Start Planning Valentine’s Day in Six Steps


Nervous about planning Valentine’s Day this year? Don’t worry. You can plan your romantic evening in six easy steps with Springpad’s Date Night Planner.

To get started, simply enter the date and city of where you’d like to have your date. Springpad will then present the following five categories to help you organize your date:

1. Go Out to Eat.
Type in what type of food you’d like to have at dinner and Springpad will locate nearby restaurants. Springpad even displays the restaurant’s ratings and reviews made by Yelp members.  Once you’ve decided which restaurant you’d like to dine at, simply click the “Add to Date” button. If you’re lucky, the restaurant you choose will use OpenTable and you can easily make your dinner reservations online at no extra cost. If they don’t, not a problem. Springpad also provides the number and address of the restaurant so you can contact them.

2. Dine In.
If you’re looking forward to showing off your culinary skills or need help finding recipes, Springpad can help you there as well. You can create a menu or choose from Springpad’s recipe ideas.

3. See a Show or Concert.
After dinner, check out what shows or concerts are nearby.

4. See a Movie.
Find a movie, check out movie reviews, listings, show times and buy tickets online.

5. Give a Gift.
Springpad also helps you find a gift online and as a bonus, you can store the tracking code or confirmation number in your planner.

6. Do Something Else.
And last but not least, if you want to do something more creative than dinner and a movie, you can create a new activity and store the address to save the details in your plans.

Springpad Date PlannerWhether you’re planning a romantic evening for Valentine’s Day or a get together with your friend, Springpad’s Date Night Planner makes planning a lot easier. However, there is one caveat — since the Date Night Planner is relatively new, some show times for movies don’t show up. If that happens to you, don’t forget there’s always 😉

Have a great Valentine’s Day!

(Video Credit: Springpad)

Misfortune at Ma.gnolia

Today I logged onto Ma.gnolia to bookmark websites for my assignment that I could later share with my classmates only to find that the service was no longer available. It turned out that Ma.gnolia was going through a nightmare due to “data corruption and loss.”

The founder of Ma.gnolia, Larry Halff, posted this note on the homepage:

Dear Ma.gnolia Community Member or Visitor,

Early on the West-coast morning of Friday, January 30th, Ma.gnolia experienced every web service’s worst nightmare: data corruption and loss. For Ma.gnolia, this means that the service is offline and members’ bookmarks are unavailable, both through the website itself and the API. As I evaluate recovery options, I can’t provide a certain timeline or prognosis as to to when or to what degree Ma.gnolia or your bookmarks will return; only that this process will take days, not hours.

I will of course keep you appraised here and in our Twitter account.

Most importantly, I apologize to all of you who have made Ma.gnolia a home for your bookmarks and community. I know that many of you rely on Ma.gnolia in your day to day work and play to safely host you bookmarks, keeping them available around the clock, and that this is a difficult disruption.


As a Ma.gnolia member, I’m at a loss. Despite the fact that I have a Del.icious account,  Ma.gnolia was always my go to social bookmarking site.

I hope they figure out what went wrong and are able to come back online.

In the meantime, what social bookmarking site do you recommend?

February 17, 2009 Update
The database file recovery has been unsuccessful; as a result, members should use the the public bookmark recovery tools for recovering their bookmark collections that were once stored on the Ma.gnolia database. For more updates, go to

Share Scribbles and More On Springpad

Today’s Guest Blogger is Alana from Good Girl Gone Blog. Alana is a college student and a member of Twenty Something Bloggers. She’s currently interning at a company called Springpad which looks pretty cool but I won’t spill the beans on what they’re all about. I’ll let Alana do that instead. 😉

My name is Alana, but you can call me Good Girl Gone Blog. I’m just a regular college student, stressing about classes, going to parties and doing some major blogging on the side. To tell you the truth, I never even read blogs until this summer, when a mentor of mine told me I couldn’t become a journalist until I started following blogs, and writing one of my own. From then on, I was hooked.

