For quite some time, one of the most popular feature requests has been the ability to associate web sites and documents with keywords. Today, we are bringing this capability to Slife Web. It’s very cool.
Let’s say you would like to associate the keyword “wall street journal” or “wsj.com” with the “Reading News” activity. Click on the “Activities” tab on the left and hit the “Associations” link for the “Reading News” activity. This is what you will see:
At the top are the associations you might have already made by going into the “Applications” and “Web & Docs” views. Now, there’s another section at the bottom where you can enter keywords.
Slife is always trying to match document and web page titles and urls with your keywords. When it finds a match, it counts time towards the activity the keyword is under. The match doesn’t have to be exact. As long as the keyword is contained within a title or url, it will work.
Give it a try and let us know how this feature is working for your, we would love to hear your feedback. Since today is Monday, it’s also time for this week’s worklist. We are in the middle of a big update to Slife Teams and that will be our main focus the next few days. We also plan to do a little bit of work to make sure this new keyword feature is working very smoothly for everybody.
The short answer is, we couldn’t be more excited about the future of Slife Teams!
Slife Teams was originally designed as an aggregator of Slife data for multiple users. Imagine a small graphic design studio where everyone uses Slife to keep track of time. If you could bring together everybody’s computer usage data, it would be super easy to find out, for example, how much time the entire team spends on projects and how much to charge clients. Also, by giving the entire team access to everybody’s computer usage, Slife Teams could be used as a powerful communication tool, making it easy and automatic for team members to discover what their colleagues are up to.
Unfortunately, as we came to find out when we released Slife Teams, the largest majority of companies that became interested in the service were looking for a solution to monitor employee productivity, not keep track of time or improve office communications.
We understand that employee productivity monitoring is a fairly large, profitable space, and represents a need companies have, but at the end of the day, we simply don’t want to be in that market. So the new release of Slife Teams, which coincides with the release of Slife 3.0, emphasizes overall team communication and awareness while removing functionalities that would allow a manager to track employee activity at a fine level of detail.
We like to think of the new Slife Teams as a lightweight awareness communication tool that combines automatic activity analytics with microblogging to make it very easy for teams members to stay up to date with each other’s activities.
Check Slife Teams and find out for yourself how it can improve communication in your office, company or organization. We will be talking a lot more about Slife Teams in the weeks to come.
Now that Startup Riot is behind us, I thought I would write a post and talk a little bit about what we’ve got in store for Slife and Slife Teams in 2009.
First things first – yes, we are behind on the promised Slife 2.1 Mac release and we know it. The good news is that it’s coming later this week or early next week with some great features and optimizations. The big one is that you will be able to run Slife in the background. In this configuration, Slife won’t show up in the application switcher or the dock.
After the 2.1 release, we have a long work list of features we plan to bring to Slife:
Slife Teams will also see new features over the next couple of months. The most significant one has to do with the configuration of activities in the client. Right now only “shareable” activities are streamed up to Slife Teams. Due to popular demand, we will be changing the client so that once a Slife Teams account is configured, all activities will be streamed up to the web service.
This modification will greatly facilitate the initial configuration and usage of Slife Teams – at the moment, people are often confused when they enter their Slife Teams account info and nothing shows up on their web dashboard. That won’t be a problem anymore.
Have any thoughts about our feature list? Leave a comment below – we would love to get your input.
Welcome to 2009. We hope you have an excellent and prosperous new year. It’s been a few weeks since the last blog post, so a quick update on the state of Slife Labs is in order.
2009 is going to be an important year for us, as we continue to refine the Slife platform and our business model. In 2008, most of our resources were dedicated to development – we built Slife 2.0 (Mac and Windows) and Slife Teams.
This year we plan to promote Slife a lot more and get the word out about what it can do, especially with regards to Slife Teams. We believe Slife Teams is a great solution for activity analytics and we hope to work with partners and consultants to distribute it.
From a development point of view, one of our key goals for 2009 is to shorten the release cycle for our products. This is something we’ve had as a goal in the past, and we get better at it all the time. Ideally we would like to release updates every couple of months. Right now we are back at work putting the finishing touches on a new release of Slife for Mac and continuing with the beta program for Slife Teams. By the end of the month, Slife v2.1 should be available for download with improvements and some new features.
Also, we will be in San Francisco during MacWorld and presenting at the Silicon Valley Mac User Group on January 12th. If you happen to be in the area, please drop by – we would love to meet you.
You might have noticed how quiet the Slife Labs blog was over the last few weeks. The reason for that is because we were working really hard on a whole new push for Slife and Slife Teams.
Today we are really excited to announce the release of the Slife 2.0 Platform. In addition to an update to the Slife Mac client, we are also releasing Slife for Windows and Slife Teams.
Let’s dive in a little deeper and look at each product one by one.
