5 free alternatives to expensive productivity software

Working harder, working smarter is key in this economy.

These five free programs and services will help you track your projects and phone calls, create multimedia presentations that you can share with others, make PDFs without software, and keep an easy and accurate to-do list.

BEST BET OpenOffice.org: Don't pay hundreds of dollars for Microsoft Office--download this superb, newly revamped office suite for free.

Flowgram: Create Web-based multimedia presentations with this service and share them with customers and potential clients, or relatives and friends.

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Gubb: This service keeps track of to-dos, projects, phone calls, and more. You can use it for your personal life as well.

PrimoOnline: This service helps you create PDFs without software. It can work with documents (more than 300 different types) or Web sites.

Remember the Milk: With this service (registration required), you can remember to do anything...even buy milk. For many platforms, including BlackBerry, iPhone, Gmail, and Windows Mobile.

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Preston Gralla

PC World (US online)
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Matthew Stivala

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The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

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Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

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A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

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I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

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As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

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