I wouldn’t call myself a social media expert, because I’m definitely still learning. In that way, I’m kind of like Luke Skywalker, a paduan hoping to learn from the Jedi masters. Fortunately for me, I landed a fabulous internship working with a bunch of tech-savvy mac users. I like to think of my boss as my own personal Yoda, minus the

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confusing speech patterns. She’s taught me so much already about sites like Twitter, Delicious, and Plus, she and her team have developed a really cool new product that I thought I’d share with you, my fellow paduans and social media Jedis. (Perhaps I’ve taken this metaphor a little too far…)

It’s called Springpad and it’s perfect for a busy girl like myself. Imagine a way to organize your entire life in a set of online notebooks! No more lost sticky notes, grocery lists written on the back of receipts or forgotten recipes, with Springpad, you can create the everyday lists with a little extra pizzazz from the Internet.

Check out this demo and see for yourself:

What’s even cooler about Springpad, is that it’s a great tool for bloggers. Suppose I enjoy the most amazing bagel of my life at a restaurant in Boston, and want to share that experience with my readers. With Springpad, I can write my blog post and then pull up a restaurant listing from “Yelp” that my readers can add to their Springpads. What’s even more awesome is that my brand name will appear alongside the restaurant listing. And yes, I did write a blog entry (complete with a SpringIt link, of course) about my favorite bagel.

Here’s a video showing how you can engage your readers by incorporating Springpad into your blog:

There’s a lot more I could tell you about Springpad, but why not check out the Website for yourself? With all the craziness of the holiday season, you could use a little organization in your life! So hey, why not simplify it a bit?

College Web Secrets Part 1: Social Media, College, and You

Today’s Guest Blogger is Amanda from This Crazy Miracle Called Life where she blogs about all aspects of life and whatever “random fabulosity” that comes to mind. Amanda is currently in college earning her nursing degree, and in her spare time, she enjoys traveling, creating, spending time with family and friends, and planning her upcoming wedding.

Since it’s Back to School time and a lot of us are getting back into college, I figured what better topic for Stephanie’s monthly Social Media Guest Blog than helpful scholarly resources. Now sure, some of you are done with college or chose other plans, but these things can work for many different things as well.

I will admit right off the bat that I had many more favorite sites than I ever thought I did so I’ll focus on the “social media/web 2.0”-geared sites in this post, and rather than go crazy with the world’s longest post, next week, I’ll post two additional posts on my own blog with many more resources. (Plus, as the semester progresses, I have a few more things to share, such as note-taking tricks, research paper hacks, and more!)

Part 1: Social Media, College, and You

(Today at Hey Stephanie!)

  • Search Smart
  • Notes & Documents
  • Project Planning
  • Questions & Answers
  • Ultimate Interactions
  • Cheap Textbooks
Part 2: Get Organized: Your Space, Your Time, Your Web
(Monday 9/15 on Crazy Miracle)

Part 3: Your Toolbox of Bookmarks
(Wednesday 9/17 on Crazy Miracle)

Let’s go!!
College Web Secrets

Search Smart

  • With social media overtaking the internet, if we can learn to search smart we will save loads of time. Take Mahalo for example. It’s a “human-powered search engine,” meaning instead of sifting through results that waste your time, everything that comes up is usually relevant to your topic. Mahalo is still in beta, and it doesn’t have a search result page for every topic, so it has its flaws, but for general information, this is my search engine of choice!
Chunk It
  • Chunk It is brand new, in beta, and it’s totally rocking my world!
  • If you’re just writing a simple essay where a few Google sources are fine, here’s what it can do:

  • Are you up against a deadline with an 8-page research paper due in the morning? Working with huge databases and journal articles? Check this out…

  • Their site has many more examples, but what this can do in PubMed, EBSCOhost, [insert your major’s preferred database here] will just amaze you.
Social Bookmarking

  • This is social media, folks. Social bookmarking, in essence, is where users save their internet bookmarks (or “favorites”) onto a site of choice and “tag” them with keywords to make them easily discoverable both by themselves and friends, the public, groups, etc.
  • Many of the common sites can now sync with browsers so not only can a user access their bookmarks on the site, but they can also access them traditionally via their browser’s Bookmarks menu.
  • Delicious is probably the most popular.

