The amount of fantastic free technology available online today is simply amazing! I’ve been adopting more and more of them in business and life, and thought I’d share my Top 5 Free Technologies I can’t live without:
- Google mail and docs – I’m addicted to Gmail. Ever since I switched to my new Mac, I’ve been using Gmail as my primary mail software. Mac has a great Google notifier that sits in the top right corner of my screen and lets me know when there is new mail, and scrolls through snippets of each one, in an unobtrusive and elegant Apple way. I filter in my PEER 1 business mail as well as my personal mail through it and use it as my single point for mailing. I’ve now been using Google calendar and Google docs – word processor and spreadsheet, and trying to ween myself off of years of Microsoft Office. I’m impressed at how seamlessly it imports Word and Excel documents, and the smooth integration with Gmail. Have also now switched to Google Reader for RSS news feeds. Some people get concerned about having all your eggs in one basket like Google, but don’t preach to me. I’m converted. Docs.Google.com and Google Services
- WordPress – As much as I like Google, I don’t like their blogging software, Blogger. Started with them and ended up switching over to WordPress. WP is leaps and bounds ahead of Blogger with its blog stats, quality templates and growing WP community. I wasn’t permitted to run AdSense ads on my WP blog as I was with Blogger, but I didn’t care. I wasn’t blogging for money. WordPress.com
- MediaFire – Just started using this for free file sharing. Great for large files that can’t be emailed. The nice thing about this service is that you have unlimited disk space, can send files up to 100MB (great for large graphic artwork files), and no queues or speed throttling. Mediafire.com
- Livelook – Ever wished the person on the other line could see what you’re seeing on your desktop, to help explain a document, graph, report, or slide? Livelook, who is a hosting client of ours, provides free instant screen sharing that is so easy to use. Just send your contact one password code, they enter it at LiveLook’s site, and boom, they’re viewing your desktop in real-time through their browser. Very handy! Livelook.net
- SurveyMonkey – Free professional online surveys you can use to research your staff, prospects, and customers. Complete with good-looking templates, statistical data and analysis reports. For a small fee, you can private label it with your logo and get some more cool features. Great tool! SurveyMonkey.com
Rajan is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of BIG Marketing for Small Business. He's an award-winning marketing strategist who is passionate about branding, digital marketing and social media. He spent nearly a decade as the marketing executive at global IT firm Peer 1 Hosting and was instrumental in their explosive growth.