The beauty of the virtual world is that a one-person business can look just as impressive as a large corporation if you use the right online tools. You don’t need to have a corporate-sized budget — there are many wonderful free and low-cost tools available. Below are some of our recommendations for an anti-virus program, video software converters, online fax service and other useful software.
1. Mailwasher. Like putting your unopened email in the laundry, Mailwasher stops email spam before it gets to your computer. Check and manage email accounts (yours and your clients’) before opening your email client. Mailwasher works with Outlook, Outlook Express, Incredimail, Thunderbird, Windows Mail, Gmail and Hotmail. It’s free and has no expiration date!
2. Foxit PDF. This free PDF document viewer allows you to open, view and print any PDF file with lightning speed. Foxit offers a rich feature set and is much faster than Adobe Reader for reading PDFs on the web or offline.
3. PrimoPDF Converter. Turn your important business documents into PDF files at no cost! PrimoPDF converts more than 300 file types to PDF including Microsoft Word (DOC, DOCX), Excel (XLS, XLSX), PowerPoint (PPT, PPTX), Visio (VSD), Publisher (PUB), WordPerfect (WPD), OpenOffice, HTML, TXT, BMP, TIFF, JPEG, GIF, PNG and many more. These PDF files can be opened in any PDF viewer including Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Reader and Nitro PDF Professional. Profiles include Screen, eBook, Print, Prepress and Custom. Append PDF files.
4. AVG Anti-Virus Free. If you don’t have an anti-virus program, you’re playing with fire. This free program offers protection against viruses and spyware for Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP and Windows 2000. It is available for single computer home and noncommercial use. More information is available here.
5. Aviary’s Phoenix Image Editor. No budget for PhotoShop? No worries. Aviary’s Phoenix Image editor lets you edit and resize images before uploading them to the web or adding them to documents. Best of all, it’s free and easy to learn!
6. DVD Video Soft offers a host of programs that convert audio, video, images and photos into a huge range of compatible formats for Blackberry, iPod, iPad, DVD, Audio CD, YouTube and many more. Office To-Go uses their “Free Studio” almost every day to create website videos, flash programs, audio files and many other applications.
7. PDFill PDF Editor. This powerful, low-cost ($19.99) PDF editor does nearly everything Adobe Acrobat can at a fraction of the cost. You can insert, edit and fill form fields; type, draw, comment and sign documents; and open, view, edit and save PDF files.
8. Kall8 lets you have a toll-free telephone number (just like the big guys) at a very affordable rate. Our office has been using it for years — the toll-free number is forwarded to our cell phones, making us truly virtual. Tell them Office To-Go referred you.
9. TrustFax or eFax. If you don’t like that big, bulky fax machine eating up your desk space or want to boost your “green” profile by eliminating paper waste, these programs are for you. Both allow incoming faxes to be delivered to your inbox as PDF files for a small monthly charge.
If you would like any more information about these programs, or other services that can help you become a powerful virtual business force, feel free to call Cyndi at (888) 851-4426 (my toll-free line! See #8).
Blog Post by Lois H. Feinstein