Here is a list of the top 10 tools that help you to become more productive online. Some are free, some not so free, some optionally free.
1. Google Drive (Free/Paid)
Google Drive gets the number one spot because it is a folder that can be opened ANYWHERE. Google Drive is now more or less integrated with Google Docs; they’ve merged into on product. This product will give you most of the capabilities you need to create documents such as Word docs and Excel Spreadsheets. You can also save these documents and open them on any computer with internet access.
More impressive still is that Google Drive will export these documents into formats that can be opened by Microsoft Office, PDF etc. So now you never have to worry about sending a document to your boss in a format that he or she cannot open (how embarrassing, right?) This is done by saving the newly reformatted document to your Google Drive folder and choosing it when choosing an attachment for your email.
This Google Drive folder can also, of course, be downloaded for offline use but creating documents must be done online. There is a smart phone app for this that literally seems to do EVERYTHING the desktop version does. It’s also a convenient widget on the Android devices.
However, this comes with little storage and 25GB of storage will run you $2.49/month
2. Dropbox (Free/Paid)
Dropbox is basically a slightly more powerful version of Google Drive that can be accessed by any computer that has Dropbox installed. Installation is easy on any computer. Download the program, and there are your files. There is also a Dropbox app for smart phones, which is where I find this app to come in most handy. The files that I create on my computer are available on my phone and vice-versa.
Dropbox is another older term for a physical box in which files are dropped, used for a new and higher tech idea. Not a generecized trademark exactly, but same idea anyway!
Where this really helps me out, as I live the life of a blogger, is when it comes to pictures. Any picture I take with my phone is automatically uploaded to Dropbox where I can access it on my computer, usually to insert into an article somewhere.
As with most of these, there is an option to upgrade for more storage. Free gets you 2 GB, but for $9.99/month, you can get 100 or more. Personally, I’ve never needed more than 2. As you may have been able to tell, Dropbox is my favourite.
3. Evernote (Free/Paid)
Evernote is another incredibly useful product. If you need to jot down a phone number, write a list, take down a message to remember later, write a short novel, anything! It’s a simple note interface, a stripped down Microsoft Word with no bells and whistles to mess with. You can sort your notes into different note books, and it will even tell you when and WHERE each note was taken.
You can access Evernote anywhere there is internet access, and for $9.99/month (to which I subscribe) you can access it offline where it is installed as well. Again, the smart phone app syncs with the desktop and online versions, so all your information is everywhere all the time. This may be my most used online product. I use it regularly to organize my thoughts knowing they will always be accessible.
In addition to taking notes, on the smart phone version a picture or voice capture are also notes that can be accessed anywhere. Again, there is a nice widget involved with the Android version.
4. Wunderlist (Free)
Wunderlist is a completely free multi-platform to do list, it is simple, lovely to use and you’ll soon be using it every day!Wunderlist is compatible with: Iphone, Ipad, Android, Windows, Mac.
Wunderlist can be used as an individual or as a team.
5. Google Calendar (Free)
Google Calendar can be synced with any other calendar, so it becomes your go to calendar very quickly. To access it, sign onto your Gmail account (you all have Gmail right?) and set up calendar. From here it is easy to add events and event details, such as location, people involved, importance etc.
Another nifty feature is that you can also incorporate tasks. If you so choose, you can view your selected calendar day which will show your day’s events and tasks. This gives you the big picture of your day; ie. “I need to get this done and get to these appointments on time.”
As I mentioned, Google Calendar can be synced with almost any other calendar application. This includes the Windows 8 Calendar, and the Android Calendar. This means if you enter anything on any one of these applications, the other two will update accordingly. This makes life incredibly convenient.
6. Facebook Rehab (Free)
Among the social media sites, Facebook is by far the biggest and most addictive. This simple app helps with those who may wish there was a Facebook Anonymous. This is for those who realize they waste too much time on Facebook. What the app does is tell you how long you have been on Facebook, and according to your settings, tells you how much more time you have on Facebook in a given day.
This is a great way to monitor you Facebook use. You may not have even realized how much time you were spending there. With an app like this, you can become more aware and maybe even learn to use your time for productivity using the other apps in this article. Many reviewers are simply saying, “Is there a similar app for other websites?”. It would seem that wasting time on the internet is a common problem. I know I am guilty! Surprisingly (or maybe not so much), there is an Email Rehab as well. Made by the same developer.
This list is just an introduction to the online tools I’ve found to be most productive, practical and, dare I say, fun! There are many others out there, but this is a good start for those looking to get organized and productive!
7. Habitlist (Free/Paid)
The human brain works on habit, the more we exercise any of our body muscles including our brain the better they become, the stronger they become. The more we do something it becomes a habit and a habit is something that can be either good or bad. What we want to do is to reduce the bad habits and keep the good! But that is incredible hard, fortunately there is an app for that and that is Habitlist for your mobile. It’s all very well having a to-do list but what you really need is a habit list.
- Keep motivated with streaks (for example, 1 article every 2 days on your blog, if you miss a streak you must start again!).
- Beautiful user interface
8. Teambox (Free/Paid)
Teambox is a powerful team management tool named “must have app” by Forbes.
The site integrates well with existing Google accounts and features a lovely user dashboard, very quick and easy to set up.
The free plan allows for up to 5 users and 5 projects, after that it is minimally $21.25 per month for more features:
- More users in your Teambox
- Unlimited projects
- Dropbox integration
- Workload views
- Group Chat functionality
- Priority support
9. Hootsuite (Free/Paid)
Although Hootsuite will not be beneficial to everyone it is a tool that deserves a mention. It’s often the simple things in life that we appreciate the most, on the surface what Hootsuite does is pretty simple it does the job you could go straight to your Facebook page or Twitter profile for but it’s so much more than that.. We live in a world where we are stretched across multiple platforms and social networks. For web marketers Hootsuite is a time saver that makes it that bit easier and takes a bit of the strain from you.
10. Adobe edge suite (Paid)
The Adobe edge suite is a cutting edge new suite of tools to help you develop modern websites.
If the suite were to be summarised into three words they would be: Powerful, fast, intuitive. Most of you reading this have probably used one of these: Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Adobe Flash, all part of the range of software on offer from Adobe, the Edge suite however is notably different, somewhat more lightweight and specialized towards building websites. In my opinion I would say that most people would be more than satisfied to use these tools on a regular basis and would find them fast, efficient and not too limiting.
Reflow – Design responsive websites
Code – Produce faster, cleaner code and get a more intuitive experience
Inspect – Preview your websites
Other mentionable tools:
Project management – www.asana.com
What are your favourite productivity tools?