Create your own Ajax stuff

Are you an developer and looking for a way to enhance your websites with “some web 2.0″? Check out MiniAjax.com which has a showroom of nice nice looking ajax code and dhtml for you to use!

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Part 5 Online bookmarks: Summary why to use Del.icio.us

Thanks for reading this 5-part miniguide how to move your bookmarks online.

To summarize, this is why you should move your bookmarks online:

  • Easier to find – Before, I had all my bookmarks divided into folders. It was impossible to find the bookmark I knew I had somewhere. Now I just add the keyword to a search and it will definitely find what I need
  • Always accesible – I have several computers both at work and at home. Now I always have the same bookmarks available everywhere
  • I can save everything – Before I had to think twice before bookmarking since I needed to organize it so it would be somewhat easy to find (which it never was…) Now I simply bookmark and forget about it – doesn’t matter if bookmark 1000 more pages
  • More effective with Firefox Add-on – ACtrl+B and I can find my bookmark within seconds. There are also some nice features to have certain bookmarks in the toolbar depending on if I’m at work, at home, working with the blog etc.

Please feel free to comment how you manage your bookmarks today.

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Part 4 Online bookmarks: Using Del.icio.us

In part 3 I told about some alternatives to move your bookmarks online. I settled for del.icio.us. Follow this series to see how I move to an online service to manage my bookmarks.

Del.icio.us is one of the most popular social bookmarking tools out there. So I decided to install all bookmars into del.icio.us (you don’t need the add-on for importing).

After importing it was time to start tagging them! By default, del.iciou.us does a pretty good job for you. If you had them in folders before importing, it will use the folder names as tags. Since I had almost 2000 bookmarks and many folders, I got many tags aswell. I spent an hour or so sorting them around but soon realized that you mostly simply search through your bookmarks rather than browsing through them manually. You search through the tags/name/description so whenever you bookmark anything, just make sure to write a small description and tag it and I’m sure you’ll find it in the future.

There are numerous add-ons available for Firefox. Although you need to install them (just one click away though…) I would really suggest you to test them. I prefer the del.icio.us Bookmarks one which replace the default bookmarking functionality in Firefox with a new experience that offers the following advantages:

– Search and browse your bookmarks
– Access your bookmarks from any computer at any time
– Keep your bookmarks organized with tags
– Share your bookmarks with friends or anyone on the Web

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Part 3 Online bookmarks: The alternatives!

In part 2 I told you how to clean out your old and faulty bookmarks. After that I want to move them all online. Follow this series to see how I move to an online service to manage my bookmarks.

There are plenty of alternatives out there, and also plenty of camparison blog posts. One is the Top 5 social bookmarking services which gives you a pretty good idea of what features they offer.

Here’s are some alternativs for you to try out.

My pick – Del.icio.us. Mostly for the extensive support for the Firefox add-on which is excellent!

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Part 2 Online bookmarks: Test your current bookmarks

In part 1 I told you about my bookmark hell. So I want to move them all online. Follow this series to see how I move to an online service to manage my bookmarks.

First action was that I wanted to clear out the old non-working sites that I had. Many of them simply gave me an Error 404 and with 2028 bookmarks/favorites – doing it manually was simply not an option.

There are many tools that can do this for you. Here are some free ones:

I’ve tested both AM-DeadLink and Link200 and they work fine. I’m sorry to say – you have to install them :(. I would say AM-DeadLink gives you a little bit more control since Link200 is more of a wizard-type application. With AM-DeadLink you simply get a list of your bookmarks, decide on which to check, and then sort on Error column and delete those with an errors.

After that, I was down to around 1937. You can also find duplicates with AM-DeadLink.

PS. For you who already use Del.icio.us or Blogmarks, check this online tool out for testing your bookmarks. DS

Go to part 3

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Part 1 Online bookmarks: When I was in bookmark-hell

When I started up My Uninstalled Life I had around 2000 bookmarks in hundreds of folders. I had a mixture of IE and Firefox bookmarks and it wall all a big mess! Some of the bookmarks were almost 10 years old and many of them non-working.

I would say I was in bookmark-hell since I usually couldn’t even find what I was looking for.

Follow this series when I investigate different approaches on how to “uninstall your bookmarks”. In short – how do I keep them online – always available.

Go to part 2

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What is GTD? – The onepage short version

For you new to GTD, check out my first post on the subject.

GTD is simple and fun! You can make it as complex you want it to be, but if you want it to work for you – make it simple and fun! If you’re really into GTD, I suggest you read the book.

I’m asked a lot “how does it work?” so I decided to write this “one-page short version” of it – just to give you a quick overview!

Here’s what we want to do:

Get everything out of your head. Make decisions about actions required on stuff when it shows up—not when it blows up. Organize reminders of your projects and the next actions on them in appropriate categories. Keep your system current, complete, and reviewed sufficiently to trust your intuitive choices about what you’re doing (and not doing) at any time.

The five phases:

You basically got 5 phases which are:

  • Collect
  • Process
  • Organize
  • Review
  • Do!

I will give you an overview of each step.

Collect

Get everything out of your head – and I mean everything. Not a single thing should be missing because if you have stuff laying around, you’ll end up not trusting the system you’re trying to build.

