Wednesday, January 24, 2007

15 ways for successful family life

The family life is like a heaven as per Vedas (divine sacred books). Family is the foundation for the well being of the society. If every home has to become a heaven- the wife and husband should observe certain norms.

How to turn your home into a heaven:

1. They should be righteous and behave lovely.

2. They should behave courteously with each other.

3. Wife and husband are like two wheels of a cart. Unless the wheels move coordinately, the cart can not move smoothly.

4. Their mind should be pure and blameless.

5. Their character and conduct should be perfect.

6. They should be honest and have good consciousness.

7. There should be discussions in their homes on spirituality and knowledge. Children keenly observe the behavior of their parents from their childhood.

8. They should not be separated. They should not think about taking divorce. They should support each other through thick and thin.

9. Both should feel happiness and get mental peace by their good behavior.

10. Husband should cooperate with the wife in keeping house clean. As is wife; so is their house.

11. They should be like parrots (i.e. move together and live together).

12. If there is no love and attachment in that house- the house is like a hell. Parents are the first teachers and the teachers are the second parents to their children.

13. Devotion towards GOD and Almighty is highly necessary in parents. The devotion towards GOD should become hereditary in that family. Strong belief in the existence of GOD does not allow the parents to commit wrong doings.

14. They should show keen interest in charitable activities depending upon their economical capacity.

15. The home= the house+ happiness. Otherwise it is a building with four walls. The heaven and the hell are not at far away places. They are in and around our home. We are the chief architects of our heaven and hell with egos and bad character.


Top 3 Ways In Which You Can Optimize The Use Of Bodyweight Exercise

Bodyweight exercise is the best place to begin when starting a physical fitness training program, should be added to programs that otherwise neglect bodyweight exercise and should be diversified with resistance training for programs that use bodyweight exercise exclusively.

Some people love bodyweight exercise and some people hate it... similarly, some people think bodyweight exercise is valuable to a physical fitness training program, and others don't.

I believe that bodyweight exercise is not only the best method to start a physical fitness training program... but I believe that it should remain an active part of any well balance physical training program.

Let's look at bodyweight exercise from three different perspectives... from the beginner just getting started, from the experienced weight lifter that neglects bodyweight exercise and from the bodyweight exercise only crowd.

1. Bodyweight Exercise For Beginners

Most commercial gyms will prescribe an exercise regimen of strength training, usually in the form of machines, and cardiorespiratory endurance training, normally in the form of stationary "cardio" equipment.

This is a generalization of course... but these two types of training are the predominant forms of physical training in most gyms, regardless of how they are put together.

Notice... bodyweight exercise is missing.

Answer me this... should a beginner with no prior experience with physical training start by jumping right into resistance training with free weights or machines, or would they be better served by learning more about the movement of their bodies by using bodyweight exercise?

Physical training allows you to improve the body by supplying increased stimulus that is not normally found in your daily lifestyle.

For the beginner, bodyweight exercise is the logical place to start... because most beginners are actually going from a state of complete inactivity to a state of activity.

The beginner has not even scraped the surface of what their body can perform without resistance... and should therefore strive to make improvements using bodyweight exercise first.

Once the beginner has made sufficient gains and reached an improved state with bodyweight exercise... then they can add resistance.

2. Bodyweight Exercise For The Experienced Weight Lifter

Many people with a great deal of experience and expertise in physical training completely neglect bodyweight exercise... or believe it to be ineffective.

They notoriously use all types of resistance training methods... while neglecting bodyweight exercise all together.

I propose that the goal of any physical fitness training program is to improve performance that can be used to meet the challenges of sport, work and life with excellence.

Many of those challenges will be met by the effective control and movement of your own body... and not the movement of other objects through space.

And what is the best way to train the improvement of body movement and control of your own body... that's right, bodyweight exercise.

Here is an example...

Many people that have trouble doing a push up will focus on the bench press with hopes of improving their push up numbers... with limited results.

If you want to be able to do more push ups... do more push ups!

