Tag Archives: Technology

Technology

PIVOT EAST WINNERS: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?


 

 

 

 

 

MEDKenya is platform that provides symptom checkers, first-aid information, doctor & hospital directories as well as relevant alert services. The service aims to make healthcare information affordable and accessible to Kenyans.Health is a universal need that forms part of Vision 2030 and the Millenium Development Goals.
Website: http://www.medkenya.com Contact: info@shimbamobile.com

M-Shop by MTL Systems Limited – A platform allowing consumers to order, pay for, obtain and validate tickets for events, travel, goods & services. The solution provides USSD technology or a mobile application on smart phones to deliver this convenience at any time and from any location with a mobile carrier signal. Contact: paulokwalinga@gmail.com

Uhasibu by Pluspeople Kenya LTD – A cloud based accounting system for small & medium companies in East Africa. It helps in generating KRA format VAT reports, petty cash management and other financial management features. It also supports East African Currencies and is accessible for sh1,000 per month.Contact:kaal@pluspeople.dk

MEDKenya is platform that provides symptom checkers, first-aid information, doctor & hospital directories as well as relevant alert services. The service aims to make healthcare information affordable and accessible to Kenyans.Health is a universal need that forms part of Vision 2030 and the Millenium Development Goals.
Website: http://www.medkenya.com Contact: info@shimbamobile.com

SchoolSMS Premium by Tusqee Systems – SchoolSMS Premium is an Interactive Mobile Messaging System for schools. It allows parents to get exam results of their kids, enquire about fees balances and get fees statement quotes from the school via use of simple SMS messages. Contact: info@tusqee.com

Whive by Space Kenya Networks LTD – A mobile social aggregator integrated with major social media platforms. The application allows Whive Subscribers to communicate with contacts, friends via SMS, messaging and other social media. Whive is a recent winner of the Vision 2030 ICT award for Gender, Youth and Vulnerable Groups Sector in Kenya. Contact: j.karanja@whive.com

 

I am very curious where these companies are now, and what story they have for those who have just started,what lessons there are from their journey.

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EVERNOTE


Image representing Evernote as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

So I previously threw out some babies with the bathwater, the toddlers being RTM and Producteev.

In a nutshell, I shunned the so called Productivity  notes that follow you with multiple collecting points in your social networks and emails.

The premise is that notes are at the execution and daily rote tasks of your productivity cycle, part of short term and long term goal execution.

I have been forced to rethink the effectiveness of Notes.

I was souping up a new laptop, and asked @gbatosai to give me his list of software must haves for PC.

And in there I find a baby the size of an elephant.

The Elephant in the room is Evernote.

Evernote is a very well thought out sticky note mod with similar aims as Producteev, Microsoft OneNote,Delicious and RTM.
The others can be likened to Japanese cars, (with MS Onenoteclearly an American Muscle car with too much power and no control),while Evernote is clearly German perfection.

DESCRIPTION

They describe themselves thus:

“Use Evernote to save your ideas, things you see, and things you like. Then find them all on any computer or device you use.”

Their logo is a grey elephant enveloped in mint, with the fitting byline, “Remember Everything”.

Seriously, these guys worked with someone with serious UI,GUI and UX skills.

The first attribute it trumps the other platforms with is Familiarity.

It has the look and feel of most modern email providers, with the tab with notes, notebooks,trash, attributes, saved searches,et al on the left of the screen,  your “inbox” or list of notes in the middle, and a note on the left of the screen, which you can pin and unpin.

The mint green and high chrome finish on the GUI gives it a polished look.

FEATURES:

*  Click New Note and take down an idea or task.

*  Clip and save a webpage using a Web Clipper.

*  Use Evernote on your phone to snap a photo of a whiteboard, business card, or   wine label.

*Evernote automatically makes text in your snapshots searchable!

*Take notes, save images, create to-dos, view PDFs, and more

*  Access your Evernote notes from any computer or phone you use

*Search and find everything, even printed or handwritten text in images

 

It goes a step further by challenging the existence of Delicious by letting you create tags of websites you like.

Copy and paste the URL, it allows for a thumbnail view and plain hyperlink. On the bottom right of the interface on the screen are mint green and grey  Evernote adverts, so unobstrusive they do not disturb you, you actually do not mind the adverts…*Oh my, there goes a cute  one with very cool Evernote T-Shirts.*

The File drop down menu has the standard options, but includes the option to import from Microsoft Onenote.

