Advertising
Advertising

Acrobat.com: A Replacement For Other Office Applications?

Acrobat.com: A Replacement For Other Office Applications?

Acrobat.com

    At first glance, Acrobat.com doesn’t seem like anything special. We’ve seen Buzzword before, of course. And we’ve seen all the various Google application, as well. Acrobat.com can’t have anything new to offer, right?

    Adobe Buzzword

    Like I said, Acrobat.com looks like a pretty version of every other set of office applications out there at first glance. But that impression fades very quickly. Really, Adobe Buzzword is pretty much the only similarity to a true office suite — Acrobat.com isn’t offering spreadsheets or PowerPoint slides. The time they might have spent on such endeavors has gone to Buzzword, and the application is a solid product. Adobe picked up Buzzword last year and turned it into the centerpiece of Acrobat.com

    Advertising

    Adobe Buzzword has the standard offerings of most online word processors — Share your brilliant prose with your friends! Watch edits happen in real time! Access your documents from the furthest corners of the globe! You know the drill. But even the great Google missed a few points on Google Docs, a lesson from Buzzword has learned. Most important for shared documents is the addition of version control. It’s surprisingly easy to revert to that version you thought you saved over in Buzzword — less so in most other applications. When using Buzzword, controls for such things as commenting are simply more intuitive than Google Docs and its ilk. I keep comparing Buzzword to Google Docs for a simple reason — I use it quite a bit. I started using Google Docs because, well, it’s pretty well integrated with Gmail. But I’m a bit tempted to make the changeover.

    Create PDF, Share & My Files

    Off to the right hand side of Acrobat.com are three tools that seem to have the same sort of presentation as Adobe Buzzword. These three, however, haven’t been given the Adobe name. Create PDF, Share and My Files have a bit of the little brother feel — they just don’t seem to have gotten as much love growing up.

    Create PDF has a bit of a stunted feel to it. Sure, it’s a great tool if you don’t have Acrobat — just upload a file and hit one button to get a PDF. But Adobe has limited users to five PDFs (this month? this year? ever? It doesn’t say). Five PDFs really isn’t a lot. Adobe’s suggestion for users who need more than five PDFs isn’t exactly helpful, either:

    Advertising

    If you need more than 5 Adobe PDF creations, we recommend you purchase Adobe® Acrobat® 9 software to get the full power of PDF creation on your desktop.

    Share has a bit more flexibility, although it too has limits. For those of us constantly sending big files, Adobe’s document sharing tool could come in handy. Users get five gigabytes of space for free, making for a simple way to share sizeable files. There will probably come a point for most users when they have to start removing documents in order to put up new ones, but I consider that a workable solution. But what I really like about the Share function is the fact that each file gets its own unique website address, making it trivial to embed documents in your website.

    Arguably, Share and My Files are the same tool. My Files is just a file organization system and Share is the icing on the top — permissions for those files. They use the same five gigs of storage. Adobe has also put some restrictions on My Files that extends to Share. Most importantly, there is a long list of file formats that cannot be uploaded and therefore cannot be shared. Executable files, music and video files and archive files are all forbidden.

    Advertising

    Adobe ConnectNow

    Beyond Adobe Buzzwords, the other selling point is Adobe ConnectNow. It’s a conferencing application with all the bells and whistles: screen sharing, whiteboards, audio and video. This is the free version, so users are limited to three people. Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro can handle plenty more, but with a price set significantly higher than free.

    As long as you’re planning a small conference, ConnectNow can be a good option. The user interface is fairly intuitive. My dad could probably figure out which icons to click to start a video conference or to upload a file, although I won’t go so far as to claim that my grandmother could handle it. There isn’t anything I haven’t seen before in an online conferencing application, though.

    The Verdict

    Tempting as Adobe Buzzword’s version control system is, I don’t think I’m going to take the time to transfer all my files over. Buzzword is nice, and the rest of the tools on Acrobat.com are useful. But they aren’t quite innovative. I’ll keep my login and might have a few group projects that I’ll run off of Buzzword, rather than Google Docs, but I have no reason to make a full change over.

    Advertising

    I’m ready for the next great thing in web applications and, sad to say, Acrobat.com isn’t it. The interface is very well-designed, but there isn’t anything that really makes it stand out from all of the other application suites out roaming the internet. I don’t really object to the restrictions that Acrobat.com places on users (though I’d appreciate a clear explanation of a few points). It’s free and you get what you pay for. But Adobe has made several applications in the past that I was willing to pay for, and I’d hoped that Acrobat.com would be a little more in line with that quality.

    More by this author

    50 Businesses You Can Start In Your Spare Time 8 Replacements for Google Notebook 5 Sites Where You Can Sell Your Photos 7 Tools to Find Someone Online 19 Entrepreneurship Websites Worth Checking Out

    Trending in Featured

    1 3 Techniques for Setting Priorities Effectively 2 How to Master the Art of Prioritization 3 How to Stay Motivated and Reach Your Big Goals in Life 4 How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators 5 11 Reasons Why You Aren’t Getting Results

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on July 8, 2020

    3 Techniques for Setting Priorities Effectively

    3 Techniques for Setting Priorities Effectively

    It is easy, in the onrush of life, to become a reactor – to respond to everything that comes up, the moment it comes up, and give it your undivided attention until the next thing comes up.

    This is, of course, a recipe for madness. The feeling of loss of control over what you do and when is enough to drive you over the edge, and if that doesn’t get you, the wreckage of unfinished projects you leave in your wake will surely catch up with you.