The point is this, the improvements you will see from physical training are specific... so if you want to see improvements in a bodyweight movement, use bodyweight exercise to do so.

3. Bodyweight Exercise For The Bodyweight Only Crowd

As you can already tell, I am a strong advocate of bodyweight exercise... but not exclusively.

There are various physical fitness training programs that use bodyweight exercise almost exclusively... like Yoga or Pilates.

While I have no problem with these forms of training... I believe they can take you only so far on the road to physical fitness excellence.

We must remember... Yoga exercises are performed in conjunction with meditation and Pilates was originally developed as a form of rehabilitation for war veterans.

The point is this... bodyweight exercise only programs will only take you so far, and then some form of resistance training must be applied to see further improvement.

In Conclusion...

Bodyweight exercise is an important part of any well balanced physical fitness training program.

If you are just getting started... bodyweight exercise is the perfect place to start.

If you have notoriously neglected bodyweight exercise in your training... add it to improve the physical abilities you have been neglecting.

If you only use bodyweight exercise... diversify your fitness training program by adding some form of resistance training.

In this way, each group can optimize the use of bodyweight exercise.

Do not underestimate the importance of bodyweight exercise... Use it effectively and in the right proportion to meet your goals, needs, abilities and limitations and meet the challenges of sport, work and life with excellence.

Best Bodyweight Exercise

10 ways to get the most pay out of your job

A lot of people assume that more pay can come only from winning a promotion, or finding a new job elsewhere. But there are ways, large and small, to put more money in your pocket each week. Separately, these strategies may not be enough to change your life. But put several together, and they start adding up.

"It's nickels and dimes that can get you to a dollar," says Alan Johnson, managing director of Johnson & Associates, a New York pay consultant. "A thousand here and there can add up to real money."

Here are 10 tips from compensation experts, human-resources managers and employees on how to beef up your pay.


You may work harder than the people around you, but your annual raise and bonus award may still be lower than theirs. That's because your co-workers are getting more of the right things done than you and making sure their boss is aware of it.

"To say it concisely, the main way to increase your paycheck is to do a good job and make sure the right people know about it," says Craig Schneier, executive vice president, human resources, for Biogen Idec Inc., a Cambridge, Mass., pharmaceutical company.

The best performers received raises averaging 9.9 percent in 2005, compared with 3.6 percent for average performers and 1.3 percent for poor performers, according to a survey by Hewitt Associates, a consulting firm in Lincolnshire, Ill. Thanks to compounding, those differences translate into a lot of money over time.

Hewitt offers the example of three hypothetical employees, each hired in 2001 at a salary of $50,000. They then received salary increases related to their performance. After five years, the poor performer earns $52,807, the average performer makes $57,821, and the top performer earns $72,078. (Hewitt calculated the final salaries based on actual increases for the three types of performance since 2001.)

What's more, don't assume you know what your manager expects, and don't be afraid to ask. You must understand exactly what he or she thinks is outstanding performance in your position, says Laury Sejen, practice director of strategic rewards for Watson Wyatt, a global compensation consulting firm.

Have two meetings with your manager, she advises. At the first, ask how you can earn the maximum amount of pay over time at your company. This can tell you what career goals to shoot for. At the second, ask how you can receive the highest salary increase.

"Some organizations struggle to set objectives," says Ms. Sejen. "You can take the responsibility to have it clarified."

Write down what you both agreed to and give your boss a copy, says Steve Gross, head of rewards consulting in Philadelphia for Mercer HR Consulting. At the end of the year, you can use this list to discuss how well you performed against your goals.

"Now you both have a scorecard for the performance review, which makes it easier for your boss to recognize your performance," Mr. Gross says.

You don't have to brag to get a top-dollar raise. Simply citing your accomplishments will set you apart "because a lot of people don't take the time to do it," says Paul Dorf, managing director of Compensation Resources Inc., an Upper Saddle River, N.J., consulting firm. He adds that if you have no significant contributions to list, "you probably shouldn't be seeking more money."


