101 Fantastic Freebies
Productivity and Office Apps
Office Productivity Software and Services
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
With this small, simple download, you can quickly create and track to-do lists.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.