Tuesday, January 15, 2008

How to create a free virtual office

Please check out the update regarding Microsoft Office here.

In my continuing desire to stay organized, productive and take advantage of technology, I have been trying different systems that are internet based and free. You can click on the links and see them for yourself.

First of all, I have settled on Zoho to manage my appointments and to do lists using the Zoho Planner. There are a lot of on line tools that Zoho offers and I may play with more of them as time goes by. It appears that Zoho offers many of the same features that Google also offers, but I like the layout of the Zoho planner.

Other online organization tools that you might prefer are listed here.

I also am moving to online storage for audio files of radio shows, and other non-sensitive paperwork that I don't need access to on a continuous basis. First I tried DropBoks, then I discovered Xdrive, which I prefer because it appears to be faster and offer more storage organization. Xdrive is an AOL service, and gives 5 GB free storage. Xdrive is a little more complicated to set up, but once you do, it is easy to use. DropBoks is a simpler system if that's what you prefer.

When I bought my latest laptop, which is the only computer I use for work and personal use, it came with Windows Vista Home Premium which I like. I did not buy the Microsoft Office suite, instead I have Open Office which is free and compatible with all my Microsoft Office documents that I created in Excel, Word, and Powerpoint. (Google and Zoho have online substitutes, but I do not always have internet access). Please check out the update regarding Microsoft Office here.

I use Firefox instead of Internet Explorer, and Thunderbird instead of Microsoft's Outlook for email. And what started out as a backup to my Favorites and Bookmarks, is Del.icio.us which saves your bookmarks on line.

Finally, I want to mention that I need to edit audio files at times and there is a free program that I have been using for the past year, Audacity.

Check these out and increase your productivity without spending a dime!

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