest posts from all the blogs, in the order that they were posted. This makes it easy to scan through your blogs every day and see if any grab your attention. Or you can use a Google gadget on your iGoogle home page (if you happen to be a fan of iGoogle, which I am), so then you can see the 5 or 10 newest posts right there on your home page. I love this, because you can tell at a glance if there’s anything new. Here’s what my Google Reader gadget looks like:

Google Reader is like an Inbox for blogs, so like with your email, it’s good to check it every day to see what’s happening in the blogosphere.

There are hundreds of ways of managing the blogs you read. These are just a few to get you started. Let me know if you find another tool that works better for you. I’m trying to change my late adopter ways!

Urban dictionary or translator app?

I started using Twitter recently. In case you missed the revolution, Twitter is a micro-blogging platform. What that means is that you can send messages of 140 characters to other Twitter users. Messages are short, sweet, and often bewildering.

The idea is to “follow” a bunch of interesting people to hear what they have to say. It’s a bit like status updates in Facebook, except that you can follow thousands of people, and there is no need to know any of them personally. Where Facebook is for following friends, Twitter is for following celebrities (although with Facebook fan pages that’s not really true anymore). But perhaps I’m being too cynical. You can also use Twitter to connect with communities of people who share your interests.

I’m not a huge fan, yet. Things happen too quickly and I don’t understand the language, as you’ll see.

Today I was looking at the statistics for my professional blog. I noticed that someone had shared a link to one of my posts on Twitter. Curious to see who tweeted it and why (this is a rare but exciting occurrence for a new blogger), I searched Twitter, and I found the tweet. Very cool! I thought. And then I read the tweet. “Mooie review…” followed by a bunch of hashtags (which are like keywords) and a link to my post.

Mooie? What the heck does that mean? So I googled it. And the Urban Dictionary offered me three definitions. Go ahead, go read them – I’ll wait.

I was a little bummed. Obviously my post was absolute rubbish, and now the whole world knew.

But I kept wondering, why would someone tweet a link to my post just to announce that it was awful? So I dug a little deeper. I looked up the guy’s Twitter profile and read a few of his other tweets. Some of them were in another language…Dutch.

Mooie in Dutch is NICE!

I think next time I’ll use the translator app first.