Why I’m Quitting Free Cloud Tools

free-social-media-toolsWhen it comes to Cloud tools – iLove free!

In the past, a prerequiste for the cloud tools iLove were that they included a free option. Well today I’m writing to let you know that I’m quitting free and instead looking for value!


I’m a disciple of the Getting Things Done (GTD) system of time management. The GTD system was introduced by David Allen in his book: Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. I highly encourage you to check out the GTD system.

I found Nozbe when I was looking for a way to utilize the GTD system online and initial signed up for the free version. I quickly changed to the Personal option and have chosen to pay the fee because I needed unlimited projects, unlimited contexts, and the greater storage limit because I linked Nozbe and Evernote and the combination has now become the center of my digital life.

Nozbe has made me even more organized and the additional cost is minimal and worth every penny.

Sign-up for Nozbe


I’ve written extensively about my love of Evernote and it truly, sincerely has become the center of my digital life. I store everything in Evernote: text, photos, pdfs, everything…

I originally signed up for the free account and was very happy until I began to understand the possibilities and potential uses of Evernote. I switched to a premium account for the supersized uploads, pdf searching, and offline notebooks.

I hope you’ll check out Evernote and sign-up for an account.


Mindmeister is an online mind mapping and brainstorming tool. I originally signed up to test this tool out because I like to draw when I outline ideas and MindMeister proved to be a perfect online version of my drawing on paper.

I upgraded to the personal account because I quickly outgrew the free account’s 3 mind map limit. I also found the personal accounts 5 export types to be super useful.

Sign-up for MindMeister


My social media tool of choice is Hootsuite. It has become the center of my social media life and invaluable in helping me manage all my social media accounts. I originally signed up for the free account and quickly upgraded to the Pro account because I needed unlimited social profiles, access to reporting, influence scores, and enhanced social analytics. I love this social media tool and I’m sure you will too!

Sign-up for Hootsuite

Your Thoughts

While each of these cloud tools offers a free option I’ve found their additional features worth the money. They each offer me great value and I’m sure they will do the same for you.

I would love to hear your thoughts about these coud tools as well as other social media tools that you pay for because they offer you great value.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • aspeyer

    Brendan: Agree with most of your points. You have forgotten Dropbox, to which I would also pay for extra storage.

    • schneiderb

      @aspeyer Thanks for taking the time to comment Andrew and I would agree you with regarding Dropbox. I am a loyal user but haven’t had to upgrade yet to a paid plan.

  • http://risktolearn.com mcerniglia

    I really appreciate this post, Brendan. So often we use the free version of platforms, when it would just make sense to invest in those that are the most useful to the way we, individually, live and work. I also think that the key is getting out there and first investing time in the free services — as you did– so that the financial investment is well-researched. As a teacher, it is harder to negotiate the myriad options for classroom use and make decisions about which ones are cost-worthy from the planning, record-keeping, and pedagogical perspective.

    • schneiderb

      @mcerniglia Thanks for the taking the time to comment and I’m glad you found value in the post.

  • schoolwebsites

    Was not aware of Nozbe or Mindmeister so thanks for the recommendation! Will definitely start using Mindmeister, it looks great. 

    • schneiderb

       @schoolwebsites Thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment. I think you will be pleased trying Nozbe and Mindmeister!

  • http://www.facebook.com/erica.price.7127 Erica Price

    THANK YOU so much for this post. Since it was a while back, do you have any updates? New services you’ve added or switched these out for, etc.

    • http://www.schneiderb.com Brendan Schneider

      Hi @facebook-100000000872410:disqus,
      You’re welcome and thank you for taking the time to comment. I still use these services but would also encourage you to check out Sprout Social. I have been using it for a few months now and like it very much for managing my social media channels.