What's the best new productivity tool you've adopted in past year?

Here’s another Twitter test. I just asked my Twitter followers this question: What is the best new productivity tool you’ve adopted in the past year?

Within a couple of minutes TONS of answers came in. Here’s the results:

terrysimpson: Filofax
about 15 minutes ago
angellr: iPhone
about 15 minutes ago
photar: masturbation abstinance.
about 15 minutes ago
gadgetboy: My LIvescribe Pulse Smartpen! http://livescribe.com
about 15 minutes ago
mclaughj: Things for Mac
about 15 minutes ago
juliejulie: tweetdeck.
about 15 minutes ago
LemursManLemurs: Ubiquity.
about 15 minutes ago
TTIK: my car LOL
about 15 minutes ago
sellinggiants: smartphone
about 14 minutes ago
texaszman: GrandCentral by Google. By far.
about 14 minutes ago
sistaklein: either yammer or timebridge
about 14 minutes ago
charlieray: my acer aspire one
about 14 minutes ago
goaliemom31: TWEETDECK!
about 14 minutes ago
limyh: remember the milk. great GTD app, for personal productivity.
about 14 minutes ago
bicoastalite: I don&#39t have an answer! Just wanted to be part of your test!!
about 14 minutes ago
Bryceforvice: Squarespace
about 14 minutes ago
djpappas: Evernote – although I don&#39t use it enough.
about 14 minutes ago
JoeAndrieu: GoToMeeting. Hands down.
about 14 minutes ago
smashadv: this is a test of @scobleizer&#39s twitter tool without using any keywords from the question asked.
about 13 minutes ago
jaybarcelo: Re: Test new Twitter Tool
about 13 minutes ago
starobin: Best recent productivity tool – Evernote. With a close second to Dropbox.
about 13 minutes ago
fantomaster: MS OneNote.
about 13 minutes ago
dimensionmedia: does Freshbooks count? It&#39s made me productive in my invoices and getting payments.
about 13 minutes ago
PeterOA: Chandler
about 13 minutes ago
madpod: what are you using to paste replies?
about 13 minutes ago
aphexddb: notepad.exe
about 13 minutes ago
marcumeno: iphone for personal productivity; taking msft connector bus for work
about 13 minutes ago
Djalfy: does sleep count (Am an insomniac) and well yea its important to think with a clear mind
about 12 minutes ago
jdudley: without a doubt, “Things” for Mac is my top productivity took
about 12 minutes ago
oscarte: TweetDeck; no, kidding. For real; just a simple dashboard stickie to be always in the desktop and above all open windows
about 12 minutes ago
imusicmash: my Twitter All Bios at a Glance Greasemonkey script makes me more productive with Twitter. Check it out: http://bit.ly/oYwm
about 12 minutes ago
duilen: I think I started using Firebug early last year. It has easily saved me hundreds of hours. Much better than developers toolbar.
about 12 minutes ago
Smartalyx: Had to GMAIL checking all my other accounts and using IMAP to check GMAIL.
about 12 minutes ago
aaroneaton: A notebook and pen. Never runs out of batteries and is always synced!
about 12 minutes ago
mgasper42: As a newby on twitter its interesting to see other opinions on the greatest feature of twitter for others. Thanks for the tweet
about 12 minutes ago
Mosso: TweetDeck
about 11 minutes ago
katetribe: Having all newsletters, membership, and event emails going to a separate email address that I can check in sessions.
about 11 minutes ago
davehollis: a file cabinet.
about 11 minutes ago
adryenn: Plaxo! Syncs PC to internet, then to Mac, then to Blackberry. Google takes care of sharing so I always know where to be.
about 11 minutes ago
edelatorre: evernote
about 11 minutes ago

