Top 10 Productivity Tools For Chromebook

Post written by Marlon Ribunal.
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Around December last year (2010) Google launched a pilot program in which they gave away thousands of notebook units they called “Cr-48″ – a prototype of the Chrome OS-based notebook.

That prototype has now been fully developed and released as Chromebook which according to Google is:

“A mobile device designed specifically for people who live on the web. With a comfortable full-sized keyboard, large display and clickable trackpad, all-day battery life, light weight, and built-in ability to connect to Wi-Fi and mobile broadband networks, Chromebooks are ideal for anytime, anywhere access to the web. They provide a faster, safer, more secure online experience for people who live on the web, without all the time-consuming, often confusing, high level of maintenance required by typical computers.”

With the built-in Wi-Fi and 3G connectivity you’re always connected to the web anytime, anywhere. After all, the purpose of the Chromebook is to connect you to the internet and to your web-based applications. Go to the Chromebook site for the complete list of its features.

One of the advantages of the Chromebook is the minimal maintenance requirements of its hardware. And since it is a web-based device, you always have access to all your applications and files anytime and anywhere – that is if you have an access to the internet (a downside?). The “3G models include a free 100 MB per month of mobile data from Verizon Wireless.”

No applications (except the operating system that runs the device and other modules of its subsystem) are locally stored in the device. All your applications and data are stored in the web. This means more security and redundancy. If you lose your Chromebook, you can just log on into another Chromebook and continue to work (provided that you have a backup device).

Depending on your work habits or work style, the Chromebook – the first ever Cloud-based notebook – can help boost your productivity. Here are the

Top 10 Productivity Tools For Chromebook

1. Gmail

People prefer Gmail for their email needs on the go. Gmail has been a reliable web client mail application since its beta days. This is “must” tool for the Chromebook.

2. Google Tasks

Add and manage your tasks from your Chromebook using Google Tasks. Your tasks are visible pretty much everywhere – on Gmail, Calendar, iGoogle and through the  Google Tasks API that can be used to sync your tasks with third-party applications and devices.

3. Google Calendar

With Google Calendar you can easily manage your upcoming events. Events from Facebook or Evite can also be integrated with Google Calendar. Never miss any opportunities, and your calendar will help you remember all the events you need to remember. If you’ve been a GTD practitioner like me, you know that a calendar is an important part of any productivity system.

4. Google Docs

Do you often need to work or collaborate with other people? Share critical documents on the web with your team. The real-time access that Google Docs allows you to have can help you and your team or co-worker get things done. You can quickly edit documents anytime, anywhere as long as you have an access to the internet.

5. Evernote Web

Capture all kinds of data from the web and sort them accordingly by notebooks and tags. Save notes, ideas, and all your digital stuff on Evernote Web – audio, images, pdf’s, etc. You must have heard about the awesomeness and usefulness of Evernote. You can have its benefits on Chromebook with Evernote Web.

6. Box.Net

With Chromebook, you do not have a local hard drive to save your data to but thanks to the Cloud. Box.Net gives you a free 5GB storage on the Cloud. You can put your docs and other data online and access them anywhere.

7. Large Document

Wanting to send a large file to a client or co-worker but your email web client does not allow you to attach it because of its large size? You need Large Document which is “a secure file transfer and sharing service similar to an FTP server, DropBox or YouSendIt but does not require any login information.” Your files are available on their server up to 180 Days.

8. Podio / Cohuman

Podio App description says, “Podio gives people more power than they’ve ever had before to do everyday work better, smarter and in their own way. Combining hundreds of specialized and flexible work apps with messaging, tasks, reporting, workflow and contact management, Podio lets you build and shape the online workplace most fitting to your role.” Cohuman is an app quite similar to Podio.

9. yaM – Yet Another Meeting

Meetings are waste of time. yaM was desiged to make meetings matter. It works with any types of meeting. “Utilize existing data in Google Contacts, Google Calendar and Google Docs” and all other key benefits you’re already familiar with from other commercial collaborative applications.

10. Timer Tab

This app is essential to people practicing time-boxing productivity techniques or the Pomodoro Technique. You can use the Timer Tab as timer, alarm clock and stopwatch.

Other Interesting Chrome Apps

SlideRocket – Create impressive presentations!

