12 ways to use Twitter to increase your productivity

A very common criticism of Twitter (other than its uptime) is that it’s just a distraction, “noise” that doesn’t actually help you in any way. Well, here are 12 ways you can use Twitter productively.

MultiMap

multimap

The MultiMap twitter bot helps you to access maps, directions and local information by simply sending direct messages via Twitter. You can send a message to fetch local information such as the closest ATM, tourist attraction, park, cinema, theatre or even find entries on wikipedia about what is nearby. Add @multimap as a friend and start sending it commands.


Fuelfrog

fuelfrog

Fuelfrog is a service that allows you to track your gas mileage by letting them know the miles you traveled on your last tank, the price you paid, and how many gallons you added to your car. FuelFrog will compile and trend information about your gas mileage, the amount you spend, and more.

Usage: after you sign up for the Fuelfrog service, add @fuelfrog as a Twitter friend. Then send it a message in the format:

miles price gallons

Example: d fuelfrog 342 3.239 10.293


Commuter Feed

commuter feed

Commuter Feed is a free service that lets you post reports on traffic and transit delays in your local area using Twitter. You can also subscribe to your local reports via RSS, so you’ll know what the traffic conditions are like and which routes to avoid.

Add @commuter to your Twitter list. Find your city code (which is your airport code) on the regions page. Then send updates to @commuter in the following format:

@commuter LAX Accident on Sunset Blvd at Vine

which is:

@commuter(SPACE)city-code(SPACE)incident

Then follow your region at its page – here’s Vancouvers feed – which is rarely updated. RSS feeds are available for each region.


Group Tweet

group tweet

Group Tweet allows you to send private messages to a specific group of users. Excellent for work teams, family members, community members etc.


timer

timer

Timer is a twitter bot that lets you set alarms for things you need to remember. Just add @timer as a friend and send it a direct message in the format:

d timer (number of minutes) (your message)

Example:

d timer 30 pizza is now free

note: 5 minutes is the minimum amount of time that you can set.


itsniceoutside

isitniceoutside

Add @itsniceoutside as a friend and send it a message with your FULL city info or postal/zip code and get todays weather.


trackthis

trackthis

Add @trackthis as a friend and get notified via direct message any time your package location changes. Works with FedEx, UPS, USPS and DHL.

More info can be found here: http://trackthis.pb30.com/


junglebot

junglebot

Add @junglebot as a friend and you can search for books, DVDs and music on Amazon.com.

Usage: d junglebot

For example: d junglebot music warren haynes

More information can be found at: http://www.cartosoft.com/lab/junglebot


Tweet Answers

tweet answers

Tweet Answers is a service that allows you to ask a question (or answer someone else’s) to anyone following @tweetanswers

How to Ask Questions

Ask your question with:

@tweetanswers #topic Your question?

The #topic is optional but it helps people who like to view questions from specific topics. If you don’t specify a topic, it simply goes into #questions.

Follow @tweetanswers, or check TweetAnswers.com for answers.

How to Answer Questions

Answer a question like this:

@tweetanswers #topic39 Your answer..

Questions are answered using the answer ID (name of topic followed by a number).


Twittercal

twitter your google calendar events

Twittercal is a free service that connects your Twitter account to your Google Calendar. Add events in a snap from your favorite Twitter client.

The full instructions on using Twittercal are on its home page, but in a nutshell what you do is add @gcal as a friend, grant it access to your Google Calendar (there’s a form to do so) and then send gcal a message in the format:

d gcal metting with paul tomorrow at 7pm

gcal will then add your event to your Google Calendar.


Remember The Milk for Twitter

remember the milk

Remember The Milk for Twitter integrates Twitter with your RTM account. You can send a slew of commands to @rtm and they’ll be added to your RTM tasks/list.

You can also receive task reminders as direct messages to your Twitter account, just set it up in your RTM options.


Twibler

twibler

Twibler lets you automatically post your new eBay listings to your Twitter account. Along with Twibler is Price Tweet, which gives you html to put in your ebay listing. The html allows buyers to enter a price point which when passed they will get a tweet on Twitter.

{ 33 comments… add one }
  • Rockstar Sid May 21, 2008, 5:01 am

    Great post,never knew 80% of them.Will be useful

  • Kim Wodbridge May 21, 2008, 7:36 am

    Great Post! Very Useful!

  • Kim Woodbridge May 21, 2008, 7:37 am

    And now maybe I will actually spell my last name correctly ;-) Doh!

  • Anne Haynes May 21, 2008, 1:42 pm

    I LOVE IT! The best post and I totally needed the 411!

  • Chris May 21, 2008, 4:41 pm

    how is adding to google cal better via twitter than a direct sms to gcal directly at 48368?

  • Ross McKillop May 21, 2008, 5:41 pm

    Chris,

    From your PC/Mac, it’s easier to send a message using your Twitter client than via your cell phone. And unless things have changed (I haven’t checked in a long while) you can’t SMS an event to your gcal if you live outside the US.

  • Colm McMullan May 22, 2008, 12:55 am

    hey, thanks for featuring our multimap twitterbot :)

    for anyone who is interested it’s built on top of our REST webservice API which is worth a look for any developers doing location/mapping type stuff:

    http://www.multimap.com/apidocs/

    there’s also a link to our JS API from there.

    Feedback or feature requests for the twitterbot or anything else is very welcome, just direct message @multimap :)

  • Stephen May 22, 2008, 6:19 am

    @chris On a mobile there is no difference. But heavy Twitter users often run a client like Twitterific or Twhirl on their desktops thats always running and a keystroke away. It makes firing off messages to services like twittercal much quicker than going through the gcal web interface.

    Also, here is one more: Tempo is a time tracking productivity tool that lets you log hours and billing information by sending tweets to @keeptempo. Disclosure: Tempo developer.

    http://keeptempo.com

  • Lauren May 22, 2008, 7:27 am

    This is so cool! Thx

  • Talking Books Librarian May 22, 2008, 9:34 am

    Cool, these are great! Is there some way to easily organize contacts/friends within twitter, so you can put friends into groups?

  • Mini Olu May 22, 2008, 10:39 am

    Great post. I’ve been wondering how to use twitter productively

  • Ben May 22, 2008, 2:34 pm

    What about http://twitbuzz.com/ ?

    I think it is a good one for anyone, but even more usefull for bloggers. I’d also mention the application “commented on” that is able to connect with twitter (well you need to host commented on to make it roll but still good for bloggers).

    I’d say the same thing than Rockstar Sid : I didn’t know most of those apps. Nice post!

  • jim May 23, 2008, 12:37 am

    will definitely improve my twitter productivity. may be a danger of decreasing my work productivity as I spend more time messing about with all these ;)

  • 3 Reasons to Love Twitter June 17, 2008, 9:27 am

    Great list. I never knew you could gather so much information from twitter.

    Apparently, all these 3rd party tools are slowing twitter down b/c sometimes I can’t even log-in to my account!

  • abhishek July 8, 2008, 11:40 am

    looks like a great list…will be useful thanks for sharing.

  • Nafa November 16, 2009, 11:51 am

    Excellent resources. Thanks for taking the time to post these

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