With every project, from a huge skyscraper to a small DIY job, you will always need the right tools to get the job done quickly and professionally. The same is true when building a website, and doing business online. Most popular software that exists on the market today has a free alternative, who says you need to spend big to get big results? Here is a list of 7 of the best free tools to get things done online.
Email is the backbone of all communication online, it is used by absolutely everyone to communicate and share information online. Mozilla Thunderbird is a free email program, made by the same folks that have given us the outstanding Mozilla Firefox web browser. It offers a simple-to-use interface, simple to setup, is packed full of features and is always up to date on the latest security fixes with constant updates from Mozilla themselves. Thunderbird is available for download from www.mozilla.org/thunderbird.
Online calendars are invaluable when it comes to organising your time effectively. Google has recently made sweeping changes to how its online calendars function. By signing up for a Google account, anyone can create and share calendars easily. With the options of sharing calendars between people you can also organise meetings at the click of a button. Visit Google Calendar to easily organise your time www.google.com/calendar.
3. Social Plug-ins
With more and more people signing up for social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter, new tools have been created to maximise the functionality you can get from these services. Tweetdeck is a free desktop software suite that allows you to easily manage one or more Twitter accounts. With Tweetdeck you can follow your Twitter feed closely, reply to tweets, and even split your followers into different groups. Combined with on-the-go URL shortening to get the most out of every tweet Tweetdeck is a great tool for any Twitter user. [See also: Essential Guide to Twitter Tools.] Download Tweetdeck to take full control of your Twitter account http://www.tweetdeck.com/
4. Cloud Storage
It has happened to everyone at least once in their online life. You are visiting a friend and have left an important file back on your computer at home. With cloud storage solutions such as Dropbox these problems are a thing of the past. With Dropbox you upload your important files to the cloud, where they are then accessible from any computer you then login from. Accounts with Dropbox start out with 2GB of data allowance for free and further upgrades to your account are available if you need more space. Sign up for an account with Dropbox and never leave a file behind again, www.dropbox.com
5. Image Editing
Should the need ever arise that you need to edit a photo quickly and need some editing software that just works out of the box, try using GIMP. With features such as photo retouching and support for every popular image format GIMP is a powerful photo editing tool that won’t cost you a cent. GIMP can be further customised to perform even more advanced functions with the addition of plug-ins, these plug-ins are also free. For the powerful yet free photo editing suite visit www.gimp.org/
6. Word Processing
As far back as I can remember, computers have been primarily used for creating, editing and sending word documents. Unfortunately most word processors cost hundreds of dollars and require an update every few years. Open Office is as it sounds, completely open and free. Distributed under an open source licence Open Office is free, is constantly being updated and supports all of the latest document types. To get a long lasting, powerful and free word processor download Open Office, www.openoffice.org/
7. File Sharing
Have you ever tried to send a large file to someone via email? The process is usually plagued with all sorts of error messages and in the end you might be lucky if the file sent at all. YouSendIt is a free online tool that allows you to send large email attachments without the hassle. With the option to send 50MB per email, and have an online storage box of 2GB for each free account, as well as having the option to upgrade your account at any time to allow for even larger file transfers YouSendIt is the easiest way to send a large file. To signup for a free YouSendIt account visit www.yousendit.com/litesignup
What other free tools have you discovered for saving time online?
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