I'M THANKFUL FOR DOZENS of free applications but the top five services that I use have often resulted in clever and inspirational work from my creative multimedia students in Tipperary Institute. While reading responses to a Media Writing examination, I learned that Dropbox and Google Docs were the most helpful, in the minds of first year students. I use those tools daily. I also sync important business information to several devices by using Evernote. I often push content from my account on Twitter to Instapaper for reading at a later time. And I let blog posts simmer until ready in draft form with Simplenote. I thank my lucky stars for each of these five free applications running on both my laptop and iPad.