Three Really Useful And Free Tools For Your Business

Here are a couple of really useful tools for your business which are completely free and which you should be using. It’s easy to discount something as having little value, just because it’s free, but even the top earners are using these tools that’s how useful they are.

The first tool is Google Drive, this was a service rumoured to be offered by Google way back in 2006 actually saw the light of day in April 2012, as a kind of beefed up version of Google docs. Google Drive is basically a whole suite of office applications ranging from excel-type spreadsheets, docs, and even photo-editing capabilities

The advantage of this being that everything is stored in “the cloud” and can be accessed anywhere with an Internet connection using your i-pad, phone, laptop, or other device. There are services similar to this, for example Apple’s iCloud, and Microsoft’s SkyDrive, but these are paid services, whereas Google Drive is free

Google Drive comes with 15GB worth of storage for free and really shows it’s value on collaborative projects. For example if you are working with a team of people on a spreadsheet where everyone is contributing output, each person can have their own colour and can see each others alterations in real time. Once a change is made it is updated and synchronised with all devices that are connected. A history of all changes made can also be seen under “Activity” in the Drive.

The second tool is You Tube. You may not be aware that You Tube is the second largest search engine after Google search. Just use the search box inside of You Tube instead of Google search The video service was was bought by Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion, and as such has the same effectiveness as searching on Google. You Tube is particularly useful for explanations of questions beginning “How To…” – for example How Can I Set Up A Blog, or How Do I Use The Keyword Planner. Google search can provide many other text answers, but if you are more of a visual learner, using You Tube search the chances are good that someone will have shot a video explanation,

The Third Tool is Google Voice. This tool enables you to have your own G-mail number as a number that can both call mobiles and landlines for free anywhere in the continental United States (not free in the U.K.). Skype has similar systems as does Apple but they are both paid services that lack the functionality of Google Voice. This tool enables you to screen calls, have calls diverted to your landline or mobile, as well as providing a downloadable recording of any voicemails left.

Two other free google tools worthy of mentioning are Google Hangouts, a free and very effective alternative to paying expensive webinar hosting fees, and G-mail, Google’s email service which most people will be familiar with but which does so much more than just send and receive mail. There is talk that Google may be merging Google Voice with Hangouts in the not too distant future, and phasing out Voice altogether, but all of it’s features should remain the same.

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Declan Ryan
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