12 Apps of Christmas-Day 11 – Feedly

12 Apps of Christmas-Day 11 – Feedly

Day 1 – Hemmingway App (Writing app)
Day 2 – PollEverywhere (PowerPoint audience participation add-in)
Day 3 – The Great Suspender (Memory Manager – Chrome add-in)
Day 4 – Grammarly (Writing -Chrome add-in)
Day 5 – Dropbox for Gmail (Chrome add-in)
Day 6-  Canva (online graphics tool)
Day 7-  Google Drive for MS Office (Office add-in)
Day 8-  Power User (add-in for PowerPoint)
Day 9-  PowerPoint Labs (add-in for PowerPoint)
Day 10 –  Lastpass (Password manager)

Do you ever overwhelmed by the volume of information coming at you every day?  You’re not alone, and today’s app can help you get things under control. Feedly is a feed reader that allows you to subscribe to the news sources you want and have them all come to you. (Think Amazon Prime vs going to a zillion different stores for your holiday shopping!)

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Feedly saves you time and effort by aggregating the best content into a single place, so you don’t need to go zooming all across the web to find the stuff you’re interested in most.

To me, Feedly is simply the  best way to follow your favorite blogs, news sites, YouTube shows, podcasts, tumblr blogs, magazines, eBay listings, Hulu shows and just about anything you want.

The free plan works great for me, and you can get even more features with the paid Pro plan. I also prefer to read my news in Feedly’s free iPad app, but you can also on your phone or a whole host of other apps as well.

If you’d like all your favorite news in one place, give Feedly a try—you’ll be glad you did!

 

12 Apps of Christmas-Day 6 – Canva

12 Apps of Christmas-Day 6 – Canva

Day 1 – Hemmingway App (Writing help)
Day 2 – PollEverywhere (PowerPoint audience participation add-in)
Day 3 – The Great Suspender (Memory Manager – Chrome add-in)
Day 4 – Grammarly (Writing  – Chrome add-in)
Day 5 – Dropbox for Gmail (Chrome add-in)

Canva: Professional Graphic Design for Everyone

Do you ever need to create graphics? Virtually everyone does at some point. A blog header, a twitter graphic and visually impactful presentation slide?  Does the thought of designing make you nervous? Don’t have Photoshop nor the skills to operate it? No worries! Canva to the rescue.

Canva is a free, online graphics creation tool that makes it amazing easy to make fantastic looking images. (Plus it’s really fun!)

Just create a free account, choose the type of graphic you want, select a design and customize it to suit your needs. You’ll have amazing graphics in no time — and don’t worry I won’t tell your boss that it didn’t take you days to create! 😎

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If you want to learn more about graphic design, you can’t beat the Canva Design School blog !

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Social Bookmarking: A Gateway to Social Media Literacy?

I’ve been thinking lately about how people use social tools to filter, process and share all the things relevant to them and their colleagues. Like most systems the three main parts are input, processing & output. (Harold Jarche labels his Seek-Sense-Share and I like the somewhat similar Ask-Learn-Share.)

Before I get to the question of how you share the valuable things you encounter, I should first ask “Do you share the valuable things you find?” If you’re answer to this is no, why is that? If it’s because you don’t think you have anything valuable to share I’d ask you to reconsider. If it’s valuable to you then odds are somebody else could benefit from it as well. If you don’t share because you don’t know how and/or where I’d like to suggest a couple of ways to get started.

I think one of the easiest ways to start sharing is to simply move your bookmarks off your computer where only you can see them to one of the social bookmarking sites like Delicious or Diigo. Just stop and think about the things you can discover and learn from having access to the bookmarks of other smart people in your field.

For example, if you are an elearning developer you will no doubt benefit from seeing what David Anderson is bookmarking. Or even better yet, if you’re an Articulate user you should check out the whole group of people contributing their bookmarks. If you’ve never browsed either of those sites, take a few minutes to surf the tags that interest you. Perhaps elearning, instructional design, performance support or maybe even social business might be a good place for you to start.

If you like, feel free to look at my bookmarks. They could lead you to super smart people like Jay Cross and Harold Jarche. Or you can look for your own friends.

I’m confident you’ll discover some valuable resources and more importantly people who share you’re interests. After all that is the most valuable resource of all isn’t it? Connecting with people who share you’re passions.

Even if you don’t bookmark a ton of stuff, you can still benefit from a social bookmarking website in two ways. First, you’re bookmarks are no longer tied to a particular computer/browser and now they’ll be available to you no matter where you go. Save a bookmark at work during the day and you can still access it from home over the weekend. Secondly, by browsing what other people are saving you’ll be able to find and connect with people who have interests similar to your own.

As I reflect back, I think social bookmarking was my entry point to being “socially minded”. Which I’m confident is only going to become more valuable to all of us over time, no matter what field you are in.

So where are you’re bookmarks? Do you think that bookmarking and tagging is a gateway to ‘social’? How do you use them? Would you encourage others to use them?

What questions do you have? Let me know I’d love to hear from you.

 

Buffer

I do a lot of reading and try to share a lot of the best stuff I find via twitter. Usually this resulted in a big mass flood of tweets in the dark hours of the morning when most people here in the U.S. are still sleeping.  Recently I discovered a much better way to do this by using Buffer. The beauty of Buffer is that you can queue your updates and it sends them out at the optimum times to reach your audience.

Buffer is very simple to use and there are a bunch of different ways for you to queue your posts including:

If you like this, you might also be interested in “The Ultimate Guide To Becoming An Amazing Twitter Curator” from the Buffer blog.