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James Cull

Content Editor for AppStorm

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When it comes to web-based task and project management apps, the Web is literally overflowing with them. You’ve got the choice between a huge range of different ones all designed to promote greater integration within businesses and generally help towards a more productive workflow. I recently looked at yaM and Podio, which both boast a wide range of features and are pretty impressive tools to help businesses collaborate.

The only problem with these kinds of project managers is that they tend to be geared towards high-end business users and tend to over-complicate themselves with features that are wasted on the average Joe such as your author here. I’m a techie, so the more complicated things are the better they will stand out with me but for most people, these advanced features can be a bit overwhelming. Think of startup companies, who don’t want to blow their IT budget on one program and who want simple collaboration tools that lets everyone in the office know exactly what they are working on.

Enter cohuman. It is, like many others in its category, a web-based task management app but there’s a spark of insight woven into the program that makes it easy to use yet still retaining some mighty features. Cohuman has recently being bought out by Mindjet, a company that develops visualisation solutions such as mind-mapping software for both Windows and Mac. You’d think that this is a marriage made in heaven, wouldn’t you?

Well, let’s take a look at cohuman to see whether this marriage is eternal, or if it is already on the rocks…

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Can you imagine what a computer would be without any applications? It’s a bit like imagining a car without wheels. You’ve got the basic shell, but without the wheels you can’t really do anything. It’s a bit like that with a computer and its applications. Yes, you can use the computer, but you can’t really use it to its full potential.

No matter which operating system you run, there’s usually an app out there for everything. I know the feeling that once you’ve bought a new computer (or especially if you are migrating across to another operating system), you’ll want to get downloading as many applications as possible so you can get the best out of your computer. The question is, though, which ones do you download? Do you have to trawl through those endless “The Top 50…” lists to find a couple of applications you want to download?

How about a web app to help you find new apps for your favorite platform?

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The possibilities of browsing Internet content nowadays is pretty much endless. There is such a range of web browsers out there that it gives you a headache deciding between them all. Given the recent explosion of smartphones and tablets such as Apple’s iPad in recent years, web browsing has been made mobile. In today’s technology-obsessed world, if you’re cut off from the Internet, you’re just about cut off from life itself.

Yet given all these new-fangled browsers, the actual way of internet browsing hasn’t really changed over the years. Take Google for example. Apart from the odd tweak here and there, the world’s most popular search engine looks pretty much the same as it did several years ago, where it was competing among the likes of Altavista, Lycos and Yahoo.

Yes, if it isn’t broken then don’t fix it. However, you’d think there would be a more intuitive way of browsing through images and videos. I certainly do. And this is where Cooliris comes in. Believe it or not, it’s actually a browser plug-in rather than a standalone app, and what a plug-in it is. It is, for the time being anyway, the best way to browse interactive media such as pictures, videos and games on the Internet.

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I, like many others, enjoy cooking, especially when I’ve got the time (and patience) to work up something magical in the kitchen department. It’s something that helps take my mind off other things and the results are (mostly) very good! Cooking is a mixture of own knowledge as well as some improvisation thrown in, and you don’t necessarily have to be able to follow a cookbook to be able to cook.

But if you are just starting out cooking, or you can’t be bothered (or you don’t trust yourself) to rustle something up from the leftovers in the fridge, then you’ll need a cookbook. There is one problem with this, though. Go into your local bookshop and just look at the range available. It is almost impossible to distinguish between them, and the choice available is enough to give some people a headache. Your next solution is to turn to the internet, but there is still a mind-boggling array of recipe websites. Searching for “recipe” on Google yields a staggering 735 million results! What you want is a simple, easy-to-use website along with simple, easy-to-cook recipes to match.

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Everyone loves a good infographic. It is such an easy way to digest statistics instead of having to read endless lists of boring and confusing figures, and it certainly makes the lunch break browse of the ‘Net a lot more interesting. Websites such as Mashable publish plenty of infographics and visualisations on their website, and the useful thing about visualisations is that they can virtually be published on any topic, as long as there’s some degree of statistics involved (my particular favourite is this one on Angry Birds users).

