The Howe Library continues to impress with innovation, a rich collection, and a welcoming comfortable environment.
Three highlights in technology from the annual meeting :
1. Five-Year technology plan for 2012-2017 recently added to the website
2. A new mobile version of the website. It keeps the same look and feel, but with key features available on mobile, with easy access to the regular website. And yes, it does auto-detect mobile devices.
- Getting the Most from Your Town’s Email Discussion List and Website (October 25)
- Computer Basics: Getting Started with a Computer (November 15)
- Buying and Selling Online Using eBay (January 17)
- Computer Basics: Staying on the Safe Side of the Internet (February 21)
- Backing Up your Computer: Where to Start (March 21)
- Computer Basics: Getting the Most from Email (April 18)
- Desktop, Laptop, Tablet, Smartphone:Which Is Best for You ? (May 16)
This new feature was introduced to Google Calendar in May 2011, and it allows you to choose a specific color for an event. The default color is the same as the calendar color. However, this event color is only visible to you, or to those that have full access to the calendar (“Make changes AND manage sharing “). More info from Google
So use this feature for your personal calendar, but don’t bother for a calendar that will be embedded on a website.
We have been using Solve360 for a few months now. This is a “software as a service” tool for managing both contacts and projects. It is tightly couple with Google Apps, so you can log in from there. That was an important feature in our initial evaluation, along with the consolidation in one place of all contacts, and the projects that involve them.
The contact information is easy to enter, and custom fields can be added to tailor the various forms as needed. It is easy to add documents, notes, task lists, and events to any contact.
The same can be done with projects, which are called “project blogs” in Solve360. They are collections of various materials, comments and documents, but they are not really hierchical collections of tasks. This is in part what led us to try other project management tools.
Things we did’t like
- Save is implicit when moving off the field – but we have both created empty stuff by mistake at times.
- The absence of Save / cancel buttons
- Screen layout isn’t remembered: when you change the column layout or width, and then go back in later, it goes back to default position
- We hate the term project “BLOG”
- Colors – can’t be changed or added to
- Flexible tags à la WordPress: can be implemented by adding a custom text field but that still doesn’t give you tag management (list of tags in use, delete tag, add tag)
- Can’t link a Solve 360 contact to a To Do item
- Only the administrator can create categories, and only one administrator is allowed at a time. Solve360 has said that this is deliberate so that category changes are forced to be organized and consistent by going through one person, but in practice it is a pain.
- Can’t enter a time for an activity – you can only pick to the nearest half hour.
- The iPhone app starts with a blank screen. You have to start typing a name to get a result. And it is sorted by first name for people.
Things we liked
- Custom fields – website, dropdown lists, muti-selection checkboxes. And custom fields are available for any searches
- The Solve360 contact form pops up when doing contacts in Google Apps online
- Type in the company a person works for and the company is created in Solve 360.
- Nice internal links of contacts, projects, companies
Cost: $39/month for 3 users