All posts by James Krukowski

VideoNot.es – Take Perfectly Synchronized Notes on Any Video

Using VideoNot.es
VideoNot.es is a great online tool that can be used for taking notes while watching a video. It uses your Google Drive as a login and allows you to paste video URLs within the website. These videos can come from Youtube, Khan Academy, Vimeo, as well as other sources, and allows you to type notes simultaneously while watching a video. The great feature about this is that the notes you take will automatically be synced with the video at the time which you took them. They can they can then be recalled at any point to view alongside the playing of the video.

External Compatability
After finishing taking your desired notes, they can be saved directly to your Google Drive. A new folder will be automatically created for their storage once they are saved. Upon opening VideoNot.es files in Drive, you will be linked back to the VideoNot.es site where your video and notes will be stored. In addition, your notes may also be exported to your Evernote account (if you have one). In Evernote, they will be saved as a new separate note, where your points will be listed with their respective links to timestamps in the video. VideoNot.es is perfect in the way that it is almost universally compatible with these other productivity outlets.

Sharing
Featured also on the VideoNot.es dashboard is the Google Drive share button. Your content may be shared with anyone on your Google account just as if you were working on another Google document. Others can then view and edit your shared notes (depending on your share settings) just as you would any other document.

Overall,
VideoNot.es is an excellent tool to utilize in order to maximize productivity. It can have major application in the educational realm by both students and teachers but is also great for any productive person to get their thoughts organized.

Top 5 Gmail Extensions

Top 5 Gmail Extensions

 

  • Boomerang
    Boomerang is a great and simple add-on for Gmail that allows the user to postpone a message to be received at a later time. The potential with this idea is that you can send an important message for later before you forget, or be precise about the time a message is received. Boomerang allows for messages to be sent from within hours of composition, up to an entire month. You may also customize the exact moment on which mail is sent to the recipient. With Boomerang you are able to receive feedback about whether or not your messages have been viewed or replied to.
  • Checker Plus
    Checker Plus is a convenient extension to set up for your Gmail. Its key feature is its ability to display notifications on your desktop browser or home screen once you get mail. They can be displayed as a simple pop up, and can be set to make a noise notification when mail is received. The method of notification can be thoroughly customized. Checker Plus can also be set to read aloud an Email when it is received. This is effective when busy with other tasks. With Checker Plus you can set the exact type of mail to give notifications for. It is also very quick and easy to turn on the “do not disturb mode”.
  • WiseStamp
    For those who appreciate personal branding, WiseStamp will come in very useful. On the website, WiseStamp lets users create a free Email signature to add to the bottom of all composed Gmail messages. The stamp includes a personal picture, room for personal information, and Social media links. It is all pre-formatted and looks like a digital business card as a finished product. If the personal Email signature is not wanted or required for certain messages, it can easily be taken off.
  • Unroll.me
    Unroll.me is a simple tool to be used for simplifying your Gmail inbox. Instead of having to deal with an Email entirely flooded with endless newsletters or promotions, Unroll.me will provide you with a single daily summary of all this information. With Unroll.me you can organize which mail is summarized through the application, and which remains in the inbox. This makes it much quicker to sift through your daily mail. Another great feature offered by Unroll.me is its simple ‘unsubscribe’ option, allowing you to prevent further mail from certain sources. All settings can be altered at any point in time.
  • Snapmail
    Snapmail is one of the simplest Gmail extensions, with its key and only feature being the fact that you are able to send self-destructing Emails. Once you add this extension, a “Snapmail” button will be added to the send button on composed messages in your Gmail. If you press this button instead of send, the sent message will only be able to be read for 60 seconds, before deleting itself. This is perfect for sending small portions of important, confidential information, such as passwords. You will be required to click on a provided URL to view the temporary message. When using the Snapmail feature, a text fragment will be added to the end of the Email saying “This message will self-destruct in 60 seconds.”     

Grammarly – Perfect Your Publication

The World’s Best Grammar Checker

Grammarly as an App or Extension

Grammarly is an online tool available in the form of a web extension, as well as a web app. Its purpose is to help correct any grammatical and spelling mistakes made when doing a form of typing online, such as social media posts or written documents. Grammarly operates by outlining suggestions as you type a publication. This is done by either underlining a misspelled word, crossing out an unnecessary punctuation, etc.. It essentially aims to create a smoother, more professional sounding piece of writing.

 

As an extension on Google Chrome, Grammarly automatically begins making writing suggestions when it senses that you are typing a written piece. When it is enabled, the Grammarly extension appears as a green circle on the bottom right corner of your text box. It then highlights any potential mistakes and lists potential solutions. It can be disabled at any time. As a web app, Grammarly.com allows you to compose documents from scratch on its word processor, and upload or paste existing documents for refinement. Grammarly.com then provides editing suggestions for your document much like the web app would elsewhere on the internet. There are a few additional basic features also available on the Grammarly.com website.

Grammarly Premium

While the free basic version of Grammarly is sufficient enough for the general use of most people, there is a paid premium version with advanced features. Some of these more advanced features include vocabulary suggestion and structural suggestions on your writing. With this version, you are also able to set which type of writing composition you are working on in order to get more specific tips (such as when writing an essay, blog, etc.). The premium version of Grammarly can be paid for as a monthly, quarterly, or yearly plan, with the monthly payment average ranging from $11.66 to $29.95 .

Overview

Grammarly is an effective way to get instant feedback on your writing when it comes to spelling and grammar. It is easy to install as a Google Chrome add-on or to use as a web app. For students, teachers, and professionals alike, Grammarly is an essential tool to incorporate into your web experience.        

