Boost your productivity: 10 amazing web apps you can use for free in your browser

Installing software’s so 2005. These days, you can do almost everything online

That amazing future, where you don’t have to bother installing software, because everything’s on the internet? Already here. But you probably knew that anyway, through using Google Maps and Google Docs, and Google Everything Else.

What you might not know is the sheer range of things you can do in a browser, and how brilliant many web apps have become. Stuff set two rules for inclusion in this list: the apps have to be properly good; and absolutely no Flash (because Adobe says it’s soon going to live on a farm).

Canva – design guru

Actual designers will balk at Canva's suggestion that anyone can “easily create beautiful designs”; a graphic designer armed with InDesign will almost certainly still end up with more polished results. But it does open up a certain kind of design to the masses.

Want to knock up a quick poster? There are dozens of templates, which can be tweaked. Fancy something more custom? Grab a blank grid and add your own text, shapes and images. Whatever you make can be exported as PDF or JPEG, and although some bits and bobs lurk behind a paywall, most of Canva’s features are entirely free.

Try Canva (from free)

Instapaper – web PVR

A read-it-later web app might seem an odd inclusion in this list. After all, much of the power of Instapaper is in enabling you to fling web-page content at its mobile apps, for later perusal on the train.

However, if you’re the kind of person who accumulates tabs during the day, sending interesting articles to Instapaper is a smart move. And given that the web version gives you a very readable and configurable reading experience, it’s a good way to take in content from your favourite sites at leisure.

Try Instapaper (free)