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10 Software Programs You Really Need
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In celebration of our 10 years of serving the people and businesses of Maui, we offer you our list of 10 Computer Programs You Really Need.
– My number #1 program everyone needs is backup software.
Acronis True Image
Home 2010 is a backup and recovery program. It sells for
$49.99 (suggested list price). I use
Acronis True Image
to make a complete image backup of my computer on a monthly
basis. Should my hard drive fail, I can easily recover all of my data
from my external USB drive by restoring it through
Acronis True Image.
Whenever you enter a site that requires a password, RoboForm
automatically inserts your User ID and Password. I visit about hundreds
of sites that require User ID's and Passwords. I just can't remember
them all. RoboForm does it all for me. Here's how it works. You begin
by picking a master password. For example, 3910Z@ck. This is the one
password that you must always remember when you use RoboForm. You could
use the last 4 digits of your social security number plus the name of my
pet with a symbol substituted for one of the letters. Whatever, it's
something that you can always remember.
6. Online Backup Software -
You should be making daily backups of your data. Where do you keep those backups? Most people making backups keep them right next to their computers. Should something happen, it is likely that both your original data and backups will be gone.
Some people move their backups to another location. Perhaps you backup your computer and take your data on a portable USB drive to another location. Most people don't do that, but let's say you do. A flood, tsunami, or other catastrophe may make this data unavailable.
OK. I may be exaggerating a little, but automatically storing your data at another location on a daily basis is an extremely important precaution in an emergency. Automatic online off-site backup systems are your solution. The 3 best solutions are IBackup, Carbonite, and Mozy.
7. Remote Access Software - Provides you anytime, anywhere access to your PC or Mac's files and applications. From the convenience of a web browser, you can work with a remote computer securely as if you were sitting right in front of it. My all time favorite is LogMeIn, a FREE program that will allow you to access your home, office or business computer from anywhere in the world.
For $69.95 (or less), you can purchase LogMeIn Pro. This edition will allow you to copy files from your remote location to your present location. Alternately, you can use the free version of LogMeIn along with a free email account such as AOL, Gmail or Yahoo to send data from your home computer to your email account which you can access from your present location (such as your hotel room). The free version of LogMeIn also let's you cut and paste information such as text from your remote location to your present location.
Need help? You can allow a friend or computer expert to access your computer from a remote location giving that person temporary control of your computer.
For more information about LogMeIn, go to: https://logmein.com/-
Some PIM software products are capable of synchronizing data with another PIM tool over a computer network, or through the USB port. This feature usually does not allow for continuous, concurrent data updates, but rather enables point-in-time updating between different computers, including desktop computers, laptop computers, and personal digital assistants.
My personal favorite it Outlook. It comes in most Microsoft Office
Suite products. It combines email, calendar, note taking, Contact
Manager, Task Manager, a journal and web browsing. It synchronizes
with most popular hand-held PDAs - BlackBerry, iPhone, Palm, and others.
9. Contact/Customer Manager - A good customer management application should not only allow you to stay in contact with customers and prospects, it should help you organize and develop long-lasting, profitable business relationships. Keeping new customer referrals coming in and existing customers coming back is the hallmark of a successful company.
The leading product in this arena is ACT! by Sage. It has been around for many years and is considered the leading in desktop contact and customer management software . The product is complicated to use but can be well worth the investment of time and money. The product interfaces well with the Microsoft Office Suites.
To learn more about ACT!, go to http://www.act.com/
10. Accounting Software - Does your business run you or do you have a full grasp of where your business is? The majority of small businesses fail within three years because management does not have a handle on the financial wheel. Although number 10 on my list, it is essential that you have a good accounting system in place. A good system will include accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, and general ledger. We use QuickBooks and have been from the beginning. It has helped us to chart our growth, establish budgets, manage cash flow, and work with our CPA.
For small and home-based businesses QuickBooks, or MYOB Business Essential are good products. For medium and larger businesses and businesses that require a more accounting based solution, I recommend Peachtree or SAGE.
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