This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.
Much has been made of some excellent mobile and tablet apps that let users stay productive on the go. But let’s face it — the majority of your work is still done at your desk, and much of it, perhaps, in a web browser.
And despite all your settings, apps and software, there are always those little pain points that cost you time and productivity. They’re not major issues, but little tasks that could be quicker and easier.
Enter the humble web apps that, while overshadowed a bit by the smartphone revolution, are still the bread and butter bookmarks of daily workplace productivity.
We’ve highlighted five free online tools that are simple, clean, and built to knock out those cumbersome work tasks, no downloads required.
Got a few bookmarks that you can’t get through the work day without? Share the wealth in the comments.
There are few things more frustrating than receiving an important file that you can’t open. Zamzar is an online tool that can convert a wide range of file formats. Simply upload the file, choose the output format, enter an email address, and you’ll get a new version in your inbox.
Converting text documents may not seem like an incalculable feat, but Zamzar can translate many audio and video formats as well. Handy!
Email attachments can be cumbersome, especially with larger files. If you’re looking for a dead-simple way to share in the cloud (especially if you’re still lamenting the death of Drop.io), give Ge.tt a go.
Two clicks will upload your images, docs, zip files, etc. and generate a tidy link that you can ping over to your co-workers. They can view certain files in their browser or download whatever they need from the package.
Ge.tt storage is temporary (unless you create an account), so use it for quick transfers, not cloud archiving.
Setting up a new PC is a surefire way to kill your day. Connecting the cables and transferring your data is only half the battle. Then you need to hunt down all the apps you use regularly.
Ninite streamlines the process. Check off all the browsers, readers and media players you need on your new machine and download them all in one shot via an automated installer. Best of all, Ninite eliminates the extra “junk” (toolbars, add-ons) that sometimes come packaged with common applications.
If you work on any legal, scientific or multilingual documents throughout the day, you may have a need to add certain symbols to the text that are not immediately available on your keyboard.
You could go into the special characters map in your word processor, or if you’re feeling particularly nerdy, memorize the Alt key codes that you need.
But better yet, why not throw open a browser tab with CopyPasteCharacter.com and snag your symbols with one click? You can even copy the HTML values if you’re working in code.
Need a visual aide to get your point across? PowerPoint has its flaws, and Photoshop requires some requisite skills even if you’re just doing the basics.
LucidChart, on the other hand, is a drag-and-drop way to create impressive flowcharts and diagrams right in your browser. Pop your shapes onto the graph, pull down some arrows, add descriptions, colors and titles, and you’ve got a professional diagram you’d be proud to show clients.
A free LucidChart account allows two people to collaborate on a document, 25 MB of online storage, and a maximum of 60 objects per document. Inexpensive paid options offer more collaborative and storage features.
There’s also a handy Chrome browser app.
Interested in more Business resources? Check out Mashable Explore, a new way to discover information on your favorite Mashable topics.
For more Business & Marketing coverage: