Post-it notes and day planners are so 1988. Get your schedule, brainstorming notes, to-do lists, and just about anything else you have tacked up around your office into one place--your PC, that is--with Chandler. This free, open-source application gives you deep control over your day while still being easy enough to use that you'll never have to crack the manual. (free)
Skype for Business
Spend megabucks on your own PBX (private branch exchange), or spend nothing for a voice-over-IP setup like Skype for Business? If you're on a shoestring, the answer is clear. Sure, Skype can't easily handle things if, say, you want to run a tech support call center out of your basement. But for modest calling needs-especially if you place a lot of international calls-Skype is a solid and hugely affordable choice. (free software; subscription up to $9.95 per month for unlimited international plans)
There's no need to set up complicated VPN (virtual private network) servers to give remote users secure access to the corporate network: Hamachi (which recently became part of LogMeIn) does the job with managed peer-to-peer technology, so no centralized VPN server is necessary. It's easy to set up, easy on the budget, and your subscription gets you LogMeIn's remote desktop system, too. ($5 per month)
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