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Ask HN: Webapps you can't live without?
97 points by ameen on Jan 31, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 74 comments
We all use Web apps/services(Gmail, BaseCamp, etc). What are some of these tools which are essential to you?

- http://www.diigo.com - I was never able to use any online bookmarking service for the last 10-15 years. Diigo got online bookmarking right. I would frantically pay someone to re-build diigo for me if it ever went away. I can't process, organize or navigate the internet without it.

The best feature is it's highlighting. We don't save bookmarks in our minds, but specific sentences or paragraphs. Diigo lets us highlight those and saves them right into my Diigo account/stream. I can then simply search diigo not only by keyword or bookmark, but the phrases that stuck out to me in the first place to make me want to bookmark it.

The second best feature is being able to publish the links to multiple groups so effortlessly.

- http://www.fogbugz.com (hosted) - keeps my consulting and product dev flow going.

- http://www.freshbooks.com - Trivializes the slippery slope of managing billable hours not only for you but for sub-contractors.

- http://www.bitbucket.org - Free, unlimited private repositories. Beneficial to someone like me who has a lot of small projects. I hope Github gets this soon.

I will try not to get my hopes up too much before I try it, but this may, this may, be what I have been looking for to manage bookmarks across browsers (and even across Windows installations if I need to).

Let me know how you find it and what works and what didn't... It sounds like you have a lot of bookmarks.

I second Diigo. Been using this service for years and as a technologist having the ability to do a keyword search of your bookmarks as awesome, especially when you can upload to Diigo's repository.

"Free, unlimited private repositories."

Best of luck to BitBucket but why on earth would Github do this? They're a business


Everyone knows about GitHub because everyone shares links to their projects hosted on GitHub! Same reason they provide https://gist.github.com/ and http://pages.github.com

Whether you eventually want to start your own business or just want to work for a good company ; you still end up at the same place - in a team environment, needing secure, painless version control hosting. I can tell you right now there is no other service I would use or recommend other than GitHub.

The same question could be asked why Github gives away so many free repos to open-source projects... :)

Bitbucket is a business too. I have no issue paying them.

Besides, storing bytes costs pennies, or less.

Wow - hadn't heard of diigo but I'm glad you listed them - looks awesome!

Glad I'm not alone

Someone asked this 3 days ago (with few responses), so I'm copy/pasting this from then:

* http://www.rackspace.com/apps/email_hosting/ (IMAP/webmail)

* http://www.sendgrid.com (transactional email)

* http://www.snapengage.com (sales/support chats)

* http://www.zendesk.com (basic KB & support tickets)

* http://www.github.com & http://www.repositoryhosting.com (public & private repositories)

* http://www.geckoboard.com (dashboard of financial state of the company)

And I'm a power user of my own SaaS products:

* http://www.w3counter.com (realtime visitor analytics)

* http://www.w3roi.com (ad performance tracking)

* http://www.dialshield.com (automatically calls high fraud risk customers during the checkout process on my ecommerce sites)

Wow, that's a lot of useful apps. Quite a few of them look interesting, Dialshield in particular can be a lifesaver!

Got a link to the one from 3 days ago?

* Github (http://www.github.com) - This and HN/Reddit for fun. I use Github to review my previously comitted code, marking comments in the code of ideas and thoughts so I can correct them when I get home (for profit), and exploring different languages, profiles and projects (for fun).

* Workflowy (http://www.workflowy.com) - Dump all the stuff I might need to remember or note about a project or task here.

* Trello (http://www.trello.com) - Scrum-board for my tasks, planner for the summer vacation, my wedding, etc.

* Diigo (http://www.diigo.com) - To save bookmarks, notes on pages, highlights of stuff I might need to reference, etc

* Toggl (http://www.toggl.com) - To keep track of how many hours I work on each project

EDIT: Typo/format

I use Office365 extensively at home and on the go. OneNote in particular is a must-have for me, and it needs to be synced everywhere. Really wish it wasn't blocked at work. I have a Windows Phone so I can access everything over 3G, but working on a phone is nowhere near as comfortable as working on a laptop or even a tablet.

