2 Reasons Why I Won’t Be Trying Google’s Evernote and Springpad Competitor

google keep on the wayCould Google be launching a competitor to Evernote and Springpad? Google scrapped its Notebooks app quite some time ago, but according to a story on the Verge yesterday, it looks like the company might be ready to get back into the note taking app business. Would you give it a try?

I’m sure that Google will insert many hooks into its other services, that will make the app very tempting. Still, there are a couple of reasons that I probably won’t be leaving Evernote anytime soon. READ MORE

Springpad’s Still Going Strong, Introduces Facebook Like Integration

Springpad's Still Going Strong, Introduces Facebook Like Integration | 40Tech

The Springpad overhaul that dropped in April led to some strong reactions from a significant portion of its userbase — but don’t count them out! I have it on good authority that they are still experiencing significant growth, and are still working toward bringing you the smartest, most actionable notebook app around. Their latest venture? Facebook integration — don’t worry, haters, it’s optional! —  that allows you to turn the movies, TV shows, books, music, and places you “like” into searchable, organized notebooks. The information is then enhanced by services like Rotten Tomatoes, OpenTable, etc., and you can even showcase your favourites by sharing them back to your Facebook Timeline.

Add Springpad to Your Facebook Timeline | 40Tech  Add Facebook Likes, Check-ins to Srpingpad | 40Tech

Facebook Likes on Springpad   Facebook Like as Springpad Enhanced Note

The new integration is a good move for Springpad (and much more focused than their last attempt at Facebook integration), as it makes an effort to enhance the experience of the social network juggernaut, as opposed to trying to compete against it. Twitter integration like this could be in the pipeline for Springpad, as well.

Springpad Facebook integration highlights:

  • New users who sign-up for Springpad through Facebook can choose to have “likes” automatically imported and categorized into Springpad notebooks
  • Springpad enhances “likes” with actionable information such as Rotten Tomatoes movie reviews and trailers, price comparisons, maps, product availability alerts, OpenTable reservation links, Foursquare tips and more
  • Springpad users can choose to share notebooks or individual items to their Facebook timeline
  • Posts to your Facebook timeline (either individual items or entire notebooks) are organized under the Springpad header
  • Facebook likes are now discoverable and actionable
  • Springpad is now available in the Facebook App Center

Springpad Facebook Integration

Currently, all items that you share back to your Facebook Timeline are public. This is in keeping with how Facebook does things, as well as with Springpad’s current “if you share it, it’s public” way of doing things. However, there is the possibility that options for selective sharing may come later, which I would like.

I would also love to see Springpad integrate with Facebook comments, to keep conversations surrounding the likes/notes streamlined — and some sort of automatic like/spring option for users of both platforms would be nice, too. For example, if I like something on someone else’s Facebook/Springpad timeline post, I would like it to spring on Springpad, or add it to my own notebook and my Facebook likes. Also, I would love it if things I add to my new Facebook-generated notebooks would appear as new likes on my Facebook timeline, as well. So far, this doesn’t seem to happen.

The new Springpad Facebook integration takes them one step further away from a standard notebook app, and forward in their evolution as an “inspirational life management” platform.

I like it. What do you think?

Springpad vs Pinterest vs Evernote vs… Nobody?

Springpad 3.0 vs Pinterest vs Evernote vs... Nobody? | 40Tech

It used to be that the biggest comparison Springpad had to contend with was is it better than Evernote? Not anymore. With the newly realized vision of Springpad 3.0, the powerful and flexible digital notebook service now finds itself facing off against the hottest web service du jour: Pinterest.

The folks at Springpad have taken something their software has always been able to do — namely, the ability to collect, organize, and share stuff you find online — prettified it and opened up the social pipelines in a big way. It’s easier to explore for new and interesting content. It’s easier to connect with people who have similar interests. But it’s also easier do something that neither Evernote nor Pinterest can provide without help: make the things that you save actionable.

