Category Archives: Web based

Xmarks no longer marks the spot

Xmarks, a very popular bookmark syncing tool is closing its doors and shutting down the service on January 10, 2011.

I was a user of the service but when I made the nearly wholesale change over to Google Chrome it was no longer needed – I could sync what I needed through my Google account. That said the service was great and while I did use it I was very happy with it.

Todd Agulnick, the Co-Founder and CTO of Xmarks wrote up a great blog post covering the history of the company and how they came the decision to close the doors, including a mention of the browser syncing tools.

I’m sorry to see this company go – while I may not be a user of the service it did fit a need for folks that use more than one browser and I wish everyone an Xmarks the best of luck in the future.

Be sure to check out the Xmarks Shutdown page which has links to FAQs and further information along with suggestions on syncing services you can use in the future.

Gmail’s Priority Inbox – a great tool

The last few weeks have been pretty thin around here for postings and the main cause for that is I actually took a vacation. So I spent the first part of August getting the desk at my current employer cleared off (not an easy task when my boss took the first two weeks of August off) and then moved the family into a new home – which leaves little time for my online pursuits.

Well, now it’s time to get back into the swing of things and as I’ve started plowing through the hundreds of emails and RSS articles the notification that Gmail’s Priority Inbox was available to me to try out popped up in my tool bar. Let me say if you have not checked out this new feature you should – it’s a great tool.

Here’s a short video from the folks at Google to explain it:

The default settings work quite well and for most folks will work just fine but I have a tendency to let some things sit – they don’t need a response or action any time soon but I don’t want to archive them into oblivion so they sit in my inbox and eventually get buried. I know, I know, that’s not very GTD like but hey, we all fall off the bandwagon once in a while (ok, I’m about 50/50 – but I’m improving). So in order to work through the huge backlog I have it sift things just a bit by making a small change in the section set up:

Priority Inbox Section Settings

I added a section that gives me just the unread items in my inbox, 10 at at time. This allows me to work through the backlog I have without seeing all the read items that need me to make some decision on at the top of my reading list. I know that it is better to take action on an item immediately so that you can get it off your mind but I trust that I’ll get back to the item eventually (it’s not critical or important otherwise I would do it) so it can sit in my inbox – I just don’t need to be constantly reminded of them as I work through everything else.

So, give the new Gmail Priority Inbox a try – it works well.

[You can read all about the new Priority Inbox on the Gmail Blog.]

Netflix comes to the iPhone

Parents rejoice!

Today Netflix released an update to their iOS application that will allow iPhone owners to take advantage of anything available via the Watch Instantly section of their account.

The best part – it appears to work over both Wi-Fi and 3G.

For those of us with kids this is fantastic as I can now load up a movie or TV show the kids like to watch in the Instant Watch Queue and when we’re on the road (like the upcoming trip to their cousins) I can open the app and appease the one not playing DS.

Even though it may not be the home theater experience – will you stream to your iPhone?

[Netflix via Lifehacker]

Dead Calm – the end of Google Wave

The ocean has gone quiet as Google decides to halt development of Google Wave.

But despite these wins, and numerous loyal fans, Wave has not seen the user adoption we would have liked. We don’t plan to continue developing Wave as a standalone product, but we will maintain the site at least through the end of the year and extend the technology for use in other Google projects.

– Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President, Operations & Google Fellow

For myself I have mixed feelings on this as I have been a Wave proponent but at the same time never really managed to integrate it into my daily workflow or the teams that I work with. Some of the features that drew me to Wave, like the ability to collaborate in real time with others has already been incorporated into other products, like Google Docs, so hopefully I’ll be able to take advantage of it there.

I do want to congratulate Google on this decision though and that might cause some to get upset with me but it takes a responsible Project Manager or Company to make the tough call of cancelling a project when it just make sense to continue it.

So, were you a “Waver?” If so, what are you going to use in its place?

Search Evernote with Launchy

If you’re like me you’re always searching for something in your archives, and for me one of the biggest is Evernote which does have a really good search tool but sometimes you just want to shortcut it.

For those that prefer the browser interface, the folks at Evernote did a quick video and blog post about adding the ability to search Evernote to Google Chrome.

But wait a minute you said I could search Evernote with Launchy and you can by adding the same search parameters to Launchy.

Open Launchy, right click and select Options
Click on Plug-ins
Click Weby
Click the ‘+’ button
Under name enter Evernote
For the URL enter –
Click ‘Ok’

Now you can bring up Launchy, type Evernote, hit the tab key and whatever you would like to search for.

An important note – if you have multiple words in your search term be sure to place the entire string in quotes or the search will one look for the first term.

I should also note that in both cases your results are pulled and shown in the web client – if you’re logged out you’ll be prompted to log in to see the results.