One important way to save money is to use your time efficiently. Software options to accomplish this feat abound. You can look at lists of software in iTunes, or your smartphone’s marketplace and see all of the options available.
Some of the software is free, others are not. When you can get free software to keep you productive, that’s a double-bonus! In this article, we are going to cover 5 excellent pieces of free software that will help keep you productive.
All of the below free software is available for the Window’s operating system, so you don’t have to worry.
1. Free Software: LibreOffice / Open Office
Many people have heard of Open Office, but we actually prefer LibreOffice. Either one is a suite of productivity softwares including a word processor, spreadsheet manager, slide show creator, and database software. Those are the important parts.
A great part of these suites is they have a robust support community and work about as well as Microsoft’s Office suite. The best part is that it doesn’t cost you anywhere from $300 – $500 like Microsoft Office. This is free software!
2. Free Software: Thunderbird
Many people are addicted to Microsoft Outlook. It is an email program with a lot of bell’s and whistles. Thunderbird does nearly everything that Outlook does, and it is a free software also! I noticed the sticky note feature I liked in Outlook was missing. A simple search for “sticky notes Thunderbird” yielded an excellent plugin called “Xnote.” Problem solved! Oh, and XNote is also a free software! Are we seeing a pattern yet?
3. Free Website: Mint.com
Now owned by Intuit, this is about the most amazing software (website to be more proper) you can find for managing your personal finances. It connects automatically to your bank accounts, you can set budgets, you can set goals, and track your progress dynamically. Mint.com has a lot of features, but there are too many to cover in this little blurb, so be sure to watch our Mint.com video tutorial and review to see if this is the tool for you.
Lots of people pay $60, $100, and up for similar quality software, but your price is $0. I’m not sure how long this will remain being that Intuit purchased Mint, but as-stands, this is a free software and I’ve not heard any different plans so far.
4. Free Software: KeePass Password Safe
Many people will use the same passwords across all systems. They use the same passwords to access their bank accounts, their Facebook accounts, and their mail accounts. All it takes is one company to slip up and be breached for all of your data to be compromised. That is why we highly suggest the use of a password safe. Use secure passwords, use different passwords, and store them in this password safe so you don’t have to worry about someone accessing all of your systems!
This may not be a software that necessarily “keeps you productive” but you won’t be very productive if you lose everything either! That is why we can put it on this list with confidence. Use a password safe and be more productive with your security. This is a free software that keeps you from needing to remember all of those passwords you’ll be making.
5. Free Software: Google Chrome
URL: Google Chrome
Internet Explorer: bleh, Firefox: used to be amazing, but now there is Google Chrome. Recently, Firefox was acting up for us. We couldn’t access web pages quickly, loading the browser was taking forever, and we just couldn’t figure it out. We tried everything to get it to work, but to no avail. Eventually, we tried Internet Explorer (GASP!) but were quickly reminded as to why we left it.
We needed a web browser that did one thing: browsed. We decided to give Chrome a shot. This is single-handedly the fastest web browser we have ever used. It loads quickly, it downloads web sites quickly, and most importantly, it saves us a boat load of time. You wouldn’t think that loading web pages quickly would increase your productivity, but we easily access 400+ different webpages a day. If Chrome saves us 1 second in load time per page, then we are easily saving 3+ hours a month in waiting for webpages. This is an amazing example of how free software can be used to increase our productivity and save money!
If you consider opportunity cost in those numbers, then that is a huge savings! These are our 5 free suggestions for increased productivity, and we hope that you learned something. Be sure to let us know what you use, or what your experiences are with the above suggestions!