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Summary:

Your to-do list has taken on a life of its own, and after several failed attempts at taming it, you’re now looking for a way to peacefully co-exist. Fortunately, new apps and devices are being created almost daily to help us improve our productivity and collaboration.

Productivity-and-Collaboration

If you’re like me, your to-do list has taken on a life of its own, and after several failed attempts at taming it, you’re now simply looking for a way to peacefully co-exist.

Fortunately, new apps and devices are being created almost daily to help us improve our productivity and collaboration.

Coolendar

Coolendar is attempting to go where no calendar has gone before, integrating traditional calendar and task apps into a “planning experience.” It works as a simple list, instead of the standard calendar view, and provides alerts of tasks and plans via email, messenger, desktop, mobile and Twitter notifications. One interesting feature is its use of tags to organize items and create group plans so that events are more social (think Twitter meets Google Calendar).

Making task entries is seamless and intuitive (the example it gives: “tomorrow 8am make sure to grab the #umbrella!”) and allow for one-click rescheduling and recurrence.

Let’s Crate

We all love the days we stumble on solutions that make some aspect of our work “ridiculously easy,” and that’s exactly what Let’s Crate claims to do for file-sharing. Create an account, select a crate for storing your files, drag and drop to upload them, and then send the link to the individual file or crate you want to share. It’s that easy, and the free plan of 1 GB of space includes six crates, 1000 downloads, and a 50 MB file-size limit, with higher-capacity plans being very inexpensive.

MyDataNest

MyDataNest is another online storage and file-sharing solution, but unlike Let’s Crate, it offers the ability to edit files online without installing any software. Files are stored online and are available to your team through shared online work spaces.

Using similar functionality to Let’s Crate, you simply upload your files and then share a link with members of your team. With their basic and free plan, you can upload files up to 50 MB in size, and that includes three collaboration folders, 2 GB of online storage, and 10 GB of monthly transfer. As with Let’s Crate, higher-capacity plans are still very affordable.

GroupZap

GroupZap takes the “cool factor” award in this roundup of apps, offering real-time brainstorming and online collaboration, as if you were in the same room with your team. Quickly set up your group’s whiteboard by simply entering your email address and sharing a link. Then use sticky notes to each add your own ideas and thoughts to the board. Team members can also upload images and files by dragging and dropping them onto the board or use boxes and arrows to further annotate concepts, processes, and dependencies.

Once all the ideas are in place, your team can then use stickers to vote on different items within the board, and when the meeting is over, you can create a PDF to send to your team as a record of the meeting or for follow-up. It even records the brainstorming session to show the progression of ideas throughout the meeting.

GroupZap is free for up to 100 MB per board, with each board remaining active for seven days. There are also pay-as-you-go and subscription options, which extend the life of a board to one year and include increases in storage capacity.

Twilert

Social networking has become the distraction of late, but if you want to keep a pulse on what’s being said about you or your company, it’s hard to navigate away from the live feed for fear of missing something. Enter Twilert, an online app that sends email updates of new tweets on topics of interest to you. Advanced search options allow for monitoring of specific keywords, people, locations, and even links and attitudes (positive or negative posts or questions).

What are some of your favorite productivity and collaboration apps?

Image courtesy of Flickr user imglighting

  1. Lucid Chart is a great tool for creating and sharing nice looking pie charts and graphs. Basecamphq.com and 37signals.com have a lot of great tools as well.

    1. Basecamp is a great project management platform even though there are clear limitations to the site. Would you consider the platform an app?

  2. Isn’t Let’s Crate kinda just like Dropbox?

  3. Sylvan Media Group Thursday, July 21, 2011

    I think it’s interesting that you say “social networking has become the distraction of late”, could you go into more detail about what you mean.

    I think there are several different platforms that do each of these well. For example, Topsy or Google Alerts (free platforms) are great for checking your social media presence and goes beyond the tweet unlike twilert

    I do think GroupZap is pretty cool. How long have you been using these platforms?

    Michael

  4. CommunicationTracker Thursday, July 21, 2011

    One of the good points that is coming out of this post is that the collaboration needs of an organization are simple, and they are best addressed with easy-to-use tools. Wouldn’t it be even better if the needs are met with one easy-to-use tool? Our thoughts on this topic are here: http://blog.communication-tracker.com/what-do-corporates-need-for-managing-communication.html

  5. iCalledU is another collaboration tool for organizations (http://www.icalledu.com). It allows managing all customers calls in one place.

  6. Awesome list for personal use. FYI as a business (we’re on the smaller end, there’s five of us) we were trying to manage all of what we do through separate apps as well, including a toDo app, contact lists, calendar, and some other things.

    The problem was this resulted in a huge workflow block – things were really inefficient jumping between 3+ apps that didn’t integrate, just to get simple tasks done. If you’re in a similar position, I recommend getting a consolidated app. We use one that integrates everything we need into one system called WORKetc. It puts CRM (contact mgmt, sales etc), project management (toDos, scheduling, time tracking, projects) and billing into one web app, so if you run a smaller business these are things you likely need to manage as well. It’s made a huge difference for us!

  7. Beata Davidson Friday, July 22, 2011

    Dropbox (https://www.dropbox.com/) makes my life so much easier. It is equally good for file storing and file sharing. As for team collaboration, we rely on Wrike (http://www.wrike.com/) as it is easy-to-use and has all project management and collaboration features that we need in our everyday work.

  8. Brian Golding Friday, July 22, 2011

    Dropbox (https://www.dropbox.com/) really makes my life much easier. It’s equally good for file storing and file sharing. As for team collaboration, we rely on Wrike (http://www.wrike.com). It’s easy-to-use and has all important project management and collaboration features.

  9. worth taking 5mins to look at these…
    http://t.co/qbMJGUdU

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