6 web based tools you really need to know

The cloud is the future. Thanks to faster broadband connections, more powerful web programming techniques, better browsers and cheaper online storage and traffic, the number of web tools that let you do tasks online is increasing at a rapid pace. Here are 6 awesome web applications that could help you to get rid of your old and expensive desktop software.

Presentations: Prezi
Prezi has dusted off the boring concept of static presentations based on PowerPoint. The service lets you create beautiful, dynamic presentations directly within the browser. Upload your own content such as text, images or video files, set the order for the content to be shown, and you’re ready to impress the audience. You can run your presentation in the browser or download it to your hard drive.

Image editing: Pixlr
There are many image editing tools out there, with different feature sets and complexity. One of the nicest ones is Pixlr. Going to www.pixlr.com/editor presents you with an interface that looks pretty much like Photoshop, and that offers you all the basic image editing tools you need. It’s free and really quick. And like Twingly, it’s from Sweden. Alternatives to Pixlr are for instance FotoFlexer, Picnik and Photoshop.com.

Mind mapping: MindMeister
If you are the visual type, you might like creating mind maps for structuring ideas, tasks or lists. In this case you should check out MindMeister, the ultimate web based mind mapping tool. You can create and manage mind maps and you can share them and collaborate with others in real time. MindMeister also offers an iPhone app.

Office: Google Docs
Even though Google Docs has existed for many years, way too many people still don’t know that Google is providing everyone with a free and versatile online office suite to upload, edit and collaborate on text, spreadsheet and presentation files. Although Docs is missing a few of the more advanced functions you find in Microsoft’s Office products, it’s more than sufficient for most of people’s daily office needs. It comes especially handy if you are working with different machines, since you skip transferring files from one computer to the other. Another similar service is Zoho.

Diagrams: Lovely Charts
Do you find yourself creating diagrams occasionally, or you would like to do it but don’t know how? Lovely Charts allows for browser based creation of all kinds of diagrams and charts, like flowcharts, site-maps or organizational charts. Here is a screen cast that shows you how you can use Lovely Charts.

Audio editing: Myna
Aviary are the makers of an awesome suite of browser based creativity tools. One of their apps is called Myna, a basic audio editor in the cloud. With Myna, you can edit audio files in a variety of formats, you can merge and mix samples and you can even record with your computer’s microphone. Myna also has a neat SoundCloud integration. If you are into music, Myna could be a great little helper.

What are your favourite web based tools?

/Martin Weigert