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).

Ticklr

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 del.icio.us 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!

Blink

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?

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