Posts Tagged

simple

A lot of people that go to college don’t get the luxury of having it paid for, and most students graduate with tons of debt to pay. Fortunately, for me, I had parents that saved their hard earned money and wanted to be able to pay my tuition. Well, fast forward ten years and I am back in school again, but this time, I am on my own. I knew I was going to have to take out loans to go back, and we have a plan to pay it all, but it doesn’t hurt to get an even better strategy to assess things.

That is where Tuition.io comes in very handy. It’s a new web app that helps me visualize my payments and what I need to do. By the time I finish school in about a year and a half, I want to be able to be in a good financial position to pay off the loan as fast as I can, which means I want to start paying on it now. Tuition.io can help with this, and does a variety of other things to help ease your mind when it comes to paying for college.

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Facebook today announced that it has prepared a fresh and more focused News Feed for its users. The updated design will include the usual timelines, along with four new ones: All Friends, Photos, Music, and Following. With this upcoming redesign, the social network hopes to make your online experience much simpler — it wants to be the social nucleus that you’ve been waiting for.

With that promise, it has a chance to win back users who left over the privacy complications and overall clutter the site has gathered over time. Is this audacious overhaul enough? (more…)

For the past few years, blogging has taken over the internet and it’s no surprise that blogging software and platforms have been increasingly easier to quickly access and use. However, if you just want to write the occasional post and aren’t too bothered about maintaining a full blog, these tools can seem incredibly bloated. Themes, categories, tags — these can quickly become a major pain to maintain. That’s where Feathers comes in.

Feathers gets you focused on the writing again and you can be up and blogging in seconds — relieving the need to configure a full blog. Read on to find out more!

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Document management has always been tricky, especially when you want to centrally store documents with all of their updates and revisions, and give people an easy way to collaborate on them. Wikis seem like the perfect solution, but they’re usually complicated, requiring at best HTML formatting and at worst a special markup language that you’ll have to get used to.

On the other end of the spectrum, Markdown formatting has been steadily increasing in popularity as a simple markup language to make rich formatted documents and HTML without having to use anything other than plain text and simple characters. It’s used in everything from new CMS apps to simple writing tools on the web and in native apps.

Bring the two together to create a web app that allows insanely simple editing, what have you got? Scribble, of course.

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I’m always on the lookout for nice notes apps. I use Evernote, Notepad, Writeroom, Ghost Writer, and more, and will use a different notes app depending on what I want to do with the notes. The great thing about notes apps is that you can use them for so many purposes: jotting a note down, writing a longform piece, saving a phone number or tip for later, and even making list of things I need to do. That’s why it’s nice to have a lot of different notes apps, so you can use different ones for different purposes.

I came across Fetchnotes recently, which looked like a really simple, easy-to-use app for taking notes online. Let’s see if it lived up to my expectations, and if it’d fit in my workflow to replace any of the other notes apps I already use.

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Anyone doing business with clients should be familiar with the dreaded invoice. Though they signify that you’re going to be paid at some point in the near future, something you would think would be a a good thing, if you have to deal with quite a few of them on a regular basis, you begin to see them in a very different light. I have no quibbles with invoices, per se, but I must admit that they can be a major headache to compile.

Luckily, we’re in 2012. With web apps proving to be going as strong as ever, this annoying task of creating invoices is made ever-so-bearable through dedicated web apps. One such app is Invoicebus.

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It often seems that there’s a major divide of opinion over what makes an app look nice, what makes it look too plain or basic, and what’s over the top. The ’90′s and traditionally slow internet connections have conditioned us to automatically assume graphical apps will be slow and frustrating to use online. However, with broadband today, we’re seeing more and more advanced apps like Flow, LucidChart, and the new iCloud Web Apps that look as nice or even nicer than standard desktop apps.

On the other end of the spectrum, many web apps cling to a simpler, typography centric design. Google’s apps have so far stayed on the simple side, and even though Google+ threw more color and animations into the mix, the latest Google theme across apps has been for a more simplistic, text-centric look. Pinboard is my personal favorite bookmarking service, but when I was looking over my original review of it, I noticed that several people commented that the app looked old or outdated.

Then, there’s Flash powered websites. These monsters are slow to load even on modern broadband connections, and your computer’s fans are sure to kick in as it starts playing back the “site”. Most of us don’t want to be bombarded with sound, videos, and moving images when we just want to find a realtor’s phone number. Sites like this, if anything, make you want to run to the safety of Google and Pinboard’s text only designs.

So where do you stand? Are you excited to see more rich, native-styled web apps, or would you rather see text-centric designs stay popular? Should web apps look like they belong on the desktop, or should they stay different in their basic design?

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