Three Web Services You Should Be Using

Last Updated Nov 10, 2009 2:01 PM EST

It's easy to get stuck in a tech rut, doing things the old, familiar way when there's a better, faster, cheaper, and/or more effective solution.

For example, do you still e-mail Word documents around the office so everyone can review or edit them? That's insanely inefficient. Let's take a look at three free and easy Web services that will help break you out of your productivity-sapping tech rut.


Drop.io Still copying large files to your flash drive, then walking the drive over to your co-worker's PC (or, horrors, Fedexing it to a client)? That's not the smart way to share data, folks. The smart way is to upload your files to a temporary, password-protectable "drop," then give anyone who needs it the link to that drop. Free. Easy. Awesome.

Google Docs If you have a document, spreadsheet, or presentation that needs to be shared with other people, there's no easier mechanism than Google Docs (or Zoho Docs, if you prefer). It's a snap to invite others to view and/or collaborate -- even at the same time. Documents reside in the cloud, so you can access them from anywhere. Oh, and Google Docs is free. Tell me again why you're not using it?

Meebo Instant messaging is an essential part of modern business, but too many people rely on bloated, overwrought client software (cough Yahoo Instant Messenger cough) that supports only one or two IM platforms. Meebo is a free, Web-based solution that lets you connect with every IM service known to man, including AIM, GTalk, MSN, Yahoo, and even Facebook. There's nothing to install; just sign in at whatever computer you happen to be using. Then kick your system-clogging IM client to the curb.

Seriously, I'd be lost without these three services. What about you? What Web tools do you find indispensable? Hit the comments and name 'em!

In the meantime, check out my follow-up: Three More Web Services You Should Be Using.
  • Rick Broida On Twitter»

    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.

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