What Apps Are You Thankful For?

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Tech Talker discusses the 7 free tools and apps that he's most thankful for this holiday season. Which tools make your gratitude list?


Eric Escobar,
November 27, 2014
Episode #150

Page 1 of 2In the spirit of Thanksgiving, this week I’ll be talking about the free apps and websites that I’m most thankful for.As we all know, there are many free services and apps on the internet (the Tech Talker podcast is one of them!).

Oftentimes people assume that if a service is free, it must not be terribly useful. But that's not true! Here are 7 stellar free tools out there to make your life easier: 

Free Web Tool #1: TeamViewer

One program that I use almost daily is TeamViewer. This program is free for home use. TeamViewer is the best solution that I’ve found for remote controlling my computers from anywhere over the internet, whether it’s on my smartphone, tablet, or even another computer. I can remotely access my computers just as if I were standing at my desk.

TeamViewer is extremely fast, secure, and has a ton of features such as being able to send key combinations, rebooting remotely, and even allowing you to transfer files back and forth. Of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, so here’s how TeamViewer makes its money: It allows you to use TeamViewer for free as long as it’s not for a commercial use. So you and I can use it freely, while an organization has to pay for it.

Free Web Tool #2: Evernote

I’ve talked about Evernote in a handful of previous episodes. I’ve even done an entire show dedicated to Evernote.

If you are new to the Tech Talker podcast, Evernote is basically a place where you put stuff. You can put pictures, documents, audio files, clips of text, location-based notes, and pretty much anything else you can think of. It has a ton of capabilities that keeps super organized people (like yours truly) truly happy. With Evernote you can to tag notes and search for text in notes and pictures that you upload so you're never at a loss about where to find your files.

You can create notebooks to separate collections of different types of content or to keep content from one subject together. Between the app for every smartphone, the web version, and the desktop version, you can always access your notes!

There’s even a web plugin that you can use while browsing the internet that will clip the website you’re on and save it to your Evernote for later. I’ve used Evernote for planning vacations and keeping track of gift lists - I even used it to plan my wedding! (Mrs. Tech Talker was impressed).

Evernote is just like TeamViewer in that it’s free to use for an individual. But if you’re a power user or want to use Evernote to organize a team or business, it will cost you about $10 per user, per month. Not bad considering it can basically use it to organize your life and your business. 

Free Web Tool #3: Feedly

Ever since the death of Google Reader, Feedly has been my one stop shop for aggregating my news and updates from everywhere on the internet. It has a great looking interface and you can sign in using Google or Facebook if you don’t want to remember yet another username and password.

Feedly has apps for every major smartphone and is also available on the web. It will allow you to import your own custom feeds from anywhere, which was a huge time saver when I moved over from Google Reader. Feedly also has a premium subscription costing $5 per month. As of right now this allows you to have seamless Evernote integration, but they’re promising more premium features in the future.

Free Web Tool #4: Mint

Mint is the best financial aggregator that I have ever used. It’s even better than any paid financial aggregator that I’ve ever used!

Basically it’s a website and app that allows you to see all of your different financial accounts all in one place. It’s awesome to be able to combine all of your finances into one spot, and then be able to set up budgets, create spending alerts, and even track things like your 401(k) and mortgage payments.

If that weren’t enough, Mint also keeps track of my credit scoreMint has been a great way for my wife and me to easily keep track of our spending and to make sure no surprises pop up. Long gone are the days of opening up a credit card statement in the mail. I can see our spending in real time!

My colleague Money Girl has often talked about the benefits of using Mint. I'm glad I listened to her advice.


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