Some Great Apps Your Business Probably Needs

These are some of the best apps that you can get to help you run your online business.

Suite of office apps

To run your business, you’ll probably need to use a few office type apps.

At the very least you’ll almost certainly need a word processor, but likely a spreadsheet and presentation app will also prove handy.

If you prefer installing software on your own computer, then LibreOffice (https://www.libreoffice.org/) should be your first port of call. Along with a word processor, spreadsheets and presentation apps, it also includes an easy to use drawing app and a database.

For those with a preference for online apps, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides (https://www.google.com/docs/about/) are my recommendation. You can use these in any modern web browser and while they may not match the full features of LibreOffice, they likely include all the features you’re ever really going to need.

An extra benefit is that these also have mobile apps, so if you’re working on a mobile device, this will cover your needs.

They also allow you to work on a single file from multiple devices without having to manually copy the file yourself and try and keep all edits in sync.

For a paid for alternative, there is Microsoft Office (https://www.office.com/). In all honesty, I can’t imagine most users will get any benefit from paying for Office that they can’t get from LibreOffice or Google Docs. Maybe if you’re a real power user there may be some reasons for spending your money on Microsoft Office, but I think the two alternatives will be more than enough for most users.

Screen capture

If you need to capture and annotate screenshots, Greenshot (https://getgreenshot.org/) is a great free option, as long as you’re using Windows. Mac users can also use this, but will have a one off payment of $1.99 to make.

As well as allowing you to capture the entire screen or parts of it, Greenshot has a built in editor that makes it easy to annotate images without need to open another app.

Another free screen capture tool is LICEcap (https://www.cockos.com/licecap/). This doesn’t have the editor features of Greenshot, but this stands out by creating animated GIFs as you work. It also automatically compresses the GIFs to keep file size as small possible.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

This is one of those things that you may rarely need, but when you do need it, it could be a huge time saver.

OCR software can take an image or PDF and convert the text into an editable text file.

Perhaps the easiest way to do this is to upload the file you want to extract the text from to your Google Drive account. Then right-click the file, select Open with and then click Google Docs.

If you encounter any problems, such as a long file being truncated, you can try downloading software.

On Windows I’ve used FreeOCR (http://www.paperfile.net/) successfully, including on a long file that Google Docs had problems with.

For Macs, Leadtools OCR App (https://www.leadtools.com/apps/ocr) is a free app available on the Mac Store.

Bear in mind that with all OCR software, the quality of the original source will affect the accuracy of the text extracted. In most cases you should be prepared to do some editing, but that should be a lot quicker than creating the text manually.