If you’re anything like me, you start your day off by checking email, Twitter, then Facebook, [insert favorite social media site],maybe the weather, reading up on your RSS feeds (which are backlogged into the hundreds, if not thousands), looking for stuff to post to Twitter… Not to mention the fact all this is done while trying to get ready for work, or while at work.
Not that I would ever cruise social media sites or any other site not work-related while working.
With sites and apps like Tweetdeck and Brizzly, you can combine a few of these steps with one stop, but why not combine them all?
Do it with NetVibes
Netvibes offers a simple, customizable, not to mention a pretty easy on the eyes interface to put all these items in one great jumping off page.
To get started, just point your browser over to http://www.netvibes.com. There? Good. Now you have a couple of options. First, you can either get a general preview of what Netvibes is all about just by clicking a few checkboxes without creating an account, or you can dive right in and sign up to start customizing a permanent page. If you opt for the first option, you can still customize to your heart’s content, it just won’t always be there when you come back.
Did I mention it’s customizable? One click add for content and widgets, custom themes (and there’s a bunch), even Google search. The list goes on and on. To add feeds, pick your category and browse through the seemingly endless list, or you can roll your own with the “Add a Feed” button. With three different views for you to imbibe your favorite content, you just can’t beat it.
Widgets I Can’t Live Without
With all your news and feeds all in one place, it just makes sense to bring your time wasters/productivity killers email and social networks to the party.
To get to these widgets and more, click the “Add Content” button at the top left of NetVibes. There you can search or browse to find all the widgets your little heart desires.
To start, the Twitter widget is fantastic. For a small widget, it contains a wealth of content. Obviously you can send tweets, but you can also view lists, @replies, direct messages, favorite tweets, and followers in one click. DM’s, replies, retweets (old style, by the way), and even add favorites are just a mouse mash away.
The Facebook widget, while not quite as functional as the Twitter widget, is pretty handy as well. Status updates and wall posts are presented just like using the full site, while pokes, friend/group/event requests aren’t much more than quick links to the original site. The search box is fairly handy if you’re looking for something specific, though. It not only searches posts by friend’s names, but also searches content. Pretty handy when you’re looking for a specific article someone posted, or that hilarious Youtube video your buddy sent you.
For a guy like me who doesn’t get massive amounts of email on a daily basis, the Email widget is great. Nothing more than a preview of new mail in your inbox. It’s great for a quick scan for anything important that you need to respond to right away. This works with pretty much any of the email services you may use.
I’d love to show you what it looks like, but I have attained inbox ZERO! Unfortunately, by the time you read this, I’m sure that will have changed…(Sorry, had to brag!)
Definitely not a productivity killer is the Dropbox widget. I had to add that one as soon as I saw it. Especially since I’m notorious for leaving my flash drive in my pants pocket. Once you log in, it’s basically the full Dropbox site in a little window, with one click downloads to your computer.
Sharing content from NetVibes to social networks or by email is a breeze. Just click the “Share” button, select what network you would like to send it to (or type in email address) and mash the share button. Easy peasy.
While not readily advertised, there are even keyboard shortcuts for you power users out there. Just hit the “H” key to bring up the menu. Just be aware that they differ depending on if you are in the “widgets view” or “reader view”.
With great widget functionality and a killer RSS reader, you can’t go wrong with Netvibes as great productivity tool, or even as a killer time waster.
What sites do you use aggregate all of your content?