Tech Tweaking

Spent a while chatting with Matt about all the various apps we use on our computers. Calendars, RSS aggregators, blog publishers, etc.

A little update on the new apps/innovations I’m pretty sure I’ll be sticking with:

No longer is my Firefox homepage my MySpace login screen. (I’m really feeling like I’m over MySpace, anyway. Seems like I just use it for work purposes. That’s another post…) Now, iGoogle greets me when I open my browser. Basically, it allows people to consolidate various Google features they use, ranging from web search to email, into a personalized home page. Just an ideal portal site for those of us that use 2 or more Google services…

I’ve been in the process of switching over all my digital scheduling to Google Calendar (I also use the basic large paper desk calendar, but I do need something that I can check from anywhere). I like GCalendar a lot so far. Google seems to come up with intuitive interfaces pretty well. A clean, straightforward design, with just the right mix of common display options (day, week, month, 5-day, agenda).

Continuing on the Google thing, I just started moving all my RSS feeds over to Google Reader tonight. I had been using Sage, and it’s not bad at all. I’m a minimalist in a lot of things, and my reading list is definitely one of those. I have enough actual content to read; I don’t need to spend too much time reading the list describing the content. Two main benefits arising from letting Google handle my feeds… tags (which can be both simple and helpful, used correctly)… and seamless login- because I’m usually already logged into Google from checking my mail as soon as I open Firefox (although login was a non-issue with Sage because it wasn’t account-based anyway). I do think I’ll enjoy the easy level share-ability, with one-click emailing whenever I come across cool posts.

I’m typing this post within Windows Live Writer. I’m usually at least in a weak wifi zone (or on my work desktop), so any blogging I do can be instantly posted. I think I’ve maybe done a total of 2 posts offline in MS Word, and then pasted them into WordPress. But my problem is this: I’m an impulse reader. When I’m working on a post using WordPress’ interface in Firefox, it’s highly likely that a tangent idea will cross my mind, and off I go. The post is relegated to Draftville, to be postponed and procrastinated on. Well my hope for using Live Writer is to cut out those distractions (or at least maybe switching over to Firefox from this app instead of just typing the tangent into my Google search bar will be enough of an interruption that I’ll just get in the habit of finishing posts as quick as intellectually responsible). EDIT: Now that I’ve posted this post, I like that it looks exactly like what was displayed in Live Writer before posting. Formatting and other stuff didn’t always transfer over nicely from MS Word. But I was easily able to set up Live Writer to only let me tweak things that are already in the WordPress interface. w00t!


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