6 Free Online Tools Your Business Should be Using

Running any-sized business is almost guaranteed to be two things: chaotic and costly. Fortunately, a plethora of productivity tools are available online that help calm the calamity with organization without costing you a dime. Here are 10 tools that you should consider for your business:

Office Suite
One of the most basic office necessities is often a costly one, with business editions of more popular suites priced upwards of $275 per copy. Thankfully, OpenOffice.org provides a rich, quality office suite for free. The comprehensive program allows you to create word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, databases, and more, and all files can be saved in the formats of the more commonly used (and expensive) programs. The basic, clean interface provides a refreshingly uncomplicated and uncluttered office suite experience.

The benefits of an online calender are many: you can’t lose it, you can access it from anywhere, and it can be accessed by your entire team so everyone is on the same schedule. If you haven’t hopped on the e-calender bandwagon yet, give Zoho Calender a test drive. The function-packed application allows you to schedule meetings, send invitations, and get RSVPs, as well as share the calender with individuals so you can see the most updated schedule in real time. For greater support in syncing with apps or your phone’s native calender app, you might consider Google Calendar as an alternative.

If you freelance or own a small business, a feature-rich invoicing system would improve your financial organization while saving time. Sage Billing Boss fits this bill perfectly, allowing users to easily set up an account, add customers, send quotes and invoices, track payments, and even collect money. The product is entirely free (there’s no need to pay and “upgrade” to get the full features), you aren’t limited to a certain number of customers or invoices like many other “free” invoicing websites.

RSS/News Reader
With many industries changing so quickly, it’s as important as ever to stay on top of news and articles relevant to your business. Google Reader simplifies this by allowing you to subscribe to news sites and blogs. When you log in, Google displays all the new content on one convenient page, so you quickly decide which articles are of interest and read them right in on the page.

Task Management
CRMs can be costly and bloated; what if all you need is a simple system to help keep your to-do items organized? That’s where Remember the Milk comes in handy. This free application allows you sync your computers and mobile devices with a simple task management interface. Specify due dates and other project details, share tasks with others, and categorize items based on priority or category. Integration with their free mobile apps as well as iCal makes this a must-have tool at the office and on the go.

What free online business tools would you add to this list?

David Ching is a marketing strategist for EQA Office Furniture, a San Fransico, CA-based office furniture company. Package pricing and free 3D virtual walkthroughs are available on EQA’s site, where you can also find desk chairs, office cubicles, workstations, receptionist desks, conference tables and more.

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