Free apps that are compatible with Windows 10 can transform your 2-in-1 or tablet into a serious productivity machine. If you're a business user who wants to get the most out of the Windows devices you already have, download these free apps now.
We've recommended OneNote before, as one of the best note-taking apps available to business users, and we're doing it again. OneNote comes preloaded on nearly every Windows 10 device and automatically syncs with your Microsoft account, so you can use it to organize everything across all your devices, whether you're on your tablet at the airport or working on a desktop in your office.
OneNote offers excellent stylus inking functionality, an intuitive interface that's modeled after a physical notebook design, light project management tools, robust organizational features (including the ability to share notebooks and assign specific permissions to different users) and the ability to easily add media to pages of your notebook as needed. Plus, since OneNote is a Microsoft product, it works with other programs, like Excel, so you can maintain spreadsheets with full Excel functionality directly in your OneNote notebooks.
The fact is, email isn't enough for business communication anymore. Email is excellent for many tasks, but ongoing projects often require lots of back-and-forth, and long email chains are difficult to review and quickly clutter up inboxes. Enter Slack. Slack is a powerful chat app that goes beyond the basic ability to exchange text-based messages.
While the messaging aspect of Slack is worth the download on its own, the free business tool also offers users the ability to share and edit documents and grant multiple users access to those documents at a time. Edits made to documents within Slack are showcased in real time, which makes collaborating on projects with remote team members much easier. Slack integrates seamlessly with Dropbox, Google Drive, Salesforce, and other professional-grade CRM software products and apps.
If you find your business requires more functionality than Slack offers, consider upgrading to Slack Standard ($6.67 per active user, per month) or Slack Plus ($12.50 per active user, per month). The Standard service is built for large teams that want a centralized location for projects and communications, while the Plus version includes that functionality as well as SSO, compliance exports and guaranteed uptime.
The Trello desktop app is an organizational and collaboration tool that's visually appealing and easy to use. The Trello interface is based on boards, lists and cards; it's essentially the Pinterest of productivity tools.
Individual Trello cards can be filled with information or to-do lists and then filed on different boards that you've created. You can add attachments to cards, and if you want, you can allow other Trello users on your team to access those cards by sharing the board. From there, you can assign tasks to specific team members, complete with due dates and reminder messages. When a project is complete, you can either delete it or archive it.
Trello is also compatible with tools such as Slack, Google Drive and Evernote, making it the perfect addition to any Windows 10 business user's machine. If you want even more functionality, you can upgrade your team to the Business Class version of Trello, which costs $9.99 per user, per month, if you pay annually.
Dropbox is a great way to keep your work files backed up and accessible from anywhere. Plus, the service lets you revert to previous versions of a document at any time, which makes it easy to retrieve lost or stolen content. The desktop Dropbox app wasn't designed for touchscreens, but the Windows 10 Dropbox app makes it easy to manage your files and folders on a tablet or 2-in-1 laptop.
Invoice 360 streamlines the process of creating invoices. The app lets you input customer information directly into a variety of handsome invoice templates, or import customer information from your existing address book. You can also build an inventory list inside the app, letting you quickly add items to invoices. When you're done creating your invoice, you can print it or email a PDF to your customer with one click.
If you need a CRM for a small team, Zoho offers a free version of its CRM that's user friendly and fast to set up. Zoho CRM integrates with other Zoho products and services, as well as third-party services such as Google Apps. With three to 10 free users, you can gain access to valuable lead management tools, account management, contact management, features to organize sales opportunities, business card organization and more. Zoho CRM also allows you to keep your team on track by assigning tasks and calls to the team calendar and setting recurring activities. The free service also includes some email marketing campaign capabilities, but for more comprehensive CRM services, you may want to upgrade.
Additional reporting by Brett Nuckles.