There are all sorts of free tools available for creative individuals. Most of the following are open-source or freeware and are listed in the “Toolbox of Free” section of my own inclusion, a free book that I am always writing and updating called “6 Steps to a Social Business.”
My free book on social media for business marketing and advertising
Adobe Reader is a popular, free utility used to open and read PDF documents. It supports hypertext, so any included links are fully functional with a simple click.
Any Video Converter is an all-in-one video converting freeware with easy-to-use graphical interface, fast converting speed, and excellent video quality. It can convert almost all video formats including DivX, XviD, MOV, RM, RMVB, MPEG, VOB, DVD, WMV, and AVI to MPEG-4 movie format for PSP or other portable video device, MP4 player, or smartphones and download YouTube videos.
Audacity® is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems.
InfraRecorder is a free CD/DVD burning solution for Microsoft Windows.
Install or update Google Chrome a free web browser available for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers in order to use the following.
Useful Google Chrome extensions:
Facebook Invite All by dawagner (56,839 users) Adds a “toggle all” friends button to Facebook groups, events and pages.
goo.gl URL Shortener by giakomino (117,446 users) Shorten a URL with goo.gl, the Google URL shortener. Not only will it make the current URL into a shortlink, it also provides an option to generate a QR code that points to the same URL as well as Google click-tracking of that specific short link (Wow!).
Dropbox combines software that you install on your computers and handheld devices with a cloud storage system that backs up the contents of your local dropbox folder, synscronizes it and shares the files between all of your devices online.
GIMP stands for the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for Windows that rivals Adobe’s Photoshop.
Splashup, formerly Fauxto, is a powerful Web-based editing tool and photo manager. Tools and palettes are modeled after Photoshop and it even has layers.
Picnik is another free Web based image editor that works on Mac, Windows, and Linux. Upgrade to Picnik Premium for only $24.95 a year.
Aviary is a Web suite of tools that provide applications for creating digital imagery, graphic design, and audio mixing.
flauntR was named by PC Magazine as one of the best free software applications of 2009 in the Graphics category.
Free Press Release distribution service helps you target global audiences by country and industry, since 2001.
Google’s link shortener, Goo.gl and Bit.ly have both added the capability of creating and tracking QR Codes from within their platforms. Create mobile barcodes and share them online and wherever you use printed advertising. When someone scans the code with their mobile phone they will be linked directly to the content that you place within the code. Mobile codes can be created to link directly to Websites or provide the text you include on business cards.
You can also make your own custom codes at qrcode.kaywa.com or use the Google Chrome browser extension (listed in Browser Options listings above).
Ditto is an open-source extension of the standard Windows clipboard. By default, the standard clipboard that comes with Windows allows you to copy and paste, but it can only hold one item at a time, and it loses that content when you copy again or reboot. Ditto saves each item placed on the clipboard allowing you organize and access any of them again. You can save any type of information that can be put in the clipboard, text, images, html, custom formats etc… and it’s especially useful for pasting in those items that you find yourself typing again and again.
Web Page Authoring
AceHTML Freeware HTML Editor from VisicomMedia.com beats most paid-for HTML editor hands down. It is provided for free, with a Pro upgrade option.
The KompoZer Project is creating an open-source Web authoring system that combines web file management and easy-to-use WYSIWYG web page editing. KompoZer is designed to be extremely easy to use, making it ideal for non-technical computer users who want to create an attractive, professional-looking web site without needing to know HTML or Web coding.
Wikipedia Wizard will help you through the process of submitting a new article to Wikipedia. There are 6 sections to step through, and then you’ll be taken to the editing page.