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Explore and Follow Interesting Public Notebooks in Springpad 3.0Use Nearly Any Smartphone, Tablet, or Computer for SpringpadNew Notebook Layout in Springpad 3.0Home Ideas Notebook in Springpad 3.0Task Management in Springpad 3.0

 

Jack of All Trades vs Focused Expertise

The greatest strength of Springpad is the same thing that has held it back over the years: there’s just so much — maybe too much — that you can do with it. Evernote and Pinterest, no matter how you use them or how many other services integrate them, each really do just one thing.

  • Evernote makes it easy to take notes and to search for and find them later.
  • Pinterest does visual bookmarking. End of story.

They don’t sound all that glamorous when you boil them down to their base elements, but they don’t need to. Each service does its one thing extremely well — better than everyone else, in fact. There’s power in that. Simplicity engenders trust, niche marketing, yadda yadda.

Springpad, on the other hand, can do all of the following (and more):

  • Take notes and make it easy to find them
  • Visual bookmarking (socially-focused now, just like Pinterest)
  • Personal shopping assistant (finds deals for you and such)
  • Task management (including reminders and integration with Google Calendar)
  • Collaborative planning (including corkboard-style planning for the visually inclined)
  • Etc, etc, etc

To top it off, there are several tools in Springpad that make it easy to classify and organize the various types of information you might want to collect — everything from recipes, to bookmarks, to wine and product wish lists, tasks, notes, files, and more. You can do all of these things quickly and easily from almost any smartphone or computer. They even help you to find new things that you’re interested in, use HTML 5 to give you offline access, and allow you to work with multiple people on private or public notebooks — and they do it all for free!

With all of that — and for free — Springpad should be at the top of the heap, right? Unfortunately, the reality is that their quest to become the ultimate digital notebook — which I believe they are, all things considered — creates a product that some may find intimidating. The immediate impression is that there is too much to learn, and not enough time to invest in it.

 

But Wait! Springpad Might Have Found the Secret Sauce…

Thankfully, the new, more visual design of Springpad 3.0 takes a lot of that intimidation factor away. The new design introduces a sort of visual simplicity that is easy on the eyes, and makes you want to click through and explore. You can even explore the public notebooks without having your own Springpad account, searching through different interest categories to find everything from great design and gift ideas to awesome places to eat in the city of Boston (or wherever).

If you’re looking for a definitive guide to Springpad, regular 40Tech commenter Daniel Gold has just released his second eBook, Springpad: Smarter Notebooks, Smarter Sharing, A Smarter Way to Get Things Done [affiliate link]. It’s 80+ pages of Springpad ins and outs for just $5.

 

In these different notebooks, you can find images, videos, commentary, and more — and if you get an account of your own you can “Spring” your favourites into your own public or private notebooks, add alerts for price drops, add a task or reminder to make sure you remember to look at it again, and so much more. As I said, the information becomes more than just a note or a bookmark, it becomes something you can act upon, in an ecosystem that facilitates forward movement instead of a vague list of interests or a virtual filing cabinet you may never open again.

Springpad shouldn’t be compared to Evernote or Pinterest. Not directly, anyway. It’s become an entity of its own, a place where users are interacting with trusted sources,  free to save and act on the things that matter most to them. Springpad 3.0 is a platform that can be easily adopted to suit your needs, be they a simple notebook, a place to find ideas, or a GTD task manager. It can even stand alongside of Evernote or Pinterest, should you want it to.

Go check it out. See what you think. We’d love to hear about it!

Springpad Adds Custom Notebooks, Shareable Notebook Templates — and Have You Seen the New Friends Stuff Yet? [App of the Week]

Springpad Adds Custom Notebooks, Shareable Notebook Templates -- and Have You Seen the New Friends Stuff Yet? | 40Tech

Usually, I like to pull out new apps for the App of the Week. Every once in a while, though, one of my favourites releases something so cool that I have no choice but to add the “extra-special” label. For the second time this week, Springpad pushes itself into the 40Tech stream, first with a slick integration into the iOS 5 notifications system, and now by adding yet another level of personalization and social value to their service.

