Ever since CloudAve’s Zoli Erdos introduced me to Diigo (see previous CloudAve coverage), I have been a fan of the service and now I am a paid premier customer. It has been a long time since I wrote about Diigo here and, recently, they have released some nifty tools to aid knowledge workers. I thought I will do a post about how these tools can help a knowledge worker by giving access to relevant information wherever they need by taking advantage of Chrome browser and Mobile devices.
Hey step back a second, what is Diigo by the way?
For people who are familiar with social bookmarking tools like Delicious, Diigo is also a social bookmarking site like Delicious but with some advanced features for research and collaboration. Diigo is a
- personal research tool
- collaborative research platform
- social content site
- knowledge sharing community
In short, Diigo should be part of every knowledge worker’s toolkit. Diigo is more than a tool to bookmark and share with friends and co-workers. It has some powerful features not present with other similar platforms and these features completely transform the way knowledge workers work, collaborate and innovate. Along with the usual features like bookmarking, sharing, tagging, lists, etc. which are found in many social bookmarking services, Diigo offers some advanced features that pushes the service beyond social bookmarking and making it a powerful tool for doing research.
Some of these features include:
- Annotation Tools
- Multi-Color highlights
- Sticky Notes
- Full Text Search
- Cached pages
- Screen Capture and Annotation
- Image saving options
- Text view like Instapaper
So, what makes them worth this post?
Even though Diigo had a powerful toolbar for Firefox, their support for Chrome was very limited for a long time. Even though their Chrome extension was pretty decent for most of the research and collaboration tasks, I had a feeling that they could do much more. With the addition of Chrome Web Store, Diigo has added some really cool apps and extensions that has completely changed the way I work. Their support for iOS and Android devices ensures that I have my information on Diigo available anywhere and anytime. In this section, I will highlight these extensions and apps so that it becomes obvious how this service fits knowledge workers toolkit.
First the chrome extensions
Along with the main Diigo extension, they have also released two other extensions, Awesome Screenshot and Chrome to Phone Plus. The Diigo extension does some of the basic functions of the service like bookmarking, highlighting, sharing, cacheing, etc.. The Awesome Screenshot extension lets you take a screenshot, annotate it and upload online to awesomescreenshot.com and share it through the usual social networking sites. It is a pretty convenient tool for knowledge workers to share information easily. Ideally, I would have loved to have an option to push these screenshot to my Diigo account. It is not available right now and I hope they add it in the future. The Chrome to phone plus extension lets users send anything from text links to notes to phone numbers to videos to the Android phone or tablet device so that the user can take the relevant information with them on the move.
Some cool apps too
The best part of Diigo’s new tools are the Chrome Webstore Apps that are well integrated with both the browser and the Diigo web service. The apps are:
- Diigo Web: This is nothing but the Diigo web page. There is nothing exciting about this app except that you can enter the Diigo site with just a click
- Quick Note: This is a pretty convenient note taking application which syncs with Diigo service and stores all the notes under “Notes”
- Read Later Fast: Many of us (knowledge workers) keep tens of browser tabs (there are some with 100+ tabs too) open all the time. However, these tabs consume tremendous amounts of computing resources, sometimes leading to disruption of workflow. Plus, these tabs are constrained to a single device (unless there are some solutions used for automatic tab sync which again will consume resources on other machines) and knowledge workers these days are seldom content with using one device. This app lets users save a website for later viewing and is automatically synced to other devices through Diigo or Google account. These links are also stored in the Diigo service under “Read Later” so that these links can be accessed from outside of this web app
- Chrome to Phone Plus: This is exactly same as the Chrome to Phone Plus extension except that it opens up a web app to share information
These are some really convenient web applications that can aid a knowledge worker in their daily tasks.
Along with these toolbars, extensions and web applications, Diigo has also released a pretty feature rich Android app and apps for iPhone and iPad. A knowledge worker whose workflow is based on Chrome web browser and Android or iOS mobile devices, can take advantage of these extensions and web apps by not only capturing information more effectively, but also by having access to them from anywhere and anytime. In fact, this may turn out to be very crucial for knowledge workers who need information fast and at an appropriate time. These are some powerful set of tools which, when used effectively, can increase the productivity of knowledge workers manyfold. I am personally using these tools and I can assure you that my productivity has increased tremendously after I devised my workflow around these tools.
- 7 reasons Diigo should be your new social bookmarking tool (arikhanson.com)
- Quick Note by Diigo ~ the quickest way to take notes in Chrome (diigo.com)
- Enhanced Chrome extension: Diigo Bookmark, Archive, Highlight & Sticky-Note (diigo.com)