Evernote to Stay Organized Wherever You Are - Favorite Thing

Our Favorite Things - Evernote

Sprouting HandsWe love our gadgets and our software over here at Geek | Chicago.  Of course we do, we’re Geeks!  I mean we really love them.  We love them, not just for the “wow factor” or because they’re new, but we love them because of the promise they hold.

New software and new hardware hold the keys to new efficiencies, better ways to communicate, and simpler ways to organize, and pave the road to the future.  When new technologies become old technologies, if they’ve done their job, their replacements are standing on their shoulders.  New ideas beget more new ideas.

EvernoteBack in March, Gini Dietrich, a personal friend and the CEO at Arment Dietrich, Inc. a PR firm specializing in online communication, reminded me how much I love Evernote on her site Spin Sucks.  I had installed and begun to use Evernote sometime in early 2010, but wasn’t tagging (organizing) my notes in a way that allowed me easy access to them, as my brain emptied and my Evernote repository filled. I had the software on my Android-powered phone, and used the web client on my PCs, but only occasionally used in on my phone.  When Gini talked about her love of journals, and the convenience of Evernote, my interest was renewed.

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How to Really Use Those RSS Feeds

RSS FeedRSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication" and provides a syndicated "feed" of site updates to followers.  Any website worth its salt has an RSS feed, these days - ours can be found here.  Just because the feed is "really simple", doesn't mean sorting through all that data always is.

So what do you do with those oddly (un)formatted RSS feeds?  You use them to bring content from all of your favorites sites into a single interface - or reader.  At Geek | Chicago, simplicity and convenience reign supreme when it comes to Newsreaders.  That's why we use Google Reader.

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Send Video Messages to Friends and Family on Facebook

Often overlooked, Facebook allows users to record and share video messages with their Friends (capital "F", as in, anyone to whom you're connected, not just people you really like).  Online software makers and service providers like ooVoo,, and EyeJot advertise the ability to do this with their products, but most of us are already Facebook users, and if you're like me, you forgot this functionality existed, or you simply never knew.

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Free Phone Calls from Anywhere

Colorful PhonesSince 2010, Google Voice has provided Gmail users the ability to make free telephone calls to anyone in the U.S. and Canada through their Google Talk chat client - right in the browser.  If you're not taking advantage of it, you should be.

In 2007, Google acquired an outstanding product called GrandCentral, and thereby created Google Voice (GV). GV is a telephone management service, a free one at that, which assigns a user a local telephone number, and allows the user to assign that number to ring their cell, office, home, and any number of other extensions.  It also is a self-contained voicemail service, voicemail transcriber, call recorder, and more.

When Google Talk made phone calls possible through the browser, they allowed Google Voice users to attached their phone number to their Google Talk account, making phone calls inbound to Google Talk possible, and attaching the user's GV number to the Caller ID on outbound calls.  All of a sudden, business calls from the computer became simple - and no hiding of Caller ID was required.  But carrying your laptop (and more so, your desktop) around town for the purposes of making a phone call is a bit cumbersome - so users were left using their cell phones (perish the thought) through GV's servers to make outbound calls.

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Scan Documents on the Go with Your Cell Phone

Sometimes you're on the go, and you need to send someone a document that you have only in paper format.  Some of us don't have a scanner or fax machine at home, and want to be able to digitize all of our bills, paperwork, and pesky documents.  Enter the cell phone scanner app.

CamScanner by IntSig, and many of its competitors, are popping up on the Android Market, in the iOS App Store, and for other phone models like Blackberry and Windows Phone.

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What to Do with All Those Business Cards

CardMunchLogoLinkedIn powers an innovative iPhone app called CardMunch.  Use your iPhone to scan in a business card, a team of data entry folks is waiting to transcribe the information on the other end (yes, really!), and voila! a new contact is created in your address book with all of the individual's information in tow!

Don't want to clutter your primary address book with every contact who hands you a card?  No problem, CardMunch will allow you to create a second, separate CardMunch address book as an alternative.

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How to Prioritize Features Versus Cost When Buying Technology

Here's a good read from the New York Times, featured on the Yahoo! Finance section about making cost-effective decisions when considering trade-offs in technology purchases.

Here's an excerpt:

PAY FOR TV SIZE, NOT REFRESH RATE As Matt Buchanan pointed out in a still-useful post on a year and a half ago, every television manufacturer has a sweet spot when it comes to price and size. Going to 50 inches from 42, Mr. Buchanan explains, may cost you $200, but going 54 inches from 50 could cost $400 more, so 50 inches is where you would get the most for your dollar. Every manufacturer has its own sweet spot, so it pays to look at the lineup and see where it is.

Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).