Having a bonus tied to performance goals and hitting them can get you more money annually. More than 95 percent of companies offer a chance to earn annual bonuses to executives, while 80 percent offer them to managers, 68 percent have plans for professionals and 54 percent award them to clerical and technical workers, according to Mercer HR.

Target bonus awards vary by industry and company type, but a typical bonus for an employee earning $50,000 might be 10 percent of salary, while someone earning $75,000 in salary might have a 15 percent target bonus and a $100,000-a-year employee might have a 20 percent target, Hewitt reports.

The key to receiving more bonus money is superior performance. If you meet your goals, you should receive your target bonus amount. But at some companies, if you exceed the targets set for you, you may receive an award that exceeds your target bonus. At Biogen Idec, for instance, high-performing employees can receive up to 200 percent of their target bonus amount, says Mr. Schneier.

In the mid-1990s, Eric Herzog was director of marketing for a computer-hardware-storage company in Silicon Valley that paid its senior executives salaries only. Mr. Herzog says he wanted the potential to earn more money, so he told the chief executive officer that the company might be more successful if it created an annual bonus plan for executives that was tied to revenue and profit goals.

He explained that every executive had the ability to influence profits and that the plan could be designed so that bonus awards would be distributed only if the company made more money. Having all six of the company's executives in the plan was key, because then they would aim toward common goals, Mr. Herzog says he told the CEO.

The CEO agreed and created a bonus plan tied to revenue and profit objectives. "We hit the goals, and I received 20 percent over my base pay," says Mr. Herzog, now a vice president of product management, channel marketing and communications for Maxtor Corp., a computer-hardware-storage company in Scotts Valley, Calif.

It's hard to increase the size of your target bonus once you've accepted a job. But when negotiating with a new employer, you might be able to swap a higher salary for a larger target award amount, Ms. Sejen says. Suppose the employer offers you a $100,000 salary and a target bonus of 10 percent of salary. You could counteroffer that you'd take a $95,000 salary if your bonus-award target was 20 percent of it. Your annual target pay then would be $114,000 instead of $110,000. "An employer might be willing to change the pay mix," Ms. Sejen says.


Executives who are skilled at running their companies often aren't so skilled at managing their own finances. Many could benefit from financial counseling so they know what to do with their stock options, restricted stock plans and other long-term incentives, says Mr. Dorf of Compensation Resources.

"Most executives, if pushed, would say they are financially challenged when it comes to doing their own deals and could use a financial counselor to advise them," he says.

One little-known Internal Revenue Service regulation allows executives to pay tax on the value of restricted stock when they receive their grants. This may help lower capital-gains taxes when you sell the stock.

A counselor can also help you determine when it's most beneficial to exercise stock options and whether to do so with cash or trade stock you already own. Using appreciated stock to exercise options may be better than using cash, because you reduce your taxable gain on the existing shares, notes Mr. Dorf.

"I estimate that 75 percent of the executives I know do not know what they earn from year to year because it's coming from so many sources," Mr. Dorf says. "They could be smarter about it."


Many employers pay one-time bonuses to employees who bring in new business or refer candidates for hard-to-fill company jobs.

After taking a break from the work force, Deirdre Carey joined Kel & Partners, a Westborough, Mass., marketing-services company, as director of client services last year, accepting a salary that was lower than her prior pay. After her employer offered all employees a 15 percent commission for landing new clients, Ms. Carey brought in a $10,000-a-month account, garnering a $1,500-a-month salary increase for 12 months, or $18,000 total. "I'm already starting to work on some other new business," she says.

Company owner Kel Kelly says six of the firm's 15 employees also have earned the commissions.

Special bonuses also may be awarded to employees who accomplish something that's unusual for their positions. Companies often call these "spot" awards, and about two-thirds of U.S. employers offer them, according to Mercer HR.

Typically, a pool of money is set aside annually to allow managers to give out spot awards at their discretion. The amount awarded might range from $100 to six figures, although some companies give gift certificates or other noncash items, says Mr. Gross.

