Pomodoro.me – Productivity Web App Using a Tomato

Last year I introduced ChromoDoro, a Chorme extension that enhances your productivity using the pomodoro technique.  This system suggests that human’s productivity drop after a certain period of time.  By breaking down a big task into smaller ones, complete them one by one with short breaks in between, we maintain high productivity.

Today I am going to introduce a web app that does the time tracing for you.  It is not a browser-specific extension / add-on, as long as you use a modern browser you can fire it up.  If you use Google Chrome, there is a Chrome web app which is basically equal to a bookmark.

 

Pomodoro.me – Web App Employing Pomodoro Technique

This web app cannot be simpler.  There is a logo on top, a timer and four buttons beneath.  Simply click the Pomodoro button, the timer starts to count down 25 minutes, the time span suggested by the Pomodoro system.  Try to complete one task in 25 minutes without getting distracted by other stuff.  When the time comes, this web app tells you that this session ends, you can start a short break of 5 minutes before starting another 25-minute session.  After a few sessions, you can take a long break of 15 minutes instead of 5 minutes.

I am a user of Pomodoro techniques, I have android app as well as Chrome extension serving this function.  This web app gives yet another choice to manage my time, so I highly recommend it to all people who look for effective methods to increase productivity.

 

Official site: http://www.pomodoro.me/

Chrome Web App: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/pdkkfpnoobbihpjbophkgcibemmmidhk

How to Backup Your Online from Google? Use Google Takeout

No matter how reliable the cloud is, sometimes we do want to save a backup of our data stored online.  Right?  We have introduced how to backup your Facebook data, do you want to do the same with Google?  No, you don’t have to manually save everything one by one.  Let’s have a look at Google Takeout, a handy tool that packs your data stored on Google’s server under your identity.

 

Google Takeout: Backup Your Online Data In Just A Few Clicks

Google Takeout is a native service developed by Google, unlike third-party web apps this one is authentic, so there should be no compatibility issues.  You can choose to create archive for the following services in one go:

Google Takeout: Backup Your Online Data

These are pretty much everything I have ever wanted to download, including Buzz which is no longer active.  You could also choose to download an archive for any individual service:

Google Takeout - Create Archive for Individual Service

For each download, you would be shown the estimated size of the package.  Different services have different configurations to make.  For example, you can choose the format of download for your Google Contacts and Circles in Google+.  For Google Voice, you can download your greetings and recording and specify the file format.

Google Takeout - Configure

It will take a while for Google to pack your data.  Check the “Email me when ready” box to receive notification when it’s done.  Once completed archive creation, you can download the file to your hard disk.

Google Takeout - Download

Google Takeout: http://www.google.com/takeout

10 Minute Mail: Get A Temporary Email Address, Beat Spam

Today’s featured web app is 10 Minute Mail, a handy tool that gives you a temporary email address.  This address is valid for 10 minutes only.  It is best used to apply for one-time only service, test drive web forms and any service that requires an email address for only one time.

 

10 Minute Mail: Your Temporary Email Address

Basically you do not have to do anything or install any software to use it.  Just go to the official site of 10 Minute Mail, a randomly generated email address will be shown.  You have 10 minutes to use this email address however you want.

10 Minute Mail: Your Temporary Email Address

During these 10 minutes, all emails addressed to this address would be shown on this web page.  You have the options to reply to the email or forward it to your own mailbox.  If you run out of time, click “Give me 10 more minutes” to obtain an extra 10 minutes.

10 Minute Mail - Received Mail

So how should you use this service?  If you are a web site developer, this is a good tool to test your site’s application forms without having to use real email addresses.  If you are asked to provide email address to get access to a web site, but you cannot pay 100% trust to the site, you can try 10 Minute Mail.  I also heard of people using it and virtual machines to apply for lots of Dropbox accounts by referral, so that their main Dropbox accounts get extra spaces.

Official site: http://10minutemail.com

 

Use Google Currents Producer to Create Your Own Publication

Many people have already tried Google Currents on their smartphones and tablets.  It is obviously Google’s attempt to challenge the mobile reading market.  While many users opined that Google Currents is similar to its competitors like Flipboard, Pulse, Zite, etc. and did not really stand out from them.  However, ther is one less talked about feature that got my attention: Google Currents Producer.

Google Currents Producer is a tool for all content providers to create their publications for Google Currents users to read.  I said “all” because everyone can do it, even if you are a not-so-popular blog owner.  Let us see how this function works.

 

Google Currents Producer – Create Your First Edition

On the main page of Google Currents (http://www.google.com/producer/currents), click “Publish to Google Currents”.

Google Currents producer - Start Publishing

You would be asked to provide some basic information of your new “Edition”.  The easiest way to create an Edition is to import the RSS feed of your blog or web site.  You can also enter the name of your YouTube channel if you want to create a video-oriented Edition.

Google Currents producer - Create New Edition

You will then enter more details, including an icon and a custom splash image.  As the publisher you can choose to collect reader’s email address.  This means that people must opt-in by providing their email addresses before they could get your Edition.  You can also add Google Analytics code to track the traffic.  You can instantly preview the Edition as on Android phone, tablet, iPhone and iPad.

Google Currents producer - Customization

Your content could be divided into different sections.  Apart from RSS feed and YouTube video, you can put photos, articles, social updates (including your Google+ updates) as well.  The order of sections could be re-arranged.

Google Currents producer - Sections

When you are finished with customizing the Edition, click “Distribute”.  You can preview the Edition on your smartphones and tablet using logging in using the publishing account.  Click “Distribute to Google Currents” and choose a publishing date to pas it to the hands of your readers.  My Edition looks like this on Android phone:

Google Currents producer - Cloud High Club

While Google Currents in its existing form still needs improvements on performance, user interface, etc. I see Google Currents producer as a handy tool for individual publishers to extend their readership.  It could help bloggers to explore the market because they have an extra channel to be known.  The ability to import from RSS feeds, YouTube channels and Google+ updates makes publishing as simple as re-using existing content.

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