Three things I am currently a raving fan of...

Dirt Poor Robins. Pandora started inserting their version of Eleanor Rigby into my playlist followed by Hollywood and I knew I had to buy the CD to hear more. I described it to Nancy-the-Insightful as "Buffyesque with a Cirque twist" and of course had to get one for Robin-the-Artist for obvious reasons. (Surprise Robin!) If you are curious, check out their tracks at http://dirtpoorrobins.com. Go the CD route over ITunes because the album cover and associated lyrics are a work of art in themselves.

Microsoft's OneNote. Yes, I know I'm about three years behind the curve on discovering this one, but I totally and completely love it. In fact, I am so enamored of it that I made a Freudian slip when I was telling Russ--the one in charge of my company's IT--about it and called it MSLoveNote.

The OneNote software is very simply an electronic notebook with dividers and sections and pages. Here are the cool parts:

1) You never have to save anything. Once you type it, it is there.
2) It maintains source links from whatever you copy/paste from the web.
3) It has a snipping tool so you can easily screen capture and paste.
4) It has a recording feature that tracks with your meeting notes.
5) Flagged items appear in your Outlook as tasks.

Of course, my favorite part is in the application. One of my notebooks contains the flow of all of the notes of my day. People I talk to, tasks that need to be done, status of projects. Everything I need to write down is written there. So, three months from now, when Joe Smith calls me again, I can search for "Joe Smith" in the notebook and immediately have the notes from our previous conversation. (Pragmatically, each month has a tab and each day has a page with full pages of notes on a given topic slipped in where I need them.)

Del.icio.us While most browsers allow you to sort your favorites into folders (allowing only one designation), del.icio.us allows you to tag your favorite sites. So instead of having to decide if churchproduction.com should go in the “church” folder or the “production” folder, you can tag it with both. For that matter, you can add a host of other tags such as inspiration, audio, video, lighting, random coolness, staging, resources, etc.

It also lets you see other people’s tags introducing you to other sites on the topic. With easy plug-ins for Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Flock, del.icio.us allows you to add your sites with the click of a button.

Of course, my favorite part of del.icio.us has nothing to do with plug-ins, tagging or finding new sites. The best part is that I no longer have to scramble to get back all of my “favorites” when my husband, the computer consultant, arbitrarily reinstalls our operating system.
© Random Cathy
Maira Gall