The gods of the internets are against me today. And for you. As of now, Xobni is directly available for you to test and indulge - which of course means that there is no real incentive anymore for you to jump through any hoops at the KillerConsultant to get it. Which blows my great idea of some semi-forced audience interaction.
But if you really like the KC, you will tell the rest of the world how you like your Xobni plugin in the comments anyway, right?!]
it is Monday, let’s see if we can get a conversation going. The deal is simple: I have five invites for Xobni to give away.
Xobni, if you have not heard of it yet, is a cool new plugin for Outlook which gives you a whole new look on your email experience: In a sidebar, it shows you all sorts of information about the person whose email you are just reading. When in the day, for example, you get most email from that person, their phone number, their contacts, a list of recent conversations and files received from them. Apart from that, Xobni also does a whole lot of statistics-voodoo on your mail – but that main sidebar in itself really is something you should try. I might go as far as saying that this could make email management fun again!
Xobni is in invitation-only beta right now… and you can get one of these invitations.
There are only one and a half conditions:
- Within a week of receiving the invite, you write a paragraph worth of your experiences with Xobni – what you liked, what you thought was cool, what features you missed, and if you’d recommend it. I’ll publish those short reviews here, of course with your name and a link to your website, if you want.
- The “half” condition: I’d prefer consultants to get the invites, of course – but if in the next days there are no consultants to be found reading this site (darnit!), I’ll open the tickets up for everybody else.
Go, sign up in the comments!
I am looking forward to seeing how you guys like / use / see Xobni.
Hey, we have not spoken in a while! Nice seeing you again! – Seriously, I have been trapped at a location with almost nil connectivity for the last two weeks, and it is driving me nuts. Sorry for the hiatus.
Today let’s talk about a little trick to keep you focused on your work, and still get your newsfix from the outside world. Yeah, there is stuff going on around you, y’know? All kind of news. Things that pop up in your feedreader. Things that you come across while doing your desk research ( = googling like crazy for the topic at hand) that might not be completely relevant now, but sure sound interesting. The thing is to avoid being sidetracked during cranking hours, but have stuff ready at hand when you have time to indulge. Four things have made a big difference for me.
- Google Gears
Gears allows web apps to function offline and sync the new state back to their “mothership” once you go online again. Gears works excellently with Google Reader. So before you hop into the cab, train, plane, go to Google Reader, put it in “offline” mode (once you installed Gears, it will ask you if you want to use Reader with it, and will then provide you with a little green button in the top row to toggle online/offline mode). Now you can read through all your news without the need for an internet connection. It does not load images, so your subscription to cuteoverload.com will be no fun. Sorry.
This is a nifty and free little web service. With an ultra simple interface (seems designed for iPhone access, but works with Blackberrys and your Laptop just as fine), Instapaper gives you the ability to make a “read later” list. To do that, Instapaper gives you a little bookmarklet (a bookmark for your browser of choice). Now, when you are on a website that sure is interesting, but you really need to get working on other stuff – just hit the Instapaper bookmarklet (I named mine, creatively, “read later”). Instapaper saves the link. Now close it, and do what needs to be done. Whenever, then, you have some time to spare, go to Instapaper, and voilá – your reading list is waiting for you. Unfortunately, no Google Gears support yet, that would make it even better.
Whenever I find an interesting but rather long article online – you know, the type of Paul Graham essay (great stuff!) – I want to save it for reading when I have the time, and might want to print it out. Easy as pie. Of course, you can simply print it, but using the free DoPDF-Tool, you can (who would have guessed!) easily create a PDF out of it (it installs as a printer) and save it on your harddrive as well. Advantage: You can collect stuff you want to get on paper, and then print it all in one go, so that your colleagues don’t find your pumpkin pie recipie amongst their travel expenses.
- Make yourself a folder called “INBOX” on your desktop. Now, the declutter-your-desktop-topic is one we can expand on later – for now let’s keep it simple: In the inbox, you can make a “to read” folder. Put those PDF’ed articles in there, and whenever you have a relaxed moment – travelling or in the hotel room – just open up that folder, and you have something interesting to go through
Now whenever you come across something on the web that you can’t attend to right now, there is a way to quickly save it, and you can get back to work. Then, when you have the time, things are at hand waiting for you. Try it out, and let me know how it works for you.