Google launched their Chrome Web Store last year to some well-received notice. But in reality, it serves only as a glorified directory for web apps accessible on any standards-compliant browser. And that isn’t necessarily a downer. In fact, with little intervention needed to work on Chrome, many web apps were immediately available via this store — including a bunch of awesome apps that can enhance anyone’s productivity.
The range of productivity-enhancing apps available on this web store range from PowerPoint replacements to full-fledged viewers for AutoCAD files. Let’s take a look at a few that you can use in a generic workflow.
MindMeister is a web-based mind mapping and brainstorming tool that allows you to create maps that can be worked on collaboratively. This collaboration is in “realtime” and is also global — with an integrated live chat to communicate with your coworkers when working on a map.
Once your session is over, you can export maps for offline browsing in popular formats such as Office and PDF. Plus, an iPhone and iPad application can access the maps for mobile browsing.
Vyew is an app that’s “beyond web conference” which warrants its title thanks to its realtime whiteboard and document collaboration tools. Multiple viewers can join a session in a “room” and review documents — or watch a stream of the host’s desktop.
Webcam streaming isn’t the main feature of this app, but it is used to create a real, lifestyle conference when you just can’t meet up with your team.
Todo.ly is a simple task managment and to do list web app for intuitive workflow management. Entries can be organised into multiple projects and have sub-tasks for better management of your project. Todo.ly acts like a native app with a drag-and-drop interface and has quicker access to core tools, like renaming or prioritizing.
Producteev is a unique task management app in that it doesn’t support “to-do items” in the usual way. Instead, in order to generate a list of tasks, one must forward important emails to the service which will send alerts and list it as a task. Producteev stays in sync with your mobile device and your various email and social networking accounts to create a more dynamic task list and allow for an alternative method of organizing your workflow.
Mint is a finance web app that provides an “intelligent” way of managing your money. You can set a budget and track goals for your financial mind from within the app which, as most are on this list, is supported with its own iPhone application. Your financial data is presented in a meaningful, visual way so you can see a true representation of your income and expenses — as well as any shortcomings that may arise.
LucidChart is a feature-rich, graphical tool for online diagramming and mock-ups. Inside the free-to-use app is a selection of basic drawing tools (think Photoshop for 5 year-olds) in which you can collaborate with others in real time — a common trend amongst most of these apps. The potential the app holds is very high, and it’s a very intuitive experience unlike some of its rivals.
SlideRocket is a kick-ass alternative to native presentation software like Microsoft’s PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote. From within the web-based application, you can create a variety of stunning presentations and share them anywhere (including to the HTML5 viewer available on iPhone and iPad). You can add video to your presentations from YouTube – a feat out of the reach for many…even in PowerPoint – and other sources, as well as recording audio commentary and playing it alongside your presentation.
The strength of these type of apps is their compatibility across platforms, so your big keynote looks great on a Mac or a Windows machine.
Diigo collects your bookmarks, highlights, annotations, images and documents into a single library that you can access at a later date. Diigo allows you to add digital annotations and highlights across the web and on your mobile devices for viewing on those same platforms.
HootSuite is a social media client that allows you to update networks like Twitter and Facebook, all inside of a web application. It’s touted as a “social media dashboard”, providing several different views to track and monitor your current online social status — whether it be corporate or personal.
10. Pivotal Tracker
Pivotal Tracker is an online, agile project management tool on the Chrome Web App Store. It’s described as a lightweight (yet collaborative) app brought to you by experts in agile software development.
A testament to the app analogizes Pivotal Tracker to be an iPod — while rival applications are more like Microsoft Zunes — and there’s a certain serenity to the simplistic approach of the app.
Chrome has a larger productivity section on their web store, hosting many alternative apps both unique and as rivals to the ones I’ve commented on today. Be sure to check the over 600(!) apps listed in their directory.
(Image courtesy of KitFoxInk under a Creative Commons 2.0 generic license.)
Popular search terms for this article: