Licorize in detail


 

Index of contents

1. The idea. 10

2. Collecting. 14

3. Processing. 39

4. Organizing. 67

5. Reviewing. 94

6. Publishing. 108

7. Licorize buy & support 124

 


 

Index of contents

1. The idea. 10

1.1. “I was doing some research…” 10

1.2. The main ideas that make up Licorize. 11

2. Collecting. 14

2.1. Bookmarking. 14

2.1.1. Configuring bookmarking. 14

2.1.1.1. Firefox plugin. 15

2.1.1.2. Chrome extension. 16

2.1.1.3. Safari extension. 16

2.1.1.4. Opera custom button. 17

2.1.1.5. All  browsers: “bookmarklets” 17

2.1.1.6. From Google’s Reader 18

2.1.1.7. From your blog and web pages. 18

2.1.2. On mobile devices: Apple’s iPad / iPhone / iPod Safari and Android. 19

2.1.2.1. iPad. 19

2.1.2.2. Bookmark from your iPhone / iPod device. 20

2.1.2.3. Bookmark from your Android device. 20

2.1.3. The bookmarking page. 21

2.1.3.1. Selecting text on the page. 23

2.1.3.2. Tagging. 24

2.1.4. Remind me later and Read strips. 25

2.1.4.1. How are to be read / read items handled?. 26

2.1.4.2. “Read It and Store” 27

2.2. The Firefox search sidebar 28

2.3. Importing (and exporting) bookmarks. 29

2.4. Creating strips by e-mail and via Twitter 32

2.4.1. Via e-mail 32

2.4.2. Via Twitter 33

2.4.2.1. Create strips via public tweets. 34

2.4.2.2. Create strips via direct messages. 34

2.5. Automated imports. 35

2.5.1. Automated import from Twitter 36

2.5.2. Automated import from Evernote. 36

2.5.1. Automated import from a RSS.. 37

2.5.2. Automated import from LinkedIn. 37

2.5.3. Automated import from Read it Later 38

2.5.4. Automated import from Instapaper 38

3. Processing. 39

3.1. Your home page. 39

3.1.1. Customizing Licorize. 40

3.1.1.1. User interface language. 40

3.1.1.2. Date formats. 40

3.1.1.3. Backgrounds. 41

3.1.1.4. Work options. 41

3.2. Refining and curating. 42

3.3. Types. 42

3.3.1. Type: Bookmark. 43

3.3.1.1. More readable pages. 45

3.3.1.2. Type: Remind me later /Read. 46

3.3.2. Type: To-Do. 47

3.3.3. Type: Image. 48

3.3.4. Type: Place. 49

3.3.5. Type: Status updates. 49

3.3.6. Type: DropBox. 50

3.3.7. Type: Evernote. 53

3.3.8. Other types. 54

3.3.9. Changing types. 55

3.4. Tagging. 56

3.4.1. Bulk tagging. 57

3.4.2. Tag organizer 58

3.4.3. Special tags: colors and more. 59

3.5. The timeline. 60

3.5.1. The expanded timeline. 61

3.6. The curation perspective. 62

3.6.1. News curation applications. 63

3.6.2. What cannot be generalized. 64

3.6.3. What a bookmarking service can learn from news curation. 65

4. Organizing. 67

4.1. People, projects, teams. 67

4.1.1. People: collaborating. 67

4.1.2. Collaborating on projects. 69

4.1.2.1. Terminology:  projects, teams, collaboration spaces. 70

4.1.3. Subscribing to projects. 72

4.1.4. The project timeline. 72

4.1.5. Other people’s timeline. 74

4.1.6. Other ways to invite: Google contacts, Facebook, LinkedIn. 75

4.2. Curating contents with projects and more. 77

4.2.1. Filters: projects, types, tags and time. 77

4.2.1.1. Saving filters. 77

4.2.1.2. Moving along the timeline. 78

4.2.2. Creating and editing strips: some tricks. 79

4.2.2.1. Creating a list of to-dos. 79

4.2.2.2. Links and images in strips. 80

4.2.2.3. Bold. 81

4.2.2.4. Smiley’s. 82

4.2.2.5. Colored tags. 82

4.2.2.6. Date functions. 82

4.2.3. Bulk operations. 84

4.2.4. Setting priorities. 87

4.3. Work logging. 89

4.3.1. Worklogs. 89

4.3.2. Work preferences. 91

4.3.3. Worklog week. 91

4.3.4. Cost report 92

5. Reviewing. 94

5.1. “Kanban” like boards and management 94

5.2. Get links done: Licorize and GTD.. 96

5.2.1. Weekly review.. 96

5.2.2. More on Licorize and GTD.. 100

5.2.3. A summary of GTD.. 100

5.2.4. GTD’s flow and Licorize. 101

5.2.4.1. In basket 101

5.2.4.2. What is it?. 102

5.2.4.3. Is it actionable?. 102

5.2.4.4. Not actionable. 102

5.2.4.5. Yes: What is the next action. 103

5.2.4.6. Single step actions: next actions. 103

5.2.4.7. Multi step actions: projects. 104

5.2.4.8. More GTD inspired considerations. 104

5.3. Exporting data. 106

5.4. Merging users. 106

6. Publishing. 108

6.1. Putting strips and projects on the web. 110

6.1.1. On the web?. 110

6.1.2. Permalinks: sharing single strips. 110

6.1.3. Public projects. 111

6.1.4. User profile. 112

6.1.5. User tags. 114

6.1.6. Global tags. 114

6.1.7. Usual needs of bookmark sharing. 115

6.1.8. Messages on strips. 116

6.1.9. Creating a customized booklet 117

6.2. Publishing strips as blog posts. 122

7. Licorize buy & support 124

7.1. Buy Licorize. 124

7.1.1. Terms of service. 124

7.1.2. Thanks. 124

7.2. Getting help. 125

 

1. The idea

1.1. “I was doing some research…”

You know I was doing some research about this marketing stuff, and I wanted to collect and share these bookmarks – I used this bookmarking tool, but then … my bookmarks are part of a more general idea, of a project, that is made not only of bookmarks – also of ideas, to-dos, notes…

No bookmark is an island. And we “bookmark” all the time – tweeting, taking Evernote pictures from a mobile, even writing blog posts. Research and selection of public information is part of the working life of many – it’s not just about bookmarking.

This consideration is the starting point of a bookmarking service that supports collecting information, refining it, sharing and presenting it – and also turning it into precisely defined work and projects. It is a new and different way to share work.

(This is the text of an introductory Licorize video: http://bit.ly/licoIntro )


 

1.2. The main ideas that make up Licorize

Licorize starts as a bookmarking tool. One of the nice features of “modern” bookmarking is that you can bookmark pages with a single click from the browser – or from a mobile client – without losing your focus.  The page or selected content gets saved in an online repository, which may be private or public.

Services providing this functionality are the classical Delicious (http://delicious.com), and recently many more, like Read It Later, Instapaper, even Amplify does this in a sense, and more so-called “curation tools”. Once bookmarked some pages, you get a simple online list that you can access any time.

Licorize begins by providing too this “simple click” functionality, which is integrated in browsers, with plugins, extensions and what more.

But Licorize shows its shining power once one gets back to the list of what has been bookmarked. Before we wrote “no bookmark is an island”, and in a way Licorize is an attempt to answer the needs that are raised when getting back to the collected list. With Licorize we assume that one collects bookmarks and contents with a good reason. Certain collections of bookmarks are collected with a specific motivation in mind, like researching an idea, putting together a project, collecting the references for one of your passions. And often collections are put together by several people, working as a team.

As in this sense collection of bookmarks may actually be, depending on circumstances,  collections of ideas, to-do’s, goals, notes, images, status-updates, we’ve baptized any entity collected with a new generic name, strip. Strips can be of many different types. And any collection of strips that share a goal, in Licorize is called a project.

In usual bookmarking services, all that can be done as bookmark management is tagging. Of course this too can be done in Licorize, tags (even with spaces) are supported, and there is also a quite powerful tag organizer functionality, fast, and with in place edit (very web 2.0).

Often people stop using a bookmarking service because after a while their collection of bookmarks ends up being a real mess. Often one ends up having more tags than bookmarks, so tagging is not a help in getting things organized.

Well, our basic question before starting with Licorize was: why does this happen? And our answer is because the context in which the bookmark, note, idea was marked got lost. Licorize can be seen as a set of practical, simple tools to preserve the bookmarking context and transform the collected contents in actions.

Each strip in Licorize has a content which is structured in function of its type. Bookmarks have certain fields, ideas others, and to-do’s again others. And different types also behave differently: like to-dos’ when they are done, they simply disappear (they are not lost of course, are just hidden by default).  And you can quickly transform a type into another. This “intelligence of the types” is something that simple tag based systems simply can’t provide. Also most strips belong to a “project”, which is simply a container of strips and people collecting / working on them with a common goal.

