The term “cloud computing” might not even cross your mind when you upload files to Dropbox, update a spreadsheet using Google Docs, or check your mail using any online mail service. Having done any one of those means you have taken advantage of cloud computing, an architecture that allows you to access data and applications on the web through a device.

Here are some of the best cloud computing apps for personal and collaborative use:

Evernote

If you’re one of those super tidy individuals who want everything in its proper place, you might find this app really useful. You can organize your notes into notebooks and then group notebooks with similar topics or themes into a single stack. It’s got quite the neat concept, right? But it doesn’t just stop there.

It’s not so easy to create a link between notes if you use pen and paper. But with Evernote, you can easily associate a particular text with a relevant note through linking. This comes in handy when writing an article, blog post, or research paper – everything can be conveniently referenced.

If there was a particular passage from an article that caught your eye, you can “clip” that bit into Evernote and do what you want with it. You can just keep it as it is because you really liked the prose or annotate it to point out exactly what you liked about it.

Sharing is also a major feature of Evernote. You can share notebooks and clippings filled with your own ideas as well as gathered ones for events and other occasions with friends and family.

Dropbox

Notes can be done on word processors and text editors. Images can be easily shared online. But what if you want to work across devices? Dropbox provides a platform where you can upload your files for easy sharing and access.

Do you want to share all the pictures you took with friends during a recent trip so they can pick out the ones they like to share? Dropbox can be the answer. Not only is the app good for sharing photos, you can store documents and videos as well. So if there’s a video that’s too large to share using data, uploading it to Dropbox allows those you want to share it with to grab a copy using WiFi.

Gmail

Yes, Gmail is a cloud computing application. Your mail isn’t stored in your hard drive but in Google’s cloud. Just remember that you’re given only a bit of space so it’s best to delete messages that are no longer relevant – and do this regularly – so you don’t have to be bothered about running out of space down the road.

Google Docs

This app is most appreciated when collaborating with others. With it, you can access files that you all need to be working on. Plus, it’s easier to add comments as well as respond to them with this app. Google Docs supports word processing, spreadsheets, and presentations.

This list features two Google products – they happen to be one of the top cloud computing providers on the planet – but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t try the services offered by competitors. After all, it all boils down to preference and the apps presented here are just options – some of the best ones.

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