<

div style="text-align:right;font-size:8pt;">Sat Feb 14 03:51:41 +0000 2009

ajadoniz: google calendar sync, ubiquity
about 11 minutes ago
KevinCTofel: : second monitor in the home office.
about 11 minutes ago
GLENNatMHz: No question about it. . Pwnage Tool.
about 10 minutes ago
brandon_wirtz: Twitter! This guy trapped me on a bus, sang its praises, and 14 hours later I was Networking like a MoFo.
about 10 minutes ago
AuctionDirect: tie… a third monitor and ping.fm
about 10 minutes ago
mattbramanti: A stack of index cards and GTD.
about 10 minutes ago
evebutterflies: Xobni but KallOut comes in a close second
about 9 minutes ago
FreeRangeMom: believe it or not, starting to use Outlook calendar and task list was my best productivity tool (yes I&#39m slow to adopt)
about 9 minutes ago
santibarguen: The best tool I have used for a couple of weeks know is Twibeo. It lets you share photos, videos and more in twitter format.
about 9 minutes ago
Mossappeal: freshbooks
about 9 minutes ago
Schwa09: iPhone….no contest
about 8 minutes ago
lalitr: Anti-productivity tool, yet most new world opening : twitter. Best new productivity tool: Balanced Chart by Academic Writing Clb
about 8 minutes ago
ryancordell: Things by Cultured Code
about 8 minutes ago
marigo: yoga. yes, yoga is an amazing productivity tool (but nothing surpasses the good old Blackberry!)
about 8 minutes ago
mpinheir: Rememberthemilk.com
about 7 minutes ago
BasilLeaf: simpleGTD
about 7 minutes ago
soverland: Would be Remember the Milk for me…
about 7 minutes ago
dannyrobinson: #Things . Changed my life.
about 5 minutes ago
sixstringsnc: TweetDeck. Though it can eat time, I&#39ve learned more in 4 months about my craft & had eyes opened more than in past 4 years.
about 5 minutes ago
voppa: Best productivity tool? It&#39s an analog solution-A notepad on my desk. My productivity mantra has become “Make it intuitive!”
about 4 minutes ago
NinjaInDesign: the iPhone
about 4 minutes ago
myflatworld: Evernote
about 3 minutes ago
brettdusek: Microsoft Project
about 3 minutes ago
coquidesign: evernote is the best productivity tool for me! Love how iPhone and computer link with it.
about 3 minutes ago
techtweetr: Evernote
about 2 minutes ago
chimoose: a moleskine notebook
about 2 minutes ago
rgoodwin: a trash bin and a liberal sense of detachment from unnecessary objects.
59 seconds ago
dane: my best new productivity tool, the ScanSnap S510, finally reasonably paperless. Fast double side scanning to PDF, OCR indexing.
58 seconds ago
mirven: Things, without a doubt
56 seconds ago
texasgirltrix: What do you mean reply to this message on Twitter? Aren&#39t we on Twitter?? OMG……………..
36 seconds ago

iv>

Test of a new Twitter tool — paste replies

Have you ever wanted to ask your Twitter followers a question, like what Twitter tool do they use on the iPhone, but wanted to aggregate all their answers into a single post? I did too. Here’s my first test. Literally four minutes ago I asked that question of my followers and here’s all the replies that came in in the first few minutes:

KMuncie: TwiterFon is the best!
about 33 minutes ago
weekofstyle: twitterfon hands down….
about 33 minutes ago
KrnSidez: tweetie.
about 33 minutes ago
GraftFinder: twitterfon
about 32 minutes ago
pinwinomuerto: Tweetie.
about 32 minutes ago
jamesfrye82: My favorite twitter iPhone app is tweetie.
about 32 minutes ago
gordonkennedy: Tweetie
about 32 minutes ago
jongot: Test of new Twitter tool coming soon: which Twitter iPhone app do you like best? (Tweetdeck & Tweetie).
about 32 minutes ago
mal: twitterrific
about 32 minutes ago
terrysimpson: thiS one is ok
about 32 minutes ago
Avibm: twitterrific
about 31 minutes ago
TTIK: wats an iphone lol, only joking, don&#39t have an iphone, sadly i&#39m stationary, @ home
about 31 minutes ago
terrysimpson: this also is good
about 31 minutes ago
joekirk: Tweetie.
about 31 minutes ago
gregisenberg: Definitely TwitterFon, its the closest app to TweetDeck!
about 31 minutes ago
doverbey: Tweetie rocks! What&#39s your answer Robert?
about 31 minutes ago
yoshxl: tweetie.
about 31 minutes ago
luke_irvin: Tweetie
about 31 minutes ago
kbodnar32: tweetie
about 31 minutes ago
chrispirillo: – I&#39ve started to use #Twitterfon over Hahlo. It&#39s not bad (not perfect, but has promise). @frojive recommended it.
about 30 minutes ago
alexsetter: Tweetie
about 30 minutes ago
Attitude: Tweetie is my favorite iPhone Twitter app.
about 30 minutes ago
megbear: liking tweetie (on your suggestion)
about 30 minutes ago
CoreJay: Test of new Twitter tool coming soon: which Twitter iPhone app do you like best? (via @Scobleizer) [I use Tweetie the most. -C]
about 30 minutes ago
chimoose: tweetie. But I love that Twitterific “starts at the bottom”
about 30 minutes ago
tiphereth: Tweetie all the way :)
about 30 minutes ago
typezero3: twittlelator pro?
about 29 minutes ago
jivebotic: TwitterFon (free)
about 29 minutes ago
susielin: TwitterFon
about 29 minutes ago
cyndibrigham: I&#39m using Twitterific, so far so good. Is there something new coming out?!!
about 29 minutes ago
tackyspoons: Tweetie!
about 29 minutes ago
photar: twitterfon is best for actual tweeting. @tweetie is otherwise the best.
about 28 minutes ago

