Update: My views on instant messaging have changed in the meanwhile. I rarely use instant messaging systems anymore. And most of the time, I chose Skype as my main instant messenger of choice. Why did I do that? Well as the internet grows bigger, so does the number of its users. Not everyone is interested anymore in typing.
Voice came to dominate the market. It’s not that I don’t like chatting anymore, but it’s far better to have someone in the background with whom I can talk to and do something else. For that matter, my instant messaging needs have reached out to Skype naturally. Now, I am not using Digsby since I switched to Mac, and Trillian was alright for a while until I became a Skype user. For some time I have been fussing around with Imo.im but dropped it afterward.
The deal is I wanted to consolidate my instant messaging into one application that works well. And no single one of them gave me the results that I exactly wanted. So I gave up on instant messaging. The only app that I use for chatting is iMessage and Viber, that are only enabled on the iPhone. The computer became my working environment and I don’t want to spend time chatting, instead of working.
If you are still forced to use instant messaging platforms, I would advise these two applications. Digsby is great, but if you are looking for a mobile IMO.IM and Trillian might be a better option.
Managing Instant messaging accounts can be a drag. If you are an internet user like me, you’ve got all sorts of IM accounts scattered around, without being able to tie them up in one place. I have ICQ, Windows Messanger, Facebook Chat, Gmail Chat… You name it, I’ve got it. Managing all those different accounts became a real drag for me. I have found a couple of systems that can help you set them and forget them. Access them anytime you like, with a simple click.
That system was built on the apps that I am going to mention in the upcoming posts. Although Alpha Efficiency advocates against the use of Instant Messaging, I can safely assume that we really do NEED IM sometimes. Be it for business purposes, be it for private, IM became an integrated part of our lives. Something unavoidable.
Now I am sure you remember the days when you had to turn on MSN and Gtalk at the same time. It is double work, you would have to open up, basically two different windows at the same time. With the help of these tools, you will end the distraction caused by multiple chat clients. Yep, it has happened to me in the past. One friend is on Facebook, another one is on Gtalk, and I was constantly forced to swap between the chats. Well not anymore…
Digsby does that for you! It has many useful features and chats are one that is most important. I love the fact that they are constantly improving it and there are new updates all the time, so everything is working and up to date. It’s simple and effective, I use it and highly recommend it. One of its top features is easy to control over where you chat.
One of the biggest benefits of Digsby is logging of your conversations. I experienced previously my Facebook profile getting banned and I’ve lost all those chats. I love to have those logs for reference or in case I forget something. They are searchable and useful and we tend to forget to it. So besides online backup, you can keep those conversations on your own hard drive.
For the other functions of Digsby, if you are really into productivity, don’t integrate your social newsfeed and email. It’s a constant flow of interruptions and it’s bad for business. I would shut down IM as well, but it lets me get things done, so it’s a necessary evil. Also keep in mind if you are in the flow of something, shutting down IM might also be a good idea, no matter how useful it is.
Download link for Digsby
I moved my messaging system away from Digsby, once I went Apple all out. Not only I couldn’t support Digsby anymore on the new platform, but I also found an alternative. Trillian.
Trillian offers the very same Digsby functionality (minus email), and added cloud backup of your chat logs. Trillian is a really old application, it exists for at least a decade, which in internet time means a lot. Now, besides great desktop clients, there are also mobile apps.
It supports iOS and Android as well. Having my instant messaging tied to one account that can access all the devices is huge for me and quite frankly an amazing time saver.
If you try any of these IM tools, please let me know and tell me what do you think about them. Download link for Trillian: http://www.trillian.im/