What I Learned in Europe

As many of you know I just returned from a trip to Europe. My first stop was in Bergen, Norway to meet some librarian friends and give a talk about open source at a conference. What I learned was that Bergen isn’t always freezing and that heavy coat I lugged around 2 airports was not necessary 🙂 What I learned is that the friends we make online can be so very awesome. We talk to these people daily and keep up with their lives via their blogs, twitter, facebook, email – whatever – and never really realize how very awesome they are. I also learned that the confidence I have when speaking in the US does not carry over to other countries – something I need to work on before the next international speaking engagement.

I then moved on to Venice, Italy followed by Rome, Italy where I met another librarian friend – another awesome friend who took time out of her day to take us around town and see the sights with us.

Now all of this is great, but most of you read this blog because you want to know about the new tools I learned about – and so – here we go.

While abroad I paid for everything out of my bank account but needed to keep track of what was spent so my mother and I could split the expenses when we returned home. To do this I used Xpenser.

For most of my trip I was without wifi access, but I did have my mobile phone. Xpenser allows me to send receipts and/or details about my expenses via various different media (phone, email, IM, SMS). It also has built in conversion tools – like currency conversion and mileage conversion. This means I was able to send an email to Xpenser with a subject like this ‘2 EUR rome metro to hotel” and it would convert that to $2.98 with a detail type that says “rome metro to hotel” and a note that includes the currency conversion

Xpenser Line Item

This tool is great for those who travel a lot for work and don’t want to keep all of their receipts (or frequently lose them). Simply use your phone to take a picture of the receipt and then email it to Xpenser and it will record the expense along with the image of the receipt. In addition to all I’ve said there are many more features I have yet to explore, but I wanted to share this tool with you all anyway so that you can all start using it to make your lives easier 🙂

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