You can almost completely run a small business without buying any software today. Below is a list of many of these free services and free programs. Some offer a rich free service that allow you to pay for greater utility when you need it. Thanks to my Virtual Assistant Angel for compiling this list ( http://virtualassistantsocialmedia.com ). A few items you have to pay for or only give you a short trial. These items are marked with at “$”
Core office tools like Wordprocessing, Electronic Ledger and Presentation tools
- OpenOffice.org – Wordprocessing, Electronic Ledger, Presentation tools and more that are free to download and use. This is a Open-source version of Office.
- Google Apps Free web-based Document, Presentation, Spreadsheet and Drawing. After signing up you access it from docs.google.com
CRM – Customer Relationship Manager
- Zoho.com – allows you to create invoicing, time tracking, contact management and it is free.
- Highrisehq.com – database management, contact search, follow ups, reminders and free packages available Email
- Gmail – Without a question Gmail offers you free email, document sharing, task options, etc.
- Eventbrite.com – is a free resource that allows you to create a registration page for your event that works with paypal and other payment types. Also, Eventbrite easily integrates with Mailchimp.
- Evite.com – free email invitation program that allows you to invite people to an event and see list of attendees. Lists can be easily imported into this site.
- Google Docs – when you set up a Google account, you have the option to share Google documents with other people by clicking on the sharing option.
- Dropbox.com – allows you to share large documents from one pc to another. This is a good resource when you are emailing pictures and large video documents.
- skydrive.live.com – Microsofts:”25 GB of free online storage for sharing Microsoft Office docs and photos.”
- www.mesh.com – “Windows Live Mesh 2011 helps you access the stuff on your computers from almost anywhere. If you used one of these previous programs, here’s what you need to know before you start using Windows Live Mesh.”
- Mailchimp.com – is a free email marketing campaign program. Mailchimp works best on the Firefox platform. Mailchimp has many options for sharing your newsletter and database info on social media sites if you choose. Also works with Eventbright
- Aweber.com – ($) is a very good program that has options for newsletters, database, invitations and event registration links. Aweber has many options for sharing your newsletter and database info on social media sites if you choose.
- ConstantContact.com – ($) is a good program that has options for newsletter, invitations, and registration pages. Constant Contact works best on Internet Explorer. ConstantContact has many options for sharing your newsletter and database info on social media sites if you choose.
- iContact.com – ($) is a local email marketing campaign company that many people use.
FBML Landing Page
- Pagemodo.com – is a tool that allows you to create a Facebook Fan Page Landing with step by step instructions.
- Freelanceswitch.com/rates/ – is a fill in the blank site that gives you insight into what your hourly rate should be to charge your clients.
- Roninapp.com – is a handy tool that allows you to create nice invoices while also allowing you to track your hours and make them in a nice presentable manner for a client.
- http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/ – Simply select a printable Windows file, print to the PDFCreator and your document will save in PDF format. You can then read, print or e-mail the finished product.
Install PDFCreator carefully. Listeners have complained about PDFForge toolbar, which is included. It apparently directs users to urlseek20.vmn.net. You should have the option of not installing it. However, some people believe it installs regardless.
If you install the toolbar and have problems, it can be uninstalled. Click Start>>Control Panel. In Windows XP, double-click Add or Remove Programs. In Vista, double-click Programs and Features. In either, find the toolbar in the list and remove it
PDF to Word
- PDFtoWord.com allows you transfer a .pdf document to a word document. You will need to upload the document to the site and they will email the document back to you (max 6 hours later).
Pictures (Royalty Free) [Very useful for Blog post]
- Fotolia.com – you can find pictures royalty free or purchase for as low as $5
- Photobucket.com – there are some free royalty free pictures (some are risque…FYI) but there is a paid program $3 per month that is another option to get better royalty free pictures.
Photo Editing Software
- Gimp.org – “Image Manipulation Program” Open-source free software you can download that works like Photoshop to edit photos.
- picnik.com - Web based photo editing program and also is integrated into Flickr.com
Photo on the Web (sharing photos and using your own on the web)
- www.panoramio.com “Show your favorite places.” Owned by Google
- http://picasa.google.com/ – Googles downloadable photo program that lets you post photos from you computer to the web at Picasa.
- www.flickr.com – Yahoo’s free photo sharing feature with limited uploads for free. Paid upgrade to get more space.
Video sharing on the web
- Youtube.com – 2nd largest search engine on the web and the most searched for videos.
- vimeo.com - Video sharing that is very big in Europe.
- SlideShare.com - Web based slide shows.
Press Release Distribution (NC Only)
- PRSurvival.com ($) is an affordable website for Press Release distribution.
- Greenshot, is free screen capturing software that allows you to capture a screen into a .jpg file (http://sourceforge.net/projects/greenshot/)
Twitter Tracking (and other social media status updates including Linkedin):
- Hootsuite.com is a great program that allows you to track your Twitter feeds for new posts, pending tweets and follow various Twitter follows in different programs. Hootsuite also allows you to pre-post on Facebook Fan Page (yours or one you are an admin on), LinkedIn, Twitter and various other social media sites.
- Tweetdeck.com is fabulous program for tracking Twitter followers, direct messages, re-tweets and more.
- Wisestamp.com – is a great way to get a free email signature. What I like about Wisestamp is that you can add a live hyperlinks and a Twitter feed to the bottom of the signature.
Podcasting / On-line Radio and Audio
- Audacity – Free Audio Editing Open Source software.
- BlogTalkRadio.com – Free to offer podcast and audio shows. Offers a advanced paid version too.
Accounting / Money tools
- www.freshbooks.com – Limited free invoicing with a paid upgrade you can use.
- squareup.com – “”Accept credit card payments anywhere with your iPhone, iPad or Android phone”
- Paypal.com - Except direct money and credit cards with out big merchant services.
- gnucash.org – “Personal and small-business financial-accounting software, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.”
- Skype.com – Voice over IP, free anywhere to other Skype users.
- https://www.google.com/voice – Phone number and phone mail.
Video explaining Google Voice.
Project Management, information management and File Sharing
- DropBox – File sharing what provides 2Gig free and syncs from your computer to the web
- ManyMoon.com – Task/Project management that works with Google Docs.
- EverNote.com – Like a card file or multi media note system that syncs with all your computers and your phone. Free and advanced feature paid.*****
- WordPress.com – Free Blogging software with free hosting
- Networkedblogs.com allows you to post your blog to various social networks automatically. This is a free program.
- LastPass – “An online password manager and form filler that makes web browsing easier and more secure.”
- keepass.info – “an open source password manager. Passwords can be stored in highly-encrypted databases, which can be unlocked with one master password or key.”
- www.xmarks.com -”Offers bookmark synchronization, search enhancement and web discovery based on sites bookmarked by users.”
This is a small list of thousands and we want to hear which ones you like and why?