With these eight downloads and services, you can enhance your on-the-go life with simple and free syncing tools, a service that turns your phone into a scanner, a clutch of highly practical portable apps loaded onto a USB thumbdrive, and a service that will mass-text to large groups easily from a phone or PC.
BEST BET Google Sync: Wirelessly synchronize your Gmail contacts and Google Calendar events between your cell phone and the cloud. Any contact or calendar changes you make on your phone automatically push to your Google account, and vice versa. Works with: cell phone, Web browser
Dropbox: With this download you can enjoy dead-simple file syncing between any number of computers and the Web. It even supports file versioning, so you can recover an older version of a file if the current version is lost or corrupted. Works with: Web browser; Windows, Mac, and Linux
LastPass: Manage all of your online passwords through this handy browser plug-in. This download automatically fills in saved log-ins and forms with the click of a button, and syncs your data to any PC you regularly use. Works with: Web browser
PortableApps.com Suite: Packed with a handful of popular open-source apps (the Firefox browser, OpenOffice.org office suite, and Pidgin chat client), this downloadable suite runs directly from a thumbdrive, so you can run it on any PC. Works with: Flash drive, Windows
Qipit: Your phone is a versatile communications beast, but with this service, it's also a formidable mobile scanner. Snap a picture of any document and send it to Qipit, and it will turn the image into a nicely formatted PDF. Works with: Cell phone
Slydial: Running late but afraid to call and talk directly to your boss? Dial this service (registration required) and enter the phone number--Slydial makes the call go straight to voicemail so you don't have to deal with pesky questions. Works with: Cell phone
Tatango: Toss your phone tree in the trash. Through this service (registration required), you can send mass text or voicemail messages from your phone or PC to large groups for easy, instant communication. Works with: Cell phone, Web browser
TripChill: Forward any airline itinerary e-mail to this smart service (registration required). It will send real-time alerts via e-mail or SMS to keep you on top of last-minute delays, cancellations, and gate changes as soon as they happen. Works with: Cell phone, Web browser.
This story, "Free Mobile Services for Staying Productive on the Road" was originally published by PCWorld.