Useful Chrome Extension For a Productive Day, Part I

get-pocket-productivity

I enjoy learning about tools that make me productive. Whether it’s research, learning, reading, or planning, I try to optimize my time. Naturally, I have a lot of extensions to my Google Chrome. One very handy tool is Pocket. This extension let you save any interesting articles, videos and more from the web for later consumption. Once saved to Pocket, the list of content is available on any device, like a smartphone or iPad. You can even read them offline. It essentially lets you keep a live list of readings. A lot of times you are on the phone and see something but you don’t have the time to really read it because you are on the go. This way, you can save it to Pocket, and when you have the time, you can easily retrieve whatever you were wanting to read, all included in Pocket. It saves time. I really like it!  When you install the extension, you see an icon similar to the one above. When you see an article you want to read later, just click on the icon and Pocket will save it for you.

You can get Pocket at getpocket.com.

What You Want to Know About Windows 8.1

I gave a talk on what’s good about the new Windows 8.1.

It includes information on new features in Windows 8.1, why you want to upgrade, and what to look for when purchasing a new Windows machine.

Two Online Alternatives to PowerPoint

sway

Haiku-Deck-Logo-medium-300x169

I still default to Microsoft PowerPoint when it comes to presentations, but I found two new entries in the presentation field that may be worth a look. The two primary reasons why I still use PowerPoint is that people understand PowerPoint files and there is no need to explain how to view/print them. Ever since LinkedIn/SlideShare integrated uploading the PowerPoint files into the service and now the users are able to display them in their LinkedIn profiles, I have not tried any other presentation software.

Enter Sway. It is interesting that Microsoft would introduce a competing product to its own PowerPoint. It makes sense though, because PowerPoint is not really designed for the online-centric world. Looking at Sway, I see the a different design philosophy. People have heard of “death by powerpoint.” It is all too easy to cram all types of information into individual slides. Sway is surprisingly simplistic. Once you start with a blank Sway, you can add photos and text to telling your story. Another feature worth mentioning is that it is easy to share the Sways on the tablet or a smartphone. Share a link, and boom it’s viewable. You don’t even have to know how to publish the Sway or convert in any way.

Sway is available at Sway.com.

Haiku Deck is interesting. If you are familiar with Prezi, it is similar. The main difference is that Haiku Deck is editable mostly from within an Ipad. I feel that the development is still in the early stage, so you cannot create an elaborate presentation (yet), but it is simple and quick to use. One advantage is that it is very easy to add photos and images from anywhere, from the same menu. I saw Haiku Deck and I was intrigued, but I didn’t get hooked right away. However, you can now create a Haiku Deck from within LinkedIn/Shareslide, so it is viable to share and maintain your Haiku Decks along with other slides in Slideshare. I have to explore this option more thoroughly.

Haiku Deck is available at HaikuDeck.com.