These are web tools I use on a daily basis. They are also completely free. I’ll list them here if you want to check them out on your own. In the coming weeks I will go into detail on how I use them. There are also iPhone applications for each one making these free apps usable anywhere.
Here they are:
1) Evernote –
Do you have a dashboard at work? You probably do. Do you have a dashboard at home? Probably not. Are you asking, “What is a dashboard?” Just like the dashboard of your car gives you information you need to operate the car correctly, the program you use as a dashboard is the program you rely on the most to tell you the status of all the work you need to do on your computer. That’s if you take the time to learn to use it just like you took the time to learn to drive.
Evernote is my dashboard program. It is indispensable and is fast becoming my favorite program. The ad supported version is completely free. Evernote is used to clip webpages off the web that I may need in the future, as a project manager, as a word processor to put together my blog postings and as a note taker. It stores text as well as pictures and syncs with my iPhone so you can take notes from anywhere including voice notes. So many uses for this completely free program…
2) Dropbox –
Another internet darling popular with the MAC crowd… Most of my documents are backed up in my Dropbox. It’s an online hard drive that allows you to save and share documents. I use it as a backup for my most important documents.
A basic account gives you 2GB’s of storage. Great for all of your documents but don’t expect to store your entire photo and music collection to dropbox. You can upgrade your account to 50GB’s at $100 a year or 100GB’s for $200 a year but once you get into this area there are better options for backing up your computer that are cheaper and offer unlimited storage.
The basic account is the best way to go.
3) Google Apps –
Google has a ton of the best applications around that are completely free. I use the calendar, gmail, reader and docs apps. I use the reader to follow the various blogs I enjoy which means I rarely do any websurfing since either interesting stuff is forwarded to me or recommended by the various blogs I read.
Google Docs is another alternative to Microsoft Office and allows me to share documents with anyone. It even doubles as an online backup.
Gmail is an email account developed for power users. It is secure, free and you get 7GB’s of storage space for your emails. After using gmail for over 5 years I have never had to delete an email and have never come close to the 7GB limit.
4) Mint –
Mint.com syncs up all your accounts into one, easy to use, dashboard. One place to find all your financial information. Of course when you start using Mint you’ll find it has so many other useful tools but having all your financial information in one place is very convenient.
Most people will find the fact they have to store all their account numbers and passwords all in one place unnerving. Get over it… Mint has better security than your personal computer will ever have. You may actually be safer using Mint over using software on your computer. Since Mint consolidates all your accounts into an easy to use dashboard, managing your finances is actually fun.
5) WordPress –
Blogging your life? Looking to document your favorite hobby? Want to start a blog around your favorite topic? WordPress is quite possibly the most powerful content management software available. And it’s free!
Never built a website? Think there’s a huge learning curve? There are plenty of tutorials on the web that will explain how to use WordPress as well as video tutorials on youtube.
Here are the “Top 10 Reasons to use WordPress”.
And that’s this week’s tech tip. I will post a quick tip each week that may (or may not) help you get more productive and stay secure in your daily internet activities so check back here every tuesday or subscribe to the blog to have your weekly tips delivered straight to your inbox.