Invitations to events
The diplomatic world is also characterized by many official events (lunches, dinners, cocktails, galas, Celebrations of National Days, etc).
In many cases the invitations for these events need to be formal and therefore traditional means (invitation card sent by mail or delivered by hand) are used.
There are other occasions (such as cultural events, or other less formal events) when many people are invited, where some interactive services can be useful to launch and track the whole procedure of invitations.
One good example is the free service "evite"
Evite - http://www.evite.com
Keeping track of information
Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. Google Alerts allow to monitor specific news or stories or to get the latest on a person or event. You can freely subscribe by providing your e-mail address and indicating the term (or terms) that you want to be monitored by the system. Every time that Google alert detects a new page with one of the terms that have been indicated (for example the name of your Minister or the name of your dossier) it will automatically send you an e-mail with the address of the page. The more specific the term will be, the less you will get "false positive" indications.
Google Alerts - http://www.google.com/alerts
Managing your documents
Picasa: media Library. It can be very useful to catalog all the media files (not only photos) you have on your PC. If you have scanned documents you can easily classify and archive them, using Picasa.
Picasa is product of the Goolge's family, available for free at:http:// picasa.google.com
Collaborating on the same document
Google Docs: Diplomats , in particular in multilateral diplomacy, need to work on common documents. The tecnique of track changes is often used to simplify negotiations and highlight amendments to the original texts which are being made by the participants to the negotiations. The service Google documents gives to possibility to several people to work on the sam text which is available online and show the different contributions (or comments). The main advantage, in comparison with the traditional word document with track cahnges, is that everybody is working at the same time on the same document which already includes the emendaments proposed by others.
The service is freely accessible at http://docs.google.com