Springpad vs Evernote is a thing of the past. With every new update, Springpad moves farther away from being just a note-taking/remember everything app, and gets closer to being the definitive service for collecting, sorting through, and acting on what interests you. Their latest leaps into this arena bring you three things:

 

Customize Your Notebooks

Note: Notebook customizations show up in the most recent versions of the mobile apps: iOS 2.6+, and Android 2.4+.

The ability to easily customize your notebooks so that you see only what you want in the sidebar, and cut the extra steps out of the Quick Add process.

Customizing your Springpad notebooks is easy. All you need to do is hover over the notebook (or the open notebook’s title bar) until you see the little wrench appear by the name, click said wrench, and head to either the Navigation or Quick Add button that appears in the pop up settings dialogue.

Navigation

  • Click and drag the navigation items to reposition them or delete them completely.
  • Change the item-type without moving anything (change Everything to Board, for example).
  • Change the way notes are sorted when you open that navigation item (by Added, Modified, Tag, etc.).
  • Change the Starting View for that navigation item to default as title-only, title-with-description, or grid.

Springpad Notebook Navigation Customization | 40Tech

Different navigation types will have different options, depending on their function. For example, the Types Section and Tags Section also allow you to decide how many of their items to show in the sidebar, as well as to decide if you want to sort by note count or name. That last bit, alone, will make life easier for those who use GTD in Springpad, and the other features won’t hurt either.

Quick Add

This is where things get fun. The best thing an app like Springpad can do is make it as fast and easy as possible for you to get things into it. Springpad was already pretty good at this, especially via their mobile apps, but sometimes it was a bit of a pain to select notebook, then select item type (or change item type, if Springpad’s auto-select got it wrong), etc., etc. Now you have the ability to make sure that the notebook only shows the options that you need to see.

You can select by the standard add a Note, Task, By Type, Look It Up, et al, as well as by Recipe, Book, Movie, and more. You can also choose client-specific options. This is fantastic if you do most of your collecting for that notebook by mobile, as you can then set it to collect only by Photo, Audio Recording, Barcode, or Search Nearby. Please note that Android devices currently do not allow adding alarms, contacts, or events, and mobile devices in general do not allow adding from My Stuff. Quick Add can be used to filter these items out.

Springpad Notebook Quick Add Customization | 40Tech

 

Save, Share, and Download New Notebook Templates

The ability to save your new notebooks as a template for other notebooks, share it with others, or easily adopt their shared templates.

Once your notebook is customized just how you like it, you can use it as a template for new notebooks by selecting it from the “Choose template for this notebook” dropdown menu (in the same place you name the new notebook).

Unfortunately, this only applies to new notebooks — there is no option to apply a template to a notebook you already have. If this annoys you, don’t worry, there’s an easy fix:

  • Create a new notebook
  • Add the desired template
  • Open the old notebook
  • Click Edit in the top left of the notes area
  • Click the checkbox to select all or use the dropdowns to filter and select (or just use a saved filter and Edit/checkbox)
  • Use the Notebooks dropdown to add the new notebook
  • Delete the old notebook

Add Springpad Notebook Templates to Existing Notebooks | 40Tech

Sharing Notebook Templates

All you have to do here is open up the settings, and click where it tells you to get the share link. None of your notes are shared, or any other private information, only the template. the link will lead to a page that allows people to Spring and install the theme. Add it wherever you like to add links: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, your blog, a public Springpad notebook just for templates — wherever.

Sharing Springpad Notebook Templates | 40Tech

Springpad already has a few templates available on their blog that can get you started, complete with ideas on how to make the most of them on the web and on the go. Check them out, and follow the prompts to install them: Gift Ideas template, Recipe Book template, Books to Read template.

Adding Springpad Notebook Templates | 40TechSpringpad Notebook Templates in Action | 40Tech

Share your custom notebook templates in the comments! 

 

Friends Stuff + Facebook = More Awesome

In case you haven’t heard, Springpad has integrated Facebook into Friends Stuff, so you can easily check out and add your friends’ Likes and Check-ins. We’re talkin’ movies, books, TV shows, music, places, and the like that your real-life friends recommend; easily viewable and sortable in your Springpad app, and easy to add to your own notebooks for later access.

