Dec 11 2012

Remember Everything! Every time! Access Everywhere!- With Evernote!



Let me apologize ahead of time- I get real excited about Evernote. You may even call me an Evernote evangelist of sorts.

I have not blogged about Evernote before now for a couple reasons:

  1. There aren’t enough words to do this justice.
  2. Hasn’t everyone already heard of Evernote?

There are only a few programs that I launch daily that I cannot live without- and Evernote is one of them. What is it and why do I need it? Those are the hardest questions of all so let me see if I can summarize it:

  • A platform to let you remember and access all of your information when you and where you need it
  • Your digital life coach and manager
  • Your lifesaver in time of need
  • Your agent of change- start leading a “paperless” life

Evernote works on the concept of “Notes.” You add a note to your account using a device (computer, tablet, phone, etc.). The note can contain text, of course, but can also contain a photo, a link, a file, almost anything digital. You can then access that note at anytime once it is synced to the server. You can also share that note with others when you want!

Rather than be bore you with the details, here are some practical ways I use Evernote:

  • Post-it note replacement- Instead of writing something down on a little note, I just whip out my phone and make a quick note within Evernote. I then can access that note later.
  • Son’s football practice schedule- I take a picture of the printed football schedule (called a “snapshot” in Evernote). Then that text in the photo is searchable. Let me repeat that- any text in any image is searchable (sort of like the way scanners use OCR). This works even for handwritten text within an image!
  • Take a picture of a PPT slide during a presentation
  • Take snapshots of business cards, then trash the card itself
  • Take snapshots of receipts- I inevitably will misplace paper receipts. Taking a snapshot makes them searchable and can show them to the store so they can get the information they need for exchanges and refunds!
  • Take a snapshot of a diagram or poster on a bulletin board, etc.
  • Take a snapshot of a book I’d like to read or buy later (since I won’t remember the title or author on my own) Continue reading

Dec 5 2012

Is your website blocked in China?


We’ve all heard the rumors and humdrum about the Chinese government blocking all kinds of websites with their massive web filter to “protect” their citizens from possibly interacting with anyone or anything that may be critical of their government or infuse those crazy Western ideologies like democracy and basic human rights (OK, I’ll stop the political rant here). But how much of the rumors are true? How aggressive are those web filters? Find out at this site simply by entering the URL of a website. The website will attempt to access the website from computers within China to see if it is blocked or not.

This won’t be all that useful for a great number of people, though it will for some. An ESL teacher that was going to leave to teach English in China asked me about our web resources- asked if they would be available to him once he is in China early next year. For him, this website is of great value. For students in general, this is a¬†great lesson in cultural differences- analyzing which websites are blocked and finding out why!