10 Google Apps Tried and Tested- a Little Red Review (Part Two)

download

(Image courtesy of digitaltrends.com)

So here we are- finishing off my review of the latest Google Apps I’ve checked out and applied to my own business planning.

With five left to review, first up is Trello, an ideal App for project managers who love “work in progress” boards and lists.

Trello- An App which prides itself on bringing business teams together, Trello is a tool for the not-so-organized. You can arrange story boards and lists specific to projects and under headings such as “Needs Work”, “Approved” etc. To me, the App is easy to navigate and simple to use. Not only can you use Trello for business projects, but I’ve also recommend the App to two friends who need a wedding and public fundraiser planning tool! It’s an App you can use daily in your personal and business lives. Issues? Switching between boards can get a little tricky (try the App here and see for yourself). I’d suggest this App to: project managers, event planners, Busy Parents, any small business owner!

    • Little Red’s Rating: 4/5

Read Later Fast- One of my favourite Google Apps to date. I’m always flicking through papers online and hard copies of article that I really should push from the “read this week” pile to the “MUST READ TONIGHT!” pile. Read Later Fast (watch a Fan Review here) is another perfect organizational tool for small business owners and students and is designed to de-clutter your bookmark folders in your browsers. I have so many bookmark folders, I may as well start again from scratch because it’s like a big black hole where my articles and great must-reads go to die. The App can be synced with diigo.com, an innovative App (with its own website) that provides sticky notes and highlighting of your documents. Read Later Fast and Diigo allow you create a RLF (Read Later Fast, if you didn’t guess) bookmark on your browser and then you save your documents to this bookmark, which is purposefully connected to the App. Great for Android and iPad, as well as the iPhone (better with 4S and 5) in an offline mode, this tool is convenient for those who read online A LOT. Issues? There is little info available on how to use Read Later Fast on a Mac, the App’s Help pages need their own help (very weak in the support department if you get stuck or lose links), it’s not great to use on multiple computers (i.e. the one account on multiple computers), some of my articles have been saved as the URL and then have gone missing. Big Sad Face here. I’d suggest this App to- students, small business owners (especially those in marketing, medical services, writing, SEO specialists)

    • Little Red’s Rating: 3/5

Task Timer- As the name suggests, this App is a timer for every task you need to complete within a given time. Suitable for time-orientated tasks, I have used the App for quoting and invoicing purposes, for thesis writing and for typing and transcription tasks. Very simple to use and Task Timer lets you pause and delete tasks with the press of a button. Issues? I’d say it needs work to use in medium-sized businesses and corporations. The creator/developer needs to add so many more features for it to be a stand-out above the other timer Apps available, such as Cloud Timer, which has more features than Task Timer, yet performs more poorly in Google’s Fan Ratings. I’d suggest this App to- any small business owner who charges by the hour (writers, accountants, bookkeepers, business developers), students

    • Little Red’s Rating: 3.5/5

images (2)

(image courtesy of learning-mind.com)

Cognifit- Now for some fun and a smidge of humiliation if you think you are a gun in the Brain Games department. This App provides personal Training sessions for your brain. Apparently all sections in the App are scientifically tested. You start with an initial assessment, then head straight into training from there. Worst thing I ever did was open this App for the first time at midnight one night and wonder why my coordination and spatial recognition skills were slightly zombified and helter skelter. But it’s great fun and a cool way to chill and sneakily compete against friends and family. Not sure if this is a good thing for those fiercely competitive families out there, some rifts may be widened! You can create an account with a valid email or via Facebook/Twitter. The website is easy to access and is a breath of fresh air in the design department, especially when all you’ve done all day is read RSS feeds. Issues? So you think you’re smarter than a fifth grader? Take a deep breath before attempting some of these challenges late at night. You probably should add Google Connect to use this App, makes it far quicker to load. It’s addictive! I’d suggest this App to- anyone who enjoys a romp into tricky mind testing, anyone who loves to combine game play with brain training

    • Little Red’s Rating: 4.5/5

And last, but not least…..

download (1)

(Image courtesy of verydemotivational.com)

Dictanote- For use with Chrome, this rich text editor and speech recognition App has been described as “MS Word Junior”. It’s an in-browser tool which can help you create paragraphs through connecting with the Voice Chrome extension. Simple! Issues? I still am a fan of Dragon Naturally Speaking so am finding it hard to jump on board this little-known App. The last few times I used it, it stopped recording unexpectedly a couple of times. I’d suggest this App to- university lecturers, postgraduate students, writers

    • Little Red’s Rating: 4/5

So there you have it! Little Red’s Google Apps, sitting there waiting for you to try. What Google Apps do you treasure? Which ones deserve a thumbs up and which ones could you do without?