So, find out whether your company has a spot-award program. If it does, learn what your manager thinks it takes to get one. Mr. Gross says that at a previous employer, he gave his secretary a $1,000 bonus for bringing in a new client, which he viewed as exceptional behavior for someone in her role. "It's the event based on the expectations for that person," Mr. Gross says.


Taking home a bigger paycheck may be as simple as having less tax withheld. One sign that your current deduction is too high is getting a big refund from Uncle Sam on April 15, says Tim Jones, vice president, global human resources, for IXIA, a Calabasas, Calif., technology manufacturer.

Your goal is to have your company deduct only what you will owe the government. "Otherwise you are loaning money to Uncle Sam," says Mr. Jones.

Unless you say otherwise, your federal withholding filing class determines your state filing class. You can change either anytime by visiting your human-resources department.

Be careful not to have too little money withheld, or the IRS may fine you, says Art Kaufman, a tax accountant in Monmouth Junction, N.J. The IRS requires at least 90 percent of your upcoming tax bill to be deducted, he notes. (The IRS offers a withholding calculator at

After joining the Abelson Group, a New York-based public-relations firm, four months ago, account director Liz Erik asked a professional to do a tax projection to determine how much she should have taken out for taxes. She changed her election and now receives $150 more per pay period, or $300 more a month, than when she started.


Many employers will match the amount you contribute to a 401(k) retirement savings account, up to a certain level. The company's matching amount might be, say, half of your contributions up to 6 percent of your salary. At minimum, employees should contribute enough money to get the maximum free matching money, Mr. Jones says.

While having money deducted for a retirement account reduces the size of your paycheck, the free money and the tax-free account growth will pay off. Still, only about 75 percent of eligible employees participate in their companies' 401(k) plans, reports Hewitt Associates.

At Biogen Idec, for instance, not all employees are in the 401(k) plan, even though the company offers a 2-for-1 match on employee contributions up to 3 percent of their earnings, says Mr. Schneier. He declined to disclose the percentage of employees who don't participate.

Discount stock-purchase plans that allow employees to buy company stock for less than the fair market price also translate into free money. Typically, employees receive a 15 percent discount on the stock's trading value, which means that unless they are required to hold the stock for a few months, they can sell it immediately and receive the gain.


Many companies offer employees flexible-spending accounts that can be used to pay for commuting, health-care and child-care costs with pretax income. The enrollment period, when employees sign up for the accounts and say how much they want deducted from their pay, usually occurs in the fall. Employees receive the untaxed money after submitting their expenses to their companies or a third-party administrator.

The potential for savings is significant. An average employee might owe 28 percent in federal, state and Social Security taxes, says Craig Copeland, a senior researcher for the Employee Benefit Research Institute in Washington. Such workers would have to earn about $14 of taxable income to cover a $10 expense. By having a fund of pretax money, they can keep the $4 that would go for taxes.

The more money you can set aside, the greater the saving. For instance, an employee who has $5,000 in pretax income deducted to pay medical or child-care bills would save $1,400, he notes.

But it's important to know that you'll forfeit any unused funds, so you have to be careful when deciding how much to have withheld. Participating also means less take-home pay initially. Employees benefit at tax time because their federal taxable income is lowered by the deducted amount.

Cathy Summers, an account director for Shift Communications LLC in San Francisco, has $1,500 deducted annually to cover parking and daily commuting cost from Walnut Creek to the city's downtown financial district; $2,000 taken out for medical expenses; and 5,000 for child-care costs. When she submits receipts, the expense reimbursements are automatically deposited in her bank account.

She estimates that she realizes about $200 in extra income monthly due to the plans. "As a single mom raising a 5-year-old son," she says. "I'm always looking for ways to stretch my dollars."


You may be able to boost your salary outside of annual salary increases just by taking on more responsibility or being assigned to a department where employees doing the same thing are paid more.