You can export notes in Evernote *.Enex format or as html. One can also attach and save file attachments, Email the note, and guess what, create a WebCam note!

The Edit and View tabs are standard. Format offers the cool options of encrypting selected text,inserting tables, a stripped down onenote with the enhancements in all the right places.

Of course it works seamlessly with your online Evernote account, thats why there is a Sync button.

Another cool feature is the Evernote Trunk, a catalog of Evernote addons which you choose to add.

Unlike Onenote, Producteev and RTM which literally bombard you with other possible collection points online and offline,(which Evernote have too) Evernote lets you go into the trunk and pick your add-ons.

Other tabs are a quicklink to email a note, which sends it from your Evernote account.

On the top left is a monthly upload limit of 60MB which of course makes you more productive by not having a mass of notes, this limit is aimed at ensuring you are productive.

CONCLUSION

I know. You are a Producteev user and you want to tell me that I just listed all the features that Producteev has. Its not in what you have; its how you present your features. I ts in the execution. What more can I say. This is the best and most practical note application I have experienced so far!

NB: I used Evernote to write this blog post. The imaging is not as crisp as Windows Live Writer, which I use for blogging, proving my point, notes are for notes, and execution of productivity plans, and should not take the functionality of premium productivity tools.

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PRODUCTEEV VERSUS REMEMBER THE MILK


The realm of enterprise and personal productivity has become quite complex, with the most popular email integrating the use of online documents, instant messaging,tasks and scheduling for personal or team use, reminders on mail and to phone via sms, and integration with projects and meetings, and bookings for rooms.

The latest versions of Hotmail and Yahoo have even integrated social networks and IM.

Google with Google + attempt to integrate it all, with social networking, personal communication and productivity on Gmail, search, Document storage and collaboration on Google Docs, Feeds on Reader, and a host of other applications.

The greatest triumphant result of Google+ is the unmatched number of new gmail accounts the social network has created.

These services have made existence very challenging for startups that built specific productivity tools for personal or enterprise use.

Online Task management suites are built on the premise that email alone is too busy with activity and that ones tasks may get lost in the traffic and spam.

Thus they track your activities from wherever you are, on twitter, Facebook, Gmail,Iphone, Hotmail, desktop, email and others.

They provide aggregation accounts from which your reminders are put together, after which you select a mode to which the reminder will be sent .

REMEMBER THE MILK

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Remember the Milk is a program that has been around for a while. Some time back, RTM was the de facto application for simple tasks, to dos and reminders.

The simple single note book reminder was very well done, with new notes note being detached from the rest of the screen aided their market penetration. Most other notepad applications ran on the general engine of Microsoft’s notepad or wordpad, with twists on the fonts and a few tweeks here and there.

RTM had a simple concept, a single white list with a cow at the top corner. You then write your to dos for today and tomorrow and the week ahead. After all its for simple to do’s , not a fully fledged calendar.

They tweeked this by creating a desktop application that fed into the online profile. They then integrated Ical to allow feeding into other calendaring applications like Outlook, Gcal for integration with Gmail and the mail calendar. Month after month they add different ways with which you can send your reminders into their database like Iphone, Ipad, and all the other fadgadgets of the day.

However with the rate of development and integration on all communication suites their relevance has fallen by the wayside.

So why then, is the new personal productivity startup, Producteev, able to raise eyebrows?

PRODUCTEEV

Producteev is an online task management portal. Apart from having the backing of a couple of the VC entities, (one of whom is I.O ventures who use Producteev forms for applications)

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what would endear one to Producteev apart from the hype and the shiny new toy sensation, and make it an application that will be here for a while?

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MY PERCEPTIONS

To be quite honest, in my interactions with both applications, RTM wins due to its simplicity. It works well and is built for simplicity.

On the other hand, Producteev offers team and solo editions, adding levels of complexity, which makes it seem like a minor pugilist attempting to fight with heavyweights like Microsoft Office 365,MS Projects,Lotus Notes. Moreover,even though you would like to utilise free team management of tasks, Google’s Gcal,Google Wave and Gdocs or Hotmail’s Calendar and Skydrive are by far more superior tools for team communication and project management.

Its amazing, even on Producteev’s Blog for why one should switch from RTM to Producteev, there are no concrete reasons.

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My take is, whichever email suite you prefer to use,the productivity applications integrated therein today are by far superior to external applications.

For example, for both Gmail and Hotmail, the tools provided therein allow you to manage your tasks with reminders to phone via sms (to me this is the most efficient method of reminders).