Microsoft purchased Skype back in May of 2011, but has been rather slow to integrate the communication service into its software. That, however, is beginning to change. For instance, the latest version of Office, 365 Home Premium, comes with 60-minutes of Skype credit and the there is a Modern-UI version available for Windows 8 (its built into 8.1), as well as Xbox Kinect integration, that will likely grow when the Xbox One finds its way to market later this year.
The latest Microsoft property to get the Skype treatment is Outlook.com — the web-based email client that recently replaced Hotmail, regardless if customers wanted it to or not.
The web-based version of the Outlook app produced by the software giant, and trading off of the name of its desktop-based brother, is a much cleaner and sleeker email than Hotmail or, for that matter, Gmail. It has a built-in calendar app and SkyDrive cloud storage integration.
While other Outlook.com features can be accessed from a drop-down menu at the top of the page, Skype is a bit more hidden, and there are some tricks to it.
Web-based note taking and writing apps are a dime a dozen these days. There is no dearth of choices irrespective of whether you want a quick & simple note-taking tool or a feature-packed writing app with more functionality that you can shake a stick at. Then there are bells & whistles like mobile access, synchronization with cloud services and more.
Wri.pe is a fairly new app that tries to do a lot of those things in the attempt to become your go-to service for all writing and note-taking needs. It is a simple, web-based, mobile-device ready note taking tool with a page-full of features to boast of. I took it for a drive to see if it replaced any of my staples. Here’s what I thought.
There’s nothing worse than suffering from writer’s block when you have deadlines looming large. As much as I try to keep my head above water, there are days when I just can’t seem to put my thoughts in order and get my assignments out the door. Thankfully, I’ve found a few ways to cope; my favorite way to deal with a difficult article is to create an outline of what I’m writing.
An outline is essentially a hierarchical set of ideas or notes, which can have as many or as few levels as you want. This is a great way to jot down all your thoughts for a piece, organize and arrange them and create a structure before you actually begin to write. There’s indeed an app for this, and it’s called Fargo.
Having to juggle both household responsibilities and work, productivity is always in flux for me. I’d usually sit down and focus for more than two hours, but there are instances when I’d get so distracted that the day ends with so much left undone.
I’ve tried reading up on several productivity systems, one of which is David Allen’s infamous work-life management system, Getting Things Done®. This system works well for so many people to such an extent that they would use GTD apps to fit it into their workflow. Nozbe is a web app that adheres to the GTD productivity system and has since helped thousands of people become more productive since its inception in 2007. What’s more, the app recently got a design overhaul that aims to sharpen its core feature set and introduce new features as well.
Let’s see what the latest version of Nozbe (1.7) has to offer, how it works, and if it is successful in helping users apply and adopt basic GTD principles.
The file storage and sharing marketplace is a landscape heavily populated with services. There’s good reason for this: a lot of people need to move a lot of files about, a lot of the time. Little wonder, then, that Dropbox is valued at over $4bn, and Box has managed to raise, over several rounds of funding, a total of $309m. These heavyweights provide large amounts of storage and access to files via nearly any internet-connected device.
In recent times, though, a slightly different, nimbler, quicker kind of platform has become popular. The first of this type – and, perhaps, the genre-defining player in this field – was Droplr. Since its launch in 2009, it has provided a remarkably simple and fast method of getting files online and shared. A younger competitor, CloudApp, has also entered mainstream use, and clearly there are plenty more startups which feel that this is still a lucrative file-storage niche.
One such service is Cloudup. The unique selling point of this cloud platform is its delivery of uploaded files, of nearly any type, in streams, which act as multimedia playlists. But is this focus on the recipient really the new, killer feature in the crowded file-sharing arena?
Back in old days, converting files from one format to another was a hectic task. There was (and still) a software for every type of format that you must install to convert your files. However, those days are gone; we are now surrounded by a number of cloud services that makes these tasks simpler. Currently, everything is done in the cloud – file conversion, storage, sharing and anything you can think of. There are online services that allow users to convert any type of file. Rather than finding different services for different formats, head over to CloudConvert and it will not disappoint you.
CloudConvert is a simple and easy-to-use online utility that can help you convert over 100 different formats – whether it’s audio, e-books, videos, images or anything for that matter, the website supports them all. The service supports over a 100 file formats from many different categories and is totally free of cost. The service also integrates with multiple cloud storage services so that you can automatically save the converted files in the cloud.
Let’s take it for a spin and see if it’s worth keeping as a part of your app repertoire.
As the sole proprietor of my own business, I find it can be really hard to stay on task and get work done. In fact, even writing this review, I have other things I want to do. That being said though, it’s important to have end goals set in mind. Lots of studies show that people who work towards something are happier than people who just go to work and try to make it through the day.
iDoneThis is quickly becoming an indispensable tool for me. It’s a free service for individuals, and is a great way for companies to work together to keep each other on track with projects. Read on to find out why I think everybody needs to sign up for this service, whether they’re self-employed or work in a large corporation.