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Free Business & Technology Apps

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Most of the technology you will need to start your own business, you probably already have. A computer and a smart phone, with a few specialized apps, which you can get for free will get you going. For example, did you realize that there is actually free business accounting software? Were you aware that you can get an entire Customer Resource Management (CRM) suite for free? How about an entire office productivity suite comparable to Microsoft Office, again, at no charge? Well, you can and we'll show you how, but first, let's look at Google.

Google Calendar

Organizing your schedule shouldn't be a burden. With Google Calendar, it's easy to keep track of important events all in one place.
  • Share Your Schedule
  • Mobile Access to Calendar
  • Never Overlook Events
  • Send Invitations & Track RSVPs
  • Sync With Desktop Apps
  • Work Offline

My wife and I use this app extensively. She runs a Computer Service business and I have a Web Design business ( duh ;-) We synch our calendars together so we each know what we have going on at any given time. We also use our calendars as a project management tool, tracking where different projects are at in their life cycle.

I also use an Android app for my phone called "Jorte" which synchs with our calendars and displays the information in a format similar to my old DayTimer with a calendar view on the left, and events and tasks on the right, There are many other calendaring apps available at the marketplace as well. You can also post a calendar to your website if you like. An example of this can be seen at Bobbie Carlyle Sculpture on her events page.

Create a Free Calendar »

Google Mail

Gmail is built on the idea that email can be more intuitive, efficient, and useful. And maybe even fun. After all, Gmail has:
  • 7616 Mb Disk Storage
  • Less Spam
  • Mobile Access
  • Search Mail
  • Conversation View
  • Archive, Mute, Move
Most of you probably already have Gmail so just start using it for business as well. I believe all the Android phones come with a Gmail app pre-installed and you can get one for your Blackberry, IPhone, Nokia, Windows and most others. Why wait until you get home to read and respond to your mail when you can view it on the go and respond instantly? It could be the difference between a sale and a mere follow up.

Create a Free Gmail Account »

Send Gmail to Your Phone Free »

Google Docs

Google Docs allows you to create and share your work online.
  • Upload Files From Your Desktop: It's easy to get started and it's free!
  • Access Anywhere: Edit and view your docs from any computer or smart phone.
  • Share Your Work: Real-time collaboration means work gets done more quickly.
Google Docs along with Google Calendar and Gmail pretty much takes care of your basic business software needs. Do you work with RFP's or RFQ's in your business? Do you use a consultancy agreement or confidentiality (NDA) agreement? Have you ever needed a client reference list or a detailed description of your service/business to close a deal? Google Docs puts any document in your arsenal at your fingertips. Create templates that you can fill-in on the fly and have whatever document you need, when you need it.

Create a Free Google Docs Account »

Google Apps

Google Apps offers reliable, secure web-based office tools for your small business
  • Gmail
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Docs
  • Google Cloud Connect
  • Google Sites
  • Google Apps Marketplace
For $5.00 per month per user you can upgrade your free Google services and have access to tons of additional business apps and services (some free). For example you can get a project management tool, "Project Schedule", free if you have a Google Apps account.

Create Google Apps Account »

Visit the Google Apps Marketplace »

Free Mobile Business Apps

The android app market offers a myriad of business productivity apps for your consideration. Some free, some not. However, even the paid apps are not that expensive. Below, we have highlighted some of the free ones. You can view all of them, free and paid, using the links provided below. I think you will be amazed at what you can get for free.

Android Business & Productivity Apps

Android Apps offer the small businessperson a wide array of productivity apps.
  • CraigsPost: Advertise your business or service & monitor your account »» 
  • PocketCloud: Remote desktop access to both Windows & Mac OS X »» 
  • UPS Mobile: Track details, find locations, estimate costs and delivery times »» 
  • Entrepreneur Mobile: Answers advice, insights, the latest news and headlines »» 
  • DW Contacts: A good basic, lightweight contact manager »» 
  • Invoice2go Lite: Create, preview, and email professional Invoices & Estimates »» 
  • GoToMeeting: Attend GoToMeeting sessions at a café, hotel or wherever you are »» 
  • Profit or Loss: Calculate profit or loss & break even point for any business »» 
  • Marketing Help: Ask any question about marketing, advertising, sales, or business »» 
  • ExpenseManager: Record expenses, track multiple accounts, unlimited categories »» 
  • Contacts Plus: Contacts list, group list, company list and favorites list »» 
  • Business Start Up Guide: Your route to a successful business »» 
  • Vehicle Expense Log: Log business trips, gas, and vehicle expenses, use GPS »» 
  • Daily Money: Free and open source, daily expense tracker »» 
  • WORKetc: Integrated CRM, Projects, Sales, Billing and more (Free Trial) »» 

For $5.00 per month per user you can upgrade your free Google services and have access to tons of additional business apps and services (some free). For example you can get a project management tool, "Project Schedule", free if you have a Google Apps account.

