Tripit is a service worth paying for

Long time readers of this blog know that I try to avoid writing about business transactions — the hirings, firings, buyings, sellings, fundings and closings of or in companies related to the topics I write about. There are enough sources about that kind of news — and I can’t keep up with those topics anyway.

However, when I saw this item on about the travel organization web service, I had to jump in and give the service a totally unsolicited shout-out. (I don’t even know who developed Tripit, so this is strictly about the product, not about the business side of the company.)

Tripit is one of those things that works like magic and every time I show it to someone it sells itself.

In short, it’s a web-based software service that does things you never thought possible — automagically. You forward to it all the email confirmations you get from hotels, airlines and rental car companies and it extracts all the pertinent data and organizes it into a “trip.” It then pulls in maps and other data from the web that may be related to those places (e.g. directions from the airport to the hotel). You can share the information with anyone who needs to know it — and there’s even a social feature that allows it to match your trips with trips of friends to let you know if your paths are crossing (I don’t use this, however). Also there’s a very useful (and time-saving) iPhone App that gives you access to the information for when you are at a counter and you need a confirmation number — as I did two days ago.

Other cool things: If you are meeting people, it can pull in contact information about them. You can enter restaurants and it will pull in data about those. And, perhaps best of all, the information you enter is available via an iCal subscription so that the data is available on your calendar software.

It uses a “freemium” model, so if you aren’t a constant road-warrior, you can use it for free. However, the services and capabilities that it offers to those who travel a lot make the annual fee ($69) easy to justify.

For me, it’s the second most amazing personal productivity/organization software service I use. (Mainly because I hate keeping up with all the different data one needs to have when traveling.) The most incredible software I use in that category is Evernote. Don’t get me started on how great that is.

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