With belts tightening, many companies are asking themselves what they can do to cut costs.  

The words “Free” are a very much welcomed eye opener, however most of us know ‘Free’ is most often accompanied by The Small Print. Before you know it you are tied into a 24-month contract and left asking yourself “at what point did I need that gift, a lawnmower? I live in a third floor flat…”. 

There are alternatives to proprietary software, these can provide you with the same if not, a better experience. So without further ado, here are our suggestions for software that could be used by your organisation to make staff more productive, while saving on software licensing fees. 

LibreOffice – A powerful alternative to Microsoft Office, LibreOffice brings you the strength of its competitor does it well, whether it’s a mail merge in Writer, a spreadsheet in Calc or Impress for those all-important presentations; reset assured, it will meet many of your office needs. 

LibreOffice software is compatible with Microsoft products. 

Thunderbird – A email client from the Firefox consortium, powerful and simplistic. This is a brilliant tool should all you need to do is send an email. You don’t get the endless tabs, buttons or anything fancy, just the ability to send and receive email. 

GIMP – When it comes to graphics, Adobe Photoshop is ultimately the standard by which all other products are measured. GIMP provides a strong case of its own. Whether you are a designer, photographer or an illustrator, with all the customisations and plugins available there is not much this app cannot do. 

Invoice Ninja – Invoicing and billing your customers could not be easier. It can be setup to collect automatic payments, send reminders without prompt, convert quotes to invoices, with the ability to support multiple companies, all under one portal. 

There are certain features of proprietary software that are not replicated in the products above but ask yourself, do you really use all those features? 

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