Thursday, February 23, 2012

Leading the Way: 5 Online Apps That Will Boost Your Productivity

The world has its head in the cloud. The online world has seen a notable increase, thanks to the volcanic increase in smart phone use in the US, in cloud-dependent apps. But do all those apps actually do anything? Luckily, the answer is yes: a number of top software developers have made it easy, efficient, and cheap to organize your life and make you more productive. Learn how to lead the way with these five online productivity apps.

Google Docs
Google retains the leading edge in online productivity, offering a complete set of online tools—for free, no less—comparable to Microsoft Office. Its Google Docs application opens just about every proprietary Microsoft Document, including Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. In addition, users can originate files in those formats and distribute them, all without ever having to purchase Microsoft Office. Its online editing tools, including online collaboration, make it the online productivity app set to beat.

Evernote has emerged of late as the king of note taking applications. The concept is simple: you write a note, hit “ok,” and that note syncs with the web. You can then access that note on just about any device that connects to the Internet: Evernote’s spectacular coding team has produced apps that integrate flawlessly on PC, Mac, Android, Blackberry or IOS devices.

In the early days of the web, nothing was more frustrating than moving big files. Now it’s a part of the way we interact with the web, especially when it comes to business. Dropbox game-changed the web when it introduced a fully functional “online hard drive” that users can access anywhere. All a Dropbox user needs to do is download the app, install it, and put files in a folder. Those files are then accessible anywhere an Internet connection is present. Like Evernote, fully functional apps are available for just about any computing platform.

Remember the Milk
The most productive apps are often the simplest, and remember the Milk is no exception. The service is simply an online to do list—nothing more, nothing less. You can have the program send you SMS reminders, integrate with your Google Calendar, or you’re your iPhone’s Siri app. Staying on task has never been easier.

A data movement and conversion powerhouse, ThinkFree offers apps that help you access and convert documents without having to think twice. Most notable for its MyOffice app, which made PDF and Microsoft Office files readable on Android, Windows Mobile, and iPhone devices, ThinkFree’s online app seamlessly integrates the world of Microsoft Office across a number of platforms. Many smart phones come pre-installed with this software.
When it comes to staying productive, maybe it is best to have your head in the cloud. Thanks to simple, functional apps like Google Docs, Evernote, Dropbox, Remember the Milk, and ThinkFree, integrating your life into the web is now practical—making it easy to lead the way in both business and pleasure.
Tom writes on behalf of DLProg who addresses an important gap in international thinking and policy about the critical role played by leaders, elites and coalitions in the politics of development. Read more about The Leadership Program and the Pacific Leadership Program at

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