4px 15px 45px 0;" />

aaronishere: TwitterFon. The app does what it needs to do… and for free.
about 28 minutes ago
SameerPatel: i think Twitterfon is the best free one. has RT, DM, and good nav options. i switched from twitterific
about 28 minutes ago
peterschloss: Twitterfon when I have not been on twitter for several hours as it updates 200 msgs. Tweetie when I have been using it
about 28 minutes ago
ShanL: free would be twitterfon but paying I heard tweetie is good.
about 28 minutes ago
JRegner: RT: Test of new Twitter tool coming soon: which Twitter iPhone app do you like best? (Tweetie).
about 28 minutes ago
cmdrcool: twitterfon rulez!!!! 1000x better than tweeti or anything else.
about 27 minutes ago
edcallahan: I vote for Tweetie as the best Twitted iPhone app
about 27 minutes ago
sellinggiants: I&#39d tell if I had an Iphone. Damn, I want one!
about 27 minutes ago
MikeLizun: played with #twitterfon and #tweetie a lot last few days. Both good for monitoring and tweeting. #tweetie has neat features
about 27 minutes ago
mopcodes: Tweetie (go read iphoneatlas.com)
about 27 minutes ago
Paisano: I love twitterfon on the iPhone. It does it all. All main bu

ttons on main screen. Twitpic too.

about 26 minutes ago
jacktiddy: : I like twitterrific
about 26 minutes ago
phil404: Tried them all and chose Tweetie.
about 26 minutes ago
samhouston: tweetie :)
about 26 minutes ago
clcradio: which Twitter iPhone app do you like best? (any app that also works in any other phone).
about 23 minutes ago
mikefoong: TwitterFon
about 22 minutes ago
RayLevesque: twitterfon
about 21 minutes ago
drewmatich: Tweetie…by a mile
about 19 minutes ago
1000__Monkeys: Twitterific
about 19 minutes ago
sophiasian: twitterfon
about 19 minutes ago
marcumeno: Tweetie
about 17 minutes ago

iv>

thecoleorton: twinkle
about 16 minutes ago
sucklevine: twitterfon FTW!
about 16 minutes ago
iTeedee: Twitterfon
about 16 minutes ago
lsherman: tweetie
about 14 minutes ago
bobpatin: tweetie
about 13 minutes ago
tjohansen: Tweetie
about 13 minutes ago
adryenn: So what&#39s the app?
about 10 minutes ago
imaginarydana: twitterfon!
about 8 minutes ago
wjaegel: TwitterFon – just love it :)
about 4 minutes ago
IanDrummond: TwitterFon
-9 seconds ago

Is Silicon Valley seeing an economic turnaround?

Michael Malone wrote a post that caught my eye this morning saying he’s seeing an economic turnaround in Silicon Valley.

He might have a point. I’m seeing a bit more optimism in the valley. Yes, January was bloody. Yes, we’re still seeing layoffs, and probably will see a few more. Yes, our houses are under water (there are three houses on sale on just my small street and one of them is a foreclosure, so I owe more on my house than it’s now worth in the marketplace).

But I’ve been feeling more optimistic lately. At least about the Valley. After I got back from Davos I was really depressed. Why? Because I heard very few ideas about how to get people working again. But then I got back to the valley and met with companies like Playfish, which has been seeing great growth lately (they are the most popular games company on Facebook).

Also, this week we saw Intel invest billions of dollars in its US plants.

Oh, and some companies, like Craig’s List and Etsy, are seeing increased activity because of the recession. Above is a video I shot on Sunday of Craig Newmark, founder of Craig’s List.

