Open Source Solutions for People Without Trust Funds

Open source solutions provide access to software programs. Implementing and using these open source solutions provide a cost effective solution for those that need the program but cannot afford to buy expensive software programs. Uncover some of the open source solutions available and how to implement these solutions.

Open Source Solutions

Whether on a business laptop, or a desktop computer, open source solutions provide easy and public access. Open source solutions create a level playing field for individuals, students, business owners, employees, employers and more.

Word Processing and Spreadsheet Programs

  • Google Docs: Allows anyone with an email address to access its word processing, spreadsheet and presentation programs. You can create, save, share, collaborate and upload documents online. It provides you with all of the options Microsoft Office does but with no software to buy or download.
  • Libre Office: Provides all of the same features that Google Docs does. It provides users with the option for document management all with the confines of the Internet world.

File Sharing

  • Dropbox: A file sharing website, so you can collaborate or share documents with other people that are online. Additionally, Dropbox allows you to sync your files on one computer with another computer—automatically. This is a great feature for syncing your home and work computer or your laptop and desktop so that you always have instant access to the most up to date files.
  • Filezilla: A online file sharing website. The unique thing about Filezilla is that it allows you to send and receive files that exceed size requirements, such as sending via email.

Mind Mapping

  • Mindmeister: Allows you to plot out your own thoughts and project plans, but you can collaborate with other team members, business partners, colleagues or anyone else.
  • XMind: What makes this program unique is that it allows you to embed the mind mapping session into your blog or website to share with others.

How to Implement Open Source Solutions

There are some steps to determine which programs offer the solutions you need.

  1. Consider usability: This is how user friendly it is. View the Help Page or user guide to help answer any questions you have about the program.
  2. Evaluate features: Go through the tutorial, read the help section of the site, and check out the options that are available to you when you sign up for an account. The program that has the majority or all of the features you are looking for is the right open source solution for you.
  3. Register for an account with the provider: Because these programs are free to use, this generally involves providing information such as your name and email address in order to establish an account.
  4. Use: Use the program to see if it’s what you expected. At times, you will find that programs sound simple and easy to use, but are really more difficult when it comes to hands-on work.
  5. Evaluate: Is it easy to use? Did it help you to accomplish what you needed it to? Does it offer everything a paid program does? Is it a program you feel comfortable using?

When you need access to a program, open source solutions might provide just what you need at no cost to you.