Springpad Connects Facebook to Friends' Likes | 40Tech

The Friends Stuff Facebook integration is in beta, but if you click the link in the Homecreen’s sidebar and authenticate with Facebook, you should be able to get connected. At the very least, you will be put on the list and Springpad will send you an email to let you know when you can access the new feature.

Check out the Friends Stuff + Facebook video:

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So yeah… That’s a lot of Springpad awesome for one day. Kudos to CEO Jeff Janer and the entire Springpad crew for continually thinking of and adding new ways to make their service useful and unique. I can’t wait to see what they do next!

What do you think about Springpad’s new additions?

Springpad + iOS 5 = Easy Awesome

Springpad, iOS 5: Easy Awesome | 40Tech

It’s been two days now since iOS 5 officially landed — and it’s a hit. There are always a few hiccups, of course, and there are things that could be better and worse, but it’s pretty much the biggest update that iOS has seen since Copy and Paste. In fact, the update was so anticipated that the amount of people trying to get it all at once overloaded Apple’s servers and, ironically, left a lot of customers with an unfortunate upgrade experience. The error 3200 problem seems to be resolved now, however (I had no issues last night), so feel free to jump on in!

Before I upgraded, one of the biggest questions on my mind was how apps and services would be able to integrate into some of the cooler features — like the new notification centre. I was extremely pleased to see that the Springpad team is, as usual, at the head of the curve. They’ve already turned the notification centre into something that will not only make your life easier, but it’ll make things easier for your iOS-using friends as well.

I’m talking about Springpad’s new send to phone feature. With a single click, you can send something from the Springpad web app directly to your iPhone’s notification centre, where you can then open it up in the mobile app with a touch. This makes for a fantastic way to work with something you might need to map on the go, like a restaurant, gift-location, or whatever/wherever you’re on your way to. It makes planning a breeze, and can even be used as a creative way to get an organized reading list onto your phone or iPad, so you can continue researching whatever you were up to on your desktop before you went out.

The coolest feature os Springpad’s send to phone, though, is that you can add in multiple devices. This allows you to not only send things to all of your own iOS devices, but you can add a family member or friend as well, and share recipes, directions, product ideas, bookmarks, note-reminders, and whatever else you think might be useful to them.

Take a look at the video below to see Springpad send to phone for iOS 5 in action:

Oh — and if you haven’t heard, Springpad is doing better than ever before. In the last six months, they’ve grown another million users, which puts them up over the 2 million mark. These users have created over 5 million notebooks (about 3.5 notebooks per person), and have become 150% more engaged due to integration of check-ins and likes into Facebook.

Are you using Springpad for iOS? If so, tell us how you like the new send to phone feature for iOS 5!

Springpad Mobile Clipper is the (Near) Seamless Content Clipper You’ve Been Waiting For

Springpad Mobile Clipper is the (Near) Seamless Content Clipper You've Been Waiting For | 40Tech

It’s been a long time coming. Since I got myself an iPhone, and especially since the iPad, I’ve joined the ranks of the millions of users out there who have been waiting for a simple and easy way to clip web content on my mobile device. I’ve used Read It Later and Instapaper, I’ve copied things into email and sent them to Evernote, Springpad, Producteev, and myself. I’ve even used the desktop clipper bookmarklets with reasonable — if time-consuming — success. That’s all in the past now: Springpad has hooked up the mobile world with a new and improved web clipper that is near to seamless.

The new Springpad mobile clipper doesn’t have the fancy bells and whistles of the Chrome extension, of course, but the updated bookmarklet is straightforward and easy on the eyes, and it works just as well in Mobile Safari and Atomic Web Browser as it does on desktop browsers. I used to use the old Springpad bookmarklet, and sometimes the Evernote and Memonic ones as well, but more often than not, they would load or function slowly — if they loaded at all. I’m presented with or stumble across a plethora of juicy things I want to follow upon in any given day – and most of it happens while I’m not at my computer. Now I can grab a bookmark for later, organize it, and move on within seconds. No fuss, no later processing, and no clutter in my email inbox.

