Exporting Chrome and Google Bookmarks to Evernote

Recently I started revisiting the way my data was spread across different cloud services. Up until now, I’ve been using Google Bookmarks to keep all my bookmarks, lots and lots of them, using mainly tags to keep organized. A few years ago when I decided to move from Delicious, it felt like an obvious choice. A few hiccups along the way, but so far, it worked really well. I even created a Chrome extension to help bookmarking and searching  bookmarks from the omnibar. A few things annoyed me, like presenting tags the same way as folders, all listed on the left sidebar, creating a loooong page with only links on the side.

Lately I also started bookmarking a few links on Evernote, specially references to technical articles and so on. In the spirit of simplifying, I decided to consolidate everything in the same place, Evernote. This meant I would have to migrate my 3k+ bookmarks from Google to Evernote, trying to preserve all tags and possibly creation dates.

Google Bookmarks doesn’t provide a huge list of exporting options, only one HTML format, with links grouped by tag. The interesting thing about the format is that bookmarks are duplicated if they have more than one tag. One annoying thing I would have to deal with.

Looked around for services or scripts that could help migrating, but not much luck. Most guides only suggested importing the HTML file directly to Evernote, creating one singe note, and that’s not what I wanted. Looked a little bit further and found a Python script on GitHub. Very simplistic. The script would parse the file and write the output in an Evernote format, or ENEX, a simple XML file with Evernote tags.

Tried it and it worked, at least it ran and created a new file. Tried to import it on Evernote and no luck. It failed giving no clue about what was wrong. I decided to play with the file a little bit and found the problem, a few spaces and empty lines in the wrong place. Fixed the script and import worked, sort of…

Remember I mentioned about duplicate entries on the exported file. The script did not account for that, so all entries with more than one tag were duplicated.  That would not work. Since the script was almost done, I just decided to fork it and fix this small things. Included a check for duplicated bookmarks. While I was at it, I also minified the output and included created dates to the exported fields.

If you are looking for something similar, the script is on GitHub…

https://github.com/spiermar/bookmarks2evernote

Use it, fork it, improve it. And let me know what you think! ;-)

Chrome or Firefox?

I’ve been a Chrome user for quite a while and before that, Firefox for a long time. I decided to make the move almost 2 years ago, right after extensions were introduced. The main reasons to do so were the start time (cold and warm), which by that time were blazing fast on Chrome compared to the slow Firefox and the cool new Chrome start page. So far I’ve been happy with Chrome besides a few problems with it’s extension capabilities, but the recent launch of Firefox 7 made me question my decision. The new Firefox is as fast, if not faster than Chrome on start time and apparently consumes significantly less resources. That, combined with more powerful extensions is a recipe for a great browser.

Now the requirements. What is really important to me is, besides the speed and footprint, are a few particular extensions. Good support to Google Bookmarks, Evernote, Read it Later, a Session Manager, AdBlock, a bulk media downloader and a Twitter client.

So far I came to the following analysis:

ChromeFirefox
Google BookmarksPartially. YAGBE works but it’s not great.Yes, thru GMarks
EvernoteYes, thru official extensionYes, thru official extension
Read it LaterYesYes
Session ManagerYesYes
AdBlockYesYes
Media DownloaderNo. Apparently this is a Chrome API limitationYes, thru DownThem All or Download Helper
Twitter ClientYes, TweetDeck appNo. Could not find a web app at the same level as
TweetDeck.
Nice Start PageYes.Yes, thru myfav.es.

So what is your opinion? Have any extension suggestions? Firefox or Chrome?

Remote Shutdown/Restart on Windows

This is one of things you certainly already had to do.. You are working remotely and for some reason your session freezes (Windows, you know) and you can’t do anything.. Usually you would ask for a colleague that seats nearby to hard reboot your desktop, but what happens when that is not possible???

Now, how to perform a remote shutdown/restart on a Windows box:

  1. Open Computer Management (Local)
    In the console tree, right-click Computer Management (Local), and then click Connect to another computer.
  2. In the Select Computer dialog box, click Another computer, type the name of the computer that you want to restart or shut down, and then click OK. You can also click Browse to search for the name of the computer.
  3. In the console tree, right-click Computer Management (Remote computer name), and then click Properties.
  4. On the Advanced tab, click Startup and Recovery.
  5. Click Shut Down to open the Shut Down dialog box.
  6. Under Action, select the actions you want to perform on the computer to which you are connected.
  7. Under Force Apps Closed, select the circumstances under which you want to force applications to close when you shut down or restart the computer, and then click OK.

Note

  • To open Computer Management, click Start, and then click Control Panel. Click Performance and Maintenance, click Administrative Tools, and then double-click Computer Management.
  • You must be recognized as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group on your computer and on the computer you are managing to perform this task.