Interesting, How useful/reliable is Office365? I've gone the Google Docs route, it works but wish it was better.

i pay a fiver a month (euros) with my mobile phone provider, gives me exchange email on all my devices, sharepoint for office and one note, one note online, and lync... its very useful and very reliable.

http://www.workflowy.com/ kicks butt! Gmail, Google Reader, Google Voice, Google Docs, but everybody uses them...

http://www.livelystocks.com looks cool - thanks marketmonkey, http://www.corsvi.com for tech news, http://www.youtube.com - video production showcase, http://www.vimeo.com - ibid

and HN

Since the others I use have already been mentioned: http://piperka.net/ It's a webcomic aggregator, gives me a list of all the new comics that I haven't read yet.

Also Hiveminder http://hiveminder.com/splash/ for a really awesome to-do list site, with nice collaboration tools.

Here at UserVoice, we're in love with:

* http://trello.com Easy card management for tracking all of our projects and bugs. We've got boards for every department.

* http://hipchat.com Fantastic way to chat in rooms or with individuals. Keeps our two offices connected.

* http://argylesocial.com Fantastic social media monitoring, publishing, and most importantly, measurement.

* http://airbrake.io Error collector, which we publish into Hipchat. (More info: http://blog.airbrake.io/awesome-airbrakers/uservoice/)

* http://optimizely.com/ Simple and powerful A/B testing tool

...and probably a bunch of others I'm forgetting. Thank you for creating these wonderful apps, everyone!

* Gmail (http://gmail.com)

* GitHub (http://github.com)

* Tomatoes, pomodoro technique productivity tool (http://tomatoes.heroku.com)

* Reddit, procrastination (http://reddit.com)

Gmail, Mailchimp, Basecamp, Highrise, LivelyStocks, Twitter, Github, TradingView, Various Google Tools including (Analytics, Adwords, Adsense, Reader)








Livelystocks needs a smart search for stock symbols. Just messing around I had to lok up a lot of symbols on google.

I guess you could argue that if you have invested in a stock (emotionally and financially) enough to want to see real time info that you should know the symbol but hey I want to check out the app w/o having to google a lot of stuff :D

You're right. It's coming next week!

Wow, thanks for sharing LivelyStocks! Having one of those moments when you see your abandoned project made! Cheers!

* RescueTime (http://www.rescuetime.com) - time/productivity tracking

* Mint.com (http://www.mint.com) - personal finance/budgets

* Blueleaf (http://www.blueleaf.com) - tracking the performance of my investments

* Fitocracy (http://www.fitocracy.com) - personal fitness and weight lifting logs, also integrates with other apps like RunKeeper

* Producteev (http://www.producteev.com) - tasks management

* Quora

* Google Reader

* Google Music

* Gmail

* Dropbox

If you happen to have a spare Fitocracy invite, I'd love to check it out - new years resolution is to get healthier! kit@nocturne.net.nz Cheers :)


I love....

- dropbox: https://www.dropbox.com/

- gmail: https://mail.google.com

- KISSMetrics: https://www.kissmetrics.com

- Google Analytics (real-time tab): https://www.google.com/analytics

- Github: https://github.com/

- HALL.com: https://hall.com/

* Gmail * Google Apps * RT for helpdesk (http://bestpractical.com/rt/) * ActiveCollab fro projects & collaboration (http://www.activecollab.com/) * Tonido for file sharing and sync (http://www.tonido.com)

* http://etherpad.org (Real time note taking) * http://docs.google.com (Google spreadsheets) * http://hootsuite.com (Manage social stuff) * http://ping.fm (More social)

http://weekplan.net (7 habits weekly planner I have made)

http://hackpad.com (real time wiki)

http://gyazo.com (take screenshot and upload automatically)

http://envolve.com (add live chat to your web app)

The really interesting part is actually to recognise how hard it is for a new app to enter my daily-use list. It's almost impossible. Some make it in there for a few days or weeks but will vanish quite soon.

