Organized Holiday Planning for the Busy Web Worker

The holiday season is upon us, and you’re beginning to get stressed out. There’s just so much to do during the holidays: decorating, gift buying, gift wrapping, getting a tree, baking cookies, scheduling family get-togethers and preparing for any get-togethers and so on.

And you’ve still got that pile of work to do.

Holiday planning while you’ve got a busy work schedule can be tough. Let’s take a look at some ideas for getting organized this holiday season, web-worker style.

1. Use web apps for planning. We’re web workers. Consider planning things out on Gcal and using a list program (there are tons of them) for your action lists. I like to use tadalist to make Christmas wish lists for all my kids, and share them with family, so that they can check things off if they buy an item. Then my kids get what they want, no one buys duplicate gifts, and it was easy and fun to create!

Read More about Organized Holiday Planning for the Busy Web Worker

Open Thread: Downtime in December?

Euan Semple writes at The Obvious that the Christmas season could be a good time to get your workplace to try out social software because of the surplus of time people have:

One of the most common reasons given for not becoming engaged online is time. Many people feel that time spent on blogs or forums is time wasted…. But during the Christmas season, even in the busiest of offices, there tends to be more down time and people are more relaxed about how they use it. People on shift over the Christmas period have more time to “play” when the office is quiet and often surf their way towards blogs, wikis or forums and get involved for the first time.

While this may be the case in some workplaces, I’d imagine many web workers, especially those who freelance or otherwise run their own businesses, may not find much time to rest and relax during the holiday season. I’m looking forward to a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, but not expecting much downtime between preparing for holiday celebrations and getting regular work done.

What about you? Will you find some downtime in December?

GlobalGiving FilmFest – KarmaTube

GlobalGiving, an internet-based charity clearinghouse founded by two former World Bank executives, is running a crowd-sourced contest to promote their many global development projects. Appealing to young filmmakers, GlobalGiving made available raw photos and video footage from projects from all over the world. The contest seeks to find the most compelling film that best connects the viewer to the project.

Using a Phanfare‘s photo and video sharing network, the GlobalGiving FilmFest had project leaders upload photo and video content from the field. Once uploaded, contestants could download the content to edit it into montage-laden promotional pieces. The contest had a focus on entrants 14 to 18 years old, with the first place prize being either a $1,000 academic scholarship or a philanthropic GlobalGiving gift certificate (’tis better to give than receive).

The winning videos will be decided by a public vote, opened June 19 and continuing through to June 29. Check it out on their “KarmaTube.” It’s for a much better cause than most juvenile online video.

Get Visual Voicemail Now

If you don’t want to wait until June for the iPhone, CallWave gives you the ability (sort of) to have visual voicemail now. CallWave essentially replaces the standard voicemail service your cell carrier uses, in order to provide added functionality. Among the added functions is a VOIP-like option of having your voicemails emailed to you. But for Apple fans – and fans of things just being easier in general – VoiceWave also offers a great little Dashboard Widget for accessing your voicemail visually.

The service and widget are free, and after some quick use and testing, it seems like a decent system. I’ll have to reserve full judgment until after I’ve used it for a week or so, but I definitely like the idea. And props to CallWave for allowing you to add your callers (from the widget) to your Address Book. Promising little details, in my opinion.

Via CoolOSXApps

CDMA key to bluetooth success

Bluetooth-enabled CDMA phones might be key to the success of “personal area network” technology in the United States. Though many have called Bluetooth a disaster, in reality the near-distance networking technology is more of a slow starter. “Since CDMA is a large factor in the US, getting embedded Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones into that market is integral for Bluetooth growth in the US,” says Joyce Putscher, In-Stat/MDR’s Director of Converging Markets and Technologies Group. Bluetooth-enabled CDMA phones are beginning to emerge onto the market, with Sprint PCS carrying a Sony Ericsson CDMA/AMPS Bluetooth-enabled phone. Motorola 710 will soon make a debut on the Verizon network. (Review coming shortly!) and will help drive the bluetooth usage in the US.

With Mobile phones, PDAs, and headsets making significant strides over the last year, the automotive market beginning to make an impact, and PMG (Personal Mobile Gateway) products expected to emerge, shipments of Bluetooth-enabled manufactured equipment will experience a 60% CAGR between 2003 and 2008. “Most of the end-use markets for this technology seem to be making significant headway,” says Putscher. HandsFree regulations and auto manufacturers are helping to drive the movement toward the safety and convenience of cordless headsets, and consumers will be able to use them with a multitude of products, from mobile phones to telematics systems, digital audio players and game devices, PCs, office phones, and emerging stereo systems and wireless speakers. (In-Stat/MDR press release)