Free Software You Should Be Using
I’m going to go ahead and assume that you’re already fairly versed on the many free programs out there that are great for you to use (i.e. Firefox, iTunes, etc.). That’s why I want to share with you a few free programs and websites that you probably aren’t using right now, but should be!
1. KeePass – This program helps you store and keep track of your passwords for nearly anything you do on your computer. This program isn’t absolutely necessary for those of you that are using Firefox’s built in functionality, but this program takes things a step further. It’s great and easy to use! Check it out!
2. Pidgin or Meebo – Like most students, you likely spend a ton of time online. As you’re surfing, you’re likely using some sort of instant messenger to keep in touch with your friends. Pidgin and Meebo (web-based) makes things easier. They both allow you to login to multiple accounts (Yahoo, MSN, Google chat, etc.) all at the same time. The days of having 4 different programs all running at once are over!
3. GIMP - Gimp is probably the best free program out there that can compete (sort of) with Adobe Photoshop. Save your $300+ and use this instead of buying photoshop!
4. Open Office - You may already know about this one. It’s essentially a free alternative to Microsft Office. If you’ve been used to Microsoft, this will take some getting used to, but not spending $150 is worth that!
5. VLC Media Player – This program will play nearly any kind of video file you throw at it. If you’re like me, you probably aren’t a huge fan of Quicktime or Real Player. This easily takes the place of them!
6. OttoBib – This is a nice little site that makes writing up a bibliography much, much easier. It does all the work for you!
7. FreeMind – This program allows you to do what is called “mind-mapping” – which basically means brainstorming. It allows you to take ideas in your head and put them down on paper in a natural, readable layout. I used this a lot when preparing to write papers or when starting projects. You’ll be amazed at how much it helps your thoughts stay organized!