Geek IT Hawaii - How-To: Become More Productive Using Free Utilities

How-To: Become More Productive Using Free Utilities

Every day, people are wanting to be more productive and efficient at what they do. With 2011 here, we’re looking at new ways to do things. Innovation is key to any person’s success, and this is true for business as well. Whether it be creating PDFs on the fly or sharing files using cloud computing, the tools for making your daily tasks easier are here and I’ve found some I’d like to share:

Creating PDFs

Most people will look at forms they find online and ask “How did they do that?” or “What software can I use to make something like that?”. Well, there are a lot of programs out there which will help, but the one I find most useful is PrimoPDF or NitroPDF. PrimoPDF is a free PDF maker that allows you to create PDF files on the fly, by drag and drop or by printing to a virtual printer on your computer which saves the file (such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc) into a PDF file containing all the text and images you used and also does font embedding to make sure the file you make is viewable by all readers and will look the same. NitroPDF is a paid alternative to Adobe Acrobat which is more affordable at $79.99 than Acrobat X (which, at the time of this article is starting at $299).

No Cost Antivirus

I have to say, there are a lot of programs out there that do the same thing in this category. Geek IT recommends a batch of programs to help protect your computer from malicious attacks and intruders. Of the Geek Suite of programs we offer, our antivirus of choice is Avast! Antivirus. One of the perks of this software is, not only does it not use up a lot of resources on your computer, but it also allows for pre-boot scans which run before Windows loads your desktop environment. Other free antivirus programs out there include AVG, and Microsoft Security Essentials.

File Backup and Sharing

With the ability to share files across multiple computers and platforms, nothing will beat Dropbox. This program will allow you to share files with friends, relatives or co-workers using a link to view the files. You can also use dropbox in the office to create instant share folders which everyone in your office can use. You can also use Dropbox as an alternative to other online backup software such as Carbonite. Dropbox gives you 2GB of space for free, so sign up now and start sharing!

Cloud Computing

Everyone now will say, “The best way to do that is to take it to the cloud!” and with Google Apps you can, all while being free to use. With the start up of Google Docs and Sites, they have made it possible to create documents on the fly with nothing more than your web browser. Businesses can now save money by utilizing Google Apps for Business which allows you to take tasks which are normally done in-house (such as e-mail, file sharing, user management) and outsource them for FREE. The standard package from Google allows for 50 e-mail accounts and the regular (currently) 7GB of mail storage and the ability to integrate third party vendors into Google Apps using the Google Apps Marketplace as well as single sign-on capabilities for Calendars, Docs, Sites and more!

Burning CDs and DVDs

Programs like ImgBurn and CDBurner XP allow for simple tasks such as burning a music CD or DVD possible. These programs are free to use and of course easy to use as well.

There are so many programs out there that make our lives a little easier, and I may not have covered all of them here, but if you want to take a gander, you can check out for some really good free apps that are downloadable using their quick installer tool :) If you have any questions about this topic, please feel free to ask. It’s why we’re here after all :)

Enjoy the New Year and your new computer (if you got one for Christmas)!

03 Jan

Posted by Jose Rubio

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