Every strip belongs to someone – by default, its creator, but eventually to someone else: the assignee.

All Licorize is built on this structure: strips of a type / are on a project / belong to an owner or assignee.

One may also describe using Licorize as a cycle made of these steps:

- Collecting

- Processing

- Organizing

- Reviewing

- Publishing

And these are in fact the chapters of this guide.

 


 

2. Collecting

Licorize is not the first bookmarking service: hence we built-in several importing and synchronizing tools. And in fact the idea that “bookmarking” happens only in the browser context is too limited. Tweeting can be a form of bookmarking – and so for any social media usage. And it also can be useful to get under “your” bookmarking, all the updates of a certain channel. For example, as the Licorize community site exposes an RSS feed for new questions, having these in my timeline is practical, and done automatically by Licorize.

In fact your bookmarking process can be seen in two ways: as collecting bookmarks for a goal, like a project, but also as a chronology. Licorize provides seamlessly several ways of navigating your bookmarks, by project, in time, by priority. And your chronology is more and more reflected in your “social media” usage – this is why so many importing processes are in Licorize.

2.1. Bookmarking

2.1.1. Configuring bookmarking

Let’s start from the classical, “restricted” sense of bookmarking: we here mean bookmarking web pages or parts of pages (say some selected text, one or more images).

When using Licorize or any other bookmarking service, “bookmarking a page” does not mean “add that page address to the list in your browser bookmark list” (also called favorite list). It means instead “add that page address to a list which is online”. This list online is your Licorize account.

In order to make it immediate to add pages to your account from your browser, you have to do a little browser configuration, and if you use browsers on different machines, you will have to repeat this configuration process. Actually this “process” is most of the time a single click plus a confirm operation – takes a few seconds.

Configuring your browsers may be a little different depending on which browser you are using – we’ll now consider different cases.

2.1.1.1. Firefox plugin

For Firefox, the plugin is here:

https://addons.mozilla.org/sr/firefox/addon/licor0069ze/

To get the plugin, you can also directly go in Firefox and to tools -> add-ons -> search for “Licorize”. Or you can go to the “tools”  section of the Licorize application when logged in.

There are also keyboard shortcuts for bookmarking:

Windows.

Add bookmark: CRTL + ALT + l

Remind me later: CRTL + ALT + k

Read it and store: CRTL + ALT + r

 

Mac.

Add bookmark: CMD + ALT + l

Remind me later: CMD + ALT + k

Read it and store: CMD + ALT + r

 

2.1.1.2. Chrome extension

The extension is here:

https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/omakmaebliikebbbhbpmbojkkbnabnkp

You can also simply type “Licorize Chrome extension” in the address bar and you’ll get there.

2.1.1.3. Safari extension

The extension is here:

http://licorize.com/extensions/safari/licorize.safariextz

2.1.1.4. Opera custom button

To get this, login in Licorize, go to tools -> Bookmarklets and plugins -> Opera custom button.

2.1.1.5. All  browsers: “bookmarklets”

In all browsers even if you don’t install a plugin / extension you can add a link to the bookmark (or “favorite”) list that opens the bookmarking form without making you leave the page, and also another bookmarks for the “remind me later” functionality. Get to the bookmarklet creator by going to tools and then click on Bookmarklet and plugins and then drag the cross to your browser bookmarks.

Question. Why the default tag is “remind me later” and not “read it later”?

Answer. Because the scope of Licorize's bookmarks is wider than bookmarks for things to be read. It may be things to be dealt with in several ways. So when you use the plugins and also when you import from the various "read it later" services, all those tags are mapped to "remind me later".

You can change and customize this tag from the plugins / extensions (and also in the bookmarklet, if you know your way in JavaScript) by going into their options.

*     
Note.
This is not the procedure for adding bookmarklets on mobile devices: for that see next sections.

2.1.1.6. From Google’s Reader

You can launch the Licorize bookmarking page also from you Google Reader’s entries: see here:

http://community.licorize.com/questions/309/faq-how-to-have-a-send-to-licorize-button-on-google-rss-reader

2.1.1.7. From your blog and web pages

When you publish a page, a new blog post, new contents, you can add a button for recording such content in Licorize - so to make it nice and easy for your readers. There is a WordPress © plugin and a script that make it possible to integrate “send to Licorize” in any page: all technical details are explained by logging in Licorize and going to tools -> bookmarklets and plugins -> link blog post and web pages.

 


 

2.1.2. On mobile devices: Apple’s iPad / iPhone / iPod Safari and Android

In case you reach

http://licorize.com

from these mobile devices browser, you will be presented with a specific optimized interface. It will not cover the full functionality of the web version, but allows you to explore all your strips and create new to-do’s, bookmarks, ideas and notes.

How to bookmark a site when browsing on a mobile device?

It is quite comfortable to work with Licorize also when you are browsing with these devices. As Safari and in general browsers for mobiles do not support installing plugins, there is a simple workaround which consists in bookmarking a special URL: by calling such URL, you will not leave the current page, and the Licorize bookmarking form will appear above it (or you will send it directly as a “remind me later” item).

You can also create strips in Licorize by simply sending e-mails or tweets: see here 2.4.2 Via Twitter.

2.1.2.1.  iPad

From this device you can simply use Licorize from Safari. For bookmarking, go to

http://licorize.com/ipad.jsp

and follow instructions.

2.1.2.2. Bookmark from your iPhone / iPod device

From your mobile browser go to

http://licorize.com/ios.jsp

and follow instructions.

2.1.2.3. Bookmark from your Android device

From your mobile browser go to

http://licorize.com/android.jsp

and follow instructions.

 

 

 

 


 

2.1.3. The bookmarking page

Once the browser integration is enabled, you can bookmark pages in three ways:  “Add bookmark”, “Remind me later” and “Read it and store”. Let’s see the first case, “Add bookmark”: in this case, a form opens on top of your page, waiting for confirmation:

The page which you are bookmarking gets analyzed by Licorize, extracting URL, title and tags when possible. This data prefills the form. The strip gets set by default on the latest project used  (if any) and assigned to you .

Notice also that by clicking on the type icon you can already change type of strip, then inserting structured information – the available types are shown in the picture.

When changing type, the information that you can insert changes too, of course. If you set back the original type, the original information is restored (before saving).

Licorize also checks whether you have already bookmarked the same URL before. In that case a link to the previous bookmark appears:



and you can choose whether to go edit the previous bookmark or create a new one.

One may wonder what is the use case of double bookmarking the same URL, but if you become a frequent user of Licorize you will notice that this can happen: double bookmarking can become very useful. The same page may be used for inspiring inside different projects with different roles, tagging, and generating different ideas and to-dos. The relationship of distinct teams with the contents of the page may differ.

 

*     
Technical note:  
When above we wrote “already bookmarked…” we did a bit of hand waving about how to define that a URL is the same with another, non identical one. Let’s just say that Licorize will identify URL’s that differ only in ending “/”, index.htm, index.html.

2.1.3.1. Selecting text on the page

If you have selected text or images on the page and you launch the bookmarklet, the selected contents will be in the notes field:

You can simply highlight an area of text on the actual web page you are viewing and it will appear in your notes / description of your soon to be bookmark.

2.1.3.2. Tagging

Tags deduced from the page are selectable on click; if you start typing a tag name in the box, auto complete appears as in the picture. It also reports the number of times you have used the tag.


 

 

2.1.4. Remind me later and Read strips

From the browsers you can add a bookmark to Licorize without inserting any specific information by clicking on “Remind me later” (or using the keyboard shortcut). This makes it immediate to add the bookmark without loosing curent focus. You can also call “Read it and store”, with one click you remain on the same page, get a readable version of it and have the bookmark saved in Licorize.

To find all the “Remind me later” bookmarks you’ve added and that you probably want to edit and redistribute, just log in Licorize, clear any active filter and then filter just by the type “Remind me later” : all the strips collected will be listed.

 

2.1.4.1. How are to be read / read items handled?

The flow is the following: when you are on the web and find something interesting and don't want to lose focus, you use the "Remind me later" from the plug-in / extension or bookmarklet.

The resulting "Remind me later" item may be something to be read, something to be done, the seed of an idea etc.: for all these cases, you have available the Licorize types.

If it is an item which you want to read, you don't need to change type: you can eventually set it on a project, but in all cases when it is read, you just click on the "mark this as read" button on the "Remind me later" strip, transforming the strip in a Read one .

.

And the list of all things read, across projects, is simply the filter by "read" type. Read items (differently from “done” items”) don’t disappear from projects, as they can constitute a sort of “bibliography”.

2.1.4.2. “Read It and Store”

This last bookmarklet (and entry in the plugin / extension if you use that) makes the current web page more readable and also saves it in your Licorize Remind me later entries. It gives a way to use local readability features and effortlessly getting your pages added in your Licorize timeline.

To get the bookmarklet go as usual in tools -> Bookmarklet and plugins.