Or, if you're a valued worker and the market suddenly heats up for people with your skills, the company may want to raise your pay to ensure it retains you. This was the case with information-technology employees for a few years beginning in the late 1990s.

"The outside world was moving so quickly that some companies were giving IT workers raises every six months," Mr. Gross says.

Such salary adjustments are akin to getting a promotion-based increase without the promotion, says Ms. Sejen. Companies set aside funds every year for this purpose, but employees must have justification for receiving unscheduled raises, she says.

Following a downsizing at his former employer, a technology-consulting firm, Derek Messulam met with the company's CEO, who said two remaining units were going to be merged into a group Mr. Messulam already managed.

One of the firm's youngest vice presidents, Mr. Messulam knew through the grapevine that he was underpaid relative to his peers and that in light of the increased responsibilities, he could expect a pay review and a possible increase.

He decided to see if he could squeeze a larger raise than the company may have been planning by taking an unconventional approach. When he sat down with the human-resources manager, he told them he didn't want a raise. This prompted concerns that he might be leaving, Mr. Messulam says. "The result was to shift the negotiation from a conversation centered on money to a passionate discussion of the great things the management team would accomplish," he says.

The company then designed new objectives for his role and offered Mr. Messulam a larger salary and bonus. "I was extremely satisfied," says Mr. Messulam, now a vice president at GE Capital Solutions, a unit of General Electric Co. in Danbury, Conn.


Lowering a company expense can sometimes translate into a larger paycheck. This is the case for employees who are paid to "opt out" of company medical-benefits plans because another family member provides coverage for them. The size of the payments usually varies depending on whether your health insurance was for a single person, couple or family. Your salary also will grow if you no longer have health insurance co-payments deducted.

You also might have grounds for a higher salary during initial pay negotiations by offering to forgo health benefits. Debbie Veney Robinson, a communications vice president with Communities in School Inc., an Alexandria, Va., nonprofit that helps kids stay in school, negotiated a $10,000 salary increase by offering to do without health benefits when she accepted her job in 2005. Ms. Robinson receives health-insurance benefits through her husband's plan.

"I said I would save them a lot of money now and in the future by not taking health benefits," says Ms. Robinson. "This allowed them to afford me and me to bump up my compensation a bit."


Some employees don't take advantage of a plethora of benefits and freebies available from their employers, says Mr. Johnson, the pay consultant. "Read the manual where it tells you all these things," he says. "A lot of people have no idea what a company will or won't pay for."

Tuition reimbursement is offered at 85 percent of companies, while 30 percent match education or other charitable donations, according to Mercer HR. You may not have to take courses in your field to get reimbursed for educational expenses.

Some companies subsidize gym memberships. Nearly one-fourth allow employees to purchase products at a discount, while 19 percent offer discounts on movie or theme-park tickets and other entertainment events, Hewitt reports.

"You don't pay attention to those things until you are standing in line at Great Adventure," Mr. Johnson says, "and it's going to cost you $99 for each member of your family."


8 Good ways to exercise your brain

8 ways to exercise your brain

There are some aspects of aging, such as gray hair, that Laura Bestler-Wilcox can accept.

Mental decline is not one of them.

"I'm only 38, but I have no intention of growing old - mentally, at least," said Bestler-Wilcox, from Ames.

She started playing Nintendo's Brain Age game last month, and says it helps keep her brain active. The goal is to score the ideal "brain age" of 20, which you achieve by doing a range of exercises - from math problems and counting the number of syllables in words, to reading aloud and Sudoku.

"I do math better," said Bestler-Wilcox, who plays the game every other day for about 20 minutes. "It's like doing exercises for different parts of your body. This is exercising your brain."

Staying mentally fit is a hot topic - from new research touting the benefits of mental exercises, to seminars on maintaining your brain health done by AARP and the Alzheimer's Association.

Two new studies, one done in Des Moines, show that brain workouts are beneficial for mental health, and can help improve brain function.

