How to Sneak a Peek at Facebook or Twitter While You're Working

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Studies have shown that using social-media networks like Facebook and Twitter can actually improve worker productivity. What possible benefit could come from sending out tweets and checking friends' status updates? Basically, the human brain wasn't designed for non-stop focus on a single task. In other words, we need breaks, and shifting our focus to a social network for a few minutes can be just the thing.

And yet so many employers ban the practice. But that doesn't mean you can't bend the rules a bit. (Hey, it's win-win, right?) turns your Facebook and Twitter feeds into convincing-looking spreadsheets, thus allowing you to sneak a little social into your workday.

All you do is load the site, then grant it access to your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts. A few seconds later, you'll see a spreadsheet that looks like this:

Pretty convincing, eh? You can actually cycle between three different styles: Mac, old Excel, and new Excel. And if the boss happens to stroll by, a quick tap of the space bar replaces the tweets/status updates with realistic-looking spreadsheet data. You can also click a friend's name to see all his/her posts, or even run a search. In other words, this isn't just a static import, but rather an interactive front end for your networks.

While many company servers are configured to block direct access to Facebook and Twitter, should work, as it probably won't be flagged as an "inappropriate" site. (Unless your boss reads this, that is.) Now get back to work, and remember: social networking is a privilege, not a right!

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