But, what happens if you are searching for a particular visualisation, either for your article or just out of general interest? Yes, there’s the old-fashioned way of searching via Google or trawling through hundreds of sites, but surely you just want a site like Flickr where you can browse through infographics, without having to waste time searching for them?

This is exactly what Visual.ly is. Think of it as Flickr for infographics and visualisations. Signing up is completely free and there’s some exciting features built into it (with a couple more in the pipeline).

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Given the explosive rise in Internet usage over the past few years, businesses are now turning to the virtual world of the Internet to advertise their products and services. Sites such as Twitter and Facebook are now commonplace for advertising as they offer a number of advantages over traditional forms of advertising such as newspaper or magazine adverts. Internet-based advertising is often a whole lot cheaper than print advertising and it can reach a much larger catchment area, often outside the traditional catchment area of the business.

The key question for businesses now is: how can they harness this increase in internet-based advertising and, most importantly, can it create revenue for the business? The whole area can be a bit of a minefield to businesses who have never ventured into the world of online advertising before but luckily there are some helpful tools on the Net designed to guide businesses through this minefield.

Raven Tools is one of these. It has a wide range of tools depending on whether you use SEO (search engine optimisation), social media networks or Google products such as Analytics and AdWords. This could be a real advantage to any online business looking to broaden its horizons.

Let’s take a look at Raven Tools in a bit more detail.

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Since the explosion of cloud computing, small businesses are now turning to Internet-based software to help collaborate internet processes and help with the daily grind of tasks, meetings and memos. Internet-based software is much more appealing to businesses as it avoids the needs for expensive software licence fees and complicated computer systems. Internet-based systems also make the process of working from home a far easier and much more cost-effective solution for businesses.

I recently looked at Pivotal Tracker and yaM, two internet-based utilities that can help businesses collaborate easier (in the case of Pivotal Tracker) or organize meetings easier (in the case of yaM). But, what happens if you want to collaborate every aspect of your business, yet want to avoid spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on an ERM system such as SAP?

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For as long as I can remember, technology has really influenced the way we do things, such as the way we communicate, receive news and generally look at the world. This influence has also spread to the world of work. Nowadays, technology has meant that companies can reach out globally, not just locally, and has enabled them to spread their influence all over the world.

Look at business meetings nowadays. It used to be that meetings meant you had to spend an hour cooped in a hot, sweaty conference room with a cup of lukewarm dishwater posing as coffee. And not to forget the time it takes to get to said conference room. Nowadays, a lot more meetings are conducted over the Net, for example via teleconferencing. This not only keeps costs down but is also a lot more practical – meetings can be conducted straight from your desk.

Of course, there are plenty of ways to conduct meetings remotely. But these tend to be expensive to both set up and maintain. How does a free, Net-based meeting manager sound? Well, this is exactly what yaM (Yet Another Meeting) is. There’s no complicated software to install or monthly subscription fees to pay. You simply sign up, invite your colleagues and get to work.

I think we’re onto something here! Let’s delve deeper…

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Anyone who works in a business will know how important collaboration is on a project. It allows you to work more effectively by knowing exactly who is doing what and can save business time and, most importantly, money. In today’s world, which revolves around technology and the Internet, project management has moved from those old-fashioned paper Gantt charts pinned up on the noticeboard around work to the virtual world of silicon chips and cloud-based computing.

There’s so many project managers, and yet most seem to be the same old system with a slightly different design. Then there’s Pivotal Tracker, an app that takes a fully unique approach to managing projects the agile way.

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Mobile phones have, in the last few years, become a sheer necessity in almost everyone’s life. Imagining life without a mobile phone is like imagining a world without air – nothing would function and people would be at a loss on what to do. We use mobile phones for everything, from checking the weather forecast to keeping in touch with everyone – the possibilities with them are endless.

Along with this sharp rise in mobile phones (especially, in the past few years, smartphones), mobile advertisers have found ever more ingenious ways to cash in. Mobile advertising and marketing is big business and, owing to the rise in popularity of smartphones, a growing business. There are many different ways to embed adverts into mobile phones, either through applications or advertisements on mobile-optimized webpages.

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