 

2.2. The Firefox search sidebar

In case you are using the Licorize plugin on Firefox, you will have a fourth entry in the plugin menu: “Bookmarks sidebar”. Clicking on this entry will open a sidebar:

This sidebar will allow you to explore Licorize contents, also tags, without opening Licorize in a new page. There are four views in the sidebar:

Strips. Will present the strips chronologically,

Search. Will let you search in your Licorize contents

Projects. All your projects are listed and you can filter strips by them.

Tags. All your tags are listed and you can filter strips by them.

2.3. Importing (and exporting) bookmarks

Licorize imports your bookmarks from Delicious / Instapaper/ Firefox / Chrome / Safari / Opera / Internet Explorer. You can also synch them with Read It Later. To launch the imports click on tools  and then on “Import…”

Getting:

Select “Import” and you’ll get to:

Now the import process is a once-only process, so you need to export your bookmarks from your chosen source and then import them. There are also various automated import processes, those are discussed here: 2.5 Automated imports.

When exporting you will obtain a simple html file.

*     
The bookmark format is a simple list of bookmarks. Most (but not all) exports also export the creation date (ADD_DATE="1277596420"), so this too is imported in Licorize.

Upload this file from this screen, and the import process will start. You may get back to Licorize and continue working while the import proceeds.

Imports may take some time as for every link the site to which it points is inspected and a thumbnail is generated.

Once imported your bookmarks, you will probably need to use the tag organizer to distribute them in projects, rename / remove tags: see 3.4 Tagging.

 


 

2.4. Creating strips by e-mail and via Twitter

2.4.1. Via e-mail

In order to create strips by sending an e-mail a pre-condition is that you have a confirmed e-mail on your profile.

*     
Why do users have to confirm e-mails?
Because anybody can write anybody’s e-mail in their profile. In order to be sure about the fact that the e-mail you’ve set on your profile is really owned by you, Licorize sends a “confirmation e-mail” to the address written in the profile, which contains a confirmation link. Until you confirm your e-mail, the e-mail address written in your profile is not used by Licorize.

Once you have that, to create strips you just have to send your e-mail to (or as “carbon copy” – cc – or even bcc) the specific Licorize e-mail address:

To create a to-do:

Send an e-mail (also)  to todo@licorize.com

To create a bookmark:

Send an e-mail (also)  to bm@licorize.com

To create an idea:

Send an e-mail (also)  to idea@licorize.com

To create a note:

Send an e-mail (also)  to note@licorize.com

 

That’s it J. Notice that you can send also attachments, you will see them as linked files on the strip.

2.4.2. Via Twitter

Licorize can import all your tweets in your timeline: see 2.5.1 Automated import from Twitter. But you can also make it create strips more selectively, using specific tweets and direct messages.

In order to enable creating strips via Twitter, you must follow the Licorize Twitter user and complete a verification procedure. All this can be done through a step-by-step process. Go to settings -> Connections,

Select “Set up Twitter actions”, and follow the steps, ending in:

This verification completed, there are two ways to create strips from Twitter: via public tweets and via direct messages.

2.4.2.1. Create strips via public tweets

In order to create strips you just need to include the appropriate @user in your tweet:

To create a to-do:

Include @licotodo in your tweet.

To create a bookmark:

Include @licobm in your tweet.

To create an idea:

Include @licoidea in your tweet.

To create a note:

Include @liconote in your tweet.

 

Notice that in this case all the strips you are sending to Licorize are added to your Twitter timeline and are visible to all.

2.4.2.2. Create strips via direct messages

In order to create strips you just need to send a direct message to the appropriate @user:

To create a to-do:

Send a DM to @licotodo

To create a bookmark:

Send a DM to @licobm

To create an idea:

Send a DM to @licoidea

To create a note:

Send a DM to @liconote


 

2.5. Automated imports

Your Licorize account can be configured enabling chosen automated imports, which means that Licorize will connect to these services once a day and import the new elements created.

*     
The imports are done also at login and can be forced manually by going to your settings -> connections. If you delete one of the elements imported, it will not be re-imported.

Here are the importing connections provided:

·         Evernote

·         Twitter

·         LinkedIn

·         Instapaper

·         RSS

·         Read It Later

·         Instapaper

All these can be enabled by going to settings -> connections.

These operations are generally unidirectional as once information gets in Licorize, it gets refined, changed, enriched, and it would make little sense to send it back.

*     
If what you are looking for is information about backups and eventually “escaping from Licorize”, see here: 5.3 Exporting data

2.5.1. Automated import from Twitter

To enable the automated import process, go to settings -> Connections and select

All the recent Tweets from your timeline will be imported. If you select “import only favorites”, all and only the tweets you mark as favorite will be imported – it is a comfortable way to get a selective import. In all cases, this will not import direct messages.

*      The tweets that can be imported are those supplied by the Twitter API service. So your first import will not be your full twitter history, which is not supplied by the Twitter API service.

2.5.2. Automated import from Evernote

To enable the automated import process, go to settings -> connections and select

All the recent entries (created or modified in the last seven days) from your public notebooks will be imported.


 

2.5.1. Automated import from a RSS

To enable the automated import process, go to settings -> Connections, paste an RSS URL:

And click on “+”. You can of course import from several RSS sources – this is quite powerful.

2.5.2. Automated import from LinkedIn

To enable the automated import process, go to settings -> Connections and select

and all your status updates will be available in your timeline.

 

 

2.5.3. Automated import from Read it Later

To enable the automated import process, go to settings -> connections and insert your user name:. All your unread bookmarks from Read It Later will be imported daily, tagged with Remind me later.

2.5.4. Automated import from Instapaper

To enable the automated import process, go to settings -> connections and write he URL of your Instapaper feed, it will be something similar to

http://www.instapaper.com/rss/876810/JKAeGXKiBDiRXgFx5EqFmd2CuiQ

 

 

 

 


 

3. Processing

3.1. Your home page

When you first get in Licorize, you already have some sample strips created, and you can create more by the means described in the previous chapter.

Looking at your Licorize home, it will be similar to the picture on the right. In the left part you have by default the latest strips you created that are not set as future events. On the right part you have a column composed of several areas, each “filters” your strips by different criteria:

People: lists people you are collaborating with and offers you to invite others.

Projects: when you click on a project, only strips belonging to such project will be listed.

Types: all strips are of a type. When you click on a type, all the most recently created strips of that type will be listed; if a project is selected, all the strips of that type in that project will be shown.

Tags: Again selecting a tag will make strips be filtered by such tag. You can select more than one tag, and again this condition can be combined with projects / people /search.

Calendar: Licorize by default is set on “now”. The home will show you all the strips you created which you have not explicitly set in the future. In fact in the upper part you see the “time point” below which strips are shown . If you click on days on the calendar you will be moving the time point and the strips shown will be all strips created (or set explicitly) before that date.

You can also move the time point using the up and down arrows:

 

3.1.1. imageCustomizing Licorize

3.1.1.1. User interface language

Licorize supports setting a language for the user interface at the user level. This means that different users even when on the same team can use different user interface language. 

In order to set a language, simply go to settings –> Account –> Select language and then save.

3.1.1.2. Date formats

Date formats too are configurable – again just go to settings –> Account to pick one.

3.1.1.3. Backgrounds

You can also pick a background:

3.1.1.4. Work options

For the work options see 0

Work logging.

3.2. Refining and curating

With all the means to get “strips” in Licorize described so far, you may get substantial information value collected. Fortunately some of it may be already classified in projects and tags right from the start, as this is possible directly when bookmarking.  

After bookmarking in the general sense described up to now, information collected can be further edited and transformed. Licorize gives you a rich set of tools for this process, going way beyond what has been provided by any other online bookmarking service up to now.

3.3. Types

Licorize comes provided with several built-in types. Each type models a kind of information, a way of collecting and some specific logic for that type of information. The fact that the way you want to use the information should somehow change what and how you structure the information collected is what differentiates Licorize from other bookmarking services and flat to-do systems.

Let’s examine the main types and those with specific behavior.


 

 

3.3.1. Type: Bookmark

Bookmarks are the most popular type. For every bookmark you can classify it within a project, tag it (eventually with multiple tags) and Licorize will also generate a thumbnail.

This is the editor:

Links to web sites can also be written in almost any Licorize text area and they will be active – the target site is visited by clicking the link, e.g. the editor:

And the result:

The thumbnail for the moment is generated “only” for the main URL.

*     
If you are creating a strip which is not a bookmark (say, a to-do) still any URL written in the url field will generate a thumbnail:

*     

3.3.1.1. More readable pages

Licorize provides “readable” version of the web site pages you bookmarked. This is a functionality that recently has become widely available, but when used through Licorize you have the advantage of a readable version of a classified bookmark – and also our version of readability is quite powerful. Moreover you get it say in on a tablet like the iPad without the need of installing and using yet another service.

