Open source and free productivity tools offer a full range of features, to help small businesses get work done and stay on track.
7 Free Productivity Tools for Small Business
Not too many years ago, most small businesses paid hefty fees for office productivity suites like Microsoft Office. Today, however, free cloud-based options like Google Docs and Office Online mean that anyone can access word processing and spreadsheet capabilities for free.
So why should small business owners and entrepreneurs consider open source alternatives when they could simply choose from any of these free cloud-based options?
For starters, the free versions of the proprietary productivity suites don't offer as many features as their downloadable desktop versions. While they offer basic capabilities, they don't always meet the needs of small businesses that need to put together complicated documents.
Second, you can't use a cloud-based option when you're offline. If you experience a power outage or if you're on vacation without connectivity and you need to get some work done, you're out of luck if cloud-based tools are all you have.
In addition, some people don't feel safe trusting all of their documents to the cloud—especially if those documents contain sensitive information. What if the cloud provider has a data breach or loses files?
Open source office productivity software offers the best of both worlds. Like the cloud-based options mentioned above, it doesn't cost anything. But this downloadable desktop software offers the full range of features that small businesses need. It's usable even if you don't have an Internet connection, and it doesn't require you to store sensitive documents in the cloud.
In this slideshow, we'll take a look at seven of the best open source office productivity software available. Some of these free productivity tools are full suites while others meet a particular need—and all of them are suitable for use by small business.