Gifts for Those Who Have Everything ... in the Cloud

Steve Rubel on Digital Communications

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The holiday crush is on and the clock is ticking. But what do you get the geek or coworker in your life who has (or wants) everything? How about something intangible: a web-service subscription.

Over the last few years, as I have moved more of my life into "the cloud," I have started to rely on a handful of such services. They keep me in sync, in the know and in touch. Here are three that passed my "30-day test."

Steve Rubel
Photo: JC Bourcart
Steve Rubel is a marketing strategist and blogger. He is senior VP-director of insights at Edelman Digital.
EVERNOTE PREMIUM: As our lives become more digital, there's a torrent of information we want to capture and save for later. This includes web pages, documents, images, voice recordings and more. Evernote makes it a snap to capture all this data and sync it to the web, any Mac or PC or mobile device and organize it for later. You can even search for text inside an image. The Premium version ups the storage capacity but also makes the full text of PDF documents searchable from anywhere.

It's the perfect tool for creatives, too. Note how interface designer Jon Hicks is using it as a virtual scrapbook. Cost: $45.00/year.

DROPBOX: This service seamlessly and rapidly syncs gigabytes of data across as many PCs, Macs or even Linux boxes as you need. This makes it a snap for, say, a family to share a single music library across several computers.

Dropbox also offers a web interface where you can easily share files with others securely. Even better, since Dropbox quietly syncs document changes back and forth, the service keeps track of all revisions and stores them. This way, you can easily return to a previous version of a file should you wish. Cost: $120/year for 50GB.

GIGAOM PRO: Staying on top of the rapid twists and turns in technology trends isn't easy. I know -- it's my job. In the past, many companies would rely on expensive analyst firms. But that was back in the day when information was scarce. Today we have too much data.

Industry watcher Om Malik of GigaOm recently launched a syndicated research service called GigaOm Pro that's a steal. It offers reports, in-depth commentary and more on mobile and the connected consumer, among other topics. Cost: $79.00/year.

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