Peruse Android Free Business Apps »

Peruse Android Paid Business Apps »

Free Open Source Office Productivity Apps

I have worked in the "Open Source Community" for about 13 years and there are many excellent programs available that are feature-rich, stable, secure, and free. Many of these programs are operating system specific, meaning that they only work on one operating system such as: Linux "or" Mac "or" Windows. I have only included those programs that are cross-platform and can be used by all operating systems. let's take a look at some of them.

OpenOffice – Office Productivity Suite 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for Windows, Mac and GNU/Linux:
  • Word Processing
  • Spreadsheets
  • Presentations
  • Graphics
  • Databases
  • and More!
It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose.

Download OpenOffice Here »

LibreOffice – Office Productivity Suite

LibreOffice is the power-packed free, libre and open source personal productivity suite for Windows, Macintosh and GNU/Linux, that gives you six feature-rich applications for all your document production and data processing needs:
  • Writer – Word Processing
  • Calc – Spreadsheets
  • Impress – Presentations
  • Draw – Graphics
  • Base – Databases
  • Math – Equations
Support and documentation is free from a large, dedicated community of users, contributors and developers. You, too, can also get involved!

Download LibreOffice Here »

Free Open Source Finance and Accounting Software

Financial and Accounting Software is, for the most part OS platform specific. There's not a wide variety to choose from that run on Windows, Mac, Unix and Linux. There are some good ones though that are platform independent, so these are the ones we'll take a look at.

GnuCash – Financial & Accounting Suite

GnuCash is personal and small-business financial-accounting software, freely licensed under the GNU GPL and available for GNU/Linux, BSD, Solaris, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows.
  • Double-Entry Accounting
  • Stock, Bond, Mutual Fund Accounts
  • Small-Business Accounting
  • Customers
  • Vendors
  • Jobs
  • QIF/OFX/HBCI Import
  • Transaction Matching
  • Reports, Graphs
  • Scheduled Transactions
  • Financial Calculations
  • Invoices
  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
Designed to be easy to use, yet powerful and flexible, GnuCash allows you to track bank accounts, stocks, income and expenses. As quick and intuitive to use as a checkbook register, it is based on professional accounting principles to ensure balanced books and accurate reports.

Download GnuCash Here »

Free Open Source Customer Resource Management Apps

Customer Resource Management (CRM) is a widely implemented strategy for managing a company's interactions with customers, clients and sales prospects. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize business processes, principally sales activities, but also marketing, customer service, and technical support. EGroupware and ConcoureseSuite are two of the best. Let's take a look at them.

EGroupware – Customer Resource Management (CRM)

EGroupware is the leading Online Collaboration Tool and the top choice for big enterprises, small businesses and teams within and across organizations all over the globe. Because it is web-based, it is usable and viewable across all operating systems..
  • Information Sharing and CRM
  • Project, Task and Event Management
  • Online File and Document Management
  • Data Exchange and Synchronization
  • Incident Tracking
  • Website Content Management
Millions of users around the world are using EGroupware. Isn't it time to join them?

Download EGroupware Community Edition Here »

ConcourseSuite – Customer Resource Management (CRM)

ConcourseSuite is the first front office application suite to integrate Customer Relationship Management (CRM), web content management and team collaboration capabilities into a single, easy to user web application. An open source Java-based application with a standards-based plug-in architecture, ConcourseSuite 6 can scale to the largest enterprise, yet delivers the ease of use and low cost required by small and medium-sized businesses.

ConcourseSuite Enterprise CRM is available at no cost for 1-5 users and only costs $400.00/yr to add up to 100 users. It's perfect for a start-up or home based business and can grow with you.
  • Manage the entire sales cycle
  • Develop trackable marketing campaigns
  • Manage your projects in real time
  • Create discussion forums & news groups
  • Track and resolve customer issues
  • Enterprise Document Management
  • Collaborate with team members
  • Manage clients and key contacts
Concursive products are used by large enterprises and thousands of small businesses alike. Want to join them?

Download ConcourseSuite Enterprise CRM Here »