 

Clipping Content is Great on iPad, a Bit Neutered on iPhone

Clipping bits of content from an article or page is a bit of a problem, though, at least on the iPhone. When using the iPad, I had no issues at all. Select a bit of the text or an entire article, fire the clipper, and it appears in the bookmark’s description area, complete with formatting — unless you want to edit it, of course. That strips the HTML. On the iPhone, however, no amount of selecting or even copying text to the clipboard will get the content you want to clip to show up. All you will get is the description write-up. I’m not sure why this is, and it definitely limits the iPhone to a quick link-grabber as opposed to a full-fledged clipper.

If you really want to clip that bit of content or entire article for later reading while on the iPhone, you can copy the text and edit it into the description field by doing a select-all-and-paste maneuver. Once again, though, you will lose all formatting, including any links and images.

The iPhone issue aside, the clipper rocks for getting those bookmarks into Springpad and organized in your notebooks and tag structure. Notebooks are an easy drop down, and tags auto-complete as you type. You can also change the type of save you want it to be. Bookmark is the default, but you can change it to Business, Restaurant, Recipe, Product, and all the rest with just a few touches. Almost all the rest, that is — Note is missing, and so is Task. Not a huge loss, I suppose, unless you want to save a bookmark to a task or a note, which could happen. If you really need that functionality, you can always go into Springpad and add a reminder or a note directly to the bookmark.

Springpad Mobile Web Clipper for Mobile Safari in Atomic Web Browser | 40Tech   Springpad Mobile Safari Web Clipper | 40Tech

Selecting Post Type in Mobile Safari Web Clipper, Springpad | 40Tech   Tagging Bookmarks in Springpad Web Clipper for iPad, iPhone | 40Tech

image   image

 

Installation is Easy

Springpad has made it easy to install the bookmarklet to Mobile Safari. They provide step-by-step instructions in the Settings area of the most recent versions of their iPhone and iPad apps. If you use another browser, just follow the instructions and let Springpad load up Mobile Safari, as it will automatically add the JavaScript to your clipboard. After that, open up your browser of choice and add a bookmark, pasting the JavaScript into the URL field. There is no guarantee your browser will work, but I can tell you that Atomic Web Browser does just fine.

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Springpad Has a Few More Tricks Up Their Sleeves

The new mobile clipper isn’t the only thing Springpad’s been up to lately. They also released a Quick Add bookmark for your home screen that makes it faster for you to load up the Springpad app to add a note, photo, or whatever else you choose. This is nice for those of us without widgets like those Android folks.

I also have received word from Springpad CEO, Jeff Janer, that they have some big moves in the works that will differentiate them even more from Evernote. Having a mobile clipper that consistently works and works well is a good start though. They just need to fix that pesky iPhone issue…

What are your thoughts on the Springpad Mobile Clipper?

Springpad Clipper for iOS and an Evernote eBook

Springpad Clipper for iOS and an Evernote eBook | 40Tech

Heads up folks! Great things are happening surrounding two of your favourite apps: Springpad and Evernote. Firstly, Springpad is doing something that has been long-awaited and needed — namely, adding a web clipper that is optimized just for Mobile Safari. They’ve also caught up with Android by finally giving us iPhone and iPad users a Quick Add button for the home screen.

More importantly though — and this is no slight to the awesome Springpad, but credit where credit is both due and needed — my friend and one of our most informative and helpful commenters, Daniel Gold, has just released his first eBook [affiliate link]! It’s about Evernote, it’s about GTD in Evernote, it looks awesome — and it’s only $5 bucks!

I will be testing out the new Springpad awesome for a full report next week, and will also read and review Daniel’s Evernote eBook. I’m already a bit biased in its favour, because I’m familiar with Daniel’s work on his blog and his many awesome comments here (where I met the man). In fact, he has been a major contributor in both inspiration and expertise to several of my posts on this blog. Nonetheless, I’ll be as narrow-eyed and judgemental as any good reviewer should be… :P

Stay tuned for more next Wednesday night!

Memonic: A (Not So) Quiet Rival to Evernote and Springpad [App of the Week]

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I just confirmed with the CEO of Memonic that the crazy premium account deal ($3.33 Euro for 10,000 notes and 50GB storage) link works until the end of October. And it works for whomever, not just the Swiss/Germans. Translate the page from German and get it while it’s hot!

