Cool Software of the Week: Picasa 3

Google bought this company a while back and has done some great things with it.  They recently released version 3 and I am very impressed.  It very quickly indexed all of my pictures that it could find and organized them in a variety of ways.  It lets you tag photos, create movies or collages, and the best feature of all…it automagically finds red-eye and fixes it!! 

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Did I mention it’s free?

Cool Software of the Week: Xobni for Outlook

A co-worker pointed me at this one and in spite of being a little skeptical, I really like it.  The reason I was skeptical is the web site says that it’s a way to quickly search in Outlook.  Well, I hate to say it but Microsoft really knocked it out of the park with the built-in search in Outlook 2007.  I REALLY thought that was a great feature.  So why would I need a third party tool to help me with something that works great out of the box? 

Turns out that it’s a whole lot more (note to Xobni: you’re selling yourself way short…) to it than just search.  The first thing it does is index the contents of your inbox and generate a bunch of statistics (like a particular contact’s speed at responding or who sends you the most email) and it asks if you want to integrate with social networking sites like Facebook and Linkedin and if you want to use Skype (which I’m a big fan of) with the plug in. 

Once I started using it, I really liked how it shows a bunch of information based on the email you have selected in the inbox.  You can email them right from there, you can schedule a meeting, Skype them, look them up on Linked in, and see all of the files they have sent you.

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For a free add-in, I think they really got it right.  (I also think the “Share Email Happiness” button is a great viral marketing tool.)