    Having an inbox and processing it in a systematic way can help you gain back some of that control. But once you’ve processed out your inbox and listed all the tasks you need to get cracking on, you still have to figure out what to do the very next instant. On which of those tasks will your time best be spent, and which ones can wait?

    When we don’t set priorities, we tend to follow the path of least resistance. (And following the path of least resistance, as the late, great Utah Phillips reminded us, is what makes the river crooked!) That is, we’ll pick and sort through the things we need to do and work on the easiest ones – leaving the more difficult and less fun tasks for a “later” that, in many cases, never comes – or, worse, comes just before the action needs to be finished, throwing us into a whirlwind of activity, stress, and regret.

    This is why setting priorities is so important.

    Advertising

    3 Effective Approaches to Set Priorities

    There are three basic approaches to setting priorities, each of which probably suits different kinds of personalities. The first is for procrastinators, people who put off unpleasant tasks. The second is for people who thrive on accomplishment, who need a stream of small victories to get through the day. And the third is for the more analytic types, who need to know that they’re working on the objectively most important thing possible at this moment. In order, then, they are:

    1. Eat a Frog

    There’s an old saying to the effect that if you wake up in the morning and eat a live frog, you can go through the day knowing that the worst thing that can possibly happen to you that day has already passed. In other words, the day can only get better!

    Popularized in Brian Tracy’s book Eat That Frog!, the idea here is that you tackle the biggest, hardest, and least appealing task first thing every day, so you can move through the rest of the day knowing that the worst has already passed.

    When you’ve got a fat old frog on your plate, you’ve really got to knuckle down. Another old saying says that when you’ve got to eat a frog, don’t spend too much time looking at it! It pays to keep this in mind if you’re the kind of person that procrastinates by “planning your attack” and “psyching yourself up” for half the day. Just open wide and chomp that frog, buddy! Otherwise, you’ll almost surely talk yourself out of doing anything at all.

    2. Move Big Rocks

    Maybe you’re not a procrastinator so much as a fiddler, someone who fills her or his time fussing over little tasks. You’re busy busy busy all the time, but somehow, nothing important ever seems to get done.

    Advertising

    You need the wisdom of the pickle jar. Take a pickle jar and fill it up with sand. Now try to put a handful of rocks in there. You can’t, right? There’s no room.

    If it’s important to put the rocks in the jar, you’ve got to put the rocks in first. Fill the jar with rocks, now try pouring in some pebbles. See how they roll in and fill up the available space? Now throw in a couple handfuls of gravel. Again, it slides right into the cracks. Finally, pour in some sand.

    For the metaphorically impaired, the pickle jar is all the time you have in a day. You can fill it up with meaningless little busy-work tasks, leaving no room for the big stuff, or you can do the big stuff first, then the smaller stuff, and finally fill in the spare moments with the useless stuff.

    To put it into practice, sit down tonight before you go to bed and write down the three most important tasks you have to get done tomorrow. Don’t try to fit everything you need, or think you need, to do, just the three most important ones.

    In the morning, take out your list and attack the first “Big Rock”. Work on it until it’s done or you can’t make any further progress. Then move on to the second, and then the third. Once you’ve finished them all, you can start in with the little stuff, knowing you’ve made good progress on all the big stuff. And if you don’t get to the little stuff? You’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you accomplished three big things. At the end of the day, nobody’s ever wished they’d spent more time arranging their pencil drawer instead of writing their novel, or printing mailing labels instead of landing a big client.

    Advertising

    3. Covey Quadrants

    If you just can’t relax unless you absolutely know you’re working on the most important thing you could be working on at every instant, Stephen Covey’s quadrant system as written in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change might be for you.

    Covey suggests you divide a piece of paper into four sections, drawing a line across and a line from top to bottom. Into each of those quadrants, you put your tasks according to whether they are:

    1. Important and Urgent
    2. Important and Not Urgent
    3. Not Important but Urgent
    4. Not Important and Not Urgent

      The quadrant III and IV stuff is where we get bogged down in the trivial: phone calls, interruptions, meetings (QIII) and busy work, shooting the breeze, and other time wasters (QIV). Although some of this stuff might have some social value, if it interferes with your ability to do the things that are important to you, they need to go.

      Quadrant I and II are the tasks that are important to us. QI are crises, impending deadlines, and other work that needs to be done right now or terrible things will happen. If you’re really on top of your time management, you can minimize Q1 tasks, but you can never eliminate them – a car accident, someone getting ill, a natural disaster, these things all demand immediate action and are rarely planned for.

      Advertising

      You’d like to spend as much time as possible in Quadrant II, plugging away at tasks that are important with plenty of time to really get into them and do the best possible job. This is the stuff that the QIII and QIV stuff takes time away from, so after you’ve plotted out your tasks on the Covey quadrant grid, according to your own sense of what’s important and what isn’t, work as much as possible on items in Quadrant II (and Quadrant I tasks when they arise).

      Getting to Know You

      Spend some time trying each of these approaches on for size. It’s hard to say what might work best for any given person – what fits one like a glove will be too binding and restrictive for another, and too loose and unstructured for a third. You’ll find you also need to spend some time figuring out what makes something important to you – what goals are your actions intended to move you towards.

      In the end, setting priorities is an exercise in self-knowledge. You need to know what tasks you’ll treat as a pleasure and which ones like torture, what tasks lead to your objectives and which ones lead you astray or, at best, have you spinning your wheels and going nowhere.

      These three are the best-known and most time-tested strategies out there, but maybe you’ve got a different idea you’d like to share? Tell us how you set your priorities in the comments.

      More Tips for Effective Prioritization

      Featured photo credit: Mille Sanders via unsplash.com

      Read Next