12 Cloud-Based Tools to Stay Productive
When I was at my old company I had a large outsourced team based in the Philippines. Since I was only able to make it out there once every 10 weeks or so, we had to rely on tools that would allow us to transfer reports and communicate with one another from close to 18,000 miles away. At the time this was primarily done via email, IM and FTP. That feels so long ago because now, just a few years ago, we have seen a sharp increase in cloud-based tools for individuals and businesses. At the heart of these tools is the goal to keep people connected by allowing for access to data and the ability to easily communicate through a variety of channels.
I utilize cloud-based apps all throughout my day and didn’t realize just how much I rely on them until I sat down and began thinking about how I store and retrieve personal data and how I communicate with a number of team members, clients, and partners on a daily basis.
Here are the top 12 cloud-based tools that I use to stay productive. I use many other tools as well but these are the tools I wouldn’t know what to do without.
12 Cloud-Based Tools to Stay Productive
- Google Apps/Docs: I use Google Apps at both New Marketing Labs and my steakhouse. I also heavily use Gmail and Google Docs in my personal life.
- Google Bookmarks: Google Bookmarks ensures that I have access to my most frequently used bookmarks from any computer, anywhere I’m at. I also use Delicious but I use that more for storage and curating together lists such as corporate social media policies or food recipes.
- Google Reader: Google Reader is the primary way I’m able to consume so much information on a daily basis. There are a variety of tools available for the iPhone and iPad plus I can access from any computer with a browser.
- Mozy: Mozy allows me to sleep at night knowing that all of my data is being backed up. I have other backup processes in place including external hard-drives and heavy use of Dropbox but Mozy remains at the center of all of these processes.
- Backupify: Just as Mozy allows me not to worry about the data that’s stored on my computer(s), Backupify ensures that my social media data is backed up and available for future reference. Backupify can secure your data from a variety of services including: Flickr, Twitter, Delicious, Zoho, Google Apps/Docs, WordPress, Basecamp, Gmail, Facebook, Google Calendar, and many more.
- Dropbox: Dropbox keeps my most used files available to me wherever I am. Not only does this serve as a backup of those files, it also allows me to access from my iPhone, iPad, or any other computer. This comes in handy all the time and helps me to stay responsive to business requests for copies of files.
- Evernote: I have been a fan of Evernote since it was first launched. I have multiple notebooks that I use for all sorts of things including my task management, goal setting, lists of all kinds, and random notes.
- Hootsuite: While technically I could’ve listed all of the different social platforms, I would like to think that would be sort of obvious. However, Hootsuite is important because it allows me to stay connected on too many Twitter accounts and Facebook Pages to count.
- Yammer: We’re just deploying Yammer at New Marketing Labs but it is being used to keep our team connected so that we’re not constantly interrupting each other and so that we can stay in contact when we’re traveling. We had used other internal networks such as Socialcast and they worked great but a few of our partners were already using Yammer so we decided to give it a try. So far, it’s pretty awesome!
- ScrewTurn: ScrewTurn is what we use for our corporate wiki where we keep information on just about everything we do including our policies, timelines, meeting notes, discussions and lots of other great uses we’re finding for it.
- Zoho: When we first launched New Marketing Labs we bounced around between a few CRMs and finally settled on Zoho. I wanted a full-featured platform because I had spent 3 years as the administrator of NetSuite at my old company but we didn’t have the needs of, for example, a software company that has hundreds or thousands of leads coming in each day.
- GoToMeeting: Even though Citrix Online is a client of mine, I have been using GoToMeeting for years. I already travel a lot. If it wasn’t for GoToMeeting, I would have to rent a closet at an airport because I would never be home.
What are some of your favorite cloud-based tools to stay productive and keep connected?
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