  • I used to enjoy Ma.gnolia but it was too limiting for me so I stopped using it. However, it just went opensource, so it’s definitely something I would keep an eye on! 🙂
  • How can social bookmarking help you? Well organization, for one. Also, it’s a great way to search and discover information for projects, study help, personal learning, etc.
  • Note: There are other similar sites like StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Furl, but I’ve found that those sites contain more “check out this cool story I found today” vs. the above, “here is my bookmark collection.” Of course, people will use any of those sites either way, but that is just my personal opinion. 🙂 Try these last three for more news-type articles, or you can always go to Google News.

Learn How to Work Google

  • Most of us think we’re great at Googling. We use it as a verb, so of course we are! We know what * and + and ” does when we put them in the little Google bar. Well, did you know you can do much more than that to really narrow in your search? Just learning a few more tricks can save hours, I’m sure. I find myself using the same little Google operations in many other search engines as well – these really are imperative to any successful college student’s technological knowledge base. So if you don’t think you’re using Google (or large search engines) as efficiently as you’d like, if you’d like to review, or if you just want to learn a few more advanced tricks like how to search for only a PDF, check out these useful links:
  • Google week: 101 tips, tricks & hacks

Professor Sites

  • Using Google tricks! (above)
  • Oh, I cringe to talk about Google again… But if you don’t mind (usually) ugly websites and sometimes what can amount to pretty deep digging, many professors have too much time on their hands and build extravagant websites dedicated to the subjects of their greatest adoration. There’s a couple ways to go about finding these sites that are usually information and link-packed.
  • Search for your course (Try chemistry not Introduction to Chemistry for Nursing Students if your college has weird course names) If you’re in college, don’t forget that a lot of basic college courses are called the same things as things you took in 10th grade. Remember our Google tricks? This is where typing +college +chemistry helps. That is still pretty vague though, so sometimes, I’ll type in the author of my textbook so I know I’m getting a better, closer match. Sometimes you have to dig, and creativity never hurts in your search term selection either.
  • Try running an .edu site-only search. (reminder: type this in the box Just because you don’t go to a certain school doesn’t mean you can’t use their links!
  • Example sites: Physiology, Math

Notes & Documents
Note Sharing Sites
  • Two pretty similar sites, Scribd and DocStoc both serve the same purpose – hosting documents (many filetypes supported) that you can share (or make private) with friends or the entire world (via the sites or neat tools like embedding). The sites even look similar, so you can browse both. You can find all kinds of things like course notes, articles and papers on huge ranges of topics, scanned copyrighted documents (SparkCharts, scanned textbooks and study guides), and so much more. I’ll kind of leave this one at that, but I do want to warn you to use your own personal moral/legal judgment with the scans, and use extreme care as far as plagiarism goes. Just because someone posts a paper on Scribd doesn’t mean you can download it, turn it in, and your professor will be sure you wrote it.
  • FYI, has the ability to search both sites as well as others, but that’s all it does.
  • I’m keeping an eye on sites like ShareNotes and Incredicampus. They have a lot of growing to do, but you might be able to find something, and ShareNotes especially seems to have a lot of potential.
Project Planning
  • Notefish is a lot of fun. In Internet Explorer or Firefox, you just a need a little browser addon, and while you research your project or paper or whatever it is you’re working on, you can clip bits and pieces to add to the page. You can move things around, organize them, and basically, make your own little scrapbook of plans. You can share it, too! Check out this public page for a good example: Trip to NYC Notefish
Questions & Answers
Yahoo Answers

