7 Free Office Tools to Save You Money
Years ago I switched to free online office tools and I’ve never overpaid for software again. If you are a small or home based business owner, you should consider doing the same. You get all the features of expensive software, but for free.
Featured here are a few online office tools that are tried and true applications – but don’t cost a penny.
If you need a desktop solution for your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, OpenOffice.org is the leading open source software of free solutions. OpenOffice.org can read or write files from other common software platforms, save and share files in a variety of formats, including .doc, .xls and .odt, and best of all, the software suite is compatible with all common computers.
OpenOffice.org will save money for a small or home based business and even a non-profit as the organization grows and more computers are added.
For non-profit organizations under 3000 employees, the complete Google Apps suite for email, calendars, documents, and more is completely free and very powerful. When used properly, Google’s services will provide non-profits with great tools and a variety of ways to use them.
Google Apps provides online, real-time document collaboration, shared and manageable calendars, email, chat, video conferencing, and more — all available for non-profits to use for free. And now that Google Apps users have access to Google + and its possibilities for communication and web presence, there are even more advantages to be found when non-profits integrate some or all of the Google Apps suite into the organization.
On its own, Zoho is a suite of comprehensive web-based tools that compete with Google Apps in many areas, like email aggregation, calendars, document creation and collaboration, and more. According to The Economist, in an article covering the debut of the application, “Zoho is the most comprehensive suite of web-based programs for small businesses.”
Zoho provides more than 25 different applications for business, collaboration, and productivity that are all integrated with each other. Better yet, Zoho is now integrated with and available for Google Apps users, and together offer enough tools to help with almost any aspect of a non-profit’s organization, from CRM to bookkeeping.
Tools for More Specific Tasks
Beyond full office software suites like those listed above, here are a few free tools for more specific purposes and requirements that a home business, small business or non-profit might have, most of which will also integrate with the bigger, overarching services like Google Apps.
ThinkFree Online Office offers online creation, viewing and editing of documents in several common formats, along with 1GB of storage and a tool which will automatically sync any documents with the cloud. The product is also very useful for professionals on the go and has an Android application which allows access to and the ability to edit documents.
ScheduleOnce allows clients and colleagues to schedule meetings easily without the need for multiple phone calls, texts, or emails. ScheduleOnce provides a personal schedule page that integrates with Google calendar. Users simply click on a few available time options to schedule meetings with others, which then allows the meeting planner to review and approve the time that works best for everyone. ScheduleOnce will help a non-profit team if group meetings need to happen frequently with people who are never in one place at the same time.
PDF to Excel Converter is a free accounting productivity tool especially useful for handling PDF invoices and reports. Its features are:
– Completely free to use
– No limitations on the PDF file size or number of conversions
– Online based, no need to download complex software
Gliffy is an online tool for creating flowcharts, diagrams, floor plans, and technical drawings. It is an excellent and free alternative to expensive software such as Visio.