Desperately Seeking Dream Tools


As I search high and low for tools to make my work easier, more efficient and more productive, I start having dreams about the Perfect Web App. I become obsessed, thinking through the details of the features, functionality and even toying with names.

Unfortunately, I’m not a programmer, so the ideas for these apps simply take up valuable space in my brain. So I thought I’d do a brain dump of a few of them to make some space. When someone actually comes up with a Web App that gives you more brain capacity, let me know. I’ll sign up for the beta. But until then, here are two of the apps I wish existed (and if they do, please point me to them).


ticklrThis is a writer’s tickler file system – not the more formalized tickler filing protocol of forty-three files (31+12 = 43) that represent files for 31 days in a month and 12 months, although that would be an interesting way to present a reminder system. The way I’m using the tickler file system term is as a writer.

In the “old days,” I labeled manila folders with broad categories that corresponded with my regular writing assignments: Female entrepreneurs, Miscarriage news, Dog products, Entrepreneurship. Then as I came across related articles in newspapers, magazines and newsletters, I’d drop them into the folders. When I was having trouble coming up with a topic for a regular column or article, I’d sift through the fie and see if something sparked an idea.

I’ve been thinking that bookmarking tools like could be slightly helpful with this task because almost all my ticklers are now on the Web, however, the “filing” system of bookmarks doesn’t work for me. I want to be able to:

  • click a bookmarklet on my browser when I find a relevant article or blog post;
  • give it a title that specifies exactly what about the content interested me in the first place;
  • tag it with a few keywords;
  • file it into a digital manila file folder that I’ve created and labeled with the name of a publication or blog client. I want it to LOOK like a folder. I need that visual.

Then when I open a particular file folder, it presents me with screen grabs of each article. Mousing over each one brings up a pop-up window that lists the title I gave it, the actual title and source, the keywords I gave it, and a link directly to the article or blog post. That allows me to scan across the digital pages to see if something tickles my brain, and link into the piece to get more information.

Someone please create Ticklr, and I’ll use it every day!


blinkI have far too many social networking pages these days to manage them all. I’m just looking for a social networking management tool – really just way to create a home page of all of my social networks. So many of the aggregating tools include some, but not all, of the social networking sites out there.

I want to be able to add every single one of my social networking pages into a Web app and then have an easy-to-use layout tool – like the Blogger drag & drop layout tool – where I can arrange them in a way that is logical to me such as:

1. Most Frequently Used

such as Twitter, Facebook, Upcoming

2. Professional

such as LinkedIn, Ryze, Xing, Soflow, DOPPLR, Plaxo

3. Personal

such as MySpace, Gather, Bebo, Maya’s Mom, Friendster, hi5, WorkItMom

4. Marketing

such as MyBlogLog, Scribd, Pownce, Jaiku

5. Second Life-Related (for my avatar Cybergrrl Oh or SL events)

such as Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Eventful, Plaxo…

6. Entertainment

such as Dogster, Flixster, Virb

In addition to a nice drag/drop layout to create my own “dashboard” of all my social media sites, it would also include a panel for my RSS feeds – the most recent from the ones I want to see at a glance without having to go to my feed reader.

Of course, in the perfect world, it would operate like HelloTxt by allowing me to check the ones I’d like to broadcast a post to, although this could unwittingly facilitate spam so I’d have to use this feature thoughtfully.

More than anything, it would put all my social networks at my fingertips, and when I’d click on each respective link, it would open up an elegant new window where I could accept friend requests, post my mood, clear out my inbox, and then move on to the next tool with ease.

So…anyone out there want to create these apps? Or do they exist, and I just haven’t found them yet?



Readmine,, not a web based tool, but a downloadable app provides drag and drop snippets to folders on the tree, with a popup to comment and then also allows you to drag and drop things to your friends.

Readmine also helps hunt down new and interesting stuff your interested in.


For ticklr you might try google’s notebook which got a nice integration with firefox (maybe IE too, not sure). you can use a notebook as a folder. tagging, notes, title… In fact I think it’s exactly what you’re looking for.
Tell me what you think.


