Minor geek ‘what I use’ post …

May 18, 2010

As I’ve said numerous times here, I like to waste available productive time by not being productive at all, testing and fiddling with productivity software, sites, and techniques like Getting Things Done and Action Method.  I’ve been staying on target of late, though, not veering off on some new tangent.  I’ve been keeping my focus and most of my data in the cloud but accessible on whatever machine I happen to be on.   Since I use a Windows machine half the day, and a Mac the rest of the time, access to the same synchronized data is an important thing to me.

With the exception of a small notebook and the Mac based word processor, Nisus Writer, I use the Google suite of applications and these 4 main “cloud” tools that I’ve been sticking with for some time.

1. Dropbox for file synchronization and back up.  I would recommend Dropbox to anyone.  Right now I have it synchronizing, and thus backing up, my documents and pictures from my Mac to the cloud.  This gives me access to everything no matter where I am and what machine I might be on via the Dropbox client or their website.  Very handy indeed.  I use the $9.95 premium service, which gives me 50 gig of space vs. the 5 gig with a free account because I have a lot of data.

2. Evernote for data capture.  Another recommendation for everyone.   A simple copy and paste and there you have it.  I capture entire web pages, URLs, photographs, grab quotes, keep lists, manage projects, and have even put some .exe files in Evernote.  This is another service that has clients for both PC and Mac, and allows access to your data via their website.  They even have a Blackberry client.  I could probably replace Toodledo with Evernote, but I’m using them for separate functions and plan on keeping it that way.  Minor bother, some  functional differences between the PC and the Mac clients, like pasting links.  But that’s due to differences in the OS handling of certain functions.  Again, while I probably don’t really need it and could use the free account, I have a premium account for $45 a year.

3. Toodledo for a to do list and project list.  I used this service a year or so ago, then switched to Vitalist, a service I had also used previously.  But I recently came back to Toodledo as you can use subtasks in their premium subscription – $14.95 a year  –  and also lets you paste clickable links in your notes section, something Vitalist would not do. (With Vitalist you had to open the note, copy the link, and then paste into your browser).

4. Jott.  This could be used for my to do list too, and is on occasion, depending on the task.  But I mainly use it to call and leave voice notes for myself.  Jott transcribes the voice mail, puts it into my Jott lists while keeping the VM so you can hear it yourself, shoots the transcript to my Gmail, and if I want, even sends it to Toodledo.  I could use my Blackberry for voice notes, but Jott is far more convenient.  I’ve been with this service since they were free and in beta, but now use the  to Jott Annual plan for $39.50.

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