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10 Popular and FREE! Cloud Tools

By Lasa Information Systems Team

“Cloud” applications – software that is delivered over the internet so you don’t have to install it, and that allows you to access your data from anywhere abound. In no particular order, we bring you our top ten free cloud applications available to anyone, from individuals and small community groups, to large organisations.

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File storage:

1. Dropbox

Dropbox –provides free online storage for up to 2GB of data.  It synchronises with offline data which can be on multiple devices.  It can also be used to share documents with other users e.g. client files and project progress documents.  Remember that data protection principles apply.  Also keep track of your storage limit as it can be easy to go over the limit if uploading large video files.  Box.net  offers a similar storage service for shared documents.

Online Office suites:

2. Google Apps

Google Apps – hosted email and collaboration tools such as Gmail, Google calendar, Google docs.


3. Zoho

Zoho and OfficeZilla provide an integrated suite of collaboration tools ranging from project management to document creation and editing.  As with all online services you should be aware of data protection and data back-up issues.


4. Office Live

Microsoft’s Office Office Live provides for online document creation, editing and upto 5GB of storage.  The free upgrade to Windows Live SkyDrive provides 25GB of storage and integrates with the offline version of Office.


5. Evernote

Evernote is an online notebook which can be accessed from anywhere and on multiple devices.  Evernote has text recognition of photos and PDFs, with users able to tag items.  Evernote allows users to share their notebooks.  Zotero is an alternative.

Telephony and virtual meetings:

6. Skype

Skype - Free Voice Over IP and messaging application. Used by a number of delegates in organisations – in some cases getting embedded in distributed organisational culture i.e. if you’re logged online at Skype then you’re working.  Try alternatives like OoVoo’s free web browser based conferencing. Elluminate is a premium alternative providing e-learning and virtual conferencing tools which offers a free trial version.

Event management and meetings:

7. Eventbrite

Eventbrite provides a one-stop-shop for event management. Eventbrite is free if your event is free, or fees apply for paid for events.  Amiando is an alternative service which is reckoned to be cheaper than Eventbrite when dealing with large scale conferences.


8. Doodle

Doodle is a free online service that makes it easy to arrange mutually convenient meeting times.


9. Jing

Jing allows users to capture and edit screenshots and share them via Twitter, Facebook or flickr.


10. Screencast

Screencast - sharing of high quality videos, images and documents. Slideshare  offers a similar free service for sharing presentations online.





Of course there are hundreds of other cloud applications that third sector organisations might find useful. Add a comment to let us know about your favourite.


About the author

Lasa Information Systems Team
Lasa's Information Systems Team provides a range of services to third sector organisations including ICT Health Checks and consulting on the best application of technology in your organisation. Lasa IST maintains the knowledgebase. Follow us on Twitter @LasaICT


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Published: 26th January 2011

Copyright © 2011 Lasa Information Systems Team

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