Monday, January 10, 2011

Cloud tools for students...

As we start a new semester, here are a few of my favorite online tools for students.  I use all three.

Dropbox
What it is:

  • Free online storage that syncs with a folder on the hard drive of your computers.

Benefits: 

  • You'll never have to back up again.  If you put all your work in to your dropbox folder on your computer it is automatically and instantly synced with the cloud.   
  • If you have dropbox installed on more than one computer, all your work is automatically synced across all your machines.
  • You can share folders with others - which makes it a great tool for online collaboration

What it is:

  • An online storage for pretty much any type of note - whether it be a text note, pdf file, picture from your phone, web clipping, bookmark etc etc.

Benefits:

  • Use it for storing all sorts of data.  
  • Find what you need with the powerful search function that even looks for text in pictures.
  • You can manipulate your notes using a desktop client.

Springpad
What it is:

  • Another online organizer like Evernote but a little different.  
  • Allows you to organize notes by type - bookmarks, products, to do lists, check lists etc.
  • Makes full use of HTML5 - so has a really nice interface.

Benefits:

  • You need a "personal assistant" organizer.
  • You want to create to-do lists that are organized by project and keep the associated project files in the same location
  • You don't care about a desktop client.

I've been an Evernote user for a couple of years, but more recently I've been using Springpad because it's more user friendly for day to day stuff.

Google Reader
What it is:

  • A blog reader for organizing and reading blog postings.


Benefits:

  • It's simple and lightweight.
  • You can access it via your smartphone.
  • You can view this blog on it.