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Kyle Callahan

I am a Vermont writer who spends more time on my Mac than is good for me. When I'm not writing or teaching students how to write, I'm watching movies with my wife in our octagon. You can follow me @kylecallahan or find me online at FluidImagination.com.

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Oh hey! Look! It’s ANOTHER task/project-management application! Hold on for a second while I minimize the two other task-management apps on my computer, both of which are currently clamoring for my attention. Okay, now I’m…dang it, I gotta turn off my iPad; you don’t want me distracted by the to-do apps I’ve got synced on there. Oh, and while I’m thinking about it, give me one more second to hide my email app, otherwise my concentration will get diverted by the reminder emails coming in from the various task-managament apps that my coworkers use. Okay, now I’m ready. Whatcha got?

Action Method, huh? What’s so great about that? “A radically different approach to productivity,” you say. Well, as a frequent reader of the AppStorm network, I have to tell ya, virtually every task-management app on the market claims to do something “radically different.” But okay, I’ll bite. Let’s give it a whirl and see if Action Method lives up to its marketing.

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With over 120 million members (as of 8/4/2011) and a new-member sign-up rate of two per second, LinkedIn is the undisputed leader of the “professional” social-networking scene. Still, some people have a problem with LinkedIn’s conservative design scheme. They want something that represents the excitement and passion that comes from loving what you do.

A number of web apps have cropped up to satisfy these more design-oriented folks (see our roundup of six of them), and each creates a stylish personal-splash page that you can attach to your email signature, print on your business card, or whatever.

Zerply, a new web app that launched last month, is both the same as these “personal-splash page” apps and different from them. Let’s find out how.

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When it comes to project management, most web apps offer the same basic features: a group of to-do lists, some kind of messaging board, a few gigs of file storage, shared document-editing, a calendar of some sort, and if you’re lucky, a set of reports.

But what most don’t offer is the ability to develop a project-management workflow that conforms to the way your team already works, and without this customization, you lose precious time trying to get everybody up to speed on the new way of doing things. In my experience, that ramp-up time usually results in project members abandoning the app and reverting to project management by email.

Enter SmartQ.

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We all love Instagram. I mean, what’s better than taking a photo of your father when he’s sleeping on the couch, just looking nice and relaxed, then stylizing that photo so it looks like it comes from the 1970s, and then, with a click of a button, sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, and with your Instagram followers?

I’ll tell you what’s better. The fact that Instagram publishes a public API. Because while doing all the usual stuff with Instagram is fun, finding out what talented developers can do with all your photos is even more fun. As the folks at Instagram say, “Our goal is to make it easier for developers to create interesting and innovative ways to browse the ever-growing volume of photos posted to Instagram every second.”

Let’s take a look at 16 of those ways.

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Prior to getting my iPad, I didn’t have much use for notebook apps. After my computing life went mobile, however, I found myself needing to write things down without having a notepad within reach. And so I got Evernote, the same notebook app used by so many of the bloggers I followed. After a few days, however, I wasn’t happy. Evernote could do all the things I wanted it to, but it didn’t…feel right.

My editor suggested I take a look at Memonic, a notebook app developed by a Swiss startup named Nektoon AG. I said to him the same thing I say to everybody else: if something doesn’t feel right, then it can’t hurt to try the Swiss.

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In the introduction to the latest issue of McSweeny’s Quarterly, the editors write, “More widespread and democratic access to education here and around the world means that there are more literate people…and more people reading than at any time in human history. So that’s good news.”

The bad news is that the ability to read a well-written sentence does not translate into the ability to write one. With more of our interaction taking place through emails, text messages, status updates, tweets, blog posts — heck, with more of us having to become writers — there are also more people in need of writing help than any time in human history.

Thankfully, Grammarly can give us that help. For a price.

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As our list of reviews makes clear, the market for project-management apps is not an empty one. From the ever-popular Basecamp to free, open-source solutions such as TeamLab, project managers are not lacking for options.

Which is why, as one of our writers wrote recently, when it comes to project-management apps, “it’s less about how many features the app has and more about its usability and interface design.”

On that note, let’s see how Doolphy stacks up against the competition.

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For years, experts have been telling us to customize our resumes and cover letters so that each one is unique to the employer, but that usually means we just rejigger our bullet points and change our opening paragraphs.

But in an economy mired with double-digit unemployment, candidates need to do more than revise their career objectives if they want to stand apart from the competition. Job seekers need to present themselves in a way that demonstrates creativity while also exhibiting a sense of professionalism.

Those with the technological skills to do so have long argued in favor of creating a personal webpage for each employer you’re looking to impress, something that would combine your LinkedIn profile page with the specific messaging and branding to catch the employer’s attention. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to build a website, nor do they have enough design sense to ensure that the website they do build presents them in a good light.

HelloThere aims to solve that problem.

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My wife and I don’t get to travel very often, and when we do, we tend not to do it very well. We’re both much too happy sitting quietly with a book to rationalize spending a thousand dollars just to sit and read someplace new.

With that being said, we also realize that variety is the spice of the life, which is why it’s one of our family goals to become much better travelers. I’m hoping that with the help of GoGoBot (and our friends), we can reach that goal.

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Between the 12,000 songs in my iTunes library and the magical algorithms of Pandora’s Music Genome Project, I don’t want for options when it comes to listening to music.

There is a gap, however — a small gap, yes, but a gap — and it comes from having to choose which music to press play on right now.

Playlistnow.fm aims to close that gap.

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