Download: 5 Of My Favourite Cloud-Based Software
I don’t know about you, but software has changed my life. Literary. Even if you do not interact with software directly on a regular basis, it has a significant impact on your life. Software plays a crucial role in how various aspects of your life are conducted. From the bread you buy at the gas station, to the fuel you pump into your car, software has a say.
For people with the privilege of using a personal computer, we interact with software on more occasions than those who don’t. The same goes for if you use a smart phone. I say software has changed my life, because with it, I can do so much more than I used to before making this realisation.
Assisted by the various software applications on my computer and smart phone, I carry out numerous tasks without even a second thought. I am able to manage aspects of my daily life like accounting and task management. I am also able to keep this blog running, whilst also being able to work on my software development projects.
These are just some of the things I can do with the help of the right software, not forgetting entertainment of course, although I find as the years go by, I spend less and less of my time on entertainment. As we use technology more, we tend to find that we prefer certain versions of software to others. The reasons for this are sometimes purely aesthetic but mostly functional.
The following are some of the software applications that I have found indispensable over the years. You will note that they are mostly free and cloud based.
The wonderful thing about using software in the cloud, is that it offers a seamless experience. You don’t have to go into complicated processes to use them. All that is required of you, is to sign up, and then you are good to go.
Another reason why running cloud-based software applications should get you excited is that, you do not have to worry about moving data around. Your data follows you wherever you go. The data you use is not stored anywhere on your computer and you can get it anywhere from the cloud, anytime, once you are logged in.
The biggest disadvantage of course, is that you are limited by the availability and quality of your internet connection. If you have limited Internet access or if the quality is poor, then cloud-based software applications will offer a user experience that is less than ideal.
Trello is a simple but elegant solution to organisation. It uses the Kanban approach to managing tasks. Esentialy the interface presents an organisation of teams, boards and cards. You can easily drag these elements around to organise a wide range of activities.
I love Trello because it is highly visual and has, I say it again, a simple yet elegant user interface. Trello is probably my most used application. It is littered with things I have to do in lists on boards. I don’t know how else I could plan my blog posts without this useful tool.
One of the powerful features of the Web is collaboration, and Trello does that very well as well. You can invite other people to collaborate on projects, and can control access to different resources. I wrote a comprehensive blog on Trello you might find interesting.
Evernote is a note-taking and task management application. I like to take notes when I read books. I however find that when I read a book, what I learn does not usually stick, and rather than rereading the books I have already read to refresh my memory, I take quiet comprehensive notes as I read. This habit has served me well because I can easily refresh on books I have read from the notes I took.
This is where Evernote is so indispensable for me. With Evernote, you organise your notes in categories called notebooks. This level of organisation means that you can organise your notes in any fashion that appeals and works for you. There is also a tagging system to help with the organisation of notes.
Evernote also allows you to collaborate by sharing notes with others. This is awesome because you can selectively share your notes and ideas easily.
Gmail is a free email service provided by Google. What would I do without GMail! GMail is the best email application out there and I dare you to dispute this fact. If you can, I would love to hear about your alternative.
It took me a while to jump on the GMail bandwagon, because I have been using my own mail server to handle email, and I always figured it is more professional to send mail from your business domain or web address other than using the Gmail domain.
Once I got on Gmail, I discovered it was easy to send mail from Gmail as the mail client, but using my own domain to actually send mail, and have been doing so ever since. The blog post titled, Receiving and Sending Other Mail Through Gmail, should get you up to speed if you wanna do the same.
There are so many settings and configurations to make Gmail come to life, that I encourage you to visit the settings page.
Buffer is a software application for the web and mobile, designed to manage accounts in social networks, by providing the means for a user to schedule posts. Managing social media can be a nightmare at times. Aside from generating the content itself, posting to social media is a chore in its own right. What if you wanted to post to social media at midnight on new year’s eve, but did not want to stay up late to do it?
That is where a social media management tool comes in handy, and I have nothing but praises for Buffer. Buffer is a social media management tool allowing you to post to social media, and also interact with others on multiple social media platforms from one interface.
This means that, not only can you schedule posts in advance, you can also do all the things you do on each individual social network from a single tool. This is a social media manager or marketer’s dream. Refer to the blog post titled, Managing Multiple Social Media Accounts, to learn more.
Google Drive is a file storage and synchronisation service developed by Google, whilst Google Docs is an online word processor included as part of the free, web-based Google Docs Editors suite, also offered by Google.
I don’t hear people talk a lot about Google Docs, the complement to Google Drive. I usually seriously always ask myself why I had not started using them sooner. This is basically all your documents, spreadsheets and presentations in the cloud.
The advantage to hosting your documents in the cloud is convenience as I already discussed. There is no need to install anything, and you have the ability to access your documents anywhere. But then again, there is the disadvantage of that access being limited by the availability and quality of your Internet connection.
If you haven’t been using cloud-based software and have fairly reliable Internet access, I encourage you to take the first step. I am willing to bet, that you will not be disappointed. And like with me using google Docs, you will be wondering why you had not started sooner. If you are already doing so, then I am certain you agree.
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