I am the first to admit that I am a thrifty, penny-pinching, chintzy, cheapo, bargain shopper. I LOVE a great deal, especially when it costs me nothing. In the perceptive words of Portland icon Tom Peterson, “Free is a very good price!” When it comes to technology, there are a plethora of freebies available on the web. Of course there are the usual suspects such as Facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress and Google, which offer numerous services free of charge. I am a big fan and user of all of them. However, I’d like to share some other online gems, which you may not be as familiar with. Whether you are a student, accountant or any other professional, I think you’ll find these services helpful.
Five Favorite Free Online Services:
Scheduling a meeting: Doodle
- Let’s face it, trying to coordinate a meeting time for a multitude of participants can be a stressful nightmare. However, you can eliminate your anxiety with one of my favorite online tools – Doodle. No formal sign-up for this service is necessary for any of the parties involved. Plus, the website is easy to use and only takes a few minutes to set up. Here is an example of the interface.
Faxing without a fax machine: FaxZero
- Who needs to have one of those clunky machines (that’s soooo last century), when you can send your fax free via the web? Fax Zero is my favorite because they don’t make you sign up for anything. You simply attach your document (.doc, .dosx, or .pdf) with your name and email address, then you’ll receive a confirmation.
Transferring large files: WeTransfer
- I recently discovered some email carriers compress and convert the size of large image file attachments. I found this extremely disconcerting because the quality of the image received by the recipient maybe seriously compromised. To guarantee the quality of the image will be preserved when sent, try using a file transfer service. I like using We Transfer because they do not require any sign-up and you will receive a confirmation when the file has successfully been sent. You can use this service for any kind of large files.
Share or publish documents: Scribd
- Are you interested in sharing your research, presentations, newsletters or manuscripts with the world? Now you can through a publishing database called Scribd. You can even view posted documents through mobile devices. The best part, Scribd offers many of its wide variety of documents at no cost.
Conference Calls: FreeConference
- Do you ever need to coordinate more than three people on a call? Setting up a conference call through FreeConference is extremely simple and you can invite up to 150 participants. Like most “free” services, they also offer “premium” packages, which include various fees. However, I have used their free service for years and have found it to be adequate and reliable for my needs.