101 Fantastic Freebies

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Productivity and Office Apps

Office Productivity Software and Services

Zoho delivers a powerful Web-based office suite with unique online collaboration features.
Zoho delivers a powerful Web-based office suite with unique online collaboration features.
Winner: Zoho
What makes Zoho the winner is that it doesn't merely try to copy Microsoft Office functionality. It's Web-based, so you can collaborate with others on your documents, for example. But the functionality of even the base software beats Microsoft's offering in some areas; for creating HTML and graphics-heavy documents, for instance, it surpasses Word. This is the best and most comprehensive Web-based office suite you can find. Included are a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation program, and a database builder -- and plenty of other productivity applications are being added all the time.

Portable Apps
Do you find yourself frustrated when you're on the go, without all your applications and data? Copy this software suite to a USB flash drive, iPod, or similar device, plug the unit into a PC, and all your apps -- plus your contacts, documents, and bookmarks -- are available.

Google Docs and Spreadsheets
Like Zoho, the Web-based Google Docs and Spreadsheets lets you work with others as well as create and edit documents and spreadsheets. Its collaboration features are particularly noteworthy, and it uses Google's search to make finding any document fast.

Num Sum
While Num Sum includes all of the features you would expect it to have, it's also a social-networking site where you can share spreadsheets with like-minded others. It's a great setup for anyone who's interested in sharing spreadsheets to track home maintenance, a workout schedule, or a Super Bowl pool, for example.

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This Web suite has more features than competitors like Zoho, including everything from a word processor to a drawing program, a spreadsheet, a presentation app, and even a digital music player.

OpenOffice.org
Not happy with the idea of a Web-based office application? Then you want the downloadable OpenOffice.org, the free competitor to Microsoft Office. A complete suite, it provides a word processor, a spreadsheet, a presentation program, a database -- and, for übergeeks, a "mathematical function calculator" (but if you have to ask what it is, you don't need it).

Time Management

With Backpack, you can set up pages for tracking multiple ongoing projects.
With Backpack, you can set up pages for tracking multiple ongoing projects.
Winner: Backpack
Juggling multiple projects has never been so easy. For every project you create a separate page, each of which can include to-do lists, freeform text, notes, links, files, images, and reminders. Backpack also has a calendar, and if you use Apple iCal, Mozilla Calendar, or any program that supports the iCalendar format, your reminders will be automatically added to your Backpack calendar. You can even have reminders sent to you via e-mail or to your cell phone.

Google Notebook
If you need a simple way to save clippings from the Web, organize them, and then search through them, look no further than Google Notebook.

Sticky Notes
This downloadable program does exactly what its name says: It allows you to create virtual sticky reminder notes that you place right on your computer's desktop.

Easy To-Do
With this small, simple download, you can quickly create and track to-do lists.

Notepad Replacement

NoteTab Light can open many documents at once and strip HTML; it has lots of editing utilities, too.
NoteTab Light can open many documents at once and strip HTML; it has lots of editing utilities, too.
Winner: NoteTab Light
This utility improves on Windows' Notepad in so many ways, it's hard to count them. Start with the basics: You can open multiple files, not just one, as you must in Notepad. Each file runs in its own tab, so switching between them is easy. The program comes with all kinds of nifty built-in tools, too, such as a feature that strips HTML out of a document, a Paste Board that saves text clips automatically, macros, and plenty more.

Crimson Editor
Do you need a geeked-out Notepad replacement? Look no further. This text editor for programmers includes syntax highlighting for HTML, C/C++, Perl, and Java.

EditPad Lite
This text editor opens multiple files (each in its own tab), opens files of any size, and allows you unlimited undo and redo -- in other words, it has everything that Notepad doesn't.

Business Productivity

Google Apps provides your business with useful collaboration tools, at no cost.
Google Apps provides your business with useful collaboration tools, at no cost.
Winner: Google Apps for Your Domain
If you're running a small business, why pay for collaboration software when this site can give you a lot of what you need for free? Google Apps offers group calendaring, portals for each employee, and Gmail accounts for everyone using your business domain. In addition, you get a simple Web page creator for building and managing your site, and you can register a domain for only $10 per year. Google also has Google Apps Premier Edition, a for-pay version ($50 per employee) with extra features for large companies; but Google says it will continue to offer Google Apps for Your Domain to small companies for free.

Microsoft Office Live
Don't be confused by this site's name -- the service it offers has nothing to do with the Microsoft Office suite. Though it provides much of what Google Apps for Your Domain does, it's not as well integrated. Office Live storage can hold up to 500MB of data and e-mail management for up to 25 accounts with 2GB of storage each. It does give you free domain registration and a better Web page editor than Google's, however.

FreeCRM.com
If managing sales teams and contacts is all you're after, this site will do the trick. It includes a free document repository of 10MB for your staff, as well.

At a Glance
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