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If you’re reading this post, then you’re using a computer. But a computer is nothing but a box without software. Fortunately, that software doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are our 5 favorite free software programs…
- OpenOffice.org (http://www.openoffice.org) – OpenOffice.org is an entire productivity suite (think Microsoft Office), but completely free! It’s actually been around since the late ’90s, first as a program called StarOffice originally intended for Linux computers, then renamed OpenOffice and released on Windows without charge to give Microsoft a little competition. But the program is still running strong and opens/saves Microsoft Office files (like Word docs and Excel spreadsheets).
- KnowYourStuff (http://www.knowyourstuff.org) – You should always keep a list of your possessions as proof you owned them, so if something really bad happens, you can tell your insurance company exactly what was lost and how much you paid for it. KnowYourStuff is a free site that will let you create and maintain just such a list.
- Springpad (http://www.springpadit.com) – Springpad will let you keep online notebooks of almost anything (photos, maps, to-do’s, contacts, meals, chores, gifts, bills, etc.) and share them with family or friends. You can even have reminders sent via email or text message when something needs to get done. Example? Set up a list of chores and have one automatically sent to your spouse each day. No more nagging!
- GreenPrint (http://www.printgreener.com) – Ever notice how, sometimes when you print something out online, your printer spits out an extra sheet of paper with only a line or two printed on it? GreenPrint stops that from happening. Save a page, save a tree, save some money.
- Skype (http://skype.com) – Make and receive free telephone calls using your computer… even video chat with anyone else using Skype. So, tell grandma and grandpa to install it and let them chat with the grandkids for hours! (Sorry grandkids). You can even make calls to actual telephone numbers with long distance prices far lower than you’d get from your local telephone company.
There’s plenty of free software out there that can help you do everything from planning your next vacation to watching TV and movies online, so subscribe to our RSS feed or follow us on Twitter to be sure you don’t miss our next post in this series.