Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tech Column: Mural.ly for Your Personal Corkboard

3M France via Wikimedia Commons
by Bill Adler

Some months ago I wrote about using a virtual corkboard to help achieve a paperless life. At the time, my favorite corkboard was Corkboard.me; you can read about Corkboard.me and why I chose it as the #1 web-based corkboard here: http://bit.ly/13ULnSN.

Sites and online services change rapidly, and I think that when it comes to online corkboards, there's a new champion: Mural.ly, www.mural.ly.

Before I explain why I like Mural.ly, I want to say what I like about online corkboards. To-do lists are great. Single pieces of paper are adequate for notes. Even classic, paper post-its are great for remembering and organizing. But a corkboard lets you see a lot of stuff all at once. And not just words, as you're restricted to on a to-do list. A corkboard is multimedia: You can post notes with words, and you can post pictures, too.

But the biggest advantage that corkboards have over other organizing tools is that you can see everything at once. It's the forest versus the trees thing. I like being able to quickly scan everything I need to know. Lists and single sheets of paper don't let you do that easily.

On to Mural.ly. One of my biggest complaints about online corkboards is how slippery they are. That is, it's very easy to accidentally move the entire board, when all you want to do is move a note. Online corkboards
are designed to be infinite in space -- you're not limited to one screen. Mural.ly has this problem, too, but the designers added a button that restores your previous view...just in case.

It's easy to add text notes inside of a variety of colorful virtual post-its. You can make your notes circles, squares or rectangles. Mural.ly also lets you easily add photos and web content. But even better is that you can add notes directly from Evernote, www.evernote.com, or add documents from Google Drive http://drive.google.com. I'm a big Evernote user, but its one downside is that you can't easily visualize multiple notes on a single page. With the ability to post Evernote content directly on Muraly.ly, now you can.


Bill Adler is a writer. He is the author of "Boys and Their Toys:Understanding Men by Understanding Their Relationship with Gadgets," http://amzn.to/rspOft, "Outwitting Squirrels," http://amzn.to/VXuLBh, and a mess of other books. He tweets at @billadler. His Fire Breathing Toaster column is published on Monday and his Tech Column is published on Tuesday.

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