The increase in readability can be quite impressive:

 

Moreover you get controls over you readable version of the page, like font size, style. You can always go back to the original page and also print the readable version.

3.3.1.2. Type: Remind me later /Read

This is explained in detail in 2.1.4 Remind me later and Read strips.

 


 

3.3.2. Type: To-Do

To-do’s are the basic building blocks of projects and personal management lists. All to-dos have a text describing the matter, and a state, done or not. Done to-do’s are not shown by default, and in fact when a to-do is marked as done, it disappears from your default views.

*     
In order to see all to-do’s for the current filter, including done to-dos, go to actions and select “show also done”.  

If you select “delay this to-do” you can set the to-do to appear at a later date

So this to-do too will disappear from your default view until you get near the due date. You can move forward in time using the side arrows  and of course using the calendar.

There are many ways to share, distribute, create and bulk modify to-do’s all explained in this user guide. Keep reading!

3.3.3. Type: Image

Makes sense to use this type mostly while bookmarking. When you are bookmarking, just drag the images on the “drop” square. You can of course drag several.

 

 

 


 

3.3.4. imageType: Place

You can bookmark locations and maps, both by adding bookmarks of type “place” by hand – and you can write location names and a map will auto scroll there, and also while bookmarking on a map service: Google Maps, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps are currently supported.

 

 

3.3.5. Type: Status updates

Status updates like for example tweets can be a rich source of material for your ideas and projects. What is great in having them in Licorize is that it is a snap to turn them into other types. Importing them can lead to a complete timeline in Licorize, which becomes a sort of diary of your online life.

Status updates can come from different sources, which are shown as a small icon.

3.3.6. Type: DropBox

In order to have this type available, you have to have a DropBox account (see http://dropbox.com) and enable the integration in your settings.

Enabling DropBox means that the user that has enabled it will be capable of sharing her DropBox files and folders with projects colleagues. Only the person that does the sharing needs to go through the enabling procedure. All users on the teams will be capable of adding / removing / downloading files and folders in the shares – so be careful J .

To enable sharing, go to settings -> Connections and enable DropBox:

then you will have a DropBox type available when adding strips.

Notice that the path to folders and files that you write when creating a strip in Licorize starts from the DropBox root, not from the file system root. If the folder you want to share is in C:\DropBox\Writer, the path you need to put in Licorize is just "writer". You may point to both folders and single files.

And then you can explore the DropBox contents via web:


 

3.3.7. Type: Evernote

Evernote http://evernote.com is a great tool capable of receiving information from an amazingly wide spectrum of devices. As Evernote Corporation has an open program (“trunk”) for integrating with applications, we worked to obtain all the public information sent to your Evernote profile in the Licorize timeline – without any effort from the user.

Then all your Evernote notes can also be distributed in projects and be part of the buildup of new ideas, and can be shared in Licorize.

To enable Evernote integration just go to settings, a little window will ask you to login to Evernote and authorize Licorize.

All notes from public notebooks will be imported, at the date of their last update.

Images will be appropriately resized, mp3s will be associated with a player, and so on.

So if for example you take a picture of a text from a mobile (a typical Evernote usage), Evernote will synch with your mobile and extract the text. You will find the picture and the text in your Licorize timeline, without doing anything!

*     
I've set Evernote importing up correctly, I think, and I've got public notebooks. But it's not importing existing items from those notebooks or new items. Help?

To check whether it is enabled: go to settings -> connections -> you should have the link "import now from Evernote", select it (the import is scheduled once a day).

If Licorize finds new notes in public notebooks, it will import them (also check that you are not filtering by some project in your home). Otherwise Licorize will add to your home: "No notes created or updated in Evernote in the last seven days."

*      If you added Evernote on a client, e.g. on Windows you have added an e-mail from Outlook to Evernote, this has been sent to the local client, but until the client synchronizes (you can also force that by hand), it won't be on the Evernote web repository and so it won't be imported.

 

3.3.8. Other types

Some other types like worklog or cost make sense in the context of the theme of work management and are hence discussed later.


 

.

3.3.9. Changing types

One of the features on which we focused in development was making it easy to change types: it often happens that strips created while browsing, typically bookmarks, are then distributed as to-do’s, ideas and so on.

From the strip list you can quickly change strip type by simply clicking on the type icon, three possibilities will appear: to-do, bookmark and idea.

If you need to change more or to another type, click again on the type or click on the edit icon. Notice that if you change a type, the information that can be preserved across types is preserved, and if you change your mind before saving and switch back to the original type, all information is restored.

 


 

3.4. Tagging

As any bookmarking service, you can tag strips in Licorize. You can use spaces in tags (really wonder what sadistic consideration makes some developers not allow that J), and you separate tags with commas. You can tag entries directly when bookmarking and also afterwards when editing.

The set of all tags you created is collected in a tag cloud in the right column. Each tag is clickable and filters strips, eventually combined with other filters and tags. If you click on several tags, they will be all set in the filter, and the strips presented will be those that have all such tags (not at least one). Just click again on a tag to remove it from the filter.

The tags selected have a dark background, and the tags that are not found in the obtained strip list are stroked out.

*     
My tags and others tags: shared tags. The set of tags shown in your pages is always your set of tags; this in order not to make the interface confusing. So if you examine the strips on a shared project, there you may have strips that are tagged by others, some present and some absent from your cloud. You can always filter by a tag not in your cloud by simply clicking on the tag in the strip.

 

 

3.4.1. Bulk tagging

There is a way to “bulk tag” and “bulk tag remove”, and even “bulk tag replace”. Bulk operations get visible whenever you select a strip. To select a strip, just check the checkbox that appears on rollover.

This will make a set of actions appear, among them “add or remove tag”; the action will be applied to all selected strips.


 

3.4.2. Tag organizer

In Licorize we want to have the features present in classical bookmarking services, but also go beyond those. The tag organizer is an example such service. You access it from the link on top of the tag cloud.

As soon as you select a tag, sample strips so tagged will be shown and the operational buttons “remove”, “rename” “merge/replace” will become active. Notice that you may select and operate on multiple tags.

 

3.4.3. Special tags: colors and more

There are several “special” tags in Licorize:  

Colored tags. Some tags that are color names will be drawn in color. This can be a simple and practical tool for having a hierarchy in strips, say. The color tags supported are

red, black, yellow, green, blue, brown, orange, pink, purple, fuchsia.

GTD / weekly review helper tags. The following tags have a special meaning in the context of a weekly review, see 5.2.1 Weekly review:

somedayMaybe, review it weekly.


 

3.5. The timeline

Licorize default view is ordered in time with more recent strips on top. With the integration of bookmarking and all the import possibilities, Licorize provides you an “activity timeline”. The same holds when you are filtering by a project: in that case you and your colleagues are creating and maintaining a timeline of the project. Licorize makes it immediate to see who did what.

You can move in the future with the side arrows  and with the calendar.

You can also always see more strips back in time by selecting “more” at the bottom of the page.

 

3.5.1. The expanded timeline

One may have the (dangerous) desire to get into Licorize and have a look at the entire activity that has been going on in the union of all timelines of all the projects where you are involved, whoever did that. To get this view, open Actions and select “show strips from all teams”.

But this way you’ll get a lot of data. It is much better to filter by people as explained in 4.1.5 Other people’s timeline.

 

 


 

3.6. The curation perspective

In this section we take a particular perspective on Licorize, as a “curation” service.

First of all, what is curation? On Wiktionary http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/curation I find this definition:

    The act of curating, of organizing and maintaining a collection of artworks or artifacts.

A typical example is a museum curator, an expert in the field. In the context of web news and information collection, curation is organizing collections of information extracted from the web. Robert Scoble, the well know journalist,  gives several examples here:

http://scobleizer.com/2010/03/27/the-seven-needs-of-real-time-curators/

“Look at this post here, I can link to Tweets, and point out good ones, right? That’s curation. Or I can order my links in a particular order. That’s curation. Or I can add my thoughts to those links, just like Techcrunch or VentureBeat do. That’s curation. Or I can do a video like Leo Laporte does and talk about those links. That’s curation. Or I can forward those links to you via email. That’s curation. The editor who sits in a big building at New York Times or your local newspaper that chooses what content you’ll see in your newspaper is a curator. So is the page designer who decides what story is at the top of the page.”

Scoble gives even an audio definition here:

http://www.cinchcast.com/scobleizer/96854

This sense of curation is actually quite specific: its news on the web curation – understandably, given Scoble’s occupation. Scoble calls it real-time curation, and also gives Seven Needs of Real-Time Curators:

1. Real-time curators need to bundle.

2. Real-time curators need to reorder things.

3. Real-time curators need to distribute bundles.

4. Real-time curators need to editorialize.

5. Real-time curators need to update their bundles.

6. Real-time curators need to add participation widgets.

7. Real-time curators need to track their audience.

This is in the same article linked above, with detailed explanations for each of the seven points.