There’s been a lot of discussion on 40Tech about which is the best note-taking app. While the battle is generally between Springpad and Evernote, occasionally a new option steps in for a punch or two. This week’s contender has been watching, learning, and in many cases even improving upon the competition. I’d like to introduce you all to Memonic — there’s a reason it made App of the Week.

When it comes to note-taking apps, there are five key things to look for: how easy it is to get information into the app, organization and sharing features, overall usability, cross-platform possibilities, and personal preference. That last is a huge factor in user adoption. Depending on what you need your notes app to do, one or another may work better for you.

Evernote, for example, is well suited to those who just need a straight ahead, highly searchable portable filing cabinet. It can do many other things, true, such as be used for a GTD system, but portable (and searchable!) filing cabinet is what it does best. Springpad, on the other hand, is great for taking notes, but has this fantastic capacity for making certain types of notes “smart.” If you like to comparison shop, find good deals, or get value from what the people in your network are interested in, Springpad’s note-alerts system offers you something no other note-taking app can match.

Memonic doesn’t have the budget that Springpad or Evernote has. They’ve been bootstrapping their system for a while now, and when you consider that and then see what they’ve put together, I have no doubt you’ll be impressed. I was — and am. Just as Evernote and Springpad differ in their approach and target markets, Memonic has brought its own angle to the field: research and collaboration. Now, before the Evernote lovers start touting shared notebooks, and the Springpad-enamoured bring up the oh-so-very-cool Board, hear me out. Those are all excellent features — but if you want an app that makes it easy to share and organize notes on a project (or projects), easy to be notified when new notes and research snippets have arrived or been commented on, and ridiculously simple to gather information in the first place, then Memonic is the clear choice. Here’s why:

 

Groups

Memonic can be used as a central collaboration notebook for research, planning, and discussions on projects. You can create a group, invite a few people, and then get to work. The group gets its own page with its own activity feed, too, which makes it simple to be notified and to keep an eye on progress.

If you run into the ever-present problem of working with someone who doesn’t want to use the service, sharing notes with people outside of Memonic is easy, too. You can share via Facebook, Twitter, email, or a link, RSS feeds, and you can even embed notes on web pages — which is a nice touch.

Share Memonic Notes on Facebook, Twitter, Email, or Embed in a Web Page | 40Tech

 

The Dashboard

Memonic’s group and contacts features are fully realized with the feed-like Dashboard. The Dashboard not only shows you a quick clip of everything you’ve posted recently, but it also shows the public posts of your contacts — which can be opened and read in full right from the dashboard itself. See something you like? Copy it to your own collection of notes, or share it with others via email, link, Facebook, or Twitter (or even copy it to Word) with just a few clicks.

Memonic Dashboard | One of the Best Note Taking Apps | 40Tech

 

The Best Clipper I’ve Come Across

I love the Evernote Web Clipper, and I like the Springpad Clipper even better, but both can get a bit irritating if you’re in a hurry. Memonic’s clipper does away with the click and drag highlighting and breaks each section of content on a page into regions that can be selected with a single click. You can do multiple parts of the page, or even the entire page in one go. When you’re doing a lot of web research, this speeds up the process immensely.

Memonic Clipper is the Best Web Clipper in the Business | 40Tech

Quick content selection isn’t the only reason the Memonic clipper stands out over the others. The other big one is Gathering Mode, which is a little toggle switch that allows you to lock in your settings for where you want to put your notes — folder, privacy level — and save you the trouble of having to re-establish those settings for every single clipping. It’s awesome — and I have no idea why other clippers don’t do the same. The only thing I would like to see added to Gathering Mode is the ability to lock in tags, as well.

Finally, the Memonic clipper has a variety of other useful modes that can replace a number of other services with just this one:

  • Read Later mode that allows you to grab entire pages
  • Bookmark mode (which provides a nice snippet description as well)
  • Screenshot mode that attaches an image of the visible browser area
  • Write a note (to get to the note taking without even opening the service)

Memonic Web Clipper Can Replace Read It Later, Bookmarking Apps | 40Tech

The web clipper works with all major browsers — and even works by bookmarklet with Safari for iPad. If that isn’t enough, there is also a clipper for Windows that allows you to clip content outside of the browser.

