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Productivity

For most of us, a large chunk of emails received are usually automated and unimportant stuff like notifications, newsletters, bills, mailing lists, registrations, event invites and the like. Even when you set up multiple filters to move them into their respective folders skipping the inbox, you will still end up getting the same (and new) automated mailers. In fact, services employ people who specialize in making sure that emails land in your inbox rather than a spam folder.

It’s a good sign that a horde of startups are working to address the problem of email overload. A lot of new tricks are being tried out like converting emails to tasks, make reading emails a game and so on. While they offer a partial fix, a fool proof solution is yet to come to market. ZeroMail is a web app that strives to remove clutter from your inbox. It’s time to learn how to put the app to use.

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The Khan Academy is a free to use educational platform which allows individuals to easily find and view lessons and lectures in a wide range of areas such as mathematics, history, finance and biology. The ultimate goal of this nonprofit organization, is to provide a freely and easily attainable education to anyone across the globe, through an open and social learning environment.

With over 2,600 educational videos in dozens of areas of interest, the Khan Academy is not only rapidly approaching this goal, but is also beginning to completely revolutionize the way people are approaching education in digital space. With continued support from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as Google’s Project 10^100, the Khan Academy has already begun to challenge traditional outlets for educational viewership on the web, and there is really no limit to the project’s potential.

This in depth look at the Khan Academy will cover everything you need to know to get started, and will additionally demonstrate how students of all ages are already benefiting from their time online with this system.

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Idealist.org, founded in 1995 by the nonprofit organization Action Without Borders, is an online community promoting the connection of people, organizations, opportunities, and resources to build a better world through community engagement. Now with over 6,000 job listings, 13,000+ volunteer opportunities, and over 320,000 registered users, there has never been a better time to look at what the community has to offer, especially for anyone looking to make a difference.

Need a job? Need more experience? Both of these opportunities could just be a few clicks away. If you have ever wanted an easy way to give back and get involved with your community, read on to see how you can leverage Idealist.org to get the opportunity or position that you have always wanted.
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I don’t have to write anything more about the annoyance of dealing with a constant barrage of emails day in and day out. From those dealing with a handful of emails to those getting hundreds of them, the collective feeling is that of pain and boredom. What is supposed to make sure that you get the job done, ends up taking up a major chunk of productive hours.

In the last few months we have reviewed a few apps that try to help people tackle their overloaded inboxes. SaneBox separates your most important emails from the ones that can wait, helping you prioritize the way you read your messages all the while saving you time and frustration. Come join me to learn how to put this app to use and enhance your productivity.

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After taking a break from social networking, I was interested to see a review of the Twitter app Wren in our sister site Mac.AppStorm.net. Wren’s a beautifully designed app for posting on Twitter … and nothing else. You can’t see your Twitter feed, DMs, @replies, or anything else. All you can do is post your thoughts to Twitter.

Sounds like a crazy idea perhaps, but truth be told, most of us are bombarded with too much information anyhow. It’s nice to share your thoughts online throughout the workday, and sometimes you come across something you feel you’ve got to share. Problem is, you’ll likely find yourself still browsing random links a half hour later instead of getting back to work.

Wren is a Mac-only app, and it’s only for Twitter. But turns out, most social networks have a way to post online without getting distracted by your feeds. Here’s how you can use Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and even Reddit and Hacker News in a distraction-free way.

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We’ve all done it: you read an interesting article, and plan to share it with your friends or just for your own reference later. The next day, we think of it again, and can’t find where in the world the article was. Was that on AppStorm or Engadget? Or was it CNN? No, wait: maybe it was New Yorker.

So you promise yourself, next time, you’ll be more careful to bookmark stuff you want to save. Then, you bookmark it at the office, only to find that you’re trying to remember it when you’re out at lunch and only have your iPhone.

Online bookmarking is the best solution for this, but it’s usually too much trouble to click through 3 or 4 links just to save a small bookmark. What if your bookmarking tool could do the heavy lifting for you, so your favorite stuff online would be bookmarked automatically without so much as a thought? Pinboard, the increasingly popular bookmarking web app, includes a number of tools to automate bookmarking, so keep reading to see how it can automatically archive your favorite sites without you remembering to do anything special.

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Effortless and meetings are two words that don’t go well together. They are contradict with each other so much, they would make the term “effortless meetings” an oxymoron. Even with the help of enterprise grade calendering and scheduling apps, planning an all hands meeting might be a tiresome process.

A lot of Web 2.0 apps have tried to solve the issue of scheduling. Meetin.gs is the newest one among them. The web app screams about making all your scheduling tasks simply effortless, breaking organizational boundaries. Does it really deliver?

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Wolfram alpha has been receiving a lot of attention, and a number of people have seen it as Google’s new rival. In many ways, Wolfram Alpha more than just a search engine – it’s a smart computational knowledge engine.  Anyone who ask Wolfram Alpha factual questions will receive not only facts, but a complete analysis of the questions, with diagrams, charts, and formulas. Wolfram Alpha processes questions through its built-in models, algorithm,  and presents real-world knowledge to users.

In this respect, Wolfram Alpha is smarter than Google. Wolfram Alpha retrieves relevant information, apply scientific models,  and present its answers with data comparison, trends, diagrams,  instead of merely giving you a list of documents that matches your search keywords – like what Google does. The system is elegant, the user interface is simple and clean – it is simply stunning.

No matter what you’d like to learn about, Wolfram Alpha is a great place to start. Here’s how you can use it to learn more about the world around you.

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I remember when I started using GMail. It was a warm day in April 2004. I couldn’t believe I got an invite, and all because I was using Blogger for my blog at the time. I knew when I first opened it up in my browser that this would be a web app I’d use for a long time. Over the years it has grow, in my opinion, only stronger and I still use it to this day, every day. I have also accumulated over the 7 years of use, a list of tips to make your GMail experience even better- more productive, easier, and even cleaner. Here are some of my favorites.

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Over the past few months, there’s one web app I’ve increasingly relied on to keep up with everything I need to remember and write down. From blog posts to random to-do lists, the bulk of the things I write are saved in Simplenote. Best known as an iOS app, Simplenote’s elegant web app and the wide variety of 3rd party apps that work with it such as Notational Velocity make it work wherever you want. is one of the best examples of an app that’s gotten more features over time and yet stayed fast and simple.

At the heart of Simplenote is Simperium‘s high quality cloud sync engine. No matter what Simplenote-compatible app you’re writing in, your text will be seamlessly synced to the cloud so you can pick up writing from another device. It’s the promise of iCloud’s document sync, available today on almost every device. You can even use it to look back at previous versions of your notes, or share your Markdown formatted notes with the world.

Simplenote has an incredible number of features to be such a simple app, so let’s take a deeper look at its most advanced features, and how you can use it to keep your notes safe.

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