Save Money With Free Software
If you want to get more money, it’s not just about getting more money into your bank account. It’s also about spending less. One area where you could save money is on your software. Some of the best programs you can use are not very expensive. Some even come completely free. Here are a few applications that I use myself that are completely free or very inexpensive.
If you like the idea of testing a lot of the listed software then you can have a look at PortableApps.com where you can use a lot of good software from a caddy or usb dongle without ever installing it on your PC. In software terms that is very liberating. Like taking the shackles off.
- OpenOffice/LibreOffice – Both are completely free to use and give you powerful word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software. Both are very similar, which one you choose depends on your personal view of open source software. If you like Oracle, go for OpenOffice else go for LibreOffice;
- PDF – For the viewer get Adobe Reader or a little smaller and quicker is Foxit Reader. If you want to create PDF’s then use OpenOffice/LibreOffice or to be able to create PDF’s from every bit of software use a printer driver PDF creator like qvPDF.
- Mind Mapping software – FreeMind or XMind
- Graphics viewers – I really like IrfanView, it’s small fast and full features. It just about views every graphics file type that there is and also views video and audio very well. But my photo’s I manage with Google’s Picasa. An excellent photo manager, I have not found a better one yet.
- For video I always use VLC. It plays just about anything under the sun and it’s quick, easy and free.
- If you have a multi monitor setup then you can consider using DisplayFusion. The free version is somewhat limited but
- Dropbox keeps your files nicely synchronised between different machines. You can also use it have your files backed up. But do not rely on Dropbox as your only backup mechanism. But that’s another story.
- Text editor – You can of course use Notepad. At least it’s always there with every version of Windows. But that’s about the only thing positive that can be said about the program. It’s severely limited and cannot handle large files. You can try Notepad++ or Textpad. I use Textpad mainly for all my quick and dirty text file edits.
- File manager – Why would you use Windows Explorer. It’s easy (mainly because you have used it since forever) but very limited. I like Total Commander but mainly because I like to use the keyboard rather than the mouse as it’s usually much faster to manage your files. It takes a bit of getting used to. But oh my is it powerful.
- Communications – Skype, I’ve used it on and off for many years. Why would you change.
- Browser – I mainly use Chrome because it’s fast and easy, Firefox also is very nice and extendable and Internet Explorer if I can’s avoid it.
- Ftp: Sometimes you have to transfer some files manually. FileZilla is very good but I mainly use Total Commander’s Ftp just because it’s always open on my PC. FileZilla does a better job when the amount of files to transfer is very large.
- Simple Web editor – Kompozer, free and simple. I don’t use it a lot as my web site development is done in either WordPress or XSitePro. But it’s very good if you need to edit an html file.
- Header Graphics: XHeader, just don’t look anywhere else. The free one is impressive and for the full version you don’t have to pay a large sum of money.
- Content Management Sites – I used to use Drupal a lot, but my simple CMS websites are now mostly done in WordPress.
This list is not exhaustive by any means. It’s just a collection of free software that I use regularly. I tend to keep a good collection on my USB stick using the fantastic PortableApps Suite. The new version keeps your apps up to date and you can use it on any Windows PC.