  • Clueless on that last trig problem? Confused on a topic and you’d like to talk to a few professionals (or self-proclaimed “professionals”…. hey, we’re talking free here, people!)? Or feeling wise with your new scholarly knowledge and want to help others out? Yahoo Answers is the place. You can’t show up and post your entire chemistry worksheet and hope for someone to do it for you. You can, however, jump right in and search past questions, ask questions of your own, and use this site to explore, get help with specific things, ask for clarification perhaps on a math concept you don’t understand (maybe with an example problem), etc. Make sure you help back though – you lose “points” for asking questions and gain points for answering questions. Note that this is not a homework-help site – it’s a site for asking any question about anything, and a lot of the people there are really great about helping with educational/career/project questions.
  • Fluther – another fun, similar site!
Ultimate Interaction

  • Ning is the site where anyone can start their own social network for any topic! This has several applications for us:
  • Start a course Ning for all the members in your class to share notes, discuss, etc. Many professors are starting to do this as well.
  • Search for non-private course Nings already open. There are several professor-headed networks for people who need help in certain subjects or for students passionate about specialized majors. Also, there are several major-specific networks to join where you can make friends, share tips, blog, have discussions, post pictures, videos, etc. (Nursing major? We have almost 1200 nurses on Ning at NursesConnect) The bigger the groups, the more fun they are! (And Ning is definitely not just for school – run a few searches and you’ll find a group for just about anything!)
Cheap Textbooks

Textbook Revolt

  • Sick of paying too much for books? Well we all know there’s power in numbers and our generation kind of rocks. So, why not boycott the textbook companies and start using sites like Textbook Revolt? I have yet to complete a successful “transaction” on this site, but I’ve heard many success stories, they just got a new owner, and the more students that join, the more the site will help us all!

Price Comparison Sites

  • Two of my favorites are Campusi and BigWords. I never buy from campus bookstores anymore and I lost track of how many hundreds of dollars I’ve saved. Seriously.

That’s all for Part 1!

I hope you enjoyed it. Don’t forget to check my blog next week (Monday and Wednesday) for the rest. I have more links and surprises that you will not want to miss!

Thanks to Stephanie for letting me share my expertise, and thanks, readers, for listening! Feel free to comment with your favorite sites, and if you are struggling with anything college-related that you think the internet may be able to solve, go ahead and post and I’ll see what I can do to address it next week.

(Images from free stock photo site,

Jumpstart Status Meetings with ididwork

Every morning our team meets to discuss items we’ve been focusing on, what’s been completed, and projects we need extra time on. This week I wanted to try something different so I rallied a couple of my co-workers to try out It’s a simple and easy-to-use web app that lets you keep a log of the work that you and your teammates have completed. With ididwork, we were able to view status updates from each member on our team which kept us in the loop during the day.

Pie Chart
Fig. 1 Work categorized by tags.

In addition to microblogging our status updates, team members were able to analyze how much of their work was dedicated to a specific tag (see Fig. 1) and how much time was spent on a task. Employees can even send their work logs to managers for feedback and review. These reports can be exported into Excel or a PDF and you can edit your settings to automatically send a report to your manager as often as you like (i.e. weekly, every 2 weeks, etcetera). ididwork also has a graph that illustrates the number of entries your posted in a day or in a week (see Fig. 2).

Fig. 2 Daily Activity
Fig. 2 Number of Entries per Day.

The web app isn’t going to replace our morning meetings, but it helps us analyze how we can be more productive at work. For example, if ad hoc reports for clients make up 70% of my day, it would be a good idea to work with engineering on how to automate those reports.

For an awesome demo of, check out Demo Girl’s video tutorial below:

Would you use ididwork? If so, what would your tags be?

(Video Credit: Demo Girl)

Work Smarter with Web 2.0 Tools

I was excited when I saw the question above on LinkedIn because I’m always interested to find out what other people are using to make their life easier at work. I’m glad I checked in on this otherwise I wouldn’t have found out about

Jing allows you to capture any image on your desktop (includes adding text and arrows) and gives you the option of creating videos. Jing then gives you a link that you can share with your co-workers so they can see exactly what you see.

Now you can avoid lengthy and drawn out text tutorials with Jing. This is absolutely what I needed in the office.

Here’s a video about Jing:

So what about you? What Web 2.0 tools do you find most useful for businesses?

(Photo Credit: JasterArts)