Top 5 Applications of 2007

These are applications that I began using this year and for me has made the most difference in either productivity or learning. I’m sure I try hundreds of services and applications in a year so in order for them to stick, they have to prove in a very short time that they have value. Sometimes, they are simply improvements on things I’m already using and other times, they are provide a completely different experience. At any rate, I’m not all that patient so they need to work and show their fruits quickly or else, get positive reviews from my network that force me to dive in.

  • Twitter…the one application that I hardly ever promote since I it takes a while to “get”.
  • Google Reader…switched from Bloglines early in the year and never looked back.
  • ScribeFire…a blog editor which allows me more freedom in terms of formatting and embedding content on all the blogs I write for.
  • Jing…quick and easy screen capture and video demo tool.
  • Google Maps….I’ve been using it for more than a year but the added features of sharing and creating maps

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  • Dean,

    As far as productivity goes, this list rocks. Each of these, save Jing, has made a huge difference in my planning and workflow this year. I would also add Google Notebook to this list, if it were mine, because of how focused research can become without having to leave my browser to annotate.

  • Another great list, Dean. I’m with Patrick as far as Google Notebook goes. I’d be tempted to just add the entire suite of Google apps – mail, docs, notebook, reader, maps, etc. – as one item. Most of the stuff I do on a computer revolves around these apps, but if I didn’t list them as one item, I wouldn’t have room for any of the others.

  • Patrick and Rob,

    I’ve just started using Notebook for about 4 months and do think of it as a key piece of my productivity. I considered adding the whole Google Suite as one but felt it important to draw out the specific apps that I use most.

  • Hey Dean,
    A great roundup of apps – I have used all of them myself. However, I think it really depends on what one needs in day-to-day practice for one’s specific job. I would heartily endorse wikispaces (or other wikis) because of their flexibility as a sort of repository environment of media items and information. I would also say that I have used the zamzar conversion tool a fair amount. In the last year, I have to come to measure a tool or resource by the way in which it could convert or be converted into a ubiquitous file type and be made available to anyone regardless of platform. Zamzar certainly enabled that ability. Thanks for sharing – my own reflection on 2007 is coming soon – you guys have been so inspiring!

  • Hi Dean,

    At last, a “top” or “best” list that makes me feel adequate. Your list Dean is the first list of the last week or so where I can say I utilise all the tools.

    Another tool that I found useful this year was the addition of the Import Video button to Blogger. I do not use Blogger for my blog now but by embedding videos in a Blogger blog one can easily create a vodcast. Blogger converts the video following upload and you can use that blog’s RSS feed in iTunes, Google Reader, Bloglines, etc to subscribe to and view the vodcast. Solves video storage issues as well. Teachers and students can create vodcasts and not worry about ftp settings and the like. Elegant.

    Thanks Dean for all your inspiration this year. Cheers, John.

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