Overloaded ManThe glut of information that we face on a daily basis actually impairs, not improves, our productivity. Believe it or not (and I do), the average person spends 150 hours each year looking for lost information. [1] What do we spend most of our time trying to track down? Passwords! But that’s not the only time killer introduced by the WorldWideInterWeb. If we want to manage our eBay, Amazon, Verizon, Facebook, Southwest, Bank of America, ING Direct, and XYZ accounts, we have to log in to each and every site — one by one.

I don’t need a time-and-motion study to tell me how unproductive all of this retrieving and logging in is. What we need is an automated and integrated way of managing all of our account information from a single source, without having to remember 10,000 passwords and to perform an equal number of site logins. Fortunately, Pageonce does just that. It offers a service that integrates all of our account information onto a single page, thus countering the anti-productivity war the Internet is waging on us.

What is Pageonce?

Pageonce bills itself as being the “first personal internet assistant,” though in reality it’s not the first site to perform page personalization for its users. Netvibes offers local weather, photos, and widgets. Pageflakes shows photos and news of local interest, a personal calendar for use, and other features. Mint and Geezeo both offer automated help with organizing your finances. BotBox.com’s “personal internet agents” was an early program to monitor news for the user and function as a “personal assistant”, though at a cost. Watson, another shareware program with a price, was featured as an application including interfaces to phone books, internet movie finders, and more. Though it may not be the first “internet assistant” to walk the runway of the Web, to its credit, Pageonce boasts some impressive differences that make it worth a second look.

The Benefits of Pageonce

Now, I’m not generally someone who looks to the Internet to save time, but when I signed up for Pageonce and saw how it could speed up Internet transactions, even I was convinced and was ready to tell everyone I knew about it. Pageonce puts everything you use online onto one page, and helps you to organize all your financial and even social records. With more and more websites, online billing, transactions and websites for everything that we do in life, it can get hard to rely on memory only to get to the right site, the right login, and so on. Sometimes I don’t even remember all the sites or transactions I’m using and things can slide by the wayside.

Pageonce is literally like a personal assistant you can hit up once a day and check out all your stuff: phone bill, plane tickets, MySpace, PayPal, eBay, etc. It can keep you from forgetting something important, and it also stores your logins and passwords in one place so you don’t need to waste time getting your password resent when you forget it (which I constantly do).

Pageonce can save you money (keeping your financial records accessible and visually present to remind you to deal with them on time). It can save you time (no more having to remember which websites you visited to buy that certain something, or which airline account uses which password). It uses high-level security to keep all your information stored and protected, which saves you worry and risk of identity theft or fraud. It is pre-programmed to link your personal page to major companies where users are likely to have accounts (T-Mobile, Amazon, Facebook) and can accommodate any new account requests as well.

In short, Pageonce literally serves as your personal assistant, and is easy to use for even the most web-challenged user. In fact, it’s the perfect solution for an Internet rookie, child, or senior citizen who may get flustered trying to get the most out of the online world. And those already accustomed to the web and trying to save time and energy would be remiss to overlook this effective new function.

Pageonce Screenshot

Pageonce Screenshot (image: Michael Sauers)

10 Pageonce Features That I Found Most Useful

After signing up for Pageonce, you’re provided with different categories that are already set up to gather all your information into one area. Each of the categories pulls together your important life “stuff” so that you can better organize and track activity and payments. For each of the categories, popular accounts (American Airlines, MySpace, Netflix, etc.) have been gathered and pre-populated by Pageonce’s Personal Internet Assistant. If you don’t see your preferred account or company listed on the page, you can start typing the name of it and it will pop up in the window for new accounts. If you have an obscure account, you can still get it on your page by sending a request to Pageonce, who will follow up by getting the company into Pageonce (it usually takes a few weeks).

