My Top Five Cloud Apps & Services 2014

in BYOD, Cloud Computing, Mobile Computing, Productivity

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Over the years I try possibly hundreds of services and applications, the majority of which wither and die through lack of use and are deleted using the excellent Revo Uninstaller.  I use a similar formula to that of my wardrobe. If I don’t wear an item of clothing for a year I assume that it has no place for summer or winter and ends up in the clothes bank. My software service or app cull has a slightly shorter timeline of around three to six months, but you know where I am coming from.

But there are services and apps that form a core part of my personal and business online life and I cannot imagine not having them there by my side. So here are my 2014 evergreens.

1: Evernote

Evernote, as it names hints at, started out as a simple note taking tool but in the six years I have been using it has grown into substantially more than that.  Some time ago I got an email from Evernote stating that I was one of its first 1000 users and I have been a premium member for around for four years. The primary reason for coughing up the cash each year was simple – offline notes. Not everywhere has 3G or free Wi Fi and if I need to access data stored on my Evernote system it is there at my fingertips.

Just as important as getting information out of Evernote is getting it in. The Evernote webclipper is a wonderful tool if I am at my desktop, but away from base I can email stuff to my allocated Evernote email address, make voice recordings onto my smartphone or tablet, jot down notes – all of which is synced between all my devices.

One word summary – priceless.

2: Pocket

Whereas Evernote keeps all my vital business and personal data, Pocket acts as a short term repository for information I don’t have time to read immediately but want to keep to browse later. Again, items I save while browsing via my desktop or tablet are stored for offline reading later at a time that is convenient to me such as waiting at the dentists, on a train, etc.

3: Sunrise Calendar

I recently discovered and wrote about Sunrise Calendar and was blown away by the functionality.  Key to its must have status is the way it interacts with other apps and services and mine is linked to Google calendar, Todoist, Trello, Evernote and others. Development isn’t the fastest I have known but progress is solid and robust. Even the beta versions are pretty much rock solid.

Read more about Sunrise Calendar.

4: CloudMagic

When I first fell over an earlier incarnation of CloudMagic I was so underwhelmed it lasted about an hour on my devices. I then retried the Android version and what a transformation. CloudMagic essentially becomes your organisational hub. Like Sunrise its strength lies in its ability to link to other services through its cards module, binding with the likes of Evernote, Todoist, Trello, OneNote, Asana and others.

5: Todoist

Trying to find a task manager was pretty much like a search for the holy grail but Todoist has been the answer to everything I want to manage my tasks. Don’t be fooled by its Zen minimalist interface, there must be a small nuclear reactor working away in the background to give it so much power I almost feel knackered just thinking about it.

Read more about why Todoist is a must have app for me.

There are, naturally, some honourable mentions such as Dropbox, Feedly and Pushbullet but the five above are my must haves without which I would be lost.

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