When I read this list, having just released a new bookmarking service, I got really interested as this seems a description of what all kind of people do on the web, not just journalist dealing with events in real-time. But first let’s keep following Scoble.

3.6.1. News curation applications

As Scoble points out, there are now some cool web applications that can help do curation in real time: as a prominent and example, let’s consider Curated.by http://www.curated.by . This application works on twitter streams, allowing you to create bundles, add comments, embed widgets – in short – do curation on tweets. An interesting video interview of the fellows at Curated.by is here.

3.6.2. What cannot be generalized

What of the above is relevant for the web worker bookmark and idea collector – not a journalist? Or better, as in a sense anybody can temporarily be creating news on the web – like of your kids party. But activity on the web is not all about news.  And not all flows like that. One of the main features that must be supported by the news curation services is that news change in real time – and some of them actually quickly disappear.

I believe it would actually be quite wrong to assume that this flow of information is the typical usage of a bookmarking service. A service that helps me collecting ideas for my next game development, my wine bottle design, my hotel promotion is not about real time – while its promotion may be. When researching and working on ideas, an online service support should supply a place where information can quickly and simply stored (bookmarked, moved, imported) and in time transformed. The focus is storing and working on it. The target is not real time, is helping to create and share ideas and projects. What you need is a

quiet space

where information waits to be transformed and shared.

3.6.3. What a bookmarking service can learn from news curation

Some features of these real-time curation services are really nice, and could be added to any cool bookmarking service, and hence also to Licorize, our new bookmarking-and-ideas-and-todos-etc online service. The seven questions above make sense re-interpreted for anybody’s bookmarking activity:

1. Bookmarkers need to bundle.

Licorize’s answer. One could say that Licorize “projects” give you just that: more than a flat tagging, you can collect bookmarks, ideas, goals, invite people on the list, share, work, communicate. And with the synch with Twitter, LinkedIn, Evernote all kinds of information sources get added and distributed.

2. Bookmarkers need to reorder things.

Licorize’s answer. Of course “strips” – all your notes – can be ordered by drag-and-drop, prioritized, tagged, made “sticky”…

3. Bookmarkers  need to distribute bundles.

Licorize’s answer. Some “bundles” (Licorize projects) need to be shared, made public. These are what the Flipboard-like Licorize booklets are for. Just share a url; and if you prefer the flat Delicious-like style – you can share that too.

4. Bookmarkers  need to editorialize.

Licorize’s answer. Bookmarking is just one of the entry points of your projects and ideas. Licorize gives you a wide spectrum of tools to edit, transform, add, comment the contents.

5. Bookmarkers  need to update their bundles.

Licorize’s answer. Well, this is hardly a problem in Licorize: all content is yours and editable.

6. Bookmarkers  need to add participation widgets.

Licorize’s answer. Booklets entries can be commented and retweeted. Could be great to add more interaction, like polling…

7. Bookmarkers  need to track their audience.

Licorize’s answer. This is a good idea for an update: it would be nice for the owner of a public Licorize project to see how many times the public booklet has been seen. And also to have a TweetMeme button on the booklet home.

Exploring the theme of curation can bring ideas valid for all people working on the web.

4. Organizing

4.1. People, projects, teams

One of the most important additions of Licorize to bookmarking is the fact that your activity can be shared at different levels. You can start collecting ideas and share some of them with certain friends or colleagues, building progressively collaborative projects. You can create and share different projects for different topics.

4.1.1. People: collaborating

When you first access licorize the “People” box appears as in the image on the side. Licorize works at its best when used not only for personal bookmarking, but also as a way to collaborate on a work / research / ideation process. Getting others to collaborate with you in Licorize is very easy: you just need to know their e-mail – or in case they are already Licorize users, even just their Licorize username (you can still use the e-mail). Type the email or username in the “invite” field and they will receive an e-mail (just one, don’t worry) with a user name, password, and a confirmation link:

And as they log in the first time in Licorize they will find your invitation, first thing, as in the picture.

After you collaborate with several people the appearance of the People box will change in order to gain space in the user interface – you can still invite people, just click on  to open the same invite part.

4.1.2. Collaborating on projects

When you invited someone, there is a new collaboration space or project created for collecting data from both of you; its name by default is just the sum of the two user names, and can be changed any time  (probably it should be J ).

For example, if your name is Jack Torrance and you invite Clarice Starling, the new shared project will by default be called “Jack Torrance Clarice Starling”. On this same project you can again invite other people.

To change name, invite people and do any maintenance on the project team you just have to go and edit the project: click on “edit” once you selected the project as shown in the picture on the side. This will open the project editor:

where you can change basic data, invite users, cancel others, close the project.

4.1.2.1. Terminology:  projects, teams, collaboration spaces

A shared set of bookmarks, ideas, to-dos with a defined team for us is a project. In other terms, projects are containers used by a group with a goal. You can call them teams, collaboration spaces, the exact term used does not matter, what counts is the functionality.

A semi-formal definition of a project in Licorize is this:

A project is a collection of bookmarks, to-do's, ideas etc. that is collected in a period of time by one or more persons with a set goal.

 

So a project has a goal, validity in time, and a defined and restricted set of people working on it.

A project is created by a user (the project owner) who can invite other users to work on it. Everyone invited can see everything the project contains, and can edit, transform and refine any of its content. The project owner can also decide to set the project as public, so exposing it on the web (for read, not for write), and can also decide to close the project.

Some features a project has and a collection of bookmarks sharing a tag doesn't:

i.      a project has a defined goal

ii.     a project has a defined team (that is, more than one person and not everyone) that can contribute to the project

iii.    a project can end

iv.   a project can be visible either to all team members or to everyone

v.    you can subscribe to project changes via e-mail and twitter

vi.   you can record work log on a project

vii.  you can use Kanban boards on projects


 

4.1.3. Subscribing to projects

For some projects it is very comfortable to get notified when someone creates new strips on them, not just when examining such project’ timeline in Licorize, but also through other channels: from the project editor you can subscribe to project creation events via e-mail and Twitter. In case the project is public, it also exposes an RSS (see 6.1.3 Public projects).

In order to subscribe via e-mail you need to have set one in your profile (settings -> Profile).

*     
In order to subscribe via Twitter you need to follow the Twitter “user” licotodo, in order to receive direct messages as notifications from Licorize.

4.1.4. The project timeline

When you filter by a project you see all strips set on that project by all project members, ordered in time descending. You will see the image of the user to whom the strip is assigned (the assignee) together with the strip type :

You can edit all such strips, and also “send messages”  to the strip assignee: click on the envelope icon and the send message strip will appear:

Of course once you have filtered by a project, you can further filter by other criteria, that is, assignee, type, tag, and even any search term. All active filters will be shown as path in the top part:

 

4.1.5. Other people’s timeline

What you see as other’s people timeline is connected to which projects you are working together. When you click on a certain user icon in the “People” box, you will get the timeline resulting from the union of all strips assigned to that user in projects in which you are both working. In other words, you’ll see that user’s activity in the part of the world that you are sharing.

 

 

4.1.6. Other ways to invite: Google contacts, Facebook, LinkedIn

You can invite users one by one on projects as we’ve seen above, but you can also invite users from your Google contacts, Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections.

Simply go to tools and in Import your contacts pick the import source. If say you picked Google contacts, you will first have to enable reading:

And then select the kind of action to be performed:

If you pick “invite on a project” (probably the most useful action) you have then to choose a project and then just drag the contacts into the dashed box to send them an invite on that project.

Similarly for the other contact sources, Facebook and LinkedIn.

 

4.2. Curating contents with projects and more

With projects we have introduced the most powerful tool for managing contents. Now using types, projects and tags you can quickly put every strip in context.

4.2.1. Filters: projects, types, tags and time

4.2.1.1. Saving filters

Every time you filter some data in Licorize, by selecting a project, a tag, whatever, a little label appears in the top right part of the screen: “Do you want to save this filter?”. If you click it, this box opens

where you can set a name for the filter. This will be saved on your profile and will always be available from now on (you can always delete it).

The filter will apply and show the filtering choices that were done when the filter was saved, e.g.

This saved filter will filter strips by the project “Licorize development” and further by type “to-do”.

4.2.1.2. Moving along the timeline

Every strip is created in a moment in time; this is usually where the strip is shown in the timeline. By default you see the latest strips on top, and only some of them – the latest 10. If you go to the bottom of the page, you will see both the total number of strips available for the current filter, and also the “more…” button in case there are more strips to be seen with respect to what is currently shown.  Selecting “more” will show more strips, moving back in time. If you are seeing 10 strips, 20 more (if they exist) will be added, and if you select “more” again, 40 will be added, and so on. As browsers can hold only so much information before crashing, it is in general better to filter by some criteria w.r.t loading the page with hundreds of strips.

Along the timeline you will also see the days in which the strip has been taken

as strip separator.