Brain health is an important issue among America's approximately 78 million baby boomers. The AARP Web site includes tips for a healthy brain, as well as brain puzzles. The organization conducted about 30 presentations nationwide on brain health last year, said Michael Patterson, manager of AARP's "Staying Sharp" program.

"People seem to be more willing to put up with physical decline, more than mental decline," Patterson said.

Here are eight ways people of all ages can keep mentally sharp.


Brain games may help improve mental function, and could possibly help prevent dementia.

That's according to a six-month pilot study in Des Moines that included Alzheimer's patients.

Participants used the "Happy Neuron" software (, said geriatrician Dr. Robert Bender, who led the research team. The activities targeted language, visual-spatial and memorization skills.

The findings were released earlier this month.

The games seem to help overall brain health, said Bender, medical director of the Orr Center for Memory and Healthy Aging in West Des Moines. Researchers don't know yet whether doing the exercises can definitely prevent diseases like Alzheimer's.

"The challenge is to stretch yourself, at the same time without making it frustrating," Bender said. "At all ages, we need to challenge our brain to learn new things, and that's the main thing."

The study's "brain wellness program" also included: consistent social interaction, physical exercise, a low-fat diet, stress management and meditation.

Caregivers also participated in the study, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Brain training can help ease daily tasks. Seniors who did certain mental exercises improved their thinking skills, according to a recent study.

They also had an easier time performing everyday tasks, even five years after receiving training, compared to untrained people.

The difference was significant for people who had reasoning training, said Michael Marsiske, one of the principal investigators of the study.

The study included 2,802 adults age 65 and older who were living independently and had normal brain function.

The training exercises included:

- Memory: To help people memorize word lists, one method was to organize a grocery list by the sections of the store, said Marsiske, an associate professor in the department of clinical health and psychology at the University of Florida.

- Visualization: Use all your senses to remember things. For example, if you need to remember a dog's name, visualize what the dog's fur feels like, recall the sound of its bark, and, yes, try to re-create its smell.

- Reasoning: Participants learned to use highlighters to identify key points in complicated information. That included underlining important information like dosage and frequency on a medication.


Don Eller of Urbandale says he stays sharp by volunteering to do people's taxes as part of a program run by AARP.

"In preparation to do that, there are tax classes you attend," said Eller, 76. "So you are continuing working with numbers and math concepts."

During the off-season, he likes to play Sudoku online. He also tries to take daily walks, and on most days walks about three miles.

Marsiske recommends taxpayers take a crack at those pesky forms and complicated columns of numbers before handing them off to professionals. It's just one way to flex your mental brawn.

"That's where you're engaging your mental activity," Marsiske said.

Another simple numbers tip: Figure out the calculations yourself, first, before breaking out the calculator.


There's a whole new body of research showing that individuals with a lot of education, highly challenging jobs, and who are very socially engaged have the highest levels of mental function and the lowest levels of decline later in life, Marsiske said.

"If we do things to produce healthy brains early in life, then we will benefit from that later in life," he said.


Keep track of your passwords - without the help of your computer. This is Marsiske's trick: "I never let my computer remember any passwords," he said. He writes them down in a hidden spot, in a hidden code. "What I want to do is engage in that act of having to remember."


Remember that you want to find activities that test your mental mettle. One danger with crossword puzzles, Bender said, is that people who regularly do them may already be familiar with the vocabulary. Avoid slipping into the familiar, and try something new.


Translation: Learn Spanish, or another new language or mechanical skill. "It's important to find things that we enjoy because that lowers stress and that helps the brain work better," Bender said.


What's good for the body is good for the brain. More research is confirming that exercise, diet, a healthy lifestyle and getting an adequate amount of sleep not only keep you physically healthy, but also mentally, Marsiske said.


