Envision this: You’re running late for a meeting, so you haven’t had time to look into the people you’ll be talking with. But a few minutes before the scheduled meeting time, you get an SMS on your phone containing a link to a mobile-optimized web page with photos of the participants, together with data from their LinkedIn profiles, their last few tweets, and links to your most recent emails with them.
That’s the idea behind Noteleaf. The service has just been in operation for a couple of months, having received funding from Y Combinator, but Noteleaf is already adding features. As of today, its SMS notifications will include some new data:
- Participants’ last three tweets, plus links to their Twitter feeds. Twitter handles are retrieved from LinkedIn profiles, but the actual tweets are pulled directly from Twitter.
- A list of connections you share with each participant.
Some of Noteleaf’s features will sound familiar to Gist users, which we’ve written about several times. But Noteleaf’s co-founder Jake Klamka assures me that the company isn’t interested in competing with Gist or Plaxo; rather, he and his colleagues want to maintain a service that’s extremely simple to use, and requires no special apps or changes of behavior. Indeed, it’s likely that once users sign up for the service, they’ll hardly ever need to visit Noteleaf’s website again.
The signup process is very simple indeed. Authenticate your Gmail or Google Apps account through OAuth, do the same with your LinkedIn account, and (optionally) provide your cellphone number for delivery of text messages, and that’s it. If you don’t have a U.S. or Canadian cellphone, Noteleaf will insert the information about meeting participants into your calendar’s notes.
At the moment, Noteleaf’s notifications only work for meetings scheduled through the web interface of Google Calendar or Google Apps Calendar (only the primary calendars are recognized). And it helps if you’ve had Gmail or Google Apps email exchanges with the participants before the meeting. But Noteleaf plans to expand the services with which it’s compatible.
Meanwhile, though, Noteleaf’s extreme simplicity should appeal to teams that coordinate meetings using Google Calendar. The service is currently free while it’s in beta; the developers are considering a freemium model in the future.