We’ve been asked by colleagues and clients alike, ‘what services do you use everyday, and which ones make your life easier?’. Hence the reason for this post.
All these services are ‘cloud based‘ meaning you can log on and access them anywhere in the world, giving the potential to work wherever, whenever you need to.
Why we like them? There are a number of reasons why they have been our favourite online services for a while – Increased productivity, no licence fees for expensive software, always on, access anywhere, powerful community features, and takes the headache of having to write your own code for these services:
1. Basecamp http://basecamphq.com – Basecamp is the leading web-based project collaboration tool. Focusing on communication and collaboration, this takes the hastle away from project management, where you can create to do lists, add milestones, share files, and message entire teams working on a project so everyone is up to speed.
2. Google Drive http://docs.google.com/ – Our files and reports would be in a real mess without Gdocs! Think of it as an online Microsoft Office suite, docs, excel, powerpoint, and even surveys. You can create as many documents as you like, send a link to colleagues so they can collaborate on the same report, for example. There is a full revision history, something not available on a desktop publishing software.
3. Twitter http://www.twitter.com/ – Without Twitter the world would be a much bigger place. The site that allows you to update your status, share links to interesting web sites, and even breaking news is an invaluable resource to a small business or freelancer. I have successfully promoted our business using this network to new and existing clients so they are always aware of our new projects and developments. No day on Twitter is the same as the each other, with trending topics and current affairs being discussed by a global community.
4. Flickr http://www.flickr.com/ – This community is all about photos, that you have taken, and also being able to search for tagged photos, and browse photos from your friends. Whether its a conference, party or family holiday you can always find colourful, inspirational photographs that you can download or comment on. Flickr has created quite a few web celebrities, by amateur photogrpahers attracting millions of views and comments to their work. A good resource for finding stock images too, if you need to for a current or future project – like Google image search, but more fun!
5. Upcoming http://www.upcoming.org – Even ubergeeks have to leave their offices now and then, this is why upcoming, an events listing site is so useful. Upcoming is a community for discovering and sharing events. It can help you find things to do, and discover what your friends are doing or going to. Use it for networking at local or even international events, view who is going, and add yourself to an event to let everyone know you are attending too!
One thing in common for all these applications is that they bring people together, sharing ideas, knowledge and information. And they are all have free packages!
All the services are password protected and safe from prying eyes. All accounts include SSL security – the same as online banks. The option to you is whether you wish to offer public information to your friends and the public, it’s always up to you.
All these tools are relatively new still, and we look forward to seeing how they evolve around the people that use these apps on a daily basis. Being owned and managed by large corporations means they can adapt and add features requested from their community relatively quickly.
What are your favourite online services and applications?