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Six Must-Have SXSW Apps

Six Must-Have SXSW Apps

SXSW, in case you aren’t in the know, is one of the bigger conferences/festivals that happens every spring in Austin, Texas. In 2013, the core SXSW events brought 41,700 people together, and over 150,000 people attended at least one SXSW event.

The Interactive portion is often referred to as “spring break for geeks,” and the Music and Film portions are places where you can see the next big thing before it’s the next big thing. But the whole experience can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. Use this list of must-have apps to keep from getting overwhelmed.

The official SXSW app

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Mobile Guide to South By Southwest

    The main benefit of the official SXSW app is that it’ll let you create a schedule on the site by browsing the sessions and shows available, which then syncs to the mobile app. The app then also shows you the location of the sessions or shows, and can also show you where other attendees are at, including your friends. If you don’t want to try and keep track of everything on post-it notes, this is the way to go.

    Transportation: Car2go and Ridescout

    Transportation is a broad category, and also a vital consideration for making your way around an unfamiliar city. That’s why I’m giving you two apps and two runner ups:

    Car2go is a car-sharing service. You reserve a car from the app, pay by the minute while you use it, and then park it and leave it anywhere in the service area (which includes all of downtown). The app is free, but the service costs: $0.41 per minute with a maximum of $14.99/hr (both rates pretax).

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    car2go

      Ridescout puts all the relevant transportation info at your fingertips, on a map. You can see bus routes, driving/walking/biking time estimates, nearby car2gos, and also fare estimates for taxis. This is a free app available for both iPhone and Android.

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      RideScout

        Runner-ups: Uber or Hailacab. If you aren’t using Car2go and don’t want to take a bus, you can check out Uber—they regularly have free ride promotions running during SXSW, though it can be hard to find a driver during peak hours. If all else fails, there’s the Hailacab app, but be warned: you will pay a premium for cabs during SXSW, with long wait times as a bonus.

        Uber

          Finding new events and secret shows: Likter

          Trying to find secret shows or parties, or want to do something spur of the moment? Likter is a social network that lets you post real-time news with a superlocal focus. You can attach photos, audio, and video to your posts, sharing that yes, the line here really is nonexistent, and no, this band really isn’t worth listening to. And if you show up and find out that someone else posted bogus news? You can vote their note as false, so that others aren’t duped. Don’t forget to check out all the SxShortcuts to keep up with.

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          Likter

            Communication: GroupMe

            Keeping track of a group of friends is hard; until GroupMe came along, you just had to put everyone in a group Facebook message thread, and hope for the best. GroupMe solves that problem elegantly—it lets you keep up with groups of people and it was a total lifesaver for me last year for seeing who was where, when. You can attach and send photos, videos, and images, as well as showing group conversation members where you’re at on a map. It’s free, available for any kind of device, and it also works over SMS, so you can add friends into a group conversation even if they don’t have the app.

            GroupMe

              Sharing the best food: Foodspotting

              Foodspotting

                Austin is widely acknowledged as a foodie town—including a lively food trailer scene—but how do you know which places near you are worth visiting, which are overpriced, and which specific dish to order? You can slog through Yelp reviews on your phone (not the fastest or easiest way) or you can download Foodspotting and see what people like near you. This app is focused on the positive and is dish-centric rather than restaurant-centric—so you’ll know exactly what people near you are loving, which is great for last-minute snacks.

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                Last Updated on May 14, 2019

                8 Replacements for Google Notebook

                8 Replacements for Google Notebook

                Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

                1. Zoho Notebook
                  If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
                2. Evernote
                  The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
                3. Net Notes
                  If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
                4. i-Lighter
                  You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
                5. Clipmarks
                  For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
                6. UberNote
                  If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
                7. iLeonardo
                  iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
                8. Zotero
                  Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

                I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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                In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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