50 Ways to Take Notes

I am constantly writing notes. Whether it be for my blog, work, meeting, new ideas, or just basic notes, I am always jotting something down. So I started thinking about all the services I’ve used for taking notes and thought it would be a good idea to share them with you and while I’m at it, to make a list of any others that I find. Now, when it comes to note taking, I personally look for quick and simple. If I have something on my mind, I don’t want to go through some advanced system and climb a mountain just to save a note for myself. There won’t be all the note taking tools out there on my list, but ones that I feel get the job done well.

Quick Public Pages
Using a quick public page service, as I call it, is my favorite method of saving notes on the go. Some are simply a text field on a page that you fill and in click save, others allow you to record notes to a service directly through Instant Messaging with AIM, and some are full planners for creating well outlined documents.

  • ShortText - Fill in your text, click save, and you’ve got yourself a permanent url to a text note. Includes private pages as well.
  • YourDraft - Create and share content using a rich text editor (WYSIWYG) instantly without registration.
  • - The Internet Clipboard. Copy and paste between computers.
  • Sabifoo - (Personal favorite) Simply use an Instant Message client (ie: AIM), message “sabifoo”, and your message is recorded online to a permanent link and RSS feed.
  • Deusto - A new service for the creation of small web pages (digital books) in a simple and fast manner.
  • Backpack - Organize to do lists, notes, images, photos and share.
  • BareWiki - Build your own website and easily allow others to edit it.
  • Infogami - Build good-looking, easily-editable web sites.
  • Zoho Planner - An online organizer to Plan & Organize yourself.
  • Change To Link - Easily create a page of information to bookmark or share with friends.
  • PasteHere - Make pastes from screenshots of your desktop, code from your clipboard, or any other image/text. Pages last for 15 days unregistered user / 30 days registered user.

Basic Note Taking
Quick public pages aren’t really made for note-taking, although they work really well for it. Here are a few services and applications that are meant for note taking.

  • Pianist - Simple memo manager helping you save your ideas.
  • JotCloud - Jot down notes in a cloud of sticky notes online.
  • Web Note - Quickly takes notes with an online post-it like interface.
  • Performancing Firefox - Meant for blogging, although it has a section for saving notes and drafts that works rather well.
  • Forty Internet Notebook - (Note: Service sadly may not be live much longer) Simple and categorized place for you to keep notes saved hierarchically.
  • Backpack - Organize to do lists, notes, images, photos and share.
  • JotSpot Live - JotSpot Live allows you, your colleagues or clients to take notes together on the same web page at the same time.
  • TaskToy - More for to-do lists, but also features searchable notes and memos.
  • Zoho Planner - An online organizer to Plan & Organize yourself.
  • Campfire - Although meant for chatting, Campfire also works great for taking notes! Read this How-To.
  • SyncNotes - “Your notes. Anywhere. Anyhow.”
  • Yahoo! Notepad - Yahoo! Notepad is very simple, especially when using this handy Notepad Bookmarklet.
  • Google Desktop Scratch Pad - Although Scratch Pad requires the Google Desktop software, I find myself using this little plugin all the time. Just type and it saves automatically.

I’m a programmer and when I’ve got an idea on my mind for a script or code snippet, I want to get it down ASAP. I find that collaborative programming services, like Pastebin, or just a service that lets you save a script and share works perfectly. These are like quick public pages, but for programmers.

  • Pastebin - Collaborate on debugging code snippets and receive permanent links to code snippets.
  • TNX - “Simple web service for temporary text storage. A unique URL is generated, that can be easily pasted in a message, but is hard to guess.”
  • TextSnippets - Public source code repository in that you can tag and categorize code. You may also set snippets as private.
  • PasteHere - Make pastes from screenshots of your desktop, code from your clipboard, or any other image/text. Pages last for 15 days unregistered user / 30 days registered user.
  • Nopaste - Pastebin with Syntax Highlighting for PHP Programming.

Online Documents
I found that there are times that simple text notes just don’t always fit my needs. There may be a note or part of a document that I need to save with text formatting, colors, and headings, but most note-taking services are text-only. In time, I started using services like Writeboard more and more because I can just down notes with it during a conference adding headings and lists making reading my notes a lot more organized. Makes sense, so I decided to make a list of a few.