 

Clean and Simple Design — Across all Platforms

Memonic focuses on the minimal. The way notes are displayed in expandable windows that are neatly separated from one another is easy on the eyes and easy to use. The look and feel is distinctly uncluttered, and is fairly persistent across all versions of the app. And you can get Memonic pretty much anywhere: Windows and Mac desktop apps, iPhone, iPad, Android devices, and the web app for everything else. Mobile versions don’t have the Dashboard, unfortunately, but everything else you could want is there, both online and off.

 

Crazy Integrations

For a small operation, Memonic is throwing around some important integrations, especially for the business set. Here’s just a few: Salesforce, SugarCRM, Confluence, Sharepoint — and guess what… they are planning to integrate with Evernote! That may seem a bit weird, but soon, all those who can’t bear to walk away from Evernote, but love the power of the Memonic clipper, will be able to use the super-awesome clipper to save content directly to their Evernote accounts. A nice, tidy little bit of genius on the part of Memonic, if you ask me.

Memonic Clipper Integrates with Evernote | 40Tech

If, for some strange reason, you need more than the promise of Evernote integration, well, Memonic also integrates a save button into Facebook so you can save your favourite photos, status updates, and wall posts. Want more? How about Google Reader integration so you can clip your favourite posts while reading your feeds? How’s that tickle you?

More ways to Use Memonic | Save Facebook, Google Reader Posts | 40Tech

 

Memonic’s co-founder, Dorian Selz, and the rest of the team have worked their butts off on a bootstrap budget to put together one of the most robust note-taking apps I’ve ever come across — a definite rival for Evernote and Springpad if it gets the notice it deserves. The only issue I personally have with Memonic is that their free version is limited to only 100 notes and doesn’t have Gathering Mode. To get the full service, though, only costs $28/year — which isn’t bad considering Evernote premium is $45/per year — and Memonic doesn’t have any advertising to clutter up your experience. If you do a lot of research on your own, or as part of a student or business team, give Memonic a try — you just might love it. And there are discounts for students, too.

What do you think of Memonic?

The Top Five Web Apps I Use the Most — What Are Yours?

The Top Five Web Apps I Use the Most -- What Are Yours? | 40Tech

The more I work on the computer, the more I realize that Google is probably right about the Cloud being our future. In fact, other than Photoshop and friends, the occasional game, and the desktop version of Evernote, I pretty much live in Web App Land. Outside of the obvious like Facebook, Twitter (plus related apps), and Gmail, there are approximately 30 web apps that I use or visit on a semi-regular basis — and that’s not including the Chrome extensions that are direct links to yet other web apps.

Here are the five that I use the most:

 

Producteev, Springpad, and Evernote

Okay, so I’m actually cheating a little bit and making my first web app a combination of three. If you’ve read 40Tech before, and especially if you’ve read me, you already know that these three apps are a huge part of my personal productivity system. I had to include them in my list, but I didn’t want them to take up more than half of it! Besides, all three are practically indispensable to me: Evernote for writing and quick ideas, Springpad for bookmarking and research, and Producteev for GTD task management and overall organization. I could do (and have done) all of those things with each one of those apps, but decided to play to their strengths and combine them for the best results.

Feedly

This is another app I’ve covered before. Feedly is probably the best RSS/Google Reader client that I have ever used. The visual presentation of all of my feeds in a magazine format that learns what I like is utterly fantastic. I love it!

Netflix

I don’t get a lot of time to watch TV or movies, but when I do sneak some in, I usually wind up on Netflix. The streaming movie and TV show catalogue is not nearly as well-stocked up here in Canada, but there is still a lot of great content, especially for $8/month.

Mint

Since Mint.com merged with Intuit and finally started offering its finance management awesome in Canada, it has lived in my browser. There’s still a lot of work I need to do with it to get the most out of the array of tools and resources it offers, but Mint is definitely a web app that is here to stay for me.