Either I need the app for my daily work or it is a fire-and-forget service that I once signed up for and that doesn't require any active input from my site.

Anyway, here is my list:

- pivotaltracker.com

- github.com

- dropbox.com

- olark.com

- gmail.com

- google.com/analytics

- hipchat.com

Two not mentioned here that I use daily: - DevIsland (for cheap sandbox hosting) http://www.devisland.net/ - Freedcamp (for all project management, like basecamp, but free and excellent) http://freedcamp.com/

This list of startup resources was posted to HN not too long ago:


HN Story: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3077206

Thanks for sharing but this doesn't really answer the question. This is more of a comprehensive list rather than a list you can't live without.

Thanks for sharing this Chaz. Could you say which of these do you use on a daily basis?

I've switched from Google to Zoho services two years ago(I hate that "conversation view" in gmail)

Zoho Mail turned out to be an excellent webmail app. BTW, their other apps(Docs, Planner, Sheet) are definitely worth a try too.


in order

- gmail (moving to own hosted email with Thunder in a couple of week, though)

- Skype (all communications)

- trello (manages all my projects now)

- bitbucket (all private code, it's free)

- dropbox (all files)

- prgmr (hosting, and email)

other essentials but can switch easily

- Google Analytics

- Google Translate

- SpringPad (they have a good Android app)

- Google Reader

It's amazing that I don't depend on any mobile app or on my smartphone and can go without it.

Which Google Analytics app?

http://www.google.com/analytics/ probably. Does Google offer others? I'd love to try them.

No, I mean which one on the phone.

What is Thunder?

NewsBlur for reading feeds


Have been using Newsblur too, but it doesn't work so well for Hacker News - it doesn't display the article or the comments straight off, so you have to click through twice on your mobile to read either, which is bad for navigation or a slow connection.

Anyone from Newsblur here?

Yup. I'm the only person from NewsBlur. Got an RSS feed url that has full text? I'd love to use that. Otherwise, I'm planning on building a Text view that effectively extracts the article text. It's not highly prioritized, but it will be after I launch social in a month or so.

http://getharvest.com is the only one I use that hasn't already been mentioned already. It pretty much saved my life when I started doing contract work this year.

Self Control: http://visitsteve.com/made/selfcontrol

I found this on HN a while back, it's like a lightweight RescueTime for blocking news sites etc.

One of my favorites, that I haven't seen mentioned yet: Beanstalk for private repo hosting and deploys http://beanstalkapp.com/

Workflowy. I use it for all my classes and most of my projects.

+1 for WorkFlowy, awesome service.

http://tt-rss.org/ - Tiny Tiny RSS.

http://roundcube.net/ - RoundCube Mail.

* google, gmail & co

* http://bitbucket.org

* http://mixcloud.com

keep it simple, that's how I be.

I must add asana.com which proved to be a wonderful tool that helps we orgenize my tasks & lists.

I also started using iDone This which seems to be quite useful.

I still use Tadalist (37 Signals app) instead of Basecamp.

And we use http://feed.us instead of a CMS on every project.

Dropbox, Facebook, Remember the milk, Google Apps (mail, calendar), Hacker News

On and off, Google Reader.

instapaper -- saving articles for when I truly have time to read them (as opposed to when I first see them -- while browsing HN during a mini work break) has been a huge timesaver for me.

GMail, GCalendar, Twitter, internal work app, work Trac, HN.

Google Search, Wikipedia, Dropbox, HN, Dilbert, Facebook.


Not sure why you're getting downvoted--would people treat a post about YouTube the same? It's even an interesting technical acheivment.

If this is an app you can't live without, you've got to get out more.

I applaud your honesty.

Github + Issues

Gmail.com, linenode.com, twitter.com, facebook.com, google.com


* GMail

* Google Calendar

* Heroku

* Freshbooks

* Sendgrid

* Todoist

* Evernote

* Stack Overflow

* MerelyPoints (I created)

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