Quicken Online Free Personal Finance Software

If you made a new year’s resolution to get smarter about managing your money, or if you just need a simple online checkbook solution, Quicken Online has a ton of great features in a free package. I watched a demo at CES 2009 and was impressed with how they are making it easier to understand the impact of your spending on available cash flow. Quicken Online works just like any other checkbook application. You enter income from your paycheck and other sources. You enter expenses from your debit card or checkbook. If you use Quicken Online consistently, you get a highly accurate picture of how much money you have available to spend between the time you deposit your current paycheck and the time the next paycheck rolls around, which helps prevent overspending or making an impulse purchase that puts you dangerously close to overdrawing.

Jumpcut – Free online video editing and sharing

YouTube seems to be the unstoppable force of online video. Everyone I know who makes online video realizes they have to post a version of their videos to YouTube if they expect to get a meaningful number of viewers. One thing YouTube hasn’t got is a convenient mechanism for editing your uploads. This is where services like Yahoo’s Jumpcut show some potential. Jumpcut supports editing photos and video together. You can add titles and audio. A limited set of effects and transitions are available. For most basic edits, you can get a pretty decent looking video with Jumpcut. Would I trade my desktop video editor for Jumpcut? No. But if I had a video I wanted to post online Jumpcut could definitely get the job done. Now if only Yahoo would implement a publish to YouTube button from Jumpcut…

Pixily – Paperless Document Organization

At the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Start-up Challenge finale tonight YieldEx was the big winner, providing a service that claims to help online publishers make more money. The service I thought looked most interesting is more mundane, a way to get rid of all the paper clutter in your office forever. Pixily is the new paperless service, which provides you envelopes to send them papers, scans the papers, and makes them searchable on a data infrastructure powered by AWS. I like the idea of the service. I know I have stacks of paper, organized into folders with some semblance of order, that still require time to sift through. I could scan them all in to my computer myself, but then I’d also have to make sure they are backed up somewhere. Pixily handles the backup, they handle the scanning, the only thing you have to do is send them a stack in one of their brightly colored envelopes. If some of your documents are already digital, you can upload them to your Pixily account as part of the overall pool of files you might need to search.
The only downside to the service is that it seems expensive. You can store up to 200 pages for free, with the first pay account starting at $4.95/month for up to 1000 pages. I say this is expensive because my average bank statement is 6 pages long, so a year’s worth of bank records is at least 72 pages. My cell phone bill is typically another 8 pages on average, putting me at another 96 pages per year. Anything else and I’m into the money category. Thankfully those don’t need to be scanned because they are available for electronic download, but they count against the cumulative total. At the high end, you could be spending $720 per year to store up to 20,000 documents. Pricey for the average consumer, but potentially a convenient alternative to someone wasting time digging through a file drawer if you have a business that relies on referring to old files frequently. Regardless of the cost, the service has merit, it remains to be seen whether someone can offer a more DIY version of Pixily where most of the scanning is done by the customer and the service is really about providing access to the data.
You can watch a video with the founders in the online version of this article.

Box.net – Online File Storage and Sharing

Awhile ago I received a question about the best way to share large files remotely. In that case, the file size was more than 4GB, which takes a long time to upload from cable and DSL connections. At slower connection speeds, overnight mail is faster. For files less than 1GB in size, I’m currently enamored with Box.net as a file sharing solution. Box.net keeps things simple, by offering access from your browser, which should avoid many of the firewall issues people encounter with FTP. Box.net offers very simple permission based sharing, so you can determine who gets to share which files. I’m also finding Box.net to be far more reliable than popular competitor, YouSendIt. The times I’ve used YouSendIt recently, I’ve ended up restarting an upload more than once. Box.net hasn’t failed me yet.
Box.net is also handy for online collaboration. It uses Picnik for image file editing, making it a snap for someone to upload an image to me, allowing me to make changes to the image, and then get them reviewed by the person on the other end, without ever downloading the file. Similar editing functions are available for text documents and spreadsheets using Zoho. eFax integration supports faxing documents stored in your Box.net acoount. By using Box.net as your virtual My Documents folder, you can access important files no matter which computer you’re currently using, which is handy if you don’t want to deal with managing a home network, or if you forget to copy files to a public location for use later.
For up to 1GB of storage, Box.net is free, with the limitation that your files must be smaller than 25MB, which is perfect for documents and most photos. The paid versions all keep versions of changed files, which is a huge advantage for remote collaboration. Try it, you’ll like it.