What works: Five Web 2.0 products I still use

Even crusty Web reviewers develop long-term relationships with products. Rafe Needleman shares his favorites of late.

On most days, I put my hands on two to five new Web 2.0 products. I write up some of them, but pretty much forget about all of them by the time I wake up the next day. A few things do stick with me, though. Here's a list of products I am actually still using, weeks or months after the initial review:

Chrome

Google's new browser. Who needs it? If you have to ask, you haven't used it. (See all our Chrome coverage.)

Why I like it: Very fast. Very stable.

Areas for improvement: Extension support! I would use Chrome full time if I could import my favorite plug-ins, especially the password keeper Roboform. Also, Mac and Linux versions.

Evernote

This note-taking app has finally and completely replaced OneNote for me (it was a slow transition). It's a great place to store all your thoughts. It has a good search feature and it's good with photos--it even OCRs them in the background. Cool new feature: iPhone notes are now geo-encoded, and you can filter your display of notes by location. ( Read the review from March.)

Why I like it: Fast, reliable, and synchronizes across my PCs, my iPhone, and the Web.

Areas for improvement: I would like it if the text editor were keystroke-compatible with Microsoft Word. Shortcut keys I'm used to don't work in Evernote. It slows me down.

OtherInBox

Alternate in-box for bacn--the e-mail status updates you get from social services and commerce sites. (Read launch review from September 8.)

Why I like it: Can set up a new filter (actually a unique e-mail address) for a new service on the fly. Really does decrease load on my main in-box.

Areas for improvement: It's still in private beta, and the features aren't all built-out yet (like receipt tracking). Could be faster.

Bonus: I just got 500 new invitations to the OtherInBox private beta for Webware readers. Get yours.

TripIt

A good place to collate all the planning data that goes into a vacation or business trip. I use it to create a printed itinerary before each of my trips, and I e-mail a copy to my family too, so they know where I am. Nothing that can't be done with a calendar app or word processor, but it's much faster with TripIt. ( Read first take from September 2007.)

Why I like it: Makes organizing trip info easier. Saves time.

Areas for improvement: Needs an iPhone app. (The mobile Web site is nice, but isn't fast enough when you need trip info ASAP.) Also, could do better at parsing e-mail confirmations you get from non-mainstream sources,

Twhirl

Best desktop Twitter and Friendfeed client from the company that's behind Seesmic, which I never use. Updated frequently with new features. (Read initial review from March.)

Why I like it: I use multiple nanoblog accounts , and Twhirl does a great job of letting me see and write to all of them separately. Good support for photo uploads.

Areas for improvement: I would like the promised option for single-pane view of everything. Also a Ping.fm-like feature to post to multiple nanoblogs at once.

Extra: Dead to me

There are some products I used to love, but have (or want to) stop using. These apps, for example, are in the process of becoming dead to me:

NetVibes. A useful single-page aggregator, but it's slow to load and the log-in screen is a pain to get through whenever your browser forgets your identity. I'm seriously thinking of switching over to iGoogle.

Trillian. The instant-messaging aggregation app still works, but it loads up almost as slowly as Outlook. No excuse for that. I'm in the process of switching over to Pidgin.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments