Best ‘Personal Productivity and Organization’ Product

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Dion Hinchcliffe, (who’d earlier reviewed Zoho Planner) in his list of ‘The Most Promising Web 2.0 Software of 2006‘ has given the Best ‘Personal Productivity and Organization’ Product award to Zoho Planner. We feel honored!

From his blog :

Zoho Planner is a very capable Ajax-powered online planner that can handle to do lists, appointments, notes, and more using a very elegant, clean interface. It’s now my favorite online organizer and I use it every day. Zoho Planner supports tagging, collaboration, e-mail notification, and much more. There are lots of Web 2.0 online planning products and while some are more detailed or more feature rich, none so far have quite the right feel like this one does.

Thanks a lot, Dion :-)

And, a review of Zoho Planner in lifehack.org says

I just found out there is a pretty awesome online todo planner system called Zoho Planner. This is similar to Backpack from 37Signals which you can separate different type of information and todo into different pages, you can then share it to other users. What it is superior is the ability to export it to iCal and also the unlimited space to attach files to your planner

Thanks, Leon Ho!

Tabbed Browsing, tags as folders & more

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Zoho Writer just had another update today. Explaining few of the features here.

Tabbed Browsing: The screenshot below says it all! Open multiple documents within Zoho Writer, the Firefox way. Believe that will give you folks much more easiness to play with your documents in Zoho Writer!

Tags as folders: Tags have replaced folders in this Web 2.0 world (read GMail, del.icio.us, Flickr). But there are still folks who are die-hard fans of folders. Zoho Writer now combines the power of these two. Tag similar documents with a same tag & have such tags as folders in the left pane! Easy and at the same time, powerful right? Thanks to Phil Sim who suggested this.

Coming to other useful enhancements : The skin that you choose will now be remembered (from wherever you login, it will remain as your choice), all http://, https:// inside your doc will automatically be made a link (seems we are yet to do this for www), you can add comments on public docs (Zoho Planner already has it too!) & last but not the least, you can have some Global Settings in the form of ‘Options’ – save your skin, change your account password, open docs in tab format or not & whether to allow comments to your public pages.

Robert Scoble on how to increase blog traffic

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Robert Scoble had a cute little experiment going with his “brrreeeport” – a word he asked bloggers to have in their blogs, allowing him to calculate how fast & how many of these blog posts got crawled by the blog search engines. And he followed it up with a nice post on how to make it to the A-list. Points he mentions :

  • Have a good headline/opening text for each blog post
  • Claim your blog at Technorati
  • Be different (meaning stand apart from the crowd)
  • Have a good title tag for your blog
  • Tag often & have more tags for each post
  • Make friends with bloggers (be it the Z-list or A-list)
  • Mail people when you think you have a good blog post

Making it to the A-list or not, those sure are good tips for any blogger to increase their blog traffic.

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“Somebody Else’s Problem” Field

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Murphy’s law was proved. Yet again. While working on a laptop without a mouse, adding sound and video files to a Powerpoint presentation is a Herculean task. The scroll pad of the laptop with its virtue to be hyper senstive, will go several slides back even with the slightest contact that the finger tip makes. I had to insert several sound files in several slides, and every time I did that, an irritating prompt, “Do you want the sound file to play since the start of slideshow?” or something to that effect. I would have very much preferred if there was a tool bar button to insert several sound files without a prompt asking for ridiculous questions like those.

The other testing times are those “Cannot read from CD” moments. It happens when I do stuff from my home PC, make a copy in a disc and load the CD in somebody else’s laptop/PC in the presentation venue. It happens often. I spend a considerable period of my time in making a presentation, burning it in a CD, and the next day, to add more woes, apart from sleep deprivation, the CD which I burnt isn’t read or recognized, I feel the previous night’s work wasted completely.

It was during those moments when I desperately felt that there was:

(a) More widespread WiFi access than there is already. I could work in a WiFi hotspot not far away instead of relying on a CD drive that is prone to scratch and shock.

(b) A Web Based presentation software, so that I can do my work from home and save it in some third party server which is more reliable than a Disc or pen drive, go to a WiFi spot close to the venue where I have to make a presentation, export the web-based presentation to the hard-disk of the laptop.

I’m positive that there are shorter ways than what I’ve mentioned above. But web developers can atleast think in these lines, to make matters simpler for frequent users of Office packages.

Can some bloggers make or break Web 2.0 start-ups?

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Phil Sim at Squash writes :

I’d suggest if you’re a start-up expecting that a bit of blog publicity is going to get you kickstarted then you need to have another look at your business plan. Most trackbacks that Squash gets generate half a dozen or so page views.

I can’t agree with him more. Prominent bloggers can at best have a temporary impact with their positive, negative or ignoring attitude towards a start-up but it is finally the product/service that counts.

Phil’s view warns Web 2.0 product companies not to depend on marketing to the bloggers alone. And I would like to take it a bit further. Each blogger has a different viewpoint. Take the example of 30boxes. While Om Malik, Robert Scoble, Thomas Hawk & others raved about it, Joel (on Software) thrashed it saying, “I’m not going to look at 30 Boxes again — I’ve spent enough time evaluating it. G’bye” & went on to add, “the proof-of-conceptware that people are hyperventilating about”. Now, how can a product be seen at such extremes? I sincerely hope that these blog posts don’t decide the success/failure of 30boxes in the long run.

PXN8 is Cool

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Welcome PIX-EN-ATE.

The ‘thick desktop client’ bastion is fast breaking down. The comment “You ever think that doing Photoshop inside a Web browser would be impossible? Well, PXN8 gets a lot closer than I would have expected” from none other than Robert Scoble (who’d used Photoshop as an example of why thick clients are needed still) makes it all the more true.