Productivity apps for the new generation

Since 1995 for the first internet online transaction, we transit over to digital economy society. And recently always cloud connection and cloud based application. For the old generation application design for the old architecture, I noted that are counter productive and more important it is not really future proof anymore due to the design architecture is not really cater for modern requirement and future technology in consideration.

In this article I will based on own experience to highlight few real case and use as the example.

Personal Information Manager (PIM) and Notes Taking

In the past we had the category of the productivity app as Personal Information Manager (PIM), where if you still remember the age we had Palm handheld, Lotus Organizer and other similar or me-too product. In general, it mimic the paper based organizer approach and make in the digital way. So, it share the same look and feel. The good is it make the user easier to use the app just like previous paper based product they used to. The bad is it is not digital generation product, like it fail to handle email, where Microsoft Outlook used to be fit the scene and use case well. Then we come the generation of "Cloud application" by Google, offer gmail and other app all hosted online, as it time for information overload time, where we had more and more information and data need to keep, require to use "search" for matching, and smartphone carry what we want and mobile interface app like Evernote. Now days I can imagine Evernote for paid subscription customer who leverage it for Swiss knife approach or those who prefer traditional notebook approach like Microsoft OneNote. For me, unless Microsoft can solve this three matter, else it never able to compete with Evernote (despite it is paid subscription product). Allow tag and so can be perform search to find what you look for; mobile friendly interface - you can not duplicate old fashion paper based interface over mobile; smart cache like Evernote - mobile had limited storage, you must provide a way for user to choose what to sync over, the rest just access while cloud. This is the reason why despite I do use OneNote, but the most I use it for note making, but for the final note I really want to keep, I will move it inside Evernote and delete OneNote.

Photography storage from local to cloud

In the past I used Apple iPhoto, Aperture and then Lightroom achieve a very good and happy result for the photo management. Until one day found it difficult to manage the growing photos. And the only solution is to hosted at the cloud for one app to rule the needs over. Once I start to migrate to cloud, I stop and question for the need for the raw photo, as if I really want to touch up, I can direct call from the Google Photos to edit or just download, then perform one or two photo edit, and upload back. The result is zero local photo. I use the Apple latest Photo app, but due to it is not cloud app, even you had more feature, but I think it is hard to challenge Google Photos workflow and way it work for most of the people.

Office Application from local install to cloud

I am pass thru and transit from the generation for the standalone application to now days mainly do work based on web browser and access office application this way. It allow concurrent access and editing by various user you share the file, it speed up the workflow and communication. More important, I can always do my work despite had or not access to existing laptop PC I do my work.

Future to come

I can imagine for eventually all the application is cloud based, as we are now in the generation of IoT, Big Data, we will had more and more data we generate in larger format (example, video in 4K, photo taken in higher resolution).

I start to see one of my past favor Mac application DayOne is change business model and want to be subscription based, compare with pervious perpetual based business model. Due to it conflict with my current Evernote as the default, and indeed Evernote can do more than what DayOne provided, so got to let go for it. It is enjoy diary experience on DayOne.

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