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4 startups that are changing productivity

Matt Weinberger | Oct. 27, 2014
Getting work done the Silicon Valley way.

Like Asana, Evernote has been around for a while -- since 2008, to be exact. But where Asana focuses heavily on team collaboration, Evernote (and similar offerings like  progenitor Microsoft OneNote or newcomer Google Keep) helps users keep their lives organized with the ability to store notes in the form of text, photos or scribbles that are then available on all of their devices. If you've never tried it, it's astonishing how useful it is to have all your stuff everywhere it can be. 

This year, Evernote made two striking moves: It reaffirmed its commitment to being free for all users forever -- because free users are just as likely or even more so to spend on premium features and things like Evernote-compatible business card scanners -- even as it furthered its enterprise platform ambitions by making it easier to build presentations based on the information you put in the platform. It also added a Work Chat feature so you can talk to the people with whom you collaborate on notes.

Chances are pretty good that you're already using Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or, yes, Box. The cloud file store-and-sync market, where content is automatically pushed and pulled up to a service provider that makes it available wherever you are (a theme emerges) via an app, is so fly-simple that it's increasingly easy to take for granted. 

Box -- which, in fairness, won't be a startup for very much longer as it prepares its IPO for some time between now and the heat death of the universe -- gets a special shoutout in this crowded market for really doubling down on its enterprise focus and platform ambitions with a Salesforce integration, support for custom workflows, a partnership with Accenture for customer integration, and the Box for Verticals initiative, which custom-tailors solutions for individual enterprises in verticals with very specific needs like healthcare, oil and gas, and entertainment.  

Oh, and this year, Box gave all its enterprise users unlimited cloud storage, freeing them from the tyranny of the tiered-pricing plan, so there's that, too. 


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