Some strip types can be “artificially” set on a day, different from its creation data, because they are inherently relative to a moment in time: these are Milestones, Reminders, Meetings.

You can move in time in two ways:

- Using the arrows:

Clicking these will move you forward and backward in time.

- Using the calendar:

Here you can filter by a specific moment in time – backwards from that.

4.2.2. Creating and editing strips: some tricks

4.2.2.1. Creating a list of to-dos

 

Proceed in this way: select "add a strip", say it is a to-do, and write your list on to-do's in the text preceding every to-do with three hyphens "---", for example:

On save, each line will be transformed in a separate to-do. And you can do the same for the other types too, like Idea.

4.2.2.2. Links and images in strips

Web links – valid URL’s starting with HTTP or HTTPS will work in strips. If the URL is of an image, it will be displayed:

4.2.2.3. Bold

To get any part of text to be in bold just surround it with **. E.g.

Will appear as . For example you can use this to separate text in notes:

 

4.2.2.4. Smiley’s

Most Smiley’s are supported. Try using the full Skype set.

4.2.2.5. Colored tags

If you use any of these tags:

red, black, yellow, green, blue, brown, orange, pink, purple, fuchsia

they will be shown colored in the strip.

So a simple way to assign priorities to strips is by assigning colors to them and then filtering by color, like "red to-do's".

4.2.2.6. Date functions

Date fields allow users to quickly insert dates in the correct format. Holydays are in red. You can move between months by using the arrow buttons, but more interestingly, you can use some shortcuts instead of inserting a complete date.

There are several shortcuts:


 

 

Shortcut

“Longcut”

Description

N

NOW

Is this instant including milliseconds

T

TODAY

Is the first millisecond of today (00:00:00:001)

Y

YESTERDAY

Is the first millisecond of yesterday

TM

TOMORROW

Is the first millisecond of tomorrow

W

WEEK,THISWEEK,

WEEKSTART,

THISWEEKSTART

Is the first millisecond of the first day of this week

LW

LASTWEEK,

LASTWEEKSTART

Is the first millisecond of the first day of last week

NW

NEXTWEEK

NEXTWEEKSTART

Is the first millisecond of the first day of next week

M

MONTH,THISMONTH,

MONTHSTART,

THISMONTHSTART

Is the first millisecond of the first day of this month

 

LM

LASTMONTH,

LASTMONTHSTART

Is the first millisecond of the first day of last month

 

NM

NEXTMONTH,

NEXTMONTHSTART

Is the first millisecond of the first day of next month

 

Q

QUARTER

THISQUARTER

QUARTERSTART,

THISQUARTERSTART

Is the first millisecond of the first day of this quarter

 

LQ

LASTQUARTER,

LASTQUARTERSTART

 

Is the first millisecond of the first day of last quarter

 

NQ

NEXTQUARTER,

NEXTQUARTERSTART

Is the first millisecond of the first day of next quarter

 

CWn

WEEKOFYEAR, WY

It is the calendar week number start day, e.g. CW2 is the first day of week (and this depends whether American or European format, Sunday of Monday) of the second week of the current year

 

4.2.3. Bulk operations

Licorize supports bulk operations on sets of selected strips. Once you activate the checkbox that on rollover is presented on every strip, the set of bulk action will appear:

The actions will apply to selected strips – use “more” or the filters to find the strips you want to act on.

Let’s see the actions in detail:

remove: remove permanently the selected strips. There is no undo.

set project: this will make you select a project that will be set on the selected strips, eventually resetting the one already there.

set to done or not: will ask you to which status – done or not done – you want to set the selected strips.

add or remove a tag: this will allow to add, remove or even replace a tag on all the strips selected.

copy to project: this will duplicate the strips selected setting them on the chosen project. This simple functionality actually enables full templating functionality: you can create a project as a template repository of strips, and then use this function to generate the nth case.

assign to user: this will set the selected strips as belonging to the selected user, who will become their “assignee”, and hence will have them in her timeline.

draft for blog: this enables the function for generating drafts for blogs, as detailed in 6.2 Publishing strips as blog posts.

4.2.4. Setting priorities

Licorize support several simple ways to evidence more “important” strips. First notice that on the top left you have two ordering options, by time and by priority:

"by time" will order strips in chronological order, newest on top. This order will be applied to the current filter, so for example if you filter by a project, you will have the strip on the project sorted chronologically – we’ve seen this several time before.

image"by priority" will order strips showing on top those marked as "important" using the exclamation imagepoint:   and then all the others sorted chronologically. There are four level of importance, and you can set it both in edit and in read mode – just click repeatedly on the importance symbol.

In both cases on top of all strips there will be those marked as "sticky" with the pin:

So the obtained order in the two cases is:

When ordering by time. First the sticky strips (unfiltered, sorted among them by time descending), then all the other strips for the current filter ordered in time (descending).

When ordering by priority. First the sticky strips (unfiltered, sorted among them by time descending), then all the important strips for the current filter (sorted among them by time descending), then all the other strips for the current filter ordered in time (descending).

By the way, the project list in the Project box is automatically sorted by intensity of usage.

*     
In order to see more strips at the same time on the screen, you can turn on a “compact” view:
go to Actions and click on compact view mode.

*     

*      It will make all thumbnails get hidden.


 

4.3. Work logging

4.3.1. Worklogs

Licorize allows recording work done both on strips and also in distinct strips. So you can record the time amounts of work done to single strips (and hence on the project they are set on) or even create new strips of type Worklog where to record time.

A sample flow for working with Licorize could be:

create a project / set a goal - collect ideas – transform them in to-do’s (could be several for each idea) – record work log on to-do’s (eventually also on ideas) – generate cost reports

Given any strip, by clicking on the watch icon  you’ll open the worklog input fields:

And there you can record the time  and on which day it has been done (default is today). The total worklog recorded for the strip will be shown below its type:

You can record multiple worklogs on the same strip, of course.

Time format is HH:MM, e.g. 02:30 is two and a half hours, but also the Xh format is accepted, e.g. 2h is two hours.

When you don’t have a specific strip where to record worklog but still have worklog to record on a project, you can create a strip of type worklog:

 

 

 

 

4.3.2. Work preferences

There are several preferences that concern how Licorize manages work logging for you.

Access them going to settings -> Work settings.

Working hours per day: how many hours on average you’d like to record per day.

Hourly cost: the cost of an hour of work which will be using when computing the project cost report.

Working days: which days of week are to be considered working days and hence requiring work logging.

Notify missing worklogs: when this is active Licorize will check for your working days missing work logs and notify you with strip messages.

4.3.3. Worklog week

The worklog week is a weekly view of the strips you’ve added and of the worklog inserted:

For each week day it gives you the current total worklog recorded, what is missing and gives you a link to add more.

You can move in time with the arrows  on the right, it is also a way of reconsidering the work done.

4.3.4. Cost report

A "cost report" is a strip generated by Licorize when filtering by a project and calling Actions -> generate a cost report.

This is a sample resulting strip:

The effort is the sum of all strips of type Effort set on the project, the worklog is the sum of all worklog registered on any strip of the project by anyone, the estimation the sum of Budget strips, the total done the sum of the Cost strips.

If you export your project strips to Excel, if just before that you generate a cost report, in the obtained Excel sheet you will get a first tab with the cost report data.


 

5. Reviewing

We started from bookmarks, but we already see that Licorize is actually a powerful and complete tool for personal management – and more, but for now let’s focus on it as a personal organizer.

5.1. “Kanban” like boards and management

Licorize supports a visual way to distribute (and re-distribute) strips among team members, we’ve called it Kanban view. Try filtering strips by a project and then click on “distribute strips” in Action:

You will get a board view like this:

In this view strips are draggable; when you drag a strip from one user to another, you are changing its assignee. Notice that here you can also change project on which you are working by selecting another one in the top row.

5.2. Get links done: Licorize and GTD

Getting Things Done, also abbreviated as GTD, is a popular time management productivity method created by David Allen http://davidco.com/ . It is presented in this book

http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Things-Done-Stress-Free-Productivity/dp/0142000280

though we I find Mr. Allen’s presentations through video or podcast to be more accessible for a first approach. See for example this “Do lecture”:

http://www.thedolectures.com/speakers/speakers-2010/david-allen .

Licorize, while not specifically a GTD tool, supports several, in a sense all, the practices defined in the GTD methodology. Below we consider in particular the weekly review.

5.2.1. Weekly review

The “weekly review” is a universal concept much discussed in the Getting Things Done methodology:

You need to be able to review the whole picture of your life and work at appropriate intervals and appropriate levels

(GTD book, Review section, page 45)

A consistent use of reviewing is key for keeping a focused set of next actions and priorities. GTD suggest reviewing frequently, actually weekly. Licorize has a specific section for reviewing strips.

