Seven Cloud Tools for More Organized and Productive Life

I use an iPhone, an iPad, and two Macs (an old Macbook I just got and a Mac Mini in my office). You would think that I use Apple’s integrated apps for pretty much everything, wouldn’t you? In fact, I don’t use their apps except when I have to.

  1. I use the Agenda iOS app and Google Calendar for my schedule. Google Calendar is just a better cross-platform format than iCal, and Agenda has a nice clean interface that reminds me of a desk calendar. I find iCal to be cumbersome.
  2. For browsing the web, I use Google Chrome. The ability to sync all my settings across ANY machine I am using regardless of OS is very important to me.
  3. I have been using Gmail for my email for years, and while sometimes I wish I had a desktop mail client I could rely on, Gmail works just fine. Google has been adding features like Google+ integration and opening the API to developers, and Gmail is just GOOD at email.
  4. I take all my notes on Evernote. I even use Evernote for my mileage log. Every piece of paper I receive, every important document  I need to consider, it goes into Evernote. I just throw things in there and organize it when I can.
  5. Rather than using Apple’s mediocre Reminder app or Google’s lackluster Tasks option for my To Do List, I use Any.DO. This nifty little app on iOS also has a Google Chrome plug-in that runs in its own window on my computers. It is well-designed and efficient at what it does.
  6. Until recently, I was using a combination of Apple’s Pages word processor and a virtual Windows XP machine to do document creation. Since last month, however, I have been using a combination of Microsoft Word for Mac 2011 and Dropbox. As far as I am concerned, Dropbox still owns personal cloud storage. Since Apple’s iCloud does not work on older Macs, it is cumbersome for me to have to download and upload documents every time I edit them at home. Microsoft’s new licensing plan allows me to have five computers running the Office Suite, so it just makes sense to use Word.
  7. For social media, I update almost exclusively from the Everypost app for iOS. Rarely do I ever post something from one of my computers. Everypost updates Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Twitter simultaneously, and you can use it for links, pictures, and YouTube. The only social media platform I interact on is Facebook, so I don’t need something like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite.

So, there you go. I would say that probably 95% of everything I do online employs one or more of these seven apps. Because they are all cloud-based, I have access to everything whenever I need it, and that allows greater flexibility in where and when I can be productive.

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