Free software I used in my business.
This article does not aim to promote the use of free software but rather helping fellow SME that is tight with their budget. Most of the software I introduce in this article comes with a paid version.
Drop me an email if you need to ask me anything: email@example.com
1. FREE Pictures for your presentation and articles.
Pixabay. It is a stock image website that comes with scenic photos, illustrations, vectors and you name it. If you feel like paying, just download the photos and there is a PayPal pop-up to ask for donation of any amount.
2. FREE Website
There is actually a lot out there in the market but I choose to use Wix when I was creating my demo website for fundraising. It is quite idiot-proof. Creating a mobile (phone+tablet) compatible website, done by dragging and dropping. You need to pay for hosting and domain name if you don’t already have. Will not break the bank also. Trust me.
It is more for non-programmers. To do the serious stuff, please engage a trustworthy web developer in your country.
3. FREE Name Card organizer
There is not a lot of choice out there and I use Camcard especially with their improved version now. Storing name card is as easy as snap a photo, edit and save. You can input memos and groups. Best of all, once your name card is saved, you can choose to syn to your mobile phone contact list. It also support exporting into your Microsoft Excel and CRM tool.
The limitation is that it can only read English characters. I tried on Chinese and it can not recognise.
4. FREE Email Tracking and basic CRM
Hubspot is the deal breaker! The CRM software is free while the Sales Software is free to a certain level of usage. I run a portal business and I am still using it free.
5. FREE article publishing site
I use Medium. I am thinking between LinkedIn or Medium and I choose Medium. The interface is a lot cleaner.
6. FREE career portal — Free job posting basically.
Plus, every job posted and the skills requirements listed out will add on to the skills demand chart the founders are creating to help up-skill the job seekers.
The first batch of jobs are free. Subsequent posting cost only $88/year, unlimited posting. Not available to recruitment companies just yet.
7. FREE Website traffic tracking tool.
SimilarWeb. Do not believe it in its accuracy in absolute figures but use it to compare your competitors’ website with yours. At least the inaccuracy will be unanimous. You can also track mobile apps but this is feature is quite new and your app might not be tracked by them yet.
8. FREE Grammar Checker
Grammarly. Like the others, they also have a paid version for more “Powerful English” needs. To use it, register and install the plugins to your browser. Your spelling and grammar mistakes will be highlighted with a red underline. It comes with word suggestions.
You can use it on your Microsoft Word as long as you activate it in your program.
9. FREE social media publishing tool
Create content and blasting it to various social media page by a click of a button. Just that simple when using Buffer. Just bear in mind that Twitter only accepts 140 characters. The others will be truncated.
10. FREE call-to-action button on articles.
Sniply. Works on most articles. Does not work on Straits Times. Basically you just get the website address of the article, paste it into the snipping tool and they will add in the call-to-action button. After which you can paste the shortened link on any social media wall.
I use it also to shorten links to.
11. FREE online storage folder
Dropbox. Needs no elaboration. Basically it is an online folder where you can save files and retrieve files from any computer as long as you have the password. You can use it in Gmail to send large files. Good also if you are not in your office and you need to access the files remotely.
Try the free version. The business version only has a 30 days free trial.
12. FREE office communication tool.
News has came out that Microsoft acquisition of LinkedIn and including Facebook‘s intention to create an office collaboration communication tool. Before they offer new products, try Slack.
13. FREE online survey forms.
If you do not need a very smart form, try Google form. It is free anyway.
14. FREE website testing site.
Nibbler. This site actually test your website and give a score on accessibility, SEO, Social Media and Technology. A good check to see how your website score after developing it. Google does not have a perfect score also.
15. FREE graphic editing tool
When you do not want to invest in Photoshop, try Canva. It comes with a huge library of templates and images.
16. FREE Logo editor
Free Logo Design. Again, if you do not want to invest in Photoshop for just a logo. Free version comes at 200px X 200px. Good enough for most web design. Comes with templates and editable images.
17. FREE online notes taking.
Sometimes you just want to pen down the points of presentation or write down some reminders. Try Evernote. I used it quite often. It comes as a pre-installed program when I bought my Toshiba laptop.
18. FREE online accounting tools
Wave. Only for small business needs. At least it is free for now. I didn’t use it much as I am still using my free version of Yellow Pages Accounting Software. Let me know its limitation :)