Free software is such an integral part of my life. Everything I do has free software involved in one way or another, and I thought it might be useful to highlight some of the free software I use to keep my life moving.
Below are the free pieces of software I’m using.
Mint.com is the best and free way to watch my spending and plan my finances. They have apps for nearly every platform, and the website is second-to-none! I have a Mint.com video review if you are looking for a much more detailed look at why I love Mint.com.
On my iPod, I discovered an awesome app called SigFig. Essentially, it pulls a bunch of analytics from your stock portfolios, graphs them, and makes suggestions on what you can do to improve. In addition to tracking your stocks, it is neat to see my portfolio compared against the various indices. This is an awesome app for anyone who has a stock portfolio.
For those who don’t want to use Mint.com, or those who want to manage a business’ books without paying out the nose for Quickbooks, try GnuCash. It isn’t as pretty, or as user-friendly, but I’ve used it numerous times and it works. Just be prepared for a bit of a learning curve.
Music Is Free
You don’t have to steal music to enjoy free music! Try Spotify, which is on every moment I’m at my computer. Select a playlist, or choose your favorite artist and listen away. This isn’t like Pandora where it plays a random list of songs somewhat related to what you like, Spotify plays what you want to hear.
If you want to listen to a full album by a new hit artist, or a 1980s rock band? They’re probably on Spotify, and you can listen to full albums!
If you are feeling a bit adventurous or you want to discover new music, I highly suggest Songza! Songza is the most comprehensive software available when it comes to playlists. They have playlists for mood, time of day, musical genres, eras, and many more. It is, by far, my favorite way to listen to music where I just want stuff to play without choosing it.
I do a lot of coding, and I couldn’t get it done without Notepad++. I’m a big Notepad nerd, but Notepad++ is Notepad on steroids. It recognizes tons of programming languages, it has a plethora of features, and it is also tabbed! What more could you ask for.
I take tons of notes. This is primarily due to my extremely poor memory. Evernote saves the day by making the best cross-platform note-taking application. Add pictures, attach documents, put in checklists, and much more. It is available via website, Android App, iOS App and Desktop Application.
I have a TON of passwords. Often, they are huge long strings of random letters, numbers and special characters. Being that I have a terrible memory, how can I remember those? I don’t! I use KeePass to remember my passwords. KeePass is a storage locker that keeps all of your passwords safely tucked away in an encrypted database. I use a secure file to log into it, but you can use a plain old password to log into it if you aren’t super concerned about being overly secure.
I adore the Chrome web browser. It is fast, tabbed, intelligent and minimalist. It is everything I could ever want in a web browser, and they are making the web compliant again! I used to use Firefox, but it got a bit too bloated for me. I did notice that they’ve gone more Chrome-esque, and lightened it up a bit, but I’m hooked on Chrome.
I use a lot of FTP and SFTP for work, and moving files around and Filezilla makes that easy. It is your standard FTP/SFTP client, but it gets the job done and it does it well. Filezilla is the bomb!
I know that I use a ton more free and open software to get through my day, but these are the most prominent ones. I know many are super-tech nerdy, so I apologize, but I hope that you find this list helpful. Hopefully, something on this list will make your life easier and cheaper too!