My Favorite Web Apps

These are some applications (free and not free) that I have been using a lot, and that I would now consider myself unable to live without. All of them are web-based in that they are accessible from the internet and can be logged into from anywhere. This makes working from home, from the office, and from the coffee shop a breeze.

Backpack – http://backpackit.com/
This application is excellent for anyone doing any sort of project management, freelancing, or collaboration. I was skeptical at first when I signed up for the free trial, but then I realized the power after using it for a few weeks. I was hooked when they lowered the price of the mid-level package.

Backpack allows you to set up projects (Pages, as they call them) for each of your projects. Each of these Pages has to-do lists, Notes, file uploads, the ability to share this content with someone, Writeboards, and more.

One of my favorite features is the Reminder feature, which will send you an email and/or a text message on your phone when an event is about to occure. Also, there is the ability to send an email to Backpack and have it be added to a Page automatically. Pretty darn cool.

TimeTracker v2.0 – http://www.formassembly.com/time-tracker/
After trying numerous time-tracking apps that run off my PC, I landed at the TimeTracker web site. I can now set up projects and keep track of how much time I have spent on each. Slices of time can have notes appended to them so I can keep track of what I did during any given time. This makes billing clients for work I have done a breeze. Oh, and it’s free!

ForPerfect CInvoicer – http://www.forperfect.com/seo/cinvoice.php
This is an online billing/invoice system that you have to download and install on a web site yourself, but it does everything I need it to do, albeit a little confusing. I wanted a tool to keep track of client invoices, send out reminders, send out recurring bills automatically, integrate with Paypal and 2checkout, and be reasonably easy to use for clients. This does it all. Configuring it to look and act like I wanted took a little time, but once it was done everything is running smoothly.

It costs $39.95 and requires a little MySQL knowledge to install it. There is a live demo on their web site (linked above).

HipCal – http://www.hipcal.com/
I have talked about HipCal before, and I still love it. It is more feature-rich than any of the other online calendars I have toyed with. For a while I thought 30Boxes was going to trump HipCal, but when their developers showed a lack of interest (if not a defiant stance) in enhancing the repeatability of events, I gave up on them. They are shooting themselves in the foot if you ask me, but I digress…

HipCal rocks, and after their first couple of rocky months (bugs, server issues), things seem to have stabilized and I am enjoying the free calendar a lot. It will send me reminders of events, and has a simple to-do list on the side.

Netvibes – http://www.netvibes.com/
Netvibes keeps getting cooler and cooler. It’s a ‘start page’ of sorts that allows you to customize the layout and content to your liking. You can add your favorite RSS feeds, widgets, email interfaces, and more. They just launched a major upgrade that has a ton of great features. I have tried other similar start pages, but they all suck and are clunky compared to Netvibes.

Summary
That about wraps it up.

About Will Chatham

Will Chatham is a Cyber Security Analyst, Ethical Hacker, and Penetration Tester at a federal data center in Asheville, NC. Since Netscape 2.0, he has worked in a wide array of environments including non-profit, corporate, small business, and government. His varied background, from developer to search engine optimizer to security professional, has helped him build a wide range of skills that help those with whom he works and teaches.
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One Comment

  1. Woot to netvibes!! This is the best thing evar. I have come to totally rely on it for reading news and updates from my friends!

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