Some other interviews you should check out:
Playfish’s CEO talking about how they are building games for Facebook, part I and part II.
Etsy’s founder, in Davos, talking about the success he’s seeing in selling handmade goods.

Oh, and Twitter just closed another round of funding.

Have we hit bottom? It’s too early to say, but it sure is nice to see even a little optimism around.

Being creative after a layoff

I’m also now blogging about business stuff I’m seeing over on my Fast Company blog. Here’s one I did titled “You’ve Survived a Layoff at Work, How Do You Get Creative Again?”

A ton of ideas on how I’ve seen people get creative again after a layoff. On Sunday Loic Le Meur, CEO of Seesmic, admonished me and told me it’s very important to get back after a layoff and be optimistic again. Otherwise your work will suffer and people around you will see you as having less value.

He’s right, so I’ve been working on just that. Do you have any other ways you get optimistic after having a bad day at work?

What companies are you cheering for?

You might notice I’ve been playing around with different video systems this week. I rediscovered two companies I knew about but hadn’t really used yet: Blip.tv and TubeMogul. But now that I’ve used them I find I’m cheering for them.

What do I mean by that? Well, Fast Company just released its 50 most innovative companies list and I find I’m cheering for many of the companies on that list.

Especially during the recession I’m hoping that my favorite companies find ways to survive and thrive.

So, I’m wondering, what companies are you cheering for?

Oh, and why am I using TubeMogul? Gary Vaynerchuk, who does the most excellent WineLibrary TV video show and I were doing a panel together at CES and he said “you are a complete idiot if you’re not using TubeMogul.” I didn’t want to be a complete idiot anymore. :-) What does it do? It redistributes, and tracks, your video onto a number of different sites. That let me rediscover Blip.tv which has the cleanest player I’ve seen (it’s the player I used on the David Allen coaching blog post I just posted).

Being coached on Getting Things Done

What a day. Yesterday I spent 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. with Michael Dolan, a coach who works for David Allen’s company and helps busy people get their careers to the next level through David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” methodology which most of us learned through his book of the same name. For a taste of David Allen, you might see his interview with me from last year. David also just released his new book titled “Making It All Work.”

For those who read productivity sites like 43 folders or Life Hacker this methodology is well known to you.

At the urging of Lenn Pryor back when I worked at Microsoft I read David’s book and later went to one of his seminars with Lenn. Found it useful to step up my game and keep up with an increasing flow of stuff in my life.

Lately I’ve been feeling under water and have been getting distracted by life and Twitter and friendfeed and needed a recharge.

Also, I wanted to get back into the system before the Getting Things Done Summit, which starts in about two weeks.

Translated: I was off the wagon and my life was a bit of a mess and needed to take a fresh look at my life, where I was headed, and I needed a system to deal with the hundreds of emails and tons of Tweets, friendfeed items, blogs, facebook messages and wall posts, and all that.

I was apprehensive, though, for a while. I had never had a coach sit down and look through my life and my email.

Would he admonish me? Would he find some new way to torture me?

Turned out my apprehension was misplaced.

We started the morning with a little interview that I filmed. I was expecting to do a lot more videos during the day, but turned out that I had so much work to do to get me more productive that we focused only on that.

So, what happens during such a coaching?

First Michael did a session where he reminded me of the basics of the Getting Things Done methodology. A refresher course.

Then he took out a yellow pad and had me write one thing at a time that I could think of that I needed to do.

Things like:

**Talk to Seagate about sponsorship next year.
**Buy power supply for camera (I left mine in a hotel in Davos).
**Plan next month’s interviews.
**Get oil changed on car.

We ended up with a stack of about 50 of these before I started running out of things that I could think of to do.

Then he customized my Outlook’s task system. He went so fast that I didn’t take good notes about what he did, but when we’re both at the summit we’ll sit down and talk about some of the changes he made so we can get them on video. But the things he did are pretty similar to what I’ve seen many people report on the web about how to set up Outlook for GTD.

It’s weird, I’m embarrassed to admit he taught me a TON about how Outlook works. Why am I embarrassed? Because I’ve been using Outlook for more than a decade and just hadn’t discovered all sorts of weird ways that it can be customized to build task lists.

Anyway, I have a ton of work to do to continue what I learned yesterday, so we’ll talk more about how this changed my life in the upcoming weeks.

Rackspace's Startup Liason Officer