Use Web 2.0 tools to save time and be more productive

Someone's Lost Schedule Book
Creative Commons License photo credit: ASurroca

For a while I’ve been using a few Web 2.0 applications that, on their own, are great, but when when partnered with other Web 2.0 apps, become superstar efficiency optimizers.

The applications
Consider Jott, IWantSandy, and Twitter.

Jott is a voice to text application. You call a free number, say your message, and moments later it’s emailed to you (or a group), turned into a reminder, added to a list, or sent to Web 2.0 applications (called Jott links).

IWantSandy is a ‘virtual assistant’. She’s able to manage your schedule, build and manage lists, manage email groups, and share your lists with others.

Twitter is a simple ‘status update’ application that allows you to post your status (your answer to the question “What are you doing?”).

Connections are key
Standalone, they’re all good, solid, Web 2.0 applications. But where they really begin to shine is when you let them talk to each other, and other online applications. Here’s a simple example:

  • Use Twitter to have Sandy remind you to backup your blog on the 13th of each month
  • In the Twitter window type d s r Backup the blog on June 13, 2008 @monthly
  • which means Direct message to Sandy (s is Sandy’s Twitter name), Reminder (r) Backup…(the text Sandy is to remember) on June 13, 2008 (the start date of the reminder) @monthly (a special Sandy tag to make the event repeat.

Depending how you’ve got Sandy set up, you’ll be reminded through Twitter, email or SMS message to your mobile device (or all three).

AFK? Use Jott When I’m out and about, I use Jott to work with Sandy to get things done. Here’s the same example using Jott:

  • (Dial into local Jott number, Jott answers) Who do you want to Jott?
  • (Me) Sandy.
  • (Jott) Sandy.(repeats to confirm) Is this correct?
  • (Me) Yes.
  • (Jott) Got it. BEEP-TONE-TO-RECORD
  • (Me) Reminder. Backup the Blog on June 13th 2008. Tag Monthly.

Extending further
Twitter, Jott and IWantSandy all embrace openness, to varying degrees. Depending how you configure each, they can update your online calendar (Google Calendar, 30Boxes, etc), your local desktop application through CSV or iCal files, really the sky is the limit.

So, what have I missed? How are you using these (or other applications) to make your life easier?