Online organisation tools : AirSet.com
I’ve been roadtesting Airset.com these past few days. There are lots of organisation tools out there now, you may remember that I was a fan of EssentialPIM but since failing to receive a free license for the Pro version (and judging by the support forums, quite a few long time users had the same problem while new users like my brother got one practically by return of mail). Not that I’m bitter or anything. Ahem.
Anyway, now that our internet connection is (fingers crossed) fairly stable it occurred to me that it might be an idea to start keeping stuff online rather on one machine (in ePIM and OneNote), giving me access to resources, ideas, plans and so on from any machine rather than the one I use daily. I’ve looked at quite a few tools such as 30 Boxes, SpongeCell, BackPackit and so on but what I really want is a combination of all of those – i.e. a calendar and note making facilities and reminders and a contacts database. I need a single place to put lists, notes, plans, bookmarks and so on – well, what a good PIM software does but online.
Does AirSet offer these features? Well yes. Big time.
If you click on the larger screenshot you’ll see the tool menu on the left hand side:
- Calender (does what it says on the tin)
- Contacts (ditto) (and your address book is available as a pop-up from other sections)
- Lists – you know me and my lists. This is the only area that could do with some improvement I think. For example, I’d like to be able to format list text (bolding, colours, etc.).
- Blog – a great way to jot information down and keep it categorised and searchable with categories, comments and so on.
- Weblinks – a fairly sophisticated bookmark managar.
An example – instead of having multiple bookmarks on two or three machines in folders such as “Blog this”, “Go back and read this” and “Try This” etc., I can set up pages (or threads or categories), paste an interesting url in there with a few notes such as “add this to a follow up paper post” or “Mary will like this one, tie it in with the other thing about whachamacallit”.
I do use del.icio.us but because it’s so public I’d hesitate to add my own silly notes there. This way I can wibble on in perfect privacy.
There are other features that don’t interest me at the minute (sharing, group calenders and workgroups, Skype support, availability on Verizon cell phones for US users (paid version), syncing with Outlook and PDAs and so on) but it does seem to have everything I was looking for and features I didn’t even know I wanted. For example, you can send emails from your email own address (the one you use to sign up with) – here’s a screenshot.
1. Security – I’m not about to put any confidential information on there but
2. Longevity – they’ve been around a while but I’d hate to start relying on the service only to try logging in one day to find that it had disappeared. There are some export features but I’ll have a good look at the practicality of this before really committing.
3. That basic membership remains free.
— Tip Monkies
— Walt Mossberg
— Desktop pipeline
— Phil Bradley’s list
— Dion Hinchcliffe’s review of promising Web 2.0 apps
If I can export/back up everything to my own hard drive (I’ll download and test the desktop sync tool tomorrow when I’m less tired) and if syncing for Thunderbird is added, I suspect Airset will be the “killer app” I’ve been looking for.
I seem to have deleted the paragraph about AirSet’s information sharing via rss but Leonid Mamchenkov sums it up nicely. I don’t think I’ll be sharing my calender on here any time soon but the possibilities are exciting.
While I’m here I’ll quickly mention YackPack, a “web-based voice messaging for groups”. I’m hunting high and low for the microphone that came with the computer all those years ago because it looks like a great way of keeping in touch with family (especially those living in the desert) but you can also add YackPack to your website and let visitors leave messages. Hmm. What do you think – shall we give it a whirl?
Alternatively, Gordon has been testing Odeo.
I’m not sure that we bloggers will be all that keen to break anonymity and offer a physical voice to go with the blogging voice. Or maybe I’m just getting overwhelmed with all these new tools and resources on offer and need to go have a lie down…
February 19th, 2006 14:48
Wow, these are great links you’ve posted here.
I use MS Outlook for a calendar and contacts, and just synch it with my mobile phone. For lists I use a plugin for WordPress, and I keep notes in the “Quicknote” extension for Firefox. I used to keep these things altogether when I used my Yahoo account, but then my work blocked Yahoo access so it wasn’t much to you during the day. I think Yahoo pretty much takes care of all these requirements you have though, doesn’t it..? (Ugly interface though.) It has bookmarks, notes, calendar, contacts – pretty much everything. However, there’s still something I don’t quite like about Yahoo, can’t put my finger on it …
February 19th, 2006 14:48
Oops, forgot to say – BEAUTIFUL masthead, with the dog! I love it! :-D
February 19th, 2006 19:04
Ah now I don’t use MS Outlook any more (Thunderbird for the past year) and I’ve never got round to syncing that with my mobile. Maybe I should look into that.
Now that you come to mention it, I’ve some links somewhere for useful WordPress listy type plugins that I must have a look at. But I’m hoping that AirSet will be the *one* place to put everything regardless of which machine I’m at (well, providing there’s internet access).
I know what you mean about Yahoo. I groaned when I heard that they’d bought del.icio.us (and there was quite a bit of down time immediately following the takeover) but it seems to have settled down now so I’m staying with it for the time being.
And thank you, that’s one gorgeous dog, eh?
February 20th, 2006 13:05
Ohh Airset is new to me.
I’m a happy BackPack user, one more than one project. But I’m not sure I’d want ALL my ‘information’ in the one place anyway.
Outlook does a good job for me as it syncs with my mobile, have switched to Thunderbird at home though… which is proving troublesome.
Anyway, I posted about my ‘getting organised’ efforts last month and I sure as hell don’t want to go back through that!
February 21st, 2006 11:49
Nice to see you back again
February 22nd, 2006 03:47
Hello. Hope this all works out well for you.
February 22nd, 2006 23:21
Och, I don’t know.
I just don’t get this whole “Web App” thing. I just don’t see who they’re aimed at and why anyone would really want to use them.
I run Outlook and use it in conjunction with an Exchange server. I’ve got *way* more functionality than any online calendar can provide me with. I can access the Exchange server over the web to get my email, contacts, diary, notes etc anywhere.
Any sensible company with the need for employees to access applications remotely will run citrix or a windows terminal server, giving them *secure* access to the company’s applications, rather than relying on an unreliable, potentially unsecure and way underpowered web app.
I’ve looked at Writely, 30boxes, iCalc, Basecamp etc etc and I just don’t get it.