Microsoft Office — from Word to Powerpoint to Excel — has long been ubiquitous in offices. But for the entrepreneur, this time-worn system can sometimes lack — in terms of features, collaborative possibilities and cost-effectiveness. Read on for some inspired alternatives.
Evernote is an electronic notebook — but thinking of it as “just” a notebook would be misleading. Entrepreneurs use it to:
- Collect ideas in virtual notebooks: separate various areas of your business into different notebooks, such as marketing, sales, financials, ideas, and more.
- Access on any device: your work in Evernote is sync in the cloud, so you can access it on any device you use, from computer to tablet to mobile.
- Collaborate with others: Communicate, collaborate, and share in real-time with anyone in the world without ever leaving Evernote.
Evernote also has a number of additional features. You can transform notes into screen-friendly layouts for presentations. The Evernote Web Clipper allows you to file away good articles for later reference. Many use Evernote as a part of a productivity system like Getting Things Done instead of relying on paper lists.
Evernote can be used on Mac and PC and is comes at varying price points, including a free level.
If you’re looking for feature sets that are similar to the Office Suite, look no further than Google Drive, the home of Docs (the equivalent of Word) and Sheets (the equivalent of Excel).
Like Evernote, everything is saved to the cloud automatically saved as you type. You can collaborate with others in real time as well. You can even use revision history to see old versions of the same document, sorted by date and who made the change.
You can access, create, and edit your documents wherever you go—from your phone, tablet, or computer. Best of all, it’s free!
Google Drive is free and is available on the web.
Increasingly, Mac users have a number of great alternatives to the Office Suite. Keynote for Mac makes it simple to create and deliver presentations, just like PowerPoint. Keynote works seamlessly between Mac and iOS devices and can also be easily converted to PowerPoint format if you need it.
What else can Keynote do? Well, like a number of Apple products, it seeks to make great design accessible. It can be a great program to use to create a PDF book or ebook that you can use as an information product, or a “lead magnet” to create a strong email marketing program. Keynote comes bundled with new Macs.
A great alternative that comes bundled with new Apple computers is Pages for Mac. Like Keynote, it comes with added design features that can help make your printed work look more attractive. It’s also quite easy to use on mobile and can make an easy conversion to Microsoft Word. Pages comes bundled with new Macs.
Are you working on a longer project, like an ebook or a business plan? Scrivener might be a tool that will allow you to make breakthroughs. Originally designed for creative writers, Scrivener makes the task of composing and structuring long and difficult documents easy. It can be particularly helpful for helping you with a first draft of a business plan.
Export your finished document to a wide variety of file formats, including Microsoft Word, RTF, PDF and HTML—making it easy to share your work with others. Create a longer ebook by exporting to ePub or Kindle formats to share your work via iBooks or Amazon, or for reading on any e-reader. Scrivener costs $45 and is available for Mac. Read more…