The Slife 2.0 client for MacOS X has been available for free for the past 4 months or so. It’s been really popular and we are very pleased that so many people have found it useful and incorporated it in their ‘digital’ lives. Today, we are releasing an update, v2.0.2, that addresses a few issues and makes it fully compatible with Slife Teams. This is a minor release, and we are planning a v2.1 update in a few weeks that will include new features and bring together some of the feedback we got from users over the last several months.
After a long period of beta testing, Slife v2.0 for Windows is also out of the gates today. It’s very similar to the Slife client for the Mac, and includes an almost identical feature set. You can create ‘Activities’ to aggregate your computer interactions, view your computer usage by application, documents and much more. Like the Mac version, it’s also completely free.
Slife Teams is a new team-based communication and activity analytics web service that we introduced a few months ago. It works alongside the Slife client and is a great way for workgroups to keep track of their collective activities. Until now, we’ve been testing it extensively with invite users and teams, and today we are opening the service to everyone. Teams is a subscription-based service, based on the number of users on your team – $10 user/month. But you can create your account and try it for free for 30 days. You can find out more details on the Slife Teams site.
On top of the software releases, you will also notice that we’ve updated the look of the web site a bit and also made available a few new help resources. We’ve just published three short user guides, one for Slife Mac, one for Slife Windows and one for Slife Teams. They are meant to serve as an introduction to these products, describing in more detail how to set up activities, interpret the visualizations, configure Slife Teams, etc. We will be improving the guides as we move forward.
As always, we would love to know what you think about our new products and initiatives. Your feedback has been instrumental in the development of Slife until now and we can’t wait to make the Slife Platform 2.0 even better and more relevant to your needs.
It’s been a busy summer for us here at Slife Labs, with the release of Slife 2.0 and Slife Teams. One of our priorities has been to be super responsive when it comes to feature requests and bug fixes. We posted an updated to Slife 2.0 already and we are working on a bigger release, Slife 2.1.
As far as Slife Teams, we already have more than 200 teams, groups and businesses with accounts, evaluating and using the system. It’s still in beta, so there’s a lot of work that we can do to improve the service. Closer to the end of the month we will be rolling out a new release for Slife Teams, with new features. Slife Teams is slowly becoming a great platform for group actvitiy analytics and collaboration. If you don’t have an account yet, let us know and we will send one your way.
Finally, Slife Windows 2.0 has been a major focus this month of August. It’s coming along very nicely and we would like to have a beta out fairly soon. In the meantime, enjoy your summer!
It’s been one week since we released Slife 2.0. For us, there is a lot of work leading up to a release and perhaps even more after the release but we couldn’t be more pleased with how Slife 2.0 turned out and what’s coming up next.
Thanks to the quantity and quality of the feedback we’ve received over the last few days, we are already at work on a 2.0 revision. There are a number of requests in the forum that we can easily address, so you should expect to see an update to Slife fairly soon. By the way, the forum has been really active and it’s a great resource if you have a question about the app or would like to learn more about it.
There’s also been a lot of interest in Slife Teams over the past week. If you are still waiting for your Slife Teams invite account, no worries – we are beginning to send invitations today and will be opening the service to everyone very soon.
Imagine the following scenario. You are a designer in a small graphics design shop, working with another 4 or 5 people on various client projects. In order to correctly bill clients for the work that your team does, everyone needs to manually log their time using a web-based time tracking tool. You and everyone consider time tracking a not-so-great aspect of the job.
Here’s another scenario. You are part of a large team, in a large company. As a result of the company size, communication is often a challenge and you feel that you never know what some of the other people in your own team are doing, or working on. To promote more communication, your company recently set up an internal blog and wiki, but those are never kept up-to-date since people don’t take the time to “document” their activities on a regular basis.
Do these scenarios sound familiar?
We are excited to announce that in addition to Slife 2.0, we are also releasing a time and activity management solution for groups and businesses today. It’s called Slife Teams and it’s a subscription-based web service.
The two scenarios above describe the problems that Slife Teams is addressing. There’s no need to manually track time against projects if your computer and the computers of your co-workers can do the work for you automatically. Stop shuffling digital paper and stay focused on the job, on what you love to do, which I bet is not time and activity tracking!
Slife Teams is really unique in that it’s completely based on the Slife client. Slife 2.0 lets you track your time and activities at the individual level. Slife Teams extends that to the whole team. It aggregates activities coming from multiple Slife applications into a straightforward web dashboard. It’s a little bit like Google Analytics for your team’s time and activities.
During the early stages, we are keeping Slife Teams invite-only and free. If you would like to get an invite, or learn more about Slife Teams, just get in touch with us. We are planning to slowly open up the service to more people. Over the next few weeks we will be providing more details regarding pricing as well.
Slife Teams is compatible with Slife 2.0 on the Mac and will be compatible with Slife 2.0 on Windows, when it ships later this year (more details on that soon).