In these slowing economic times, most businesses are looking for ways to cut costs…. Inspired by the advice for reducing business IT costs from Y Combinator‘s Paul Graham (featured in this month’s Inc magazine), we’ve put together a list of the free software and web applications that we use and think are great for small businesses.
- Google Apps – Includes Google’s email app (Gmail), Google calendar, and Google Docs (which provides excellent web-based word processing and spreadsheet tools). As Google Apps are web-based you don’t need any special software or hardware, and you can access your data from anywhere. The standard edition is free. If you’ve got a larger business or need additional support you may want to consider the premier edition (which has a 30-day trial period).
- Google Analytics – Powerful tool for tracking, analysing and reporting on your website traffic.
- CutePDF – Create professional PDF files from any printable document.
- Paymo – Online time-tracking tool. Free for small businesses and freelancers (up to 3 users).
- Mindomo – Web-based mind mapping tool which allows you to create and edit mind maps, and share them with your colleagues or your friends.
- WordPress – Blog tool and web-publishing platform. While being incredibly powerful and well-featured, WordPress makes it simple to create and manage website content. At finding simple, we love WordPress.
- Skype – Make free video calls to other Skype users. Great for video-conferencing.
A couple of other apps we’ve heard good things about and are looking forward to using include:
- Jing – Grab and share screenshots and video straight from your PC.
- Remember the Milk – Online to-do list and task management program. Integrates with GMail and Twitter, syncs with Blackberry and Windows Mobile, and now features an iPhone app.
- Screenhunter 5.0 Free – Screen capture software. Instead of using ‘Print Screen’ and pasting into ‘Paint’, this application offers easier and more flexible screen capture.