My Favorite FREE Apps to Boost Business Productivity

Here are my favorite four FREE apps that I use almost every day that have a real impact on my productivity.

Let’s talk business for a moment.

There are thousands and thousands of free business apps flooding the market, vying for our attention. Which ones are valuable? Which ones are legit? Who has time to sort through them all?

My name is Tracy Hardin, and I am a nerd and business owner who appreciates an app that can save me time and money.

Here are my favorite four FREE apps that I use almost every day that have a real impact on my productivity (I hope they work well for you too!):

FOXIT READER (https://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf-reader/)

I loathe a PDF form that I have to print in order to fill it out. Oh, and then scan it back in so I can send it back. What a waste of time! Foxit Reader is a free PDF reader that allows you to “type” on any PDF, plus it allows you to virtually “sign” your PDFs with your digitized signature. What a timesaver! Love, love, LOVE this product!

IRFANVIEW (https://www.irfanview.com)

A newcomer to my desktop, IrfanView was introduced to me by an engineering client. It is a basic, but powerful image editor. One of its great features is the way it makes resizing pictures a snap. In Facebook, your header pic needs to be 640×360 pixels in size, and your profile pic 200×200 pixels. Use IrfanView to resize your pics to those sizes with ease. Also, you can dress up your pics with a huge variety of frames, text, figures, plus tons of other features. Its the quickest way to resize a pic that I have found.

CALENDLY (https://calendly.com)

Calendly is a great way to coordinate a meeting without all the back-and-forth emails to set up a time. Simply email several preferred times with Calendly and, with a click, the other party can schedule the meeting. I also use Calendly on my website to invite visitors to reach out to us (see the yellow button in corner? “Schedule time with me”). Calendly accesses your calendar to show your available times, and once the meeting is booked, it places the meeting back on your calendar. The free version has all these features but if you want to book different types of meetings for different amounts of time, you will have to step up to a paid-for version. Calendly also integrates with Zoom so its a great way to automatically schedule Zoom calls. Love it!

MICROSOFT TEAMS (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-teams/free)

Yes, Microsoft is giving away this nifty communication tool so it makes it to my favorite list of freebies. Teams is like your own private Facebook. You can invite outsiders from other companies if you wish or you can limit access to just your staff. You can have private teams, private 1-1 chats or public (all staff) teams or chats as well. In the age of COVID and work-from-home, we use it to start each work day. Most don’t realize that Teams also includes voice calls, video calls, video conferencing, file sharing, funny .GIFs and chats. Beware that the content of your Teams is NOT backed up by Microsoft so if you do share critical files its important to get a third-party product to back up your data!

Want to peek over my shoulder and see these great products in action right now? Check out our YouTube channel and watch the webinar I did on this topic from April 2021 right here.

Also, on May 18, 2021, I will be doing a webinar on four business apps you should NEVER get for free! (Sometimes free comes with a price you don’t want to pay) To register for my next webinar, click here.

Can’t make the webinar? No problem! We will be recording it and will send you the link if you register!

Tracy Hardin

Tracy Hardin is President and founder of Next Century Technologies in Lexington, KY. She has a bachelor's degree in computer science from the University of Kentucky and has earned certifications from Novell, Cisco and CompTIA. Her specialties in the field of IT are network design and security, project management and improving productivity through technology. She loves helping people by sharing her knowledge of tech.