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Omea Pro Usage Scenarios : Journalist

Elizabeth Wright is a freelance journalist/researcher for a National magazine and several online e-zines, reporting on high-tech issues and technologies. Elizabeth has a website, but recently started blogging and now has an interactive readership of about 1000 individuals with similar interests as her. To remain a valuable source of information for her audiences, she is always trying to stay atop newly emerging trends and understand the technology that supports them.

On a daily basis, she receives about 100 emails from her readers, editors, subscriptions, and colleagues - that's in addition to new postings from newsgroups and RSS feeds from several well-known software companies she tracks.

She balances her time researching, drafting, and editing her articles, while coordinating with her editor and team. Hitting article deadlines is imperative, but effectively managing all of her information is a mighty task. Elizabeth believes that she's one of the more organized people she knows; because she has to be; but she's still looking for an easier way to be more efficient. She wants good leads for articles and quality research to come directly to her, and organize itself automatically, according to her projects, and she doesn't want to miss important items, but she doesn't want to spend a lot of time scanning every piece of information that she receives.

Ms. Wright doesn't worry about having too much information pouring into her system - thanks to Omea Pro.

She uses Omea Pro primarily as a tool to organize all her information sources. She can organize all of her Emails, Files, RSS feeds, articles, reports, Instant Messages, Contacts, Newsgroups, and Tasks, whether they relate to her magazine responsibilities, her blog, her freelance work, or her website. All her information is available in one environment, so the information she needs is always at her fingertips.

Organizing Email with Categories

Since Elizabeth receives a lot of email, it's the first Information Source that she's looking to streamline. She gets feedback from her audience, questions from her colleagues (they consider her an expert), urgent requests from her editors (they're so last minute), updates of all sorts, and of course, spam. Outlook doesn't know what topics her emails are related to, so it isn't enough to manage all her info. Omea does know, because she told it what to look for, using the rules feature. Now Omea automatically assigns emails (and attachments) with specific senders, dates, keywords, priority, recipients, flags, and even her personal annotations, to Categories that relate to the way she'll use or respond to the information.

Since she usually likes to respond to her editors as fast as possible, they each have a Category assigned to them. She has separate Categories for members of her audience, her colleagues, and each newsletter subscription. If any newsletter mentions a keyword that relates to her research topics, then it is automatically added to her research Categories too. Everyday when she starts up Omea Pro, all her email is neatly organized, so she can tackle the most urgent emails first, then the emails related to the work she needs to do, and then everything else. Omea can even Notify her when email from a specific person arrives, so she's sure not to miss it.

Organizing Everything with Categories

These categories can apply to all her Information Sources, because they're all stored within Omea. So if she has an ICQ or Miranda conversation with an editor, then that conversation is stored in his category. The same goes for all his contact information, his website, RSS from his blog, and the document she created containing rules for submitting articles to him. Every piece of information that she has, related to this editor, is in his category. The same strategy applies for organizing her research topics, from any of her Information Sources.

Finding Something Specific, Right Now, with Desktop Search

Now, sometimes information is important, but only in a specific situation and it's difficult to tell when these situations will creep up! So when Elizabeth needs to find something quick, and she only remembers a few keywords related to it, she uses Omea Pro's Desktop Search functionality.

She often needs to use specific wording from an old article, or an IM conversation from 3 months ago, or from a website. Whether she can remember the exact source or not, is not important. Omea Pro searches her information, lets her narrow her search to a specific Information Source, and returns resources that contain the words she's looking for, conveniently highlighted, with a description of the context. And it only takes a second or two.

The Advantage of Really Simple Syndication (RSS)

Elizabeth saves a lot of time researching by using RSS feeds and organizing them with Omea Pro. Before she began using Omea Pro, she didn't really use RSS feeds. She understood that they could send breaking information directly to her, instead of looking for it herself, but she didn't fully see the value until she could organize them effectively.

Now she has about 95 trusted technology-related RSS feeds, including everything from the "already in print" New York Times Technology feed, to the "breaking news and opinions" from the Innovator and Early Adopter thought leaders in the blogosphere. She subscribes to every RSS feed, from every website that she finds interesting and informative, directly from Omea's button in her browser. It's like having a team of reporters in the field, directing information to her as soon as they learn about it. If a website doesn't have an RSS feed yet, she shakes her head, and saves the link to her bookmarks section in Omea (because it can automatically synchronize with Internet Explorer's Favorites, or save the page for offline viewing anyway).

Summarizing the Valuable Information for Later

Before Elizabeth used Omea Pro, keeping small facts or pieces of interesting information organized was difficult. When she used to come across an interesting fact in an RSS feed or a webpage, she would save it in a Word document. This was her best method to ensure that she always had her facts, but it made for an organizing nightmare. With Omea's options, Elizabeth can easily summarize and track her facts. She can save a whole webpage as a bookmark, and then add personal annotations directly to the page, to "tag" it with keywords that will be easy to search for later, or to briefly summarize what she plans on doing with it.

Or she can take a Clipping directly from a webpage, RSS feed, or any resource. A Clipping is a piece of text, so she keeps the information / fact that she needs, has a link to the source, and a personal message describing it.

Sometimes a summary of an item isn't necessary, especially when she uses different information in a similar way. For situations like this, Omea has 7 different flag colors to quickly mark resources.

Ms. Wright doesn't scour her fact files for information anymore. When she's working on an article or her blog, she looks in Omea's Clippings view, or performs a desktop search and quickly finds her facts, pre-summarized and ready to be used.

Organized from Start to Finish

When Elizabeth receives an offer or a new task from an employer, she immediately drags and drops them into the ToDo panel, creating a Task that will then synchronize with MS Outlook.

She can include a description of the task, a start date, a due date, and a reminder, as well as attaching any resources that will help to complete it. If she needs to outsource the task, she can email it to her colleague, complete with the resources, where it can synch with their Omea Pro.

Conclusion

Elisabeth Wright is a busy person, and she has a lot of information to handle, in a variety of ways. Because she has all her information in one Information Environment, Elizabeth knows what she needs to do, automates her research and incoming information, has all her facts at her fingertips and is ready to write. She never misses the urgent stuff, saves time researching the interesting stuff, and always has the factual stuff at her fingertips when it comes down to that writing stuff.

Thanks to Omea Pro.


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