All posts in “Productivity”

One of Samsung’s best-selling curved monitors is on sale for $90 off

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Block out distractions and meet your work goals in the new year.
Block out distractions and meet your work goals in the new year.

Image: samsung/pexels

If you’re still attempting to work on flat computer monitor, WYD?

Whether you’re aiming to get that salary raise in 2019 or are just trying to beat that kid from across the ocean on Fortnite, a productivity-upping curved monitor is calling your name — and you can grab Samsung’s well-reviewed CF391 model on sale for $90 off at Amazon.

Samsung is killing the game in curved 4K TVs — and you expected their curved monitors to be any different? A top-notch choice for work and gaming alike, this 32-inch best seller features 1800R curvature (designed to mimic the human eye) on an FHD 1920 x 1080 display. With panoramic views this immersive, spreadsheets might actually be exciting.

Gamers, here’s what you care about: This model is armed with a 4 ms response time, a 60 Hz refresh rate, and a 3000:1 color ratio. Samsung’s Game Mode automatically optimizes contrast to get the most out of each scene, and Samsung’s FreeSync technology syncs frame rates with your graphics card of choice. (The EVGA GeForce GTX 1050 is $50 off, by the way.)

Regularly $319.99, you can save $89.99 (nearly 30%) and grab it for $230.

Ian Small, former head of TokBox, takes over as Evernote CEO from Chris O’Neill

Former TokBox head Ian Small is replacing Chris O’Neill as CEO of Evernote, the note-taking and productivity app company said this morning. In a blog post, Small said that the leadership change was announced to employees this morning by Evernote’s board. “We are all hugely appreciative of the energy and dedication Chris has shown over the last three years, and in particular for putting Evernote on solid financial footing so we can continue to build for the future,” he wrote.

Small added, “When Stepan Pachikov founded Evernote, he had a vision for how technology could augment memory and how an app could change the way we relate to information at home and at work. Evernote has been more successful at making progress towards Stepan’s dreams than he could have imagined, but Stepan and I both think that there is more to explore and more to invent.”

O”Neill had been Evernote’s CEO since 2015, when he took over the position from co-founder Phil Libin. Small previously served as CEO of TokBox, which operates the OpenTok video calling platform, from 2009 to 2014, and then as its chairman from 2014 to July of this year.

O’Neill’s departure as CEO is the latest significant leadership shift for Evernote, which has withstood several key executive departures over the last few months. In early September, we reported that the company had lost several senior executives, including CTO Anirban Kundu, CFO Vincent Toolan, CPO Erik Wrobel, and head of HR Michelle Wagner, as it sought funding in a potential down-round from the unicorn valuation it hit in 2012. According to TechCrunch’s sources, Evernote had struggled to grow its base of paid users and active users, as well as enterprise clients, for the last six years.

Then a few weeks later, Evernote announced that had to lay off 54 people, or about 15 percent of its workforce. O’Neill wrote a blog post about the company’s future growth strategy, including streamlining specific functions like sales so it could focus on product development and engineering.

If you find your default calendar app frustrating, you may love this alternative

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Image: BusyMac

The default Mac and iPhone calendar app can be a frustratingly unhelpful assistant, routinely freezing up at random, hogging resources for no discernible reason, and refusing to communicate with any of your other programs. BusyMac’s BusyCal 3 is a potential antidote to this frustration.

BusyCal 3 integrates with every major cloud service, including iCloud, Google, and Exchange, so no matter the deadline, travel arrangement, or meeting confirmation, BusyCal 3 will find it and add it to your calendar. The app provides reminders for your upcoming events, even calculating travel time from your current location to tell you exactly when you need to leave to avoid being late. 

Image: BusyMac

You can add daily to-do lists and seamlessly move low priority items to the next day. BusyCal also has customizable day, week, month, year, and list views, so you can see as much or as little of your schedule as you need.

Normally, BusyCal 3 sells for $49.99, but Mashable readers can take 60% off that price and get lifetime access for just $19.99. As a bonus, you’ll also get access to BusyContacts, an app that keeps an easily searchable database of all of your contacts, and even syncs with your social media accounts like Twitter and Facebook to help you keep track of how and where to reach your friends and colleagues.

Workona helps web workers finally close all those tabs

A new startup, Workona, this week launched software designed for those who primarily do their work in a browser. The company’s goal is to become the OS for web work – and to also save web workers from the hell that is a million open tabs. To accomplish this, Workona offers smart browser windows you set up as workspaces, allowing you a place to save your open tabs, as well as collaborate with team members, search across your tabs, and even sync your workspace to different devices.

The Palo Alto-based company was founded in fall 2017 by Quinn Morgan (CEO), previously the founding product manager at Lucidpress, and Alma Madsen (CTO), previously the first employee and Director of Engineering at Lucid Software, the makers of Lucidpress.

“Last year, Alma and I decided we wanted to build something together again, and initially began working on a different startup idea,” explains Morgan, as to how Workona began. “As a remote team at the time, we were using cloud apps like Google Docs, Asana, Slack, and Zoom to stay connected. Both of us were wearing multiple hats and juggling ten different projects at once.”

“One late night, with ten windows open for each project, the idea just struck us: ‘Why doesn’t the browser – the tool that we actually do most of our work in – not have a good way to manage all of our projects, meetings, and workflows?’”

Of course, there are already browser add-ons that can help with taming the tab chaos, like OneTab, toby, Session Buddy, The Great Suspender, TooManyTabs and others.

But the co-founders didn’t want just another tab manager; they wanted a smart browser window that would save the work you do, automatically. That way, you wouldn’t have to keep all the tabs open all the time, which can make you stressed and less focused. And you wouldn’t have to remember to press a button to save your tabs, either.

With Workona, the software guides users to create workspaces for each of the projects, meetings, and workflows they’re currently working on. (Working on…Workona…get it?).

You can also take a browser window that represents one project and save it as a workspace.

These workspaces function like a folder, but instead of holding a set of files, they can save anything on the web – cloud documents, task lists, open websites, CRM records, Slack sessions, calendars, Trello boards, and more. In each workspace, you can save a set of tabs that should reappear when that workspace is re-opened, as well as set of “saved tabs” you may need to use later.

After creating a workspace, you can use Workona to re-open it at any time. What that means is you can close the browser window, and later easily pick up where you left off without losing data.

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A list of workspaces will also appear in the left-side navigation in the Workona browser tab. Within this tab, you can click to open a workspace, switch between workspaces in the same browser window, search for tabs or workspaces from the included search bar, or open workspaces from their URL.

In a shared workspace, you can also collaborate with others on things the team is working on – like everything needed for a project or meeting.

“Our vision is to build the missing OS for work on the web and workspaces are just the start,” says Morgan.

The company is currently working on making the workspaces and its search features more powerful, he adds.

Workona will be sold as a freemium product, with a free tier always available for moderate use. Pro accounts will be introduced in the future, removing the limit of 10 workspaces found in the free version.

The company has been beta testing with users from tech companies like Twitter, Salesforce and Amazon, as well as NASA.

The company is still pre-seed stage, with funding from K9 Ventures.

Traditional OS’s spent a lot of time and effort in designing the ‘desktop experience’ and switching between applications. But in a browser, all we have is tabs,” said K9 Ventures’ Manu Kumar, as to why he invested. “There are tab managers but none of them really solved my problem well enough, and none of them allowed me to maintain a shared context with other people that I’m collaborating with,” he added.

Workona is available for Chrome as a plugin you download from its website.