Five web apps I found essential in 2011

There are a whole load of web apps that I use regularly to help me stay productive every day. Here’s just five of them, the apps at the top of my list from 2011.


It’s been an essential part of my working day for a good couple of years now, and Evernote continues to shine. I’m not a power user, only occasionally subscribing to the Pro service when I need a bit more bandwidth. The thing with Evernote is that it just works. When I need to take a note, it’s there in an instant. I can throw a whole raft of written notes at it for days at a time and have everything immediately accessible on my laptop, iPad or phone. If I were more of a power user, I would perhaps include here things like multiple notebooks, shared notes, snapping notes with your webcam and more.

ToodleDo (with ToDo for Mac and iOS)

ToodleDo is a full on task manager that I’ve been subscribed to for about a year now, previously having tried a free service. My use of ToodleDo is entirely through third party application ToDo, so I don’t have more to say about the appication functions, except for some of the task characteristics that apply to both: due and focus lists, projects, tags, contexts and priority highlighting. The other important point is that in the time I have been subscribed, I have never know the ToodleDo service to be offline for any reason, so my tasks are always available and bang up to date whether I choose to work from my laptop, or iOS apps.


It’s been around for a while now, but my DropBox free subscription is both faultless and essential. I use the service every day to keep my files organised and highly accessible, flipping between platforms without the need to either manage any removable media, or ensure that I have connectivity to the right network.


Despite only discovering Buffer a few months ago, I’ve really come to regard this as an essential accessory to Twitter. Buffer is simply a queue for your tweets, released according to a schedule that you define. What does this mean? Potentially, your tweets reach a wider audience through consistent timed delivery (as opposed to firing them all off together). Best thing about Buffer in my view is the email functionality. Just compile an email with the title in your subject and any link in the body. Buffer does the rest and adds this to your queue.


If This Then That. Unusual but practical name that really does describe pretty well what’s going to happen when you use it. You start using ifttt by setting up some tasks, each of which looks for a specific event, and when this occurs, an action takes place. For example, when you mark an article in your Google Reader list with a star, you might like the article shared via Twitter. The interface is one of my favorites of all the applications I have used – clean, functional and free from un-necessary content.

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