• Get Jeff’s Posts

  • Reach Jeff by Phone

    Got a question? Call Jeff. 774-BROWN-11 (774-276-9611)
  • Jeff’s Tweets

  • Jeff’s Blog Archives

  • Featured in Alltop
  • Jeff’s Comments

  • Disclaimer

    The opinions expressed on this weblog are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.
  • Copyright

    Creative Commons License
    If you reprint a post on this site or repost it on your own blog or website, you must include the following attribution: © 2011, Jeffery D. Brown. Used by Permission. Originally posted at thejeffbrown.me.
  • Advertisements

Organize and Find Everything in One Place with Springpad and Evernote

If you’re like most people, between shopping, eating, surfing the net, conversations with friends and basically just living your day-to-day life, you constantly come across products, web pages and ideas you want to remember.  However, if you’re like me – and I hope for your sake you’re not – it can be a real challenge as to how to organize it all.

Chances are you’ve at least heard of Evernote.  With Evernote, you can save just about anything you want to remember in the cloud.  I’ve been using it extensively the last few months, mostly to organize others’ blog posts I want to refer back to, though there’s a lot more to it than that.

Unfortunately, for me at least, Evernote has slowly become yet another place to store my bookmarks, along with my Firefox browser and Delicious, giving me as many as three places they might be (to be fair, I’ve been using Evernote mostly on my desktop and long before I acquired my first smartphone a few weeks ago).

Recently, though, I came across a similar, free service called Springpad.  While Springpad mirrors Evernote in many ways – helping you save ideas, things you see, things you like, etc. – it does add a couple of new dimensions that I find intriguing.

First, the similarities:

  1. Both allow you to save just about anything you come across.  This could be a photo you’ve taken, a website or article you come across, an idea, any number of things.  Let’s say you’re planning a wedding and want to have one place to save dress photos, venue options, guest lists, whatever.  Instead of lugging around that three-ring binder, access everything you need right from your smartphone.
  2. You can save items independently or tag and categorize them in folders.  Either way, finding them later is as easy as entering a keyword or selecting the folder (say, “XYZ Project) that contains the items you’re looking for.
  3. Both offer their own smartphone app.  Likewise, I use an Evernote Firefox add-on and a Springpad (Spring It!) bookmarklet when surfing the web.
  4. Both are free.  Evernote does offer a paid version, but I’ve found the monthly 40MB offered with the free version  to be more than enough for me.  For $5 a month, you’ll get a total of 500MB of space that starts over every month.

Beyond that, there are several key differences:

  1. When it comes to how you save what you find, Evernote adds the option of saving audio notes on your app-enabled smartphone.  This feature, on the surface at least, seems to be one of the few advantages Evernote has over Springpad.
  2. Conversely, Springpad enables you to barcode searches.  You can even “search nearby.”  This might come in handy when, say, you see a restaurant or store you want to remember to visit later.  Save it and Springpad automatically pulls in the phone number and address of the business, even a Yelp review if applicable.
  3. Snap a photo that includes handwritten or printed text and Evernote makes it searchable.  Very cool.
  4. One key difference is Springpad adds social sharing to the equation.  You can choose what items, or categories of items, you’d like to make public. Others can follow what you’re sharing and, likewise, you can follow others.  Want to know about great wines Gary Vaynerchuk is discovering?  Just follow his Springpad feed.
  5. The web interface also allows you to add apps to your Springpad experience.  For example, my Springpad includes a blog post and date night planner among others.  Last week when I had an idea for a new blog post I wanted to remember, I noted it in Springpad and was able to even set a reminder e-mail for the day I wanted to work on it.  One drawback though is interfacing with these apps does not appear to be an option within the Springpad smartphone app.
  6. Lastly, when you save something, Springpad automatically curates relevant links, notes and other media (as in #2 above).  Spring a movie you want to check out and Springpad will include a link to Fandango so you can buy tickets whenever you’re ready, or maybe even the latest Trailer, reviews, or a link to purchase the DVD at Amazon.

I’ve only being using Springpad for a short while.  I can say for sure that the lack of a desktop app (versus Evernote which offers both a web and desktop version) is a big deal for me.  I use the Evernote desktop app virtually everyday.  However, I really like the additional features, like social sharing, that Springpad offers.

For more on both services, check out the respective videos below.  And let me know in the comments section which one you use, how you use it, and what you do and/or don’t like about it.  Do you use both?  Which do you prefer?

Have I missed any features?  Differences?  Similarities?

Photo credit, Franck-Boston on iStockphoto.com

Advertisements

We Love Your Mom

I never knew something seemingly as simple as adding audio to my blog could be such a frustrating chore.  I add images all the time after all.  And I’m in radio for Pete’s sake.  I work with audio daily.  Why is this so stinking hard WordPress.com?

iStock_000008622315XSmall

Turns out audio, WordPress.com and Firefox in particular, don’t get along very well.  You see, I’ve been trying to post audio from our Mother’s Day campaign since about mid-May.  And while it may now be Dad’s month, I’ll be darned if anything is going to stop me from seeing it through.

Many whom I’ve connected with via Twitter and elsewhere and who don’t live within our station’s coverage area have expressed an interest in hearing what we did.  I can tell you that what began as a simple idea to facilitate giving away a Mother’s Day prize package turned into quite a bit more.

Listeners were asked to call a special number and simply share the kinds of sacrifices mom made along the way.  As the calls came in, we found that there were going to be dozens more calls than we’d ever be able to air.  The initial on-air promo we used told of the specifics of the promotion and what was in store for the eventual winner.  Follow up on-air promos added some of the early calls we received.

As Mother’s Day approached and the time to pick a winning call closed in, we realized that, with an edited script, there was no reason why we couldn’t continue with the “celebrate mom” mentality throughout the rest of May.  And that’s exactly what we did, which, in turn, gave us the chance to enhance a lot more lives with a few more calls.

While I’d hope to embed a player directly into the blog here, the best I could do was link to an external site where audio from 4 of the calls we received is being hosted.  Particularly moving is the call from Kelly.  She and her mom also happened to be our winners.   Phrases like “limousine ride,” and “hot stone massage” are now permanent parts of their vocabulary.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I love my mom too.  Here’s the link:

Mother’s Day Audio