Dropbox

Dropbox is my main cloud storage service. I also use SugarSync, Box.net, iDrive Backup, MiMedia, and a few others, but Dropbox is the most developed — or at least the most supported by other services. I use it to backup files, to get them on to my iPhone and iPad easily, and to share files with friends, family, and business colleagues. That’s hard to beat.

 

There are, as I mentioned, a multitude of other apps that I use, and there are even a few that are threatening the hold of some of my current list. I’ll be reviewing those few soon, so stay tuned!

Now it’s your turn: what are your top five web apps?

Springpad Web App Adds Offline Access, Data Backup

Springpad Web App Adds Offline Access, Data Backup | 40Tech

One of the things that has been a major point of contention in the ongoing Springpad vs Evernote debate (which still rages, despite the different market segments the apps target) has been the lack of a desktop app for Springpad. This was closely followed by the inability to backup and download your Springpad data, which was a strong deterrent for some of our own readers. Well, Springpad has pushed their product forward yet again, and have addressed these issues — and while offline access to the service doesn’t quite stack up to the power of a desktop version, it’s a huge step forward for the web app, and only the beginning of things to come.

Offline Access

The Springpad mobile apps have had offline access for some time now, leaving their web counterpart to catch up. To do this, Springpad has used it’s integration into the Google Chrome browser to its — or, rather, our — advantage. Other browsers will be added soon enough, but for now, all that HTML5 offline goodness is locked into the native Chrome app. If you already have it installed, you will probably have to uninstall it and then grab it from the Chrome Web Store again. Then you need to pop into settings, then services, and click the button to enable offline access and start the sync. If you want to make sure everything you sync remains up to date, then leave the app open while you do other things. I suggest right-clicking on the app and then selecting “open as pinned tab” or as a new window so you can “set it and forget it.”

Springpad Offline Mode Syncs Data for Offline Access

While the offline access is a fantastic development, there are still a few things that are lacking. Of course, you won’t have access to elements that are internet-dependent, like alerts and links to other sites, but you also won’t be able to use the Board, or the advanced sorting and filtering options. Also, you can only search by title (which is a little annoying), you have no access to the trash, and you can’t add new photos or files for later upload (among other limitations — full list here). Some of these things will be addressed in future updates, and I’m definitely not complaining — I’m happy about the offline access, and fully expect it to improve in leaps and bounds over the next while. I still have that hankering for a desktop app, though. I have no real reason for it, and I fully understand that Springpad’s dedication to the cloud and HTML5 puts them ahead of the curve, but… I want one. It’s probably just me showing my age or something…

Data Backup

I’m loving what Springpad has put together for a data backup solution. Most times, when you download a backup of an online service, it is a CSV file, or some other dump of data that is not otherwise immediately usable. Springpad has basically given you an offline website with a list of your data in HTML form. Unfortunately, it is not easily navigable without a lot of scrolling or using your browser’s Find feature, but it’s all there and it’s easy to read. I downloaded a few thousand notes and bookmarks into a 12 MB zip file (with attachments and photos in their respective folders) that I was able to open and read right away. This made me happy!

Springpad Offline Access, Data Backup Features | 40Tech

The downside of this method is that it is not really ideal for transferring your data to another service, if that is what you want to do. Perhaps Springpad should include a CSV option, but I’m thinking you would have to leave a lot of data behind that way.

In any case, you now have the ability to mitigate the potential disaster of losing all your Springpad data in a freak accident, and will be able to enjoy reading it too. Huzzah!

Springpad isn’t slacking on other fronts, either. They are a part of the Google IO Chrome Sandbox, and have updated their Android apps to support Honeycomb tablet devices. They also have released a version for the Barnes & Noble Nook Color — which is awesome for the owners of the eBook reader/tablet hybrids, considering how Springpad is able to keep track of and deliver alerts on books. I love the steady and focused flow of updates we’ve been getting from Springpad, and I can’t wait to see where they take us next. I’m hoping desktop app – but I’ll take what they give.

What are your thoughts on the latest Springpad updates?