These are my top ten productivity apps and why I use them.
I’ve hit the groove with all these (except twitter which I’m struggling to use well right now) and the “why” for me is mostly because: they’re easy to use, the data is accessible from multiple devices, they almost all allow sharing, and they’re all free for a substantial range of features and capacity :
1. Google calendar – a) can view personal and work calendars on same page (google calendar can sync with outlook), b) can share with others c) syncs with doodle.com for meeting planning, d) available on all mobile devices
2. Dropbox file manager – a) keeps/syncs copy of file in the cloud and every connected device b) can create public link to share large files with others, c) easy mobile access, d) first 2GB free
3. Toodledo task manager – a) based on Getting Things Done philosophy, b) great user interface, c) great Android app (GotToDo), d) can share tasks with others (Pro account only) & track changes.
4. Evernote note keeper – a) easy to use & organize (with notebooks and tags), b) easy to share a note with others, c) great desktop app (includes screenshot clipper, and outlook plug-in to convert emails to notes to keep). d) available on all mobile devices, e) allows upload of mobile photos – e.g. flipchart, the text of which is scannable!
5. Google docs doc/ppt/spreadsheet- a) live synchronous collaboration, b) live synchronous collaboration! c) can download/upload as Microsoft document, d) no more version issues! e) mobile accessible (limited) f) live synchronous collaboration!!
6. Diigo bookmarking – a) easy bookmarking, caching, tagging of websites, articles etc. b) can highlight & annotate sections of page c) private/public sharing options, d) very handy browser plugin (one click bookmarking), e) syncs with Delicious
7. Jing (by Techsmith) screen still & video capture – a) create and share instant narrated tutorials/powerpoints/presentations, b) capture partial or full screenshots (similar feature to evernote)
8. Skype – a) free computer-to-computer, b) cheap international calls, c) easy conference calling of both landline/mobile phone & computer users, d) screen & file sharing, e) multiple video calling (Premium only)
9. Yammer/Twitter micro-blog – a) informal, serendipitous, non-interruptive (i.e. not email) sharing and connection with others, b) simultaneous yammer and twitter post via #yam hashtag c) mobile access
10. Hootsuite social media aggregator a) updates twitter/facebook/linkedin simultaneously (if needed), b) available on mobile devices (though I use Tweetdeck in Chrome on my desktop)