Do you outline?

One of my favorite apps, Freemind, came in in the top five in a recent quest for the top five outlining tools @ Lifehacker…

“Traditionally one thinks of outlines as a linear progression down the page. Many Lifehacker readers, however, opted to outline their projects and ideas in mind-mapping applications like the popular and open-source FreeMind. You still get a hierarchical structure, headers, sub-headers, and so on, but the information is presented in a mind-map format instead of a simple list. FreeMind is very keyboard friendly—it’s possible to create your entire outline without your hands leaving the keyboard. You use customize item flagging, color coding, and more. FreeMind also made an appearance in and won the Hive Five for best mind-mapping tools.” Source: Five Best Outlining Tools – Outliners – Lifehacker

It also won the best of the mind-mapping tools. I’ve been using it for years and it’s one of my most important tools. If you need to get YOUR thoughts together, you can download it here!

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Stop the presses!

Image representing Microsoft as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

I’m admitting that I may have been wrong. Yup. That’s right. I MAY have been wrong…

Last summer I battled with 64-bit Vista and lost. I wrote about the experience here and here and here. One of my readers — a young computer genius named Paul from St. Norbert took issue with me in the comments saying…

Used x64 Vista for a full year… contrary to what they told me, all of my 32-bit drivers worked just like they were supposed to. The speed increase over XP was enormous.

Upgraded to win7x64 the day it came out, even better…

Granted most of my software is still 32-bit, but a 64-bit processor will run in 32-bit mode anyway – it just uses half of the register length. I don’t see why using x64 should slow anything down…

Well, contrary to what my wife and children say I’m not close-minded. At least not on technology issues. Or something like that. Let’s not go there…

Anyway, I had a chance to use Windows 7 64-bit on a project for a week. My assessment? It doesn’t suck. Far from it. I hesitate to say it, but it may even rock! Read more of this post

My favorite Windows utility…

…just got upgraded and it finally works with Windows 7! Tune-up Utilities 2010 just hit the internet yesterday and like previous versions, it just keeps getting better all the time! You can see the complete list of features here

I like this app so much that I actually pay for it! Not that I steal apps, but most of what I need is available as free open source software and can be downloaded either from the Google Pack or Ninite. What most people don’t realize is that a computer is somewhat like a car in that it needs regular maintenance. As time goes on, people add software that wants its share of memory each time the computer starts and the files become more and more fragmented. As a result, the best day with your new computer is probably the first. This app, however, fixes those common problems and will make every day the best…

For that reason, Tune-Up Utilities is the one commercial utility app that I actually think is worth buying. Their ‘1 Click Maintenance’ is all the optimization most people need…

Download a free trial here!


TuneUp Utilities 2010 - Download Now!
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Now you can get the Gist in Gmail

If you follow this blog at all, you know I’m crazy about a product called Gist [hit the search box if you don’t believe me!]. Gist is easily one of the top 7 tools in my social media toolbox [btw, it’s also in the running as a product of the year in the upcoming first annual ‘e1evation awards’.] Why? Simply put, Gist allows me to easily keep track of all the thought leaders in my inbox by giving me a simple dashboard that aggregates everything they say in one place. Using Gist is a simple way to ‘sit next to the smartest kid in the class’ as I say in my seminars — it brings together all the things they say each day in one place…

Take John Jantsch for example. I could spend all day following John on his blog, on Twitter and in Facebook, but Gist puts it all together for me in one place [click the image for a better view]. Sure, I could probably accomplish this in Google Reader using rss feeds, but Gist adds some really nice touches that make it worthwhile to add this tool to my repertoire. In addition to tracking their blog, their rss feed, their tweets and Facebook posts, it also brings together my calendar, any notes about the person, our correspondence, any attachments, shared contacts — even a Google search with images and text — all in one place. Furthermore, you can send a message to the person and ask them to update their profile for you. If you use the appropriate plugins for Outlook, Google Apps or now Gmail, you’ll also get a quick summary of the people attached to each email along with every message. Finally, if you use an iOS or Android phone, you can get Gist there a well. These are just a couple of reasons for using Gist that pop into my head at 6:16 AM — go to Gist and take the tour for yourself and you’ll see why it has quickly become one of the most important tools in my arsenal in the war against information overload…

If it’s true that social media is about building relationships, you need a tool like Gist to track and manage the thought leaders who are important to you and your business.

Is it time to say goodbye to Free Wi-Fi?

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Image by ismh_ via Flickr

Since then, the coffee shop has become the de-facto standard when talking about free Wi-Fi. From NYC to LA, from Sydney to Staten Island. You walk into virtually any food establishment, and you’ll see iPhoners scanning for an open signal. I heard a man complain once that Macy’s had no free Wi-Fi – “What am I supposed to do while I wait for her to shop?” he asked.

Lately though, the dark side of free Wi-Fi has reared it’s ugly head, unfortunately. People unable to get a seat in a local coffee shop – shops kicking people out because they’re spending eight hours in a store for a total of one cup of coffee – or my favorite, the store that painted a fake outlet on the wall to deter people from plugging in.

Perhaps it’s time to do away with the free Wi-Fi?

Until we become a society where everyone has access to free, safe, secure high-speed Internet, the concept of finding a Starbucks to get some work done seems rather foolish. Back in 2003, it made perfect sense – there was really no other way to do it – You were either at home, in the office, or in the coffee shop – Otherwise, you weren’t connected.

Now, though, (and I know I’m gonna get a ton of crap for this) it seems that the people who are doing “real” work, aren’t spending time in the coffee shop to begin with – They’ve ponied up for the price of a MiFi, or a Sprint EVO, or a similar card that jail-breaks them from the bonds of the coffee shop.

Me? I went Evo! Anytime I need wireless access, my phone turns into a secure wireless router. I’ll never use free internet again…

How to add more sources to your social newspaper

What do you mean you don’t have a social newspaper? Go to http://paper.li to get one!

Is The New Twitter Better Than Desktop Clients?

Integrated pictures, keyboard shortcuts, a decent way to track conversations and a slick new look. That’s what some users of Twitter found recently, and they were really happy. Twitter isn’t sure how long it will take to push these features out to everybody, but if you primarily use Twitter from a client such as Tweetdeck or Gwibber you may have access and not know it.

We at MakeUseOf don’t hide our love for Twitter. You can find the entire MakeUseOf staff on Twitter, and most of us are pretty active there.

Our articles about Twitter, though, largely revolve around ways to avoid going to the site altogether.

For example, I recently pointed out five Linux Twitter clients you’ve probably never heard of and Steve recommended you use Seesmic Desktop 2 as your Twitter client. The new Twitter might convince people like us to stop using a client and use Twitter directly. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the new Twitter, as compared to desktop clients.

Personally, I’ve been stuck on HootSuite for over a year because it gives me powerful Twitter management tools and more; the ability to monitor other social media accounts and post across platforms. It’s nice that Twitter finally got their act together on their end user side, but imho they should spend more time getting their act together on the server side. btw, I like Seesmic Desktop 2 as well, but HootSuite, being a web app, is always ready for me on any platform. If you’re interested in mastering Twitter, give HootSuite a try…