I’ve been on a crusade to create a extremely efficient and productive way to work away from the office. As some of you already know, I could be considered a “Digital Nomad” and can often be found working or writing articles in coffee shops (Even as I write this right now, I’m sitting in a Starbucks in Medicine Hat, planning what’s to come in 2011). Over the past couple of years, I came across a number of different apps, methodologies and websites that all help make life easier for business professionals on the move. So, here’s the list of my top 7 favorites (As of December 20, 2010):
7. OmmWriter – This Mac-Only app has two versions, a free one that offers basic functionality and is quite enough for the basic writing needs and a paid one which provides you with more backgrounds and sounds (more on that next). This app STOPS notifications and allows you to concentrate on your work, while you can choose a beautiful background that fills your entire screen AND makes these soothing “drip-like” sounds. Of course, everything is fully configurable. Click here to check out OmmWriter.
6. SnapTell – This iPhone app is pure gold! It’s changed the way I buy books on the fly. It’s a free app that allows you to scan a book’s barcode OR take a picture of the front cover and then it feeds you with the best current prices on Amazon, references on Google, Wikipedia and Yahoo. You get instant access to Amazon reviews as well as online and local prices based on your GPS location. Just… Awesome… Click here to check out SnapTell (iTunes Link)
5. EverNote – How many times did you have a really great idea somewhere on the road or while being jerked out of sleep on a 6 hour flight by a screaming baby behind you? Happens to me all the time… so I went looking for a way to ubiquitously capture these ideas and came across EverNote. It’s a “freemium” service that allows you to capture your thoughts in forms of a text note, audio note, video note or a photo. It works accross a number of platforms including Android, iOS, Mac and Windows. Highly recommended. Check out EverNote here
3. TeuxDeux – I don’t know about you, but I’ve had a hell of a time trying to find a way to combine To Do lists and a calendar in an easy to use, easy to update way. Well, it doesn’t get easier or simpler then TeuxDeux. It’s a webapp that uses a calendar and a super simple interface to keep track of your ToDos. It’s become my project/chore/writing/business tracking tool and I use it religiously every day. Again, works with all operating systems and browsers. There’s even an iPhone app. Check it out here.
2. Flock – This browser was recently updated to run on the Chromium engine (same platform as Google’s SUPER fast Chrome) AND it integrates Social Media extremely well. I tested it against RockMelt and Flock blows it away several times over with its simplicity, ease of use and connectivity. You are easily able to send articles you find interesting and updates to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. Not only that, but you also receive a live feed from all those social networks that you can reply to right in the browser. Really awesome… also free. Get Flock here
1. DropBox – Finally the BEST tool I ever came across. DropBox GIVES you a free 2GB of online storage that AUTOMATICALLY syncs with a folder on your computer. NEVER think about bringing a USB drive again or forgetting your presentation at home… All files are readily accessible online, or through an app on your smart phone. Works across all operating systems and iOS, Android and BlackBerry. If 2GB of free space isn’t enough, you can buy 50GB for $9.99 per month OR follow the secret sauce below to get 3.25GB for absolutely free:
SPECIAL TIP: How to get 3.25 GB from DropBox for FREE
1. Create a DropBox account and set up the application on your computer / computers using this link: http://db.tt/NhTTpyc (This is a referral link that gives both you and I an extra 250MB automatically) – you’re immediately starting with 2.25GB
2. Once you create an account using the above link, go to https://www.dropbox.com/gs and complete a few really simple tasks (such as watch a how-to video and placing a file in your DropBox folder) – Now you’ll be at 2.5GB of free online storage (Cool hey?)
3. After you create an account, finish the “Get Started” tasks, go to: https://www.dropbox.com/free and earn an additional 640MB just by connecting your DropBox account with Facebook, Twitter and sending a tweet out. – which brings you to 3.125GB of free online storage!
4. Once you complete the above steps, you can receive an additional 250MB per user you refer to the service, by going to https://www.dropbox.com/referrals
5. If you signed up using this link, thank you! If not, you’re a bad bad person and somewhere a kitten is crying.
[tweetmeme]That’s it! Those are my top 7 Free Business and Productivity apps. I hope you enjoyed the read and if you did, please help spread the word by using the Tweet button to the right or by sharing this article on Facebook.
Stay warm and have a VERY Merry Christmas!
Ernest // @ebarbaric