  • Writeboard - (I find I use this often because of Basecamp integration for work) Collaborative writing software online. Write, share, revise, compare. You can share by email invitation only.
  • Writely - Writely allows you to edit documents online with whomever you choose, and then publish and blog them online.
  • Rallypoint - (I use this for project notes often) Rallypoint combines the powerful features of your favorite desktop word processor with the collaborative abilities of a secure hosted wiki, giving you the best of both worlds.
  • Zoho Writer - Online tool to create a document, edit in your way, and share with anyone.
  • WideWord - Write and share documents easily, quickly and privately!
  • YourDraft - Create and share content instantly without registration. The WYSIWYG editor allows fast and flexible drafting.
  • gOffice Word Processing - gOffice has a nice Word Processor that I’ve only used once before, but worked well then. (Update: Just tested again and it seemed to have made an error when exporting, but works for saving still. Seems to work fine now)

Voice Recording
Don’t think your stuck with typing all your notes on a computer when it comes to note taking. Sometimes it’s just simpler to speak something out loud rather then writing and although the following services aren’t meant for taking notes specifically, they seem to work quite well. Sure, they are for emailing and podcasting, but that’s not stopping me!

  • Evoca - Evoca is excellent for recording podcasts, but it also seems to work for notes as well because when you record, it simply saves it to a list in that you can listen to at any time. They are private until published.
  • Odeo - For podcasting as well, but as does Evoca, Odeo’s podcast recorder also works well and saves your recordings as podcasts which you can easily listen to at any time. They are also private until published.
  • Springdoo - Springdoo allows you to send voice email, as does Slawesome. When you make a recording with Springdoo, it will allow you to preview the recording and send the address to others. Simple bookmark the address or send it to yourself.
  • Slawesome - Meant for emailing voice recordings, but I simply email myself and mark it in my email client as an important note in my memo folder. (Update: Voice recording does not appear to be working as of now, although the emails still send along with your note. It will save, but won’t play it seems.)

Start Pages
What better place to write notes then a start page that opens every time you open your web browser? As I mentioned the other day, I now have Netvibes as my homepage for my browser and I found that I use the Webnote module quite often. Most start pages include note functionality, but I’ll list a few favorites with note modules.

  • Netvibes - My start page of choice which has a simple Webnote module with auto-saving and multi-color selection.
  • PageFlakes - Personalized start page with notes and many “flakes” bringing the web to your fingertips.
  • Protopage - A very neat start page allowing for notes and drag and drop containers for just about anything. Also allows for making multiple pages and setting pages public.
  • Fold - Allows for adding of multiple Notepad Containers which you can drag and drop any where in your Fold Start Page.
  • Google Personalized - Google’s Personalized start page works great for notes when using the Google Notes Module that saves your notes automatically.

Online Databases
Online database services can also be used for managing notes. I’ve made a system in Dabble DB and Zoho Creator for notes which I have made to my liking because I choose what is recorded. Any of the following will allow you to create your own database application for recording your notes.

  • Dabble DB - (Private Beta) Dabble DB is the most powerful service of the bunch with large customization options and application flexibility. Can’t wait for it to go public so everyone can experience it’s power.
  • TracksLife - “Your Friendly, Personal, Online Spread-abase.” Very simple system that works very well. Also allows for public tracks and rss feeds.
  • Zoho Creator - Free online service to create and share web applications with just a few mouse clicks. Very customizable.
  • FlexLists - Create your own online sharable lists with this database like service allowing for custom fields and values.
  • Lazybase - Lazybase allows anyone to design, create and share a database of whatever they like.

That about wraps it up! I hope this list was of help for anyone looking for simple solutions on taking notes. As always when I make a list, if you know of any other services, feel free to share with us in the comments. And for those of you curious as to what solutions I use most often, I tend to use Google Scratch Pad, Netvibes, and Writeboard the most and have recently become addicted to Sabifoo. What ones do you use?