Looking for an easy way to boost your productivity? Then turn on your instant messenger and head on over to IMified, a new service that enables users to access services like Basecamp, Google Calendar, and Remember the Milk from an instant messaging client. Now, I know that instant messaging can be a huge productivity killer, but you’re going to want to turn that client back on for this. With IMified, users can manage todo lists, save notes, create reminders, and even add milestones to a Basecamp project. Just send an instant message to IMified and you’re good to go. You don’t even have to create an account. What’s most appealing about IMified for me is that I can manage tasks and add messages to Basecamp without opening a browser window. I’m also loving the note taking application built into IMified which works similar to Sabifoo, another instant messaging buddy built specifically for note taking.
Simply send a message to IMified to get started (AIM, Yahoo, MSN, Gtalk, and Jabber are all supported). An account will instantly be created for you preset with three IMified applications: Notes, Reminders, and Todos. These applications are not only helpful, but make for a great starting point as you learn how to navigate around IMified. Navigating to a service is as simple as sending the numbers associated with each menu item and sending the letter “m” brings you back to the start message. IMified also has a web-based interface where you can update your settings and add additional services (send “7″ and click the link to get there). There are currently nine services outside of IMified that you can add to your account: Google Calendar, Backpack, Basecamp, 30 Boxes, Remember the Milk, WordPress, Blogger, Movable Type and TypePad.
The beauty of IMified is that all of the applications that you use are combined into one small service accessible through an instant messenger on your computer or mobile phone. However, because of the limited functionality with instant messengers, features are minimal. With Google Calendar, you can add and remove events as well as view upcoming and past events, but you cannot assign meta data or reminders to the events like you can on the web-based solution. The WordPress service allows you to simply add a title and body for a post and publish the post to your blog. Also, the Basecamp integration allows you to add messages, manage todo lists, and add milestones to a project. It may not sound like much, but having the ability to do all of that instantly without opening a browser is very helpful.
IMified also has a very helpful feature that lets you create shortcuts for specific tasks in a service. For example, you can create a one word command that lets you add a task to your todo list, which is much simpler than going through multiple menus and then adding a task. You can also add some text after a shortcut to automatically use it with the task at hand. So I have a shortcut for adding notes where I can type: “note [text i want to add as a note]” and a shortcut for adding tasks with “todo [the task description]“. So far, adding information with shortcuts has worked out great, but I can’t say the same with shortcuts for viewing information. When I write “viewnotes” to view all of my saved notes, IMified returns nothing and seems to only work when used in the service itself. Shortcuts also don’t seem to work when a service requires multiple responses to multiple menus. For example, I can’t add an event description and the date for the event at the same time with a shortcut Google Calendar. These are only minor problems though and I’m more than satisfied with the shortcuts that add information quickly.
Granted that the services IMified connects you with can all be used regularly in a web browser, it’s nice having the ability to quickly send a message to perform a task. If I want to add an update for a projects status in Basecamp, I can simply use IMified rather than opening a browser, logging in to Basecamp, navigating to the project, and submitting the message. There’s still room for improvement though, of course. For one, it doesn’t seem to send error messages if you send something in the wrong format, like a date for an event. Also, I really enjoy Sabifoo and how it creates a public page and RSS feed for all of your notes, which is something I would love to see with IMified. Maybe a way to view your tasks from the Todo service and notes from the Notes service online. In all, I love the simplicity of IMified and how I can easily access services that I use everyday from my instant messenger.