on Monday, July 22, 2013

Evernote (https://evernote.com/) is a well designed and useful repository for notes, pictures, video, audio, documents, webpages, and clips from webpages.  You can install it onto all of your devices (desktops, laptops, tablets, phones) and it will automatically sync your devices so they all share the same information (this can also be done manually).  There are add-ons for Outlook and most browsers as well, so you can quickly send emails and websites to your Evernote account. And it's free!

You can, for example, add to your shopping list from your desktop throughout the week, and when shopping day comes along you just take your phone with you, and your up-to-date list will be in Evernote.  The folks at Evernote suggest that you start with one project (a shopping list is a great place to start) until you get a sense of how it works, then branch out onto other projects.

Its versatility becomes more apparent the more you use it.  You don't need to be in Evernote to add  notes.  Outlook allows you to forward an email simply by clicking an icon (screenshot at left). Browsers with the Evernote add-on have a similar icon so you can send an entire webpage as a note, or if you have selected a portion of the page, it will clip only that section (screenshot at right).

It also works well as a place to store documents. You can email documents, pictures, audio and video to your account.  If you have your notes divided into folders, put @name-of-folder in the subject line of the email, and it will go to that folder.  Similarly, if you put #name-of-tag in the subject line, it will automatically tag the note for you.

Evernote accounts can be shared with colleagues, so you can set up accounts for specific projects.  While you are limited to 60 mb of data a month, storage is unlimited.      

There is much more to this versatile tool.  Give it a try at https://evernote.com/.  We will delve into the specifics of its use in a Connect session this Fall.

IFTTT (IF This, Then That)

on Monday, July 8, 2013

IFTTT is a free on-line tool that triggers an on-line action when a specific event happens.  It sounds  simple, but potential uses for it are limitless.  It is easy to customize and use, and many examples are available to browse.  Find it at https://ifttt.com/.

Examples: Have an email sent to you when someone tags you on Facebook.  Have a text message sent to you on any day it is supposed to rain.  Email travel receipts to Evernote.  Get an email whenever the Mets win.

You choose the trigger (the event) and the event (what happens when the trigger is activated).   Let's go back to that example where you get emailed when it's going to rain.

The trigger (this) in this example is a specific weather condition (you could also, for example, get a text when the weather goes below freezing). 

 The action (that) is getting a customized email telling you it's going to rain (you could also, for example, have it send you a text or a post to Evernote).

It's very simple, but infinitely customizable, and you can create complex chains of triggers and events.  There are many "recipes" on the site, so you can browse until you find one that is close to fitting your needs, and then tweak it until it does exactly what you want it to.

This is a fun and powerful tool.  Give it a try!