Here’s a list of ten features that I found most useful:

  1. Monitor all your finances. Have links to your bank accounts, credit cards, and investments all stored under the financial section. You can check accounts easily with the function that stores your login information, but security measures keep you from making direct financial transactions from Pageonce (to transfer money, you’d have to go directly to your bank page). Not only is it so much easier than trying to keep a paper trail of different records organized, it keeps separate account and card information at easy access online, so there’s no need to visit the different account sites.
  2. Shop more efficiently. The shopping link stores account information for Amazon, eBay, and any other place you want to add. This can help you track your purchases, and also make it easier when you need to shop online because all account links are at hand. It helps you save time and money with the little things, too. I’ve been given a Starbucks card but not got around to registering it online because it’s one more separate site I’d have to take time to visit (registering it would result in free coffee refills…no small financial deal!). Because the Starbucks card is an option on the Shopping link, it makes it feel easier for me to go ahead and register it, knowing that it will be in one virtually organized desktop area rather than the overwhelming feeling of trying to keep track of all these different cards and accounts.
  3. Track utilities. The Utilities function keeps track of any cell phone accounts, Skype, DirectTV, PSEG, and any others you want to add. This is useful because you can check all your bills in one place and get yourself in order by seeing your status of cell phone minutes, etc.
  4. Stay socially networked. The glut of social networking sites can start to drive you crazy after awhile — I can’t even remember all the ones I’m on. For someone who can reap enormous business benefits from these sites (beyond just keeping up with friends or scouting attractive singles), it can be hugely productive and effective to keep up with them. Pageonce makes it easy because once again, they’re all in once place with login information set up. Social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace), photo sites (Flickr, Photobucket), and more can all be linked to your Pageonce site. This can also be a good way to have access to your online photos all in one spot.
  5. Manage travel accounts. Travel is another category that can prove extremely useful for frequent fliers or just as useful for someone who books a flight once or twice a year and thus forgets important passwords or which site is preferred. You can manage accounts with different airlines, hotels, and car rental places, making it easy to plan a business or leisure outing to a location for the first or twentieth time.
  6. Access all your email accounts. The last category is email, which links the user into their preferred email accounts, of which you can register as many as you want.
  7. Access to favorite accounts. The best function seems to be the “At Once” application, which automatically gathers the most used accounts onto your homepage when you log into Pageonce. This way your favorite sites are at easiest access, but all other important sites to check phone minutes and pay bills are a click away.
  8. Organize and access your family’s information. Pageonce also seems to be this century’s natural answer to efficient family organization. For a large household who may have many different email, financial, and shopping accounts, Pageonce can keep it all organized and keep parents in full knowledge of their children’s online contact and activity by monitoring their accounts.
  9. Find contact information for any customer service provider. Another feature is the link to customer service providers: click on the site and you can get calling information for any of the accounts or companies without having to do further research.
  10. Maintain personal information security. The security function, which Pageonce is touting, seems to be one of its biggest assets. The user can assign different usernames and passwords to each of his accounts, making them more secure, but avoid the problem of forgetting them because they will all be directly linked to Pageonce. You’ll never have to remember the passwords because all your accounts are registered with the site. Yet you’ll be extra protected with Pageonce’s “military-level” security functions. You’ll also see your account information and activity in real time, which will keep you aware of any possible identity theft and online fraud.

Bottom Line: Sign Up and Reap the Benefits of Pageonce

Think of Pageonce as one big lock box of your different accounts and information, with Pageonce being the key, rather than having to carry around a set of a million jangling keys — forgetting which one is for which lock — with the result being saved time, more productivity, more organization, and saved money.

I’m registering every one of my accounts that I can think of so I can use Pageonce to manage all of them. I’ve been personally recommending it to others, who like me have a lot going on and for which this seems to be a logical and time-saving solution. Pageonce is a great idea that could serve as an efficiency device for millions of users, including you! Give it a shot and let me know which features you find most beneficial.

Image credit: Tim Ferriss

###

Did you like this? Please take a second to Digg it. And I’ll serve up some supplemental information on Pageonce that describes how it works, how viable it is as a company, and what other blogs are saying about it in a few days.

References/notes:
- [1] “Data Data”

Post updates:
- September 1, 2008 at 12:30 PM ET: Pageonce now allows you to manage your online accounts via your iPhone and iPod Touch with its recently-released mobile application — iOnce. It’s free and available for download at the Apple App Store. For more information see Reuters news release or YouTube video demonstration.