For For ticklr… In a way you want “onenote online” which doesnt exist.

I can suggest one that might come close in its simplicity

It doesnt have the shiny 2.0 look of some of the others but you make collections of snippets, add comments, and put it all together, drag things around etc. There’s a coloured background so it feels more like a folder or pinboard than most

other tools that have the functionality but not the “real” feel: * evernote beta 4, a good capture and organise tool
* zoho notepad (weaker for web snippets stronger for ideas), diigo (better for sharing and publishing that really as a tickler), spurl

Ken Girard

Yeah, what Oroumov said.
As soon as I read what you wanted for Ticklr I said “TiddlyWiki to the rescue”.

I’d also use the ReminderPlugin and a little customization so you can add-in dated count down reminders (43 days till the offical launch date) at the bottom of each tiddler/note.

I have a couple of customized TW files on my site if your wondering just how far you can go with it.

Tery Spataro

Awesome post! It’s almost overload with all the connections/applications we use on a daily basis. Dare I say both online & in the mobile world. How can it all get streamlined? If you find out let us know.


For ticklr, I’ll bet a greasemonkey script could take care of the visualization you’re looking for.

For Blink, try netvibes. It’s got tabs, for each of the categories you want, and an easy drag-and-drop interface within them. I’m not sure if there’s widgets to support all of the networks you use, but I’ll bet that most are, and if not you can embed widgets from other sites (like google) into your netvibes pages using the html widget.


For an equivalent of Tickler, a personal wiki file could do the trick.

I’m thinking of TiddlyWiki (, which is a personal single-HTML-file wiki, extremely well designed and compact, and which you can combine with an awesome Firefox extension called TiddlySnip (as in Snippets).

How it works (assuming you’ve got the TiddlyWiki already up and running of course):
– browse any web page of your choice
– when you see something interesting, select it, then right click and select the TiddlySnip option.
– You now get the chance to name the selection, tag it, write some comments if you’d like, even keep the source of the original information for future reference.
– Then press Save, and automagically, the selection gets sent to your Wiki.

Now, in the wiki, the snippets are viewed as individual bricks of information, and you can search for them, edit them, display them in lists depending on their tags, and pretty much anything you can imagine.

Plus, this wiki can be viewed in any browser, online when you’re connected or offline if you download it to take it with you, so you can always have it with you at any time. You can even work on it offline, and sync it back when you get back online. The ultimate tool for information keeping !

Enjoy !

P.S. Sorry for the english, not my native either.


For Ticklr, see evernote beta. I’m doing the beta thing right now, and so far, I’m pretty impressed.


As for tickler, organizing bookmarks in folder is easy. The tricky part is the visualization you desire.

Folder or media source is just another attribute you could assign to a story. Attribute as other attributes named keywords. It would be just a special keyword. That way when you search your you could mark this as an obligatory term for search. If it would just be the plain name of a magazine, or a generic word, a search engine would be in trouble. So you could decide to use unique keywords to be used as folder names.
For example the scheme might be: GOMM1_Folder_name, as in:

As for the web app to visualize bookmarked stories and your keywords, that could be done via some desktop app. And after a while, someone would make a web app based on the same concept.

Devin Reams

If you’d like an invite to socialthing! just let me know. They’re well connected with many of the sites listed and have worked closely with the teams to provide/enhance their APIs.


Hi, your Blink idea is near or
I think a web app very complete like your blink project will be the next big big thing (twitter popularity at least i guess).
For the moment, the problem is that not all that service provide an API to make a web app…

(sorry for the mistakes, english isnt my native)

Ben Overmyer

I’m not sure about the first concept, but for organizing social networking information and sites, I’ve yet to find anything that can top the Firefox-derivative web browser Flock.

I use it whenever possible, as it aggregates EVERYTHING social.

If I had the free time, I would try my hand at building “Ticklr” for you. Unfortunately I’ve got way too many projects on my plate as it is! I’ll keep the concept on the backburner though, just in case.

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