To access your weekly review, click on  in the menu. The introductory page will show up:

For those using GTD, the weekly review is a “pre-work” process with which you review all “in” items; some people misunderstand this for the process of reviewing your open to-do’s, which is a different matter. So we gave two separate entry points to the two approaches.

To actually start the weekly review as intended in GTD, click on the “start the weekly review” button on the left:

Licorize in the example is saying that there are 91 items to be reviewed. It is important when started a review to get to the end of it – otherwise its goal is not met.

The total number, the 91, is calculated by considering all strips created since the last review plus all open project, plus all strips marked with the special tag “review it weekly”, minus all strips marked with the special tag “someday maybe”. This way you should be reviewing all your new, open and recurring activities in Licorize.

 

 

Refill: Clicking on this button will add to your list of strips to review all those of type “to-do” still open and “remind me later”. This is not perfectly in line with the aim of the weekly review according to GTD, but it is comfortable.

Redo: this will mark as item to be reviewed (and hence add them to your current weekly review) all items you reviewed in your last completed review. If you never completed a review before, this will do nothing.

*     
Licorize’ user most frequent misunderstanding of the weekly review is to consider it as an occasion to “put things in the bucket”, but the point of it is not to add entries to the timeline, but to review every item in the bucket. All your items should already be in the bucket – and hopefully Licorize’ integrations should have facilitated that.

 

*     
In order to make the weekly review even more attractive, we used a gamification technique, so as you review you are also making the black dots go away  (see here http://pietro.open-lab.com/2010/11/09/game-mechanics-for-thinking-users/ for more information on the gamification topic) .

 

 

 

 

5.2.2. More on Licorize and GTD

Licorize is not just a GTD tool: it is basically an idea collector that is compatible with several GTD practices. Our hope is that Licorize supports a quick & short cycle of “collect – organize in actions” thanks to its integration with the web worker’ online activity without losing too much information, even when collecting is a quick action.

GTD’s methodology is a way to make an agreement with oneself, about managing “ideas overload” – not to be confused with information overload: the overload GTD wants to relieve is internal, self generated, not due to external sources.

We now try to summarize how one proceeds when following GTD (this is a very personal interpretation with no pretence of neither correctness nor completeness).

5.2.3. A summary of GTD

Everything that comes to your mind about things to be done, thought, plans etc. must be written down ASAP somewhere, actually in the same specific place if possible: this place is the bucket (more than one bucket is possible, but let’s stick to the basics). Then each item in the bucket must somehow be processed. You must find some quiet moment in which to process the bucket’s content - it is not sufficient to collect. List making is not by itself a way to have things under control. Processing means that you have to go mercilessly through each item in the bucket and decide whether it can be made actionable, i.e. it can be restated / transformed in something clear that can be done, or not. If not, it is not relevant, at least not yet. If it is actionable, it may be you doing it or somebody else, and you may be doing it now or at a fixed future moment. That’s the normal activity, to which a great help is to ritualize a moment “the weekly review” where all items, from the basket and including all those already actionable and planned are reviewed. This ritualized check is a way to keep a “completely emptied my mind” standard.

5.2.4. GTD’s flow and Licorize

We will now follow closely GTD’s flow (as per the GTD workflow diagram – page 36 of the GTD book) and see how Licorize can help at each step.

5.2.4.1. In basket

While true that the main problem is your internal psychic stress, it is true that meeting many many external information sources and not having a quick way to “put it in the bucket” will contribute to such psychic stress.

Licorize facilitates putting everything that you are taking a mental note of in the basket. That is why we expanded Licorize so that with it you can collect not only bookmarks but all sorts of information, also much that is presented through other means (Tweets, RSS, DMs, e-mail, Evernote, DropBox etc.). This also facilitates keeping the set of baskets to a minimal number – possibly one.

Clearly having Licorize always with you is linked to availability on mobile devices – see 2.1.2 On mobile devices: Apple’s iPad / iPhone / iPod Safari and Android.

5.2.4.2. What is it?

The fact that Licorize asks you to do a minimal classification of any information entered through types, even if you ignore tagging, is just in line with the GTD idea of asking of any incoming information: “what is this?”.

The first classification – idea, to-do, note, reminder, plain bookmark etc. is really quick but helpful.

5.2.4.3. Is it actionable?

Of the various possible classification of “in”, GTD considers asking “is it actionable” the most important one. This because “in” information tends to be vague, and as long as it remains vague, unsolvable and burdening.

Notice that both possible answers to this question, yes and no, require some further action. In this perspective, you should try to avoid adding unclassified strips in Licorize. Anyway now the weekly review in Licorize warns you about such entries.

5.2.4.4. Not actionable

If something is not actionable, probably the best idea is to simply trash it.

GTD also offers the possibility to classify it as a “Someday / Maybe” entry, and Licorize supports just this.

if you tag any strip with the special tag “somedayMaybe”, this will disappear. It will not be in your timeline, nor in your projects and neither in your search results.

But if you filter by the tag “somedayMaybe”, all those strips will be listed and it will be possible there to transform them into actionable items.

5.2.4.5. Yes: What is the next action

So if the information collected is “actionable”, you should somehow transform it so that it is very clear what the action to be taken is. Licorize’ ease of type transformation, and the fact that information is preserved when transforming makes it a help also in this phase.

In our opinion information transformation is at the core of GTD, and also of Licorize: it is what makes it a practical (and not simplistic) solution in the long run – we hope.

Also useful is the fact that information collected with a client, or say sent as a “remind me later” from a client to Licorize can then easily be edited and transformed.

5.2.4.6. Single step actions: next actions

The actions to be taken “generated” from the incoming item may be single, quick, personal, or not: GTD considers various cases.

2 minutes: do it

If something is really quick, it is probably more practical to do it immediately than dragging it around.

Delegate it

Of course it may be that it is not you the one that has to take action; Licorize is a powerful tool for distributing actions in teams and projects, strip-by-strip, via bulk actions, or even using a Kanban-like drag-and-drop interface.

Defer it

To-do items in Licorize may be deferred to a date.

5.2.4.7. Multi step actions: projects

At page 37 of the GTD book some example projects are listed:

·         R&D joint-venture video project

·         August vacation

·         Publish book

All these are multi-step projects, that may involve several people, each with different set of actions. All this is perfectly supported by Licorize projects.

5.2.4.8. More GTD inspired considerations

“No more daily to-do lists”

In the GTD book Allen writes under “No more daily to-do lists”:

daily to-do lists… such lists don’t work, for two reasons: … constant new input and shifting tactical priorities reconfigure daily work so consistently … trying to keep a list that must be rewritten on another day if items don’t get done, is demoralizing and a waste of time.

(Chapter 2, page 40)

Many will identify in this kind of frustrated attempts. The point is having the actionable items list, and not trying to over-formalize work generating more wasted time and frustration. This is why adding Licorize to-do management just as an addition to an activity that you already do – surfing – could be the simplest approach.


 

5.3. Exporting data

There are two ways of exporting strips out of Licorize:

Export to Excel file. For every selection of strips, go to actions -> export filtered to Excel. Notice that all strips that satisfy the filter will be exported, not just those currently shown. For every type of strip there will be a separate sheet in the Excel file, so to allow the different kind of data of the different strip types to be shown in its column.

Export as HTML file. Go to tools -> Import export bookmarks -> Export your bookmarks, this will open a page with simple links in HTML, save the page. This format is the same as Delicious one, so it is compatible with a wide array of bookmarking services.

If you are simply looking for a more printer-friendly view of the strips, try going to their booklet and check out the list view (see 6.1.3 Public projects).

5.4. Merging users

If you have enrolled twice in Licorize by mistake or in different time periods, you can merge two profiles: go to settings -> Account and “Merge two profiles!”:

Getting:


 

6. Publishing

There are two quite different ways of sharing strips, a distinction that is not usually properly handled in this kind of bookmarking tools: one thing is to share a collection with a team of people as a way to collect information and share work, exchange messages etc. A different story is putting a collection on the web, as a public collection. And also it should be noted that there are many different ways to “put” rich contents on the web.

Once you have collected a list of bookmarks, wouldn’t it be nice to share them on the web à la Flipboard[1] or as Paper.li[2] does? These tools are focused on links shared on Twitter – but why couldn’t one share a curated set of bookmarks from other sources? Like a particular subset of bookmarks, commented, integrated with notes, ideas, even to-do’s.

A sample result is here:

http://licorize.com/projects/pugusel/illustration

 

 

One can see the entire user guide up to now as dealing with the theme of sharing and working with a defined team of people. In this chapter we deal with the topic of sharing contents openly on the web.

6.1. Putting strips and projects on the web

6.1.1. On the web?

Some or even all of the content you collect in Licorize can be shared as web pages visible to all. The content will be presented in a readable layout, quite different from the “operational” used to collect strips. Licorize comes with a powerful and friendly interface which allows you to pick what you want to show on the web and itsw layout. In Licorize’s terms, a presentation is called “booklet”, and your setting its content and layout is called “customizing the booklet”.