  
  

Introducing Mini-PCs

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About Mini-PCs

Mini PCs are a technology that is often not talked about in the mainstream. The idea behind mini-PCs is based on creating a generally lower cost, smaller size, more efficient computer to use for simpler tasks. As mini-PCs are limited in their capabilities, they are most often used for the basic purpose of surfing the web. There are other specialized mini-PCs designated to non-internet related tasks, however, most consumer-targeted versions are based on using the web.

 

Many mini-PCs are solid state, containing no moving parts. They are much more energy efficient as well partially due to this. They are usually compatible with most standard PC operating systems like Windows, and some are compatible with Google’s Android operating system. While mini-PCs do not have very much on-board storage, they utilize cloud storage. This is the primary data-storage option used and is sufficient for the average PC user. The thing with next-to-no physical storage, however, is the fact that programs cannot be downloaded and used the same as standard PCs. It very much depends on the type of tech user when considering the functional usage of a mini-PC.

Top 3 Mini-PCs

Some of the most highly rated mini-PCs are the Kangaroo Mobile Desktop Computer, the Intel Compute Stick, and the Intel NUC. All of these mini-PCs are compatible Windows 10 and range in other features. The Kangaroo is best for general versatility when it comes to the available features in mini PCs. The Intel Compute Stick is an entire computer within a USB stick, and in turn is great for a balance of portability and functionality. The Intel NUC specializes in computing power and customizability, so there is a very large range in the types of mini-PCs available. These three range from $100 to $350, so are overall much cheaper than conventional PCs.

 

Mini-PCs can have some major advantages over conventional PCs if you are the type of person who primarily browses the web and enjoys the general portability of their hardware. For the stereotypical tech geek though, mini-PCs may not meet certain demands in computing power and storage. Overall, the benefit of mini-PCs is dependent on the type of person using them and the features they require. Undeniably, they are affordable and portable and are great for standard internet use.

 

Prezi – Customize the Ultimate Presentation

Prezi – Customize the Ultimate Presentation

Prezi is a unique and popular presentation software that is available in a free, public format, or a paid private version. Prezi can be effectively used in many situations, including business and education. With Prezi, you can completely customize the way that a visual presentation operates, and personalize it for any given scenario. It works like a blank canvas containing endless space where you can write content and paste images. These written segments and images are connected with a “path”, where you can set the order in which content is presented. You are then able to format the presentation however you wish.

 

Prezi offers many pre-made templates to base a presentation off of, but you are able to completely start from scratch. In Prezi you create and set the location of individual frames in the open space, where you may create written content or upload photos, videos, charts, etc.. The thing with Prezi is that there is no boundary to where you set the content. Once the actual content is finished, the method by which it is presented may be customized. This can be done by altering the viewpoint of the presentation at certain moments and adding animations to objects on the page. Colors and styles may be fine tuned to fit the occasion, and the background is entirely customizable. Prezi also offers many other individual features to create the perfect, specific look to a presentation.

 

Prezi presentations can be viewed or presented on all mobile devices, and can be worked on via the web or offline for computers. Premium versions of Prezi feature the ability to edit images to be used in presentations. All Prezi presentations are stored in the cloud, and can be accessed from anywhere. With Prezi, you are able to collaborate in real time on presentations with team members, which comes in useful for both business and education. Prezi offers great customer support to deal with concerns about the application, and also provides a Prezi blog so that users can constantly learn more about the capabilities of Prezi.

 

Prezi is a great way to personalize a presentation for any purpose you may need it for. It is completely customizable and offers a stylish and unique way to share information. Prezi is a new and interesting way to present, compared to conventional methods of providing information.

    

  

Haiku Deck – An Alternative Presentation App

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Haiku Deck – An Alternative Presentation App

Haiku Deck is an interesting and fairly new presentation web app that puts an emphasis on aesthetics. The basic version operates similarly to Google Slides or Powerpoint in that you have a set slide where you can organize content. Haiku Deck offers a decent number of preset themes and allows you to customize colors and charts within a presentation.

The defining aspect of Haiku Deck is its accessible database of Creative Commons images for use within presentations as backgrounds. They are searchable via keyword and add an artistic yet professional layout to the presentation. Other than this feature of Creative Commons images, Haiku Deck provides many other ways to personalize a presentation. These include things like font, layout, image filters, as well as others.

Haiku Deck is a cloud-based service, meaning you are able to access it on any compatible device at any time. Currently, Haiku Deck only supports the web and iOS devices and is, unfortunately, unavailable for Android. There is a range in prices that you could potentially pay for Haiku Deck, with a corresponding range of accessible features. However, there is a free, public version that will provide for your general needs within the web app.  

Within the classroom, Haiku Deck acts as a great way for educators to directly share and organize curriculum. As Haiku Deck is based on concise and logical methods of conveying information, it is a perfect way to draw the attention of students. The image database contributes to this purpose as well, always offering a way to grab the attention of any viewer through beautiful, photographic images.

Overall, Haiku Deck offers very nice looking presentation formats that are optimal for delivering information quickly. It provides a great way to organize ‘point-form’ information and pair it with unique images. While Haiku Deck is a great alternative to traditional forms of presentation, it isn’t the best option for conveying large amounts of data. If one wanted to give an extensive lecture or present a very detailed graph for business, Haiku Deck may not be the best option. It is an amazing way to organize short and quick content, but not so much for large compilations of content. In the right circumstances,  is the perfect way to present is a concise, organized way.