Keeping track of things


I know that I’m not the only one that’s afraid of losing things! So often, I’ll be reading a story and want to do something with it or about it later. Just not right now.

Depending upon the urgency, I’ll just leave the tab the resource is open in in my browser so that it’s there. When I get on a roll, that can add up to a bunch of open tabs. It’s particularly noticeable on my Chromebook with its lesser power. There might be light at the end of the tunnel though with an upcoming version of the Chrome browser.

Google is finally bringing one of Chrome’s best mobile features to the desktop

That’s still in the future though.

At present, I have a couple of solutions that have worked really well for me.

The first, I like to think of as things that requiring short term action, is through an extension called OneTab.

For the short term, I’ll send all of my open tabs to OneTab which nicely cleans up the messiness. I don’t send pinned tabs because they’re pinned for a reason. When it’s time to return to the tab, they’re all located in the OneTab page. Just pick the one I want and, voila, it’s back.

For the longer term, I take a different tact. A while back, Peter Beens had introduced me to Packrati.us which worked nicely. Essentially, it bookmarked everything that I sent to Twitter. Sadly, it went away.

Twitter has added a bookmarking service which is kind of handy. It’s more functional than a “like” but still wasn’t quite there. I poked around IFTTT and found a script that was perfect and involves sending links to my Diigo account.

Readers of this blog know that I go one step beyond that and have Diigo write me a blog post daily that summarizes the links. I can then easily go back and pick off a story that I want to use. It also helps for the Sunday afternoon weekly summary post.

So, I’ve got a routine that works for me. It doesn’t matter what computer or what browser I use, it all ends up in the same spot.

And yet, the experimenter in me wonders about this implementation that’s in Chrome’s future. Will it offer a better approach?

Who knows? I’ll undoubtedly give it a shot when it’s available.

In the meantime, what technique(s) do you use? Can you offer me a better suggestion? I’d love to read about it.

A New “Spin” for Social Media


Fuse Labs has done it again.  Another offering from there has my interest.  One of the handiest things that you can have in a social browser is to have all of your social content easily presented and collated for you.  Spindex does that for you without installing anything.  Just fire up your web browser, configure your Twitter, Facebook and any RSS feeds that you want to monitor and Spindex does the rest.

And a great deal more.

Updates to these services come across as a stream right in your web browser.  Nothing more is needed to download or install.  In many ways, it reminds me of Friend Stream on my phone.  It’s handy on the phone since you don’t have to wander from application to application to pull it all together.

In addition to just the stream though, Spindex also collected the media that has been shared recently from the resources.  I find this very interesting.  Rather than scrolling through the history looking for something, the most recent is sitting there, in the right panel, just waiting for you to do something with it.  It’s a handy collection of photos, links, and stories that the people that you’re following have mentioned.

That takes care of the recent past.  For what’s happening right now, images are embedded right in the middle of the post.  Want to know what’s trending right at the moment?  Spindex has you covered there.

Because it’s a Microsoft project, you just have to know that search will be a key component in all this.  Not only can you search your own information stream (which is always helpful), clicking on a particular tweet seems to somehow pull the key words from the message and returns a collection of related searches in the right panel.  It’s very slick if you want to do some research on a topic right in your social browser.

Finally, how many times do you wish that you could post to both Twitter and Facebook at the same time?  There are configuration options in Facebook that make it happen.  But, because you’ve connected both services to Spindex, you can post to either or both with a simple click like you would with any service.

I find Spindex and interesting “spin” on the concept of social monitoring.  I would encourage you to give it a try and see what you think.  The nice, clean interface may change your thoughts about how to best monitor your accounts.