But first a special case:

6.1.2. Permalinks: sharing single strips

You can always share a single strip even without having shared its project – and even when it is not on a project. Licorize generates a “magic url” which is somehow hard to guess… and so you can send the URL to those you want to share it with. They don’t need to be in Licorize.

Once a strip is saved, go open its editor and at the bottom you'll find the permalink to it:

This way you are bypassing your project security: the strip will be visible even if the project is not public. For this reason, the permalink key is not exactly easy to guess J

6.1.3. Public projects

Your Licorize contents become public when you set at least one project public. As long as you don’t make a project public, nothing that you bookmark or write in Licorize will be public apart from the name you’ve set in Licorize. So the contents of this chapter make sense only after you have set at least one non empty project public.

To make a project public you need to go to the project editor, activate the “project is public” checkbox and save:

All strips which are in a project which has been marked as public are visible by all on the web. When you mark a project as public, Licorize will present you with the URL of such project both in the project editor and also below the project name when selected in your home:

For example, the project "Web technology resources" is public, and has as public URL

http://licorize.com/projects/ppolsinelli/WebTechnologyResources

The format is http://licorize.com/projects/[owner login name]/[normalized-project -name], where [normalized-project -name] can actually by edited by the project owner:

To do a test, you can create a project calling it “Public”, set the “project is public”, save, and create a couple of strips on that project. Then at the URL

http://licorize.com/projects/[your login name here]/Public

you’ll find the public booklet of this project, which anybody can access even when not logged in (not even enrolled) in Licorize.

6.1.4. User profile

Once you have at least one project, with at least one strip, you have a public profile. It is presented as link going to settings -> Profile (the first tab):

And following the link you get:

the browsable booklet which presents all the strips from all your public projects.

The set of all projects that are public defines the set of strips of yours (where you are assigned, by default all those you created) that are presented in your user profile: it will be the union of all strips assigned to you in public projects.

 

6.1.5. User tags

If you’d like to share a subset of your strips, those tagged in a certain way, just add / and then the tag on the URL of your public profile, for example to this public profile

http://licorize.com/users/ppolsinelli

to filter by “licorizeBuzz” the URL is

http://licorize.com/users/ppolsinelli/licorizeBuzz

6.1.6. Global tags

Given that users have public profiles, it is natural then to access the set of all public strips from all users, and then filter that by tag. The URL is http://licorize.com/tags/[here your tag], so for example

http://licorize.com/tags/web2.0

6.1.7. Usual needs of bookmark sharing

The collections of public strips are available also in more text-oriented layouts.

In RSS format: when you are seeing a booklet just click on the RSS browser icon, getting for example

And you can of course subscribe to such RSS.

6.1.8. Messages on strips

Anybody that is seeing a booklet can interact with the booklet owner via messages – click on , getting:

The owner will receive the message as a strip in Licorize.


 

6.1.9. Creating a customized booklet

But lets get now to the most powerful tool: customized booklets.

Booklets are available per project and per user, both come pre-set in a readable layout, but if you want to refine the aspect of your booklets, Licorize provides a sophisticated “booklet editor”.

With the editor you can create your booklet by adding pages with different layouts, create the cover, sort the strips and pages in a way which is more meaningful for your project. Excluding some strips types or restrict strips to those matching specific tags will give you the flexibility you need for presenting you project in a smart way. A page can be thought of also as a slide.

In order to start playing with the editor just click on the gear button on top of a booklet, as in the picture on the side.

This button is always visible for you on your personal booklet and on the project booklet for the project owner. If is not visible you have no permission to modify the booklet layout.

*     
Note that the customization is available on a “whole project” basis; if you’ve filtered a booklet view by tag, and you begin customization, it is the entire project booklet that gets customized.

 

 

 

 

The booklet editor is composed by three areas:

The left column:

Contains the list of pages you have customized. Each page is shown as small thumbnail. 

The first page is the cover editor.

Create a new page by clicking on the big gray button on the bottom.

Sort pages by dragging and dropping; remove them by clicking on the  corner

 

 

The central fat area:

May contain the cover editor or the page editor.

The cover editor in the basic approach will allow to:

1)    change the booklet title

2)    decide if you booklet has a cover or not

3)    decide if you want to show in the cover user data and the tag cloud

4)    choose an image as cover or just write an image url.

 

For the basics that’s all, but if you want you can use advanced configuration.

 With the advanced configuration you can:

1)    “close” the booklet. Booklet are by default “open” to new strips added; newly created strips are added on the top (or at the end) of the booklet using the last page template. If you want to “freeze” the booklet in the state you have customized just de-check the first option.

2)    hide social buttons

3)    restrict the set of strips displayed to some types. By default all types are allowed.

4)    choose the order of strips. Strips added automatically will be sorted by creation date. Sorting is not applied to strips inserted by hand: user always wins!

5)    restrict filters to some tags. Specify one or more tags comma separated 

Eventually you can even specify a CSS that will be applied to the booklet, but this is really a for-designer-only option.

 

 


 

With the page editor you can:

1)    choose a layout for that page: a layout is mainly a grid defining one or more cells where you can insert the strips you want to see. The grid layout is visible in the editor but will be hidden in the real booklet. There are 6 different layouts.

Choose the one you need by clicking on it

When you change the page layout, strips position are preserved if possible: this means that when you pass from a small one to a large one strips preserve their positions; vice-versa if you pass from large to small, exceeding strip will be placed on the strip’s bottom bar. The last layout choice is different from the others as it presents strips as a plain list of links.

2)    fill cells by dragging strips from the bottom bar. Each cell usually contains one strip (this is the default behavior when the page is filled automatically), but you can eventually drag how many strip you need. In this case you can sort them inside the same cell.

3)    remove strips from a cell by double click or by dragging the strip to the button bar

4)    fill the page, empty the page or remove the page using buttons

If the booklet is “open”, the last page will be used as template for pages created dynamically. This means that if you keep adding strips to your project after having customized the booklet, the new strips will be shown in the booklet by applying the last layout used.

If last page is partially filled (some cells may be empty) it will not be touched, but the layout will be used for adding new pages. Dynamic pages will always be placed after customized ones.

Notice that strips appear differently depending on where they are placed; larger the cell, more information is visible:

  

Last part of booklet editor is the strip’s bottom bar:

in this part there are your strips that are waiting to be inserted somewhere in the booklet.

Drag strips from here to the a cell in the page editor to place them, or put theme here from the page in order to remove from a cell.

By default only few strips are displayed here (20 at time), but if you need to see more just click on the “more” link at the end on strip list. If you change some filter parameters in advanced configuration, press the  button to get the list updated. Remember that user always wins, so the filter doesn’t apply to strips already placed on the booklet; this allows you to create first pages by hand using you full set of strips, and then eventually apply a more restrictive filter for the dynamic part of the booklet.

If you need instead to hide some specific strips, just drag them to the “trash-bin” area  on the right side. Strips in the trash-bin are NOT deleted, but only skipped while composing the booklet automatically.

Even if the page editor try to looks like a booklet, you should check the final result with the real booklet. Save the booklet and open the booklet on a new browser tab, or use the link under the booklet title that perform these operations for you.

In case you get out of control, just click on to reset booklet to default. Default means that the booklet is dynamic, using a template of four strips per page, using every types, showing social buttons, tag cloud and so on…

 

P.S.: booklet editor is better with latest Firefox or Chrome J

6.2. Publishing strips as blog posts

With Licorize you can select a set of strips to be published as a blog post draft on WordPress. Just select certain strips:

And in the bulk action filter select “draft for blog”. You will now see a preview of the draft, you can give a title and set the authentication data:

Then you’ll find the draft in WordPress, thumbnails of sites included:

Yes, this is cool.

7. Licorize buy & support

7.1. Buy Licorize

When you enroll in Licorize, you get 7 days of free usage. Then we ask a one time – yes, one and only time – fee of 14.99$

One purchase for multiple users. It is possible for a single user to buy as many codes as the team needs, and then distribute the codes to the users say by simply sending them by e-mail to the users – each user will insert the code in Licorize in the settings – License section..

7.1.1. Terms of service

See this page on the web site:

http://licorize.net/applications/licorize/site/privacyAndTermsOfService.jsp

7.1.2. Thanks

Licorize is developed and supplied using several contributed libraries. In this page we want to thank the developers / producers of such libraries:

http://licorize.net/applications/licorize/site/thanks.jsp

7.2. Getting help

Q&A and feeback, bugs, feature requests all here: FAQ: http://community.licorize.com/tags/faq/ - has 360 questions and 455 answers at September 2011.

TIPS&TRICKS: http://community.licorize.com/tags/tips-tricks/

Licorize blog: http://blog.licorize.com/

Twitter news stream: http://twitter.com/licorizenews

E-mail: info@licorize.com

 



[1] http://flipboard.com

 

[2] http://paper.li