Via Microsoft

5 Ways to Use Google Wave for Business

Remember Google Wave? Clearly, Google Buzz has recently overshadowed Google’s other hotly anticipated social communication platform, but before you ditch your Wave account, give it a second try. There are many useful business applications for Wave, especially in situations that call for collaboration with a group or managing a project. Wave can easily allow users to dispense with the formalities (and expenses) of meetings, phone calls, travel, etc. and instead make it easy to collaborate across time and space.

Here are five examples of common workplace activities that Google Wave can support.

1. Conferences and Professional Development

This one probably seems obvious. Departments can set up Google Waves to discuss what’s happening at a particular event. A company with limited funds could send one person to a conference and use Google Wave as a reporting mechanism. Or if several people attend, they can divide/conquer the event and post their ideas and comments in one place.

For example Chris Hoyt, author of the blog The Recruiter Guy, set up a Wave for the human resources and recruiting community during last year’s Social Recruiting Summit. Both attendees and those of us who were interested but couldn’t make it in person were able to join the Wave. It was an opportunity to gain exposure to the content and learn more about the event so people could budget to attend the following year.

One thing I could see emerging from conference Waves are “back channel” discussions. Conference organizers in particular will want to pay particular attention to this and not necessarily view it as a bad thing. If managed properly, it could bring some opportunities for improvement to light during the event.

2. Decision Making and Problem Solving

Using Google Wave to discuss a company challenge could be very beneficial — especially when all of the players aren’t located in the same place. That’s exactly why Troy Peterson, CEO of Nibi Software, used Wave to get the company’s development plan finalized.  He brought everyone together in a Wave and let the conversation flow. “The real-time document functionality allowed us to have ‘arguments’ and solve problems together that might otherwise have resulted in ‘back and forth’ threads that went on forever.”

Peterson did mention that adoption was an initial challenge. “Although several of my contacts immediately had Wave accounts, they weren’t necessarily the people I was collaborating with on projects.  It required some arm wrestling to get people on board.” But the results were worth it. “In the end, we have a succinct document that we have all agreed on and that we can compare short-term objectives against.”

3. Project Management

The same decision making philosophy applies when you have a project and need to collaborate not only with internal stakeholders, but an external supplier. Google Wave provides an opportunity for collaboration. Hopefully, consultants and/or contractors are able to tap into that dialogue by sharing their Wave account info with client companies.

Rachel Levy, Founder/CEO of the startup website WebinarListings, is using Google Wave with her developer. “We have the list of open items in the Wave, so we can discuss each one. I add an open item, and he can ask me a question about it, or mark it as done.” The main advantage to using this application was being able to track conversations.

This could also be a valuable way to manage the dreaded “scope creep.” You can lay out the entire project in a single Wave once the parameters are agreed upon. Then, you can work through each facet with each side tracking progress and those pesky project deviations. And everything gets documented along the way. New project requirements can even be moved to a new Wave for later consideration.

4. Brainstorming and Idea Cultivation

Brendan Gill, with the firm Staircase3, said he and his partners use Google Wave as a medium to organize and facilitate conversations and feedback. “We are a team of entrepreneurs who like to have an idea and make it happen quickly. We use Google Wave to brainstorm our ideas for new business projects.  It’s a great tool for collecting a series of conversations, and we use a different Wave for each different idea.”

Gill explained they would have traditionally used group e-mails for this purpose, but found Wave has numerous advantages, including serving as a centralized repository, and the ability to use add-on features for enhanced productivity. This was especially useful since their management team is located around the globe. “The Ribbit conferencing feature is great for staging an ad hoc conference call. Furthermore, the simple voting widget is a useful way to end each of our Waves where we can stage a vote for a given idea — whether or not we want to put the idea in motion, or just cut it loose.”

5. Virtual Meetings and Reduced Travel

Let’s face it. Bringing groups of people together can be expensive. Depending on the project, Google Wave could help foster dialogue without a lot of travel, phone calls, etc. Gill mentioned using Wave to make edits and adjustments on business proposals without having people travel to a central location. “Using Wave definitely reduces the need for thousand-dollar transatlantic flights and many tons of carbon emissions. Obviously without Wave, we would still use e-mails and teleconferencing, but using a better communications platform has definitely cut a number of flights out of our schedule,” he said.

Gill added that, “Collaboration can be done in real-time, if required, which is useful if you’re trying to rush out a project that has to happen quickly or not at all. Or for longer-term projects, you can take your time to think about an idea and come back to the plan at any time you like.”

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a way to streamline communications on your next project, Peterson suggests that you “Sign up and use the tool. It may not revolutionize your company’s communications, but it is useful and worth the effort involved in figuring out how it works for your organization.”

Remember the success of a Wave is contingent upon the active participation of the individuals involved. Waves need engagement, attention and clarity. You can’t just ask a question and walk away for a couple days. According to Levy, “The bigger the Wave gets, the slower it gets.” Managing activity and open items becomes essential for productivity.

Via Mashable