If you’re just starting up – I suggest you sit down for an hour or so and just write down everything you can think of!

All these inboxes, often referred to as “buckets” could be your e-mail Inbox, a physical inbox at work, your notebook etc.

Process

After the collection it’s time to empty all these buckets. Pick-up each item one-by-one and ask yourself “is there an action I need to take about this item?”

If there’s no Action required for this item, either throw it away or file it for reference.

If there’s a next action you can take and you can do it in less than a few minutes – DO IT NOW! Otherwise, decide on next action (ie. “call repair shop” or “read this article”) and put it to your “Next Action” list. If this is one out of several actions for something to be complete – put it to your “Projects” list (ie. “call travel agency to get prize on flight” is not the only action you have to take to get that trip completely organized).

Organize

Since you probably have a huge list now you have to organize it. Remember to not spread out your “lists” you should always know that what you need to remember is in the same place –not some notes on paper, some on your computer and some in your head. You should have several lists, but not too many so you won’t find what you’re looking for or know where to put a certain action. Here are some lists to start with – expand when you feel like it:

  • Next Action – What to do next (E.g. write blog post on xyz, e-mail eric about xyz, read article xyz).
  • Projects – You probably have some stuff you need to do but consists of many actions – let’s call them projects. For example “get new computer” (E.g. check site xyz for review, check prices on stores x and y, order computer from x, install operating system and so on).
  • Waiting – You probably have some actions that you need to wait for something/someone else. Put all those actions here so they don’t distract you.
  • Someday/Maybe – There are usually many things you want done but simply don’t have time or maybe long-time goals? Put them here. You should have everything in your list! You will probably have stuff laying aroung here for years!
  • Calendar – Try to keep your calendar clean with stuff that you really have to do at a specific time – for example meetings.
  • References – There are always stuff you need to save. For example notes, articles and everything else you may need in the future.

Review

If you talk to people who have used GTD for a while, you realize that the probably most important thing is to review the list often! Schedule time to do it at least once a week but when you get the hang of it – some lists you seek every day. This way – you always know that the list is up-to-date and current! During this review, process all your “inboxes” and basically do the Process step above.

Do!

Ok, now you have everything in front of you what needs to be done. And from here-on, it’s basically up to you since you have total control on what needs to be done you.

To help you, have this workflow diagram printed out and stick it to your monitor. It will help you – guaranteed:

GTD - Getting Things Done

Please comment if you have anything you want to add or ask. In future posts, I’ll look deeper into how to use tools online for an efficient way to GTD – Getting Things Done.

Want to know more?

Check out the Colorado College Lunch & Learn session which is a basic session on first-time GTD:ers:

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ajaxSketch – online drawing tool

Ajax13, the people behind ajaxWrite and ajaxXLS also has ajaxSketch which has some basic drawing features.

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Find the music YOU like

Have you ever thought that you spend too much time looking for music that YOU like? Wouldn’t it be great to just enter some artists that you know you like and it will analyze your taste and present you with the music you probably like? And wouldn’t it be even cooler to simply have everything uninstalled and on the Internet so you can throw away your music archive?

Well, there are services just like it. Pandora is one of them. Last.fm is another one. All uninstalled – just enter an artist and off you go. All free – all uninstalled!

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Where to store all that data?

Fred made an interesting post a while back on where to store all your data you produce on the web. One of the biggest problems with the online sensation is that you have to store your data at the supplier – you uaually cannot choose to save it somewhere else. I’d also like to choose where to save it.

I prefer the option to save to a NAS device somewhere either on your internal network or in a hosted environment. This would be great for our Mini Fileserver we’re building.

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Thinkature – Real-time collaboration for the web

Thinkature lets you collaborate in realtime over the web. You can create cards, style them, move them around, add images and draw freehand. You can point out certain parts of the drawing to show other users watching the drawing and you can connect cards with arrows.

See below for a screencast where you can see how it works!

Thinkature

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Eskobo – customized startup page for feeds

Eskobo offers you the ability to add feeds to a startup page. It also features the weather. It includes drag’n’drop abilities for the modules. There’s a bunch of these services and this one doesn’t really offer anything new.

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ItsAStart.com – customizable and portable startpage

ItsAStart.com is another startpage that offers you to make a custom startpage for the Internet. You can add different widgets such as weather, del.icio.us, Google search window, feeds and much much more. You can cutomize the number of columns and move around the widgets to fit your needs and change colours.

ItsAStartcom

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Yugma offers free web conferencing

Yugma is a free and easy to use web conferencing service. It’s a web conferencing service that enables people to instantly connect over the internet and to collaborate using any application or software, using both Windows and Mac. Businesses can connect on-demand and real-time with clients, prospects or employees whether they are across the city, nation or even the globe.

Features:
” Share your information, present your ideas
” Invite up to 10 people (or more if you need)
” Collaborate with your community
” Works with both Windows and Mac
” Highly secure and reliable
” No Spyware, Adware, Malware

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SynchroEdit – online editor

SynchroEdit is a browser-based simultaneous multiuser editor. It allows multiple users to edit a single web-based document at the same time, and it continuously synchronizes all changes so that users always have the same version.

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