Ten Free Software Tools for the Cost-Conscious Consultant - Slide 8

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Next Data Backup: FBackup-8 Next

Data Backup: FBackup

Even in the era of "the cloud," backing up your important data to a local source (i.e., a cheap USB 2.0 hard drive) is always a good idea. Ken really likes FBackup from Softland, now in version 4.5. You can set regular backups to either zip files or true mirrors locally or on a network resource. (Actually backing up a network resource, or posting your backup remotely via FTP, requires an upgrade to the paid version.) Managing multiple backup jobs for specific tasks is a snap, and there are handy tutorials about setting up jobs for common applications, such as Outlook. Really, there's nothing to complain about with Fbackup.

Free, unlimited use.

Consultants need to do a little bit of everything, and that can mean loading up on a lot of potentially expensive software packages. Thank goodness for open source freeware projects and proprietary software publishers who give away powerful free samples as a marketing tactic.

These software packages provide more than adequate – sometimes surprisingly powerful – functionality for your Windows-based PC, and interoperate quite nicely with brand-name apps. They won't necessarily replace industry-standard tools for your core business; professional project managers are still going to have to bite that $500 bullet for a seat of MS Project.

But for general productivity and most niche tasks, software doesn't have to cost a lot, or anything, for that matter. These tools don't expire and won't frustrate you by suppressing necessary functionality. They just work.

This slideshow features 10 free client software packages identified by Ken-Hardin, an independent business analyst and management consultant, as well as an IT Business Edge alumnus.

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