YackPack is a tool to communicate with people in your “circle”. It lets you click on someone and record a message for them to hear when they next log on. The founder has a PhD. in Physicology and the product was built as a solution to the disconnect that happens when groups communicate exclusively by email. Currently the product is free in its beta form.
ActiveWords helps cut down on the time it takes to accomplish work with your PC. It allows you to type in a single word and push a button to do something. For example, you can type in “word” and push F8 to launch Microsoft Word. In some ways it brings the speed of working at a command line back to the computer. It also has the ability to to text replacements and certain types of scripting. You can find an interview with the CEO at PodTech and he makes an offer to give listeners a free license.
Activewords allows you to specify your typing speed and hourly pay rate. Using these figures, it keeps a running tally of how much it has saved you expressed as a dollar amount. This is a nice marketing strategy for them to get people to buy it after the 60 day trial. It is going to be hard to stop using a piece of software if it can prove to you it’s worth. There is a review of ActiveWords at the Slacker Manager site.
Free411 is a new company that gives you free directory assistance by calling 1-800-FREE411. I know that I personally waste a lot of time trying to look up phone numbers using my phone’s web browser, simply because I don’t want to deal with the insane charges for using my cellular company’s directory assistance. According to their CEO, 92% of the money you pay for a normal 411 call is profit to the phone company. They are set up to let the advertisers pay for their operating costs by allowing them to put a 10 second ad in front of their competitor’s listing. CNet has a review of their service.
Another free phone based service is Tell Me. They use voice recognition software to give you information on sports, weather, traffic, movie information, and news through their 800 number at 1-800-555-TELL.
NextPage is software that lets you maintain and work with versioning information in Microsoft Office documents. It provides much of the functionality that programmers get with version control systems, but in a way that is easy for average computer users to understand. One of the biggest advantages of their software is the way it allows you to work with people who are not using the system. It has a very nice visual way of showing what changes have been made to what version of the document. NextPage has been reviewed here.
If you’ve run across any products or websites that are helping you accomplish more, please leave a comment.