Saturday, September 15, 2012

Top 5 Free Technologies for Businesses

When it comes to free technology for business, cloud computing and collaboration management tools can help dramatically improve your company's productivity. Not only does free technology for business reduce costs and help facilitate efficiency, but the tools also enable you to work remotely. Imagine being on a trip in Chicago and collaborating on a last minute presentation with your coworkers in Miami. The expanded reach of free technologies like Dropbox, Google Drive, Trello, Evernote and Wunderkit afford opportunities that weren't available five years ago.

So, what are the unique features of each free business technology and how do they help promote productivity in the workplace?

1) Dropbox - This easy-to-use cloud storage software integrates across multiple devices including PCs, Mac devices and smartphones. Essentially, Dropbox is a cloud folder that mirrors itself across all the devices on which you have the software installed. Your files are stored on a remote server, and you can access them on any device in which you are logged in. You and your coworkers can access all the same files in a Dropbox folder by simply clicking on the taskbar or assigned desktop icon.

For your business, Dropbox is free provided you stay within a certain space allotment. It's an excellent tool that acts as a local server --- without the actual server. Dropbox is an especially good option for businesses who don't have the capital to develop a defined IT infrastructure.

2) Google Drive - Free technologies for business don't have to be as simple as Dropbox. In fact, Google Drive takes it a step further. With Google Drive, you get the same type of cloud storage folder as with Dropbox, but the software integrates directly with the renowned Google Docs platform. So not only can you and your coworkers access the same files, you can also edit them simultaneously. All you need is a Google account.

3) Trello - This free technology isn't a cloud storage tool, but is a virtual project management tool. With Trello, you can add members to a project "board" and assign them tasks, delegate workflow processes, define task categories and track progress. When it comes to project management, Trello is fast approaching Wunderkit (see below) as the go-to platform for businesses looking to improve productivity with free technologies for business.

4) Evernote - This free technology for business is a bit unique, in that instead of acting as a workflow management software or cloud folder, it's more of a notebook that members of your organization can contribute to and access remotely. For example, if your business is doing research on industry best practices, you can have your employees browse the web and clip articles, photos, etc. All these articles are stored in the cloud, and you can access them, categorize them and tag them based on their relevance to the project.

5) Wunderkit - This technology is a refined version of Trello, but offers a renowned simple interface that makes it easy to manage tasks across your organization, and to track progress for specific tasks. Wunderkit is the business version of Wunderlist, and is free with certain restrictions.

About the Author: Terry Manning is a manager with He enjoys helping businesses succeed in their ventures. He also enjoys traveling with his family.

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