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Best 7 Free Daily Productivity Apps for 2014
Nobody wants to spend more time on daunting, laborious and mundane (DLM) tasks. We should be spending 100% of our time on the fun stuff. Sadly, these DLM tasks form part and parcel of our life. We cannot avoid, but we can minimize them. Below are some tools to simplify your life.
Evernote – The King of Notes
In my article, Top 9 Time Management Tips, I have highlighted on the use of Evernote. I am a big fan and use Evernote every single day for my personal life and work. With 75 million users on this planet, even if you don’t use it, you would have heard about it. This choice is practically a no brainer. Clipping of websites you have visited, uploading of receipts photos, syncing notes across various platforms, Evernote is the granddaddy of online notes taking.
What makes it amazing is that no matter which platform you use, be it mobile, web or desktop, even if the app is so rich in functions, you won’t feel overwhelm by it. Setting reminders, taking down notes, building a to-do list and categorizing them, I had everything up and running in 5 minutes.
Not only can Evernote automatically attach URL onto your note, you can also search and share anything you want via channels such as Facebook, Twitter and Linkedlin.
Google Drive & Quickoffice - 1 Google Account to Rule Them All
I know Google Drive isn’t as well known as Dropbox, but I can’t fault them for what is being offered for free. 1 account gives you 15 GigaByte of space across it’s Google Drive, Gmail and Google+ photos. What’s more impressive is the list of apps supporting the Google ecosystem.
You can edit and sync your files via desktop, web and mobile app platforms. With the Drive app, you will be able to create and edit Google documents, spreadsheet and presentations on the go.
Keenly aware that it’s still a Microsoft Office dominated environment, Google expanded its capabilities when it bought over Quickoffice in 2012 and re-release Quickoffice as a free app. With this, you can create and edit any MS word/Spreadsheet and powerpoint slides using the same Google account. Even better, the Quickoffice app allows you to add multiple Google Drive accounts under one roof for easy viewing and editing.
Quickoffice can’t edit Google documents on its own though, thus it has to work in conjunction with Google Drive. Another regret would be that Quickoffice is unable to management Microsoft’s SkyDrive database.
Therefore, my next cloud management app, CloudOn, completes the holy trinity of cloud management apps.
Which is Your Preferred Cloud Service?
CloudOn – The Manager of Clouds
I personally use a couple of data cloud services for different reasons such as personal or business use. Therefore, despite the many uses of Google’s Quickoffice, I had to complement it with the use of CloudOn.
Its free and available on iOS, Andriod and web browsers. Using CloudOn, you can easily open, rename, delete and manage almost all file type stored in Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and SkyDrive. You heard me right, it’s a whopping 4 in one management platform.
Google drive is still a must if you need its docs, as any editing of Google Docs in CloudOn will be saved into a copy of MS doc file.
Pocket - Saving News on the Go
How many times were you in the mist of an interesting read, only to find out that you only had another minute left to finish the remaining 500 words? I encountered it almost every day. After trying out various apps like readability (which is my second choice), I chose Pocket (previously named as Read It Later). Evernote does a fine job of articles clipping too, just that Pocket seems to work faster on a browser.
Pocket is to bookmarking just as Evernote is to note taking, its the granddaddy of bookmarking and read it later services. It works well on mobile and web, with official mobile apps for iOS and Android together with third party clients for Blackberry and Windows Phone.
It allows you to save articles from popular news channel like Flipboard and Pulse. Not only that, it is currently integrated with more than 500 applications across various platforms. Its browser extensions and bookmarklet features practically allow you to save articles from all browsers.
Even from your mobile browser, all you need to do is to send an email via the Share button to email@example.com and you can have them sync to the rest of your to read list of articles.
Its elegant Interface is spotless and simple. It cleans up web articles and convert it into a simple and readable page. Just try it out once and you will have a good feel of how it works, it’s that intuitive.
The only problem I had: growing my list of to-be-read articles faster than I could finish them.
Which is Your Favourite App?
Any.Do & Cal – Eye Candy To-Do List with Features to Boot
If you want the most beautiful to-do list to balance the boringness of the tasks waiting you, Any.Do & its Calendar - Cal, is the way to go.
Both their interfaces look stunning. For Any.Do, you can even convert gmail emails into tasks that need to be done by using a Chrome extension.
For Cal, it can pull in all your current events from the default calendar app. Not only that, you can add in map locations of your events as well as use your voice to pull out contact information of people. Items added to Any.Do can be sync over to Cal as well.
On the flip side would be its inconsistency among its various platforms. Another restriction would be that you can only use Any.Do on Chrome besides its iOS and Android mobile platform. If you mostly use it on the move or are already using Chrome as your browser, then it will not matter much.
Oh, do wait for its new Mail and Memo app to be out. It’s going to be another art masterpiece.