Monday, February 12, 2007

Backpack Can Help You and Your Students to Get It Done!

More than 200,000 people have used Backpack to create “to do’s” (more than 8,000,000) and notes (more than 1,200,000). The New York Times says that Backpack is “a cool organizational tool. How very cool.”

What does this web-based service do? How can you, your colleagues, and your students use it? Make “to do” lists to help you get things done. Organize your photos and share them with others. Set reminders that you can receive by email or on your cell phone at predefined times. Keep your calendar online and access it from anywhere. Upload files that you can access from other locations. Collaborate with others in your team on a project.

Backpack is a web-based service with which you can make/store/access to-do lists, notes, files, and images. Email lists, notes, files, and images to Backpack. Backpack can email you the content from a Backpack page. Set up text messages and email alerts to be sent to your cell phone at a time and date that you set.

How can you use Backpack? Keep track of your “to do” list. Plan your next vacation. Organize your next project. Gather information for a research project. Collaborate with others on a project. You can share your pages with others. Keep your schedule online. Access it from any computer… anywhere. Share calendars with others.

You can sign up for a free account. And then you can upgrade at any time… if you wish. (Free accounts do not include files, images, or calendars.) The cost of Backpack ranges from free to $5/$9/$14 per month. Plus and Premium Backpack plans are SSL secure. The Basic plan is not. All plans are password protected. Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox are compatible with Backpack. (Backpack doesn't work with Internet Explorer 5.x.)
"It's perhaps the most convincing Web answer yet to the power, flexibility and simplicity of a spiral-bound notebook." -Khoi Vinh
Here are some of the possible uses as listed on Backpack’s web site…
  • Plan and organize a wedding or special event
  • List items for sale
  • Organize and prepare for a meeting
  • Post book reviews, product reviews, whatever reviews
  • Store canned emails
  • Publish and organize guitar tabs
  • Plan for your holiday greeting cards
  • Organize a craft project
  • Comparison shop and research a product on a Backpack page
  • Organize a business trip
  • Organize rebates, coupons, and special deals
  • List your favorites in your city
  • Use Reminders so you don't forget the little things
  • Present color palette options
  • Collaborate on new feature ideas, brainstorms, and screenshots
  • Create quick access to numbers you need
Do you have some items you want to sell? Upload photos of the items, determine prices, publish the “for sale” page on the web.

Are you planning to purchase a product, but you need to research different options? A camcorder? A computer? A car? A house? Store the prices, vendors, photos on a Backpack page to keep your research organized.

Going to a professional conference? Keep track of the sessions you want to attend… session titles, speakers, locations, and descriptions. List your expenses--travel, hotel, meals--to make it easier to complete the paperwork when you return.

Are your students researching a subject in a team? They can collaborate by sharing a page that each team member can access and edit. Are you and your colleagues working together on a project? You, too, can collaborate by sharing a page which each of your colleagues can access and edit. (Each person who accesses your page must have a Backpack account. The accounts are free.)
“Hot site of the day.” -USA Today

“Emphatic usefulness! It's perhaps the most convincing Web answer yet to the power, flexibility and simplicity of a spiral-bound notebook.” -Khoi Vinh, Subtraction

“Everything you used to scribble down on sheets of paper can be replaced by Backpack's functionality, combining weblogging, to-do lists, and calendars all into one simple-to-use interface.” -Wholesome Goodness
You can use your Backpack home page to keep track of everything that you need to handle. You might want to use it as the home page for your browser. That way you’ll see it every time you open your web browser.

Backpack ( is a simple, free, and useful web-based service that can be used by you, your colleagues, and your students.

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