Software and online web services can be really expensive. Often the cost can be justified because they deliver in terms of efficiency savings.
There are also some great free software programs and online web services which I use regularly and can thoroughly recommend.
GIMP is a free alternative to Photoshop, an expensive photo editor. Whilst it may be true that Photoshop is more powerful, most of us would never use those extra capabilities. GIMP now has a much easier interface than it had in the past and is extremely powerful. There are great tools for manipulating images, toching up images and many creative effects and filters can be used. The fact that it has all this and is completely free with no catches is amazing. Why would you pay when you get all this for free?
Google Calendar is a great alternative to the calendar in Outlook which many business people use. You can access it online or using an App on Iphone or Android. It can send you reminders each day via email and also on your phone or tablet a set period in advance of the appointment. It's a breeze to use and is extremely useful in organising a busy schedule. You can access ti anywhere and you don't need to worry about backing up your data as it is all done for you.
Thunderbird is a desktop email client available on Windows, Mac and Linux. Many people use popular services such as Gmail and Outlook online. But if you are serious about business email then a professional IMAP account with your business URL in the address is essential. For example, email@example.com looks much better than firstname.lastname@example.org. A professional IMAP account such as the one provided by Net Quality Web Design can easily be added to your phone, tablet and PC. Thunderbird takes care of the PC. Better still, all email will be synchronised between the devices. Read an email on one device and it shows as read on all your other devices. A serious piece of software for the serious business owner.
You might be surprised to see this on the list. Surely you pay for Microsoft Office? Well there is a free online version which you can use on the web. You don't get the software on your desktop and it is missing some more advanced features. However, for what most of us use Office Applications for there is plenty here for the business owner.
For those of you who want a program on your desktop and need more features than the online free version of Microsoft Office, LibreOffice more than adequately fills this need. I have been using it for some years now and I have never had the need for the fully paid-for version of Microsoft Office. You can open office documents of all types with this program and it comes with everything you would find in Microsoft Office. The only major thing missing is an alternative to Outlook but I mentioned Thunderbird and Google Calendar above which covers this nicely.
LibreOffice is extremely powerful and an essential tool for the business owner being careful with their budget.