10 Google Apps Tried and Tested- a Little Red Review (Part One)

So my latest research adventure had taken me to the deepest, darkest depths of the Google App Macrocosm. I have been looking for some inventive, inspiring and slightly left-field apps which could help make my time spent staring into my screen and into my notebooks just that extra tad enjoyable and productive. Some of the Apps may be known to you, the others you may just have to check out for yourself here at the Chrome Store.

images

(Image courtesy of lerablog.com)

In no particular order, but all rated, tried and tested by me (Little Red), these are the Apps I’ve been playing around with over the last two weeks.

Mention- By giving this app keywords, I’ve been able to keep an eye on my brand, popular keywords specific to my interests and my industry passions. I’ve been able to find out who is talking copy writing or small business on Twitter and Pinterest via real-time alerts. I’ve received these alerts via email and have checked daily. I’ve found some using useful tools, articles and general web users who I’d like to follow using Mention. You can add most social media accounts to these app and watch the keyword alerts pile up big-time. Issues? Most of my alerts have come from Twitter- I want a wider search. I’d suggest this app to: writers, marketing gurus, customer service specialists, SEO managers

    • Little Red Rating: 4/5

MindMeister- Who doesn’t love a good brainstorming session? I’ve been able to create and edit mind maps through this app and share the content I’ve created. You can export your files to Adobe (for PDF generation), Word and PowerPoint. If you share a mind mapping session with a team of signed-up users, you can chat with those members live. The best thing about this App is that I’ve been able to sit in bed and use it on my iPad. Handy! This app can be synced with your Google Drive. Issues? You need a Google Login (obviously) and it interacts with some of your other Google Apps, which you may not want. I’d suggest this App to: Event Planners, Account Managers, Project Managers and those who adore lists and note-taking as much as I seem to

    • Little Red Rating: 4.5/5

SocialSav- If you’re like me and some days, don’t have as much time to follow social media trends. this App may be a useful one to check out. It’s a free weekly report that outlines social media trends, a basic performance analysis of your brand (you can add up to three with the free account) and a bonus is that, for those competitive small business owners, you can add up to two competitor brands to compare how you are travelling (social-media) growth wise. There are a variety of platforms you can monitor your brand’s performance from and you can compare things like Fan Expansion and Fan Engagement. For those who use Tweet Deck or HootSuite, you can view updates of these monitoring tools via SocialSav updates too. Issues? It appears to be quite a new-ish App so there are no other easily accessible reviews I can compare this “critical analysis” to. I’d suggest this App to: medium-size business owners, business owners who use multiple social media platforms and monitoring tools, sticky beaks and those who want to engage in a bit of social media rivalry

    • Little Red Rating: 3/5

Google Docs- Given that Chrome Store users have rated this App a 4.5/5 Star App, I had to check it out. It’s one of those great “hunter and gatherer” tools I like to stumble across- it prides itself in keeping all your documents together, in the one place. Your Google mates can see changes to your documents (Please refer to the Issues? I’m about to address). It’s yet another mobile-friendly App (which I’ve only used on the trusty iPad so far) which means I can use the App at any point in my day (or night, depending on how long my tiniest Goblin is awake for). I’ve been able to open and edit files on a laptop that doesn’t have the Office software installed- best feature, other than the grand idea of it being an online brief case. Issues? If you value your privacy when it comes to your documents, consider wisely how much you add to Google Docs- it is a sharing-is-caring App, after all. I’d suggest this App to: well, everyone really.

    • Little Red Rating: 4.95/5 (nothing’s that perfect right?)

Remember The Milk- The catchy name caught me from the beginning. It was love at first site. I love the fact that over 100,000 Google Chrome Users are remembering the milk at present! It’s another mobile-friendly app (which has thankfully kept both Android and Apple users happy). The App syncs with Outlook. Excited! The App connects with Twitter and Google Calendar. Yesss! Easily set due dates for tasks ahead of time (loving this, as I can’t live without my diary and my hundred million hard-copy lists on a daily basis). Be reminded of your lists and tasks via email or text. Awesome! Best feature? The App in itself. It’s quick, stable (haven’t noticed any significant crashes since I became a user) and the Hippies and Greenies of the World will love you for becoming a supporter of this App- forget your notepads and paper reams and save the trees peoples! Issues? Not for lactose-intolerant desktop users- apparently the Desktop Offline feature has not been rolled out to users yet. Le Sigh! I’d suggest this app to: any parent, grandparent, aunty, cousin, teacher, nurse, well anyone busy and anyone with internet access. You totally get my drift. 

    • Little Red Rating: 5/5 (I think it’s pretty near perfect!)
Remember the Milk

Remember the Milk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LEJ