Three Free Computer Programs That Will Change Your Life

21 Jul

I’m in college. Therefore poor. So if I can get something for free, I am all over it. I have downloaded three free computer programs that you would be an idiot for not checking out.

1) Open Office

The Microsoft Office Suite, if it’s not included with your computer, is really expensive. Hundreds of dollars. Open Office isn’t as fancy, but it has a presentation program, a spreadsheet program, a word processing program – pretty much everything that the average person would use from Office. And it’s free.

It doesn’t have a bunch of fancy functionality. When I have to do complex spreadsheets, I use a computer that actually has Excel. It just works better. 

But for writing papers, making slideshows (although you should be using Prezi instead), and doing basic spreadsheet work, it’s fantastic. And free. FREE!

2) Evernote

I love this program. First of all it has the adorable little elephant head on the icon. But more importantly, it’s great for obsessive organizers like me.

Evernote is a sort of electronic filing system. You create “notebooks” and then save notes into them. The thing that makes it so great is that it’s not just things you type in. You can add the Evernote button to your browser, and then when you see a webpage you want to save (coupon, resource for a paper, recipe, whatever) you just click the button and it saves the whole thing to your Evernote. And it’s searchable.

You can add the mobile app and add things directly to your Evernote from your phone, including photos. Oh, if you take a photo of something that has words on it, Evernote will scan it and make those words searchable. Crazy cool.

I used Evernote a ton when I went to Europe. I would clip travel tips that I found online. I kept track of my budget on it. Every time I got a hostel reservation confirmation, I stuck it in Evernote. Then when I got to the hostel, all I had to do was pull out my computer and show the front desk my reservation, instead of trying to find places to print them off. 

Now I use it for recipes, clipping things that look interesting and delicious. So when I want to make something, I can just search for an ingredient I have and recipes using it that I’ve already decided I will like pop up.

The point is that I’m obsessed with organizing and Evernote makes it crazy easy. And free. FREE!

3) Spotify

Even if you don’t use Spotify, you see it popping up all the time on your Facebook feed. This is the best music program I’ve ever seen.

Basically, it’s an iTunes catalog that has everything you want to listen to, for free. It also includes your own iTunes collection, which is great for listening to my unreleased Taylor. But really, the awesome thing here is that instead of having to individually search YouTube for every song off a CD, you just type it in and listen to the whole thing. Straight through. It’s super easy. And free. FREE!

One Response to “Three Free Computer Programs That Will Change Your Life”

  1. ianmulligan08 August 3, 2013 at 4:35 am #

    All three are great free programs. There is plenty of free software that is useful for people. Evernote is heavily used in Europe or so I found and a joy to use. Spotify was also introduced to me by someone who was from the UK. The ability to make and share playlists with people is a great plus. Open Office does the job and is a good word processing alternative. Plus, if you have public access to a library you can always sit down and type something on the microsoft word on that machine. The programs as far as I know are compatible as most word processors can save and open multiple file formats.

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