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Is your head in the cloud?
Following on from our article in the The Village Tweet, we have listed some of the best apps you can find in the “cloud”.
It’s the future of computing, but “the cloud” has been around for over 10 years and, chances are, if you have accessed any kind of service over the Internet (like Gmail or Flickr) then you have already used the cloud.
The cloud is the IT industry’s term for pretty much anything you can access via the Internet. At the moment software is the rising star but it includes hosting, storage and more…
Following on from our article in The Village Tweet, here are some of the best (we think) apps offered up by the cloud:
An online storage system that enables you to save any type of file and access them from any computer that has a browser. You can also download the app on to your desktop and just drag documents, pictures and more into the Dropbox folder and it will update online.
A great time tracking system that is extremely easy to use. Just type in the project you are working on, the client it applies to (if applicable) and hit start. You can then record what you spend your time on and view the reports online – great if you run a time-based business. And this has a desktop app too.
Sending marketing emails to your customer base? Mail Chimp is an easy to use email marketing system that lets you create beautifully branded emails to send to your customer or subscriber base. No more outlook limits or attachment bounces and there’s even a step-by-step get started guide.
This versatile and any-platform app takes written, pictorial and audio notes and sort them into searchable notebooks so you need never forget anything again - ever. All local clients stay in sync with the cloud, so you keep filling pages and reading filed copy when you're offline, which makes it much more versatile than an online only option. The only thing it doesn't do brilliantly is ToDo lists.
Pixlr provides photoshop-like photo-editing tools such as red-eye reduction, brushes, filters, alpha transparency, feathering, anti-alias, and layers. It supports PSDs, JPEGs, GIFs and PNGs amongst others. The array of filters is impressive and work continues on adding new features. Pixlr Grabber allows Pixlr to behave even more like a desktop app. A plugin for Explorer, Firefox and Chrome, it adds an option to the context menu to allow you to open images in the Pixlr editor directly.
If you are a small business owner the word “expenses” generally conjures visions of shoe-boxes stuffed with receipts. Expensify aims to take the hassle out of collating your expenses. With the Expensify app, you can take a picture of your receipts and it will automatically upload them to your Expensify account. For a small fee, you can “smart-scan” the receipts which will attempt to take details from the receipt such as the merchant, amount and date, and add them to your expense report for you. On top of this, Expensify can also link with your online banking, and automatically generate “e-receipts” which will be added to your expense report. These two features combined mean you will be spending a lot less time fishing through receipts and collating data.
Freshbooks streamlines the process of invoicing your clients, logging your time and keeping track of who owes you what.
It allow you to effortlessly create invoices either from scratch or using hours logged. You can also send invoices to your clients either by email or regular mail and have them pay through Paypal or a number of different payment gateways. Clients can also log in to a client portal at yourcompany.freshbooks.com to check their outstanding balance, review their payment history, pay invoices and various other features.
Skype turns your computer into a phone: you can call or chat (with or without video) to other Skype users for free. You can also call landlines and mobile phones for a small fee. SMEs can use Skype to keep in touch with everyone they work with and for. Colleagues and clients can meet without leaving their respective cities, saving businesses precious time and money.
Chatter is essentially an in-house social network. It allows your employees to share files, collaborate easily on projects and pose questions to the whole company, which cuts down on meeting times, decreases the number of emails sent and increases how quickly employees can gather information.
Keeping New Year’s Resolutions can be hard so why not try setting yourself tasks to help you achieve them with Wunderlist. It’s power features and slick interface make Wunderlist one of the best cloud based task managers around. The app allows you to set and manage tasks, assign them to other people, set completion dates and much more and with mobile applications on Android and iOS whatever you work you can stay in the loop. Also if that isn’t enough they’ve recently redone their entire web interface to make task management just that little bit more awesome.
Top Apps In The Cloud
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