Start-ups have enough expenses without having to worry about spending a fortune on software packages. Many businesses make the mistake of thinking they need to newest versions of everything and update needlessly on expensive software.
Not only is it untrue you need the latest versions to make your business work, they don’t have to cost you anything at all.
Here’s a list of alternatives for some of the most used software package – all for free!
For A Desktop Office Suite
Microsoft office can be very expensive for a start up looking to keep an eye on their outgoings. However, the vast majority of us need a software to run these documents. LibreOffice (Was OpenOffice) is a free and powerful office suite that can work with nearly all types of documents.
For Project Management Software
Some project management softwares can cost an absolute fortune, but a lot of company’s need something to coordinate team members and streamline processes. Trello is an amazing free project management tool that integrates with a lot of other programs and runs across devices, meaning projects are easily updated at all times.
For Business Email
Following on from the expense of Microsoft Office, finding an alternative for a a free email service that also let’s you switch easily between personal and business seems like a no brainer. Gmail makes it really easy to run multiple email addresses, it’s quick and doesn’t take up lots of space. Being a Google product, its search function is excellent and has tonnes of really great add ons and plugins like Rapportive (View LinkedIn profiles of senders), FollowupThen (Scheduler), WiseStamp (Get memorable signatures), CloudMagic (Integration with Trello, Evernote and more) and Streak (CRM) being some of the best.
For a Digital Workspace
Store your notes and ideas online with Evernote. This is a fantastic alternative to OneNote and allows you to access your ideas from anywhere, across devices. They have excellent tagging and organising functions that allow you to store your thoughts as efficiently as possible.
For Managing Finances
This is an extremely easy way to balance your checkbook online, track your spending, set a budget, manage your money and more. As an online checkbook, you enter your receipts into the site and assign each transaction to an account and category. You can go back through the online checkbook register and mark transactions as “Jived” (balanced). It’s a top tool to make sure you’re keeping within budget and it works on the cloud, so you can access it from anywhere!
For Managing Email Lists
Growing an email list is an integral part of many businesses. Unfortunately, many list management tools charge a price to do it. Mail chimp is an incredibly user friendly tool that integrates with a ton of other programs. You can manage a large amount of subscribers for free, giving you a chance to start getting some value from your list before you have to begin paying for it. The design functions are amazing and very easy to use for those that are non technical.
For Image Editing
Gimp is a free open source image editing software suite that works very similarly to photoshop. Once you get used to it, there are plenty of tutorials online, you’ll be able to use it for the vast majority of your graphic design and desktop publishing needs.
For Vector Graphics
Inkscape is a free open-source vector graphics editor similar to Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Freehand, or Xara X. Inkscape can take you from this beginner sketches and mock-ups to a final, professional-grade design format which is ready for publication on the web or in physical form.
For Desktop Publishing
Used by many as a free alternative for InDesign, Scribus is a powerful tool that allows you to create elegant and beautiful PDFs, and printed documents easily. It’s open source and has some incredible functionality. There are lots of tutorials available online as well!