Email Game – puts fun in email

Inspirational Quotes – get inspired with Productivity Quotes!

Simplenotes – quick way of capturing notes, ideas, etc

Write Space – useful for bloggers and writers. This app eliminate all the distractions of writing and put you into the writing mode.

Picnik Photo Editor – simple yet powerful photo editor

You can find and install all this to your Chrome browser or Chromebook from the Chrome Web Store.

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20 Thoughts.

  1. I love my chromebook. I have been following the progress of Google’s Chrome OS and was so excited when it finally came to market. These are just 10 of the best tools you can use on a Chrome netbook. There is so much more!
    Jay@chromenetbookreviews recently posted…Acer AC700 ReviewMy Profile

  2. What about an FTP program with similar features to FileZilla? I can’t seem to find any reliable and recommended FTP apps/extensions for the Chromebook, perhaps Google should make one?

  3. I use Gmail and other Google apps already. I may be obtuse here, but I still don’t see the differentiating advantage of a Chromebook. I already am able to use Google apps for living on the Cloud.

    What’s the advantage here?

    Also, presumably Windows apps won’t work on it? What if somebody sends me a Word document or a PowerPoint presentation? Would I be able to work on them? Will I be able to open and download PDFs and other apps?

    • The advantage is having a “stateless” laptop.

      You can’t run any windows applications on the laptop because it’s not running the Windows operating system – it runs the Chrome operating system. Not a huge revelation, since this is the same as getting an Apple computer – Windows applications wouldn’t work on that either, because Apple laptops run the Mac operating system.

      That being said, it is actually possible to emulate the windows environment to run windows applications, but not on the Chrome OS (as far as I know), so you would need to install a different operating system on the Chromebook for that to work. There are guides that show how to install the Ubuntu OS on the CR-48 chromebook – if you’re technically competent enough to root a phone, you should be able to work through this as well.

      As to your question regarding documents, you can access most document formats using google docs (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Docs#Supported_file_formats).

      You can open and download PDFs. The only applications you would use with a chromebook would be Chrome browser extensions.

  4. Hi Marlon,

    It is cool that Google was giving away the notebook for people to try them out. I know about their browser but didn’t know they had a notebook too. To be honest, I am not even using Chrome but I do use a lot of service from Google!

    When you mentioned Box.net I believe I am using something similar – dropbox. Have you heard about that?

    • Diana,

      Google is at the forefront of Cloud-based operating system (Chrome OS). They are putting the cloud into the hand of consumers. This requires a paradigm shift in computing!

      Yes, I know Dropbox which is a cloud-based storage service, too.

  5. Hello Marlon,
    I think Chromebook is very useful for online entrepreneurs. When will be it available in market and what is its expected price?
    nazimwarriach recently posted…Joby CouponMy Profile

  6. Now those are cool Marlon, but only for Chrome!!! I need a tutorial on Chrome because I find it way too confusing to use. Yep, I use it but not for my main browser. Just can’t figure the darn thing out yet. Dah!!!

    I agree with everyone else with the Box.net. Wow, will definitely be checking that out. I’m always backing up my files but if I could put the ones I use all the time on there, I would never have to worry if my computer crashes. Lordy, I’m in heaven…

    Thanks Marlon, you’re a life saver.

    Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted…Are You Ready To Make Life Give You What You WantMy Profile

    • Adrienne,

      I actually submitted my application to the pilot program but didn’t get my prototype. I wanted to test and make tutorials for all the Productivity Apps in the Chrome Web Store. I don’t think I have the extra money to shell out for a Chromebook (I hope the Chromebook people are reading this).

      If I have the time, I could probably still test those apps via the Chrome browser and come up with tutorials. Let’s see.

      By the way, Chrome browser is now my preferred internet browser. I really recommend it.
      Marlon Ribunal recently posted…How Richard Branson Lives Life By Making ListsMy Profile

    • Justin,

      Chromebooks won’t be out commercially until June 15, 2011.

      The best use case is for the lifestyle designers and consultants – people who are always on the go. The risk of losing your device on the road is too high. Just imagine if you have critical files saved locally in a hard drive then somebody stole your notebook/device. You could be ruined!

      With Chromebooks, that scenario is far from happening. You have your files in the cloud securely.

      Just like you said, this is perfect for bloggers on the move!

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