Happy New Year from GoatCloud Communications! As we write this, the world is changing before us. And we’re not just talking about the U.S. political system.

Every year we produce our list of, and recommendations regarding, cloud services and apps that can save businesses time and money. We have a link below to the latest version of our list. It is truly amazing what can be accomplished with low-cost and sometimes no-cost cloud services.

There are trade-offs of course. Concerns over reliability and privacy, for instance, are paramount. As with any service you might consider using, it is imperative that you do your own due diligence.  Every business project or need can have its own peculiar requirements.

We thought this time around we might share with you the cloud services that we also keep on our Android phone. This does not mean a no-holds-barred endorsement, but it does mean that we find them sufficiently useful to want them with us just about all the time.

So here goes our “cloud on phone” list (in alpha order):

  1. Asana. This is the project management software that we use primarily internally, but it can be used as well with third parties. We use the free version.
  2. Dropbox. There are other file sharing and virtual Services out there, but we find Dropbox incredibly easy-to-use, as do many of our clients. We upgraded to paid to get more space.
  3. Google Analytics. This is the gold standard in measuring and analyzing traffic to websites, even though bad guys have figured out ways to inject bad data. We use the free version, but you can get more bells and whistles with the paid version.
  4. Google AdWords and Bing Ads. we love the convenience of being able to monitor  and change our clients’ ad campaigns on the spot.
  5. OpenVPN. This service, not free but inexpensive, allows us to securely access the Internet when we are out and about.
  6. PayPal. In a competitive world it is important to provide convenience to your clients. PayPal has enabled us to allow our clients to make payments when and how they want. There is obviously a cost associated with the service, as PayPal takes a percentage of every transaction, but it can be very rewarding to be out with friends and get a notice on your phone that you just got paid!
  7. Zoho Invoice. For a minimum monthly fee we can invoice dozens of clients. It also provides an excellent way to keep track of time spent on projects.
  8. Zoom. Video conferencing has changed the way we do business. We pay a modest monthly fee to be able to have online discussions with our clients where, importantly, we can be looking at the same computer screen at the same time. Often the audio quality is better than our phone!

It is worth mentioning that we are using Google Docs/Drive to create this email blast. Of particular note is that we dictated it into Google’s free speech recognition add-on. It is making some mistakes that we need to fix manually, but it terrifically shortened the amount of time to prepare this email.

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