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Wow, we could be all over the map with this subject, but instead of trying to give you highlights of too many software gizmos to keep track of, we're going to concentrate on some free software that will boost your at home office performance. And, your online productivity – can't beat that!

One thing you know in your heart of hearts is that you do not need to be wasting time doing repetitive tasks – the dull, dreary, monotonous ones that drive you up the wall, but need to be done. It would be nice to automate some of those tasks, but you are budget conscious. Good news, there are several free software packages that will help you. And yes, they are fully functional. Even better news! So if you want to save time and money, this is the article for you.

OpenOffice is one package that would work virtual miracles for you. It is an office suite compatible with all other major office suites. It includes a word processor, spreadsheet, database, and more. Is this like Microsoft Office? Yes, actually it is, and get this – it is completely compatible with Microsoft Office files.

Extra bonus here: OpenOffice Writer lets you save your documents as .PDF files. No way does Microsoft Office let you do that. Well, not without spending mega bucks to get that feature on top of paying for MS Office as well. Again, OpenOffice is FREE and is a powerhouse of a software program.

Go here to get it: http://www.openoffice.org/

Mozilla Thunderbird is a pretty nifty email client. Unfortunately, OpenOffice does not have a counterpart to Outlook. So, this baby is a good alternative – call it the souped up version of Outlook Express. But, it has hundreds of free extensions that can make your email a real riot. What can you do with it? Just about everything from changing your color scheme to translating your emails to Chinese. Now that is extraordinary software.

Go here to get it: http://www.mozilla.com/thunderbird/

Go here to get the extensions: https://addons.mozilla.org/thunderbird/

FeedReader can come in quite handy for you. It is a desktop RSS and ATOM aggregator. RSS means Rich Site Summary, or Really Simple Syndication – a format for distributing news headlines and other content on the Web. ATOM is a protocol for syndication of Web content such as weblogs and news headlines to Web sites and to user agents.

This dandy little program can save you hours a day flipping through newspapers, websites, blogs and newsletters for news. All you have to do is subscribe to your fave feed(s) and all the news that is fit to read comes directly to your inbox.

You can scan hundreds of stories in minutes to get what you need for your business, website, blog etc. By the way, some of the sites put the whole article in the feed. You will not have to open your browser to stay connected.

Go here to get it: http://www.feedreader.com/

To subscribe to your fave RSS feeds go here: http://www.rss-specifications.com/

Web CEO will help you promote, maintain and analyze your site. Imagine that! It helps you to research your keywords for a search engine optimization (SEO) campaign. That is tons of hours saved right there. It will also give you SEO suggestions, and submit your site(s) to hundreds of search engines/directories.

Web CEO will analyze your link popularity and checks your rankings in hundreds of search engines for your keywords. THIS IS FREE. Yes, free. You cannot go wrong with software like this.

You can get a Small Business and Pro Version too, however the free version should be enough.

Go here to get it: http://www.webceo.com/

Skype lets you make PC to PC phone calls. You know that being in business means you likely have calls to make out of your local area. That is life in the fast lane these days. If you call these people on a regular basis, then download Skype for yourself and suggest they do as well. It is FREE and guess what? You can talk as long as you want for ZERO DOLLARS. Now that is a good investment isn't it?

Go here to get it: http://www.skype.com/

There you have it, a great start for your business – and all for FREE.

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