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Small Business Tools

SmallBusinessTools: Introduction



Basic Outline

Provide an introduction to the use of Floss tools as an alternative to MSOffice etc in the administration of small businesses.

Major Areas to cover:

Operating System

Windows/OSX to any Linux distro (ubuntu is the easiest - agreed)  - Chapter Operating System

Office Suite

MS Word to Open Office Writer - Chapter Word Processing

Excel to Open OfficeCalc - SpreadSheets

Access to Open OfficeBase - Databases

Powerpoint to Open Office Impress - Presentations

Outlook to Evolution/Thunderbird-Lightning - Communication Contacts & Email + Organisation and Scheduling

Publisher to Scribus - Desktop Publishing

photoshop to gimp - Editing those Business Photos

illustrator to inkscape - Creating Logos and Illustrations


MYOB / Quickbooks to Gnucash / SQL Ledger / PostBooks - Basic Business Finance

Note: There are many Free Finance / Business Management Packages and the above listed software cover the more basic of finance packages like those that would be used in a Small Business.  Focus on the basic tools, but mention the wider range of Enterprise software available.

crm - civicrm (for non-profits) - can sometimes be adapted for commercial situations. (have added to finance section as crm is a part of many professional finance packages both Free and Proprietary.) - Customer Resource Management


Backup Software  ?? to ??(rsync?) - Backing up your work

Antivirus/Spyware Software Norton to ClamWin/Winpooch (win), is one necessary for Linux??

I have decided to keep an anti-virus section in as I anticipate that there will be many people who are happy to try FLOSS alternatives to all the software, but can't bring themselves to abandon Windows just yet. - Virus Scanning / Spyware Protection

VPN? - (Open VPN?) - Virtual Private Networks

PGP? - (GnuPG?) - File Encryption


Browsing - Firefox - Web Browsing

Email - Evolution/Thunderbird - Communication Contacts and Email

Webdesign - Nvu - Website Design

ftp - fireftp - Transferring Files

CMS - Drupal - Updating Your Website


Communication - I realise now that this topic requires it's own section as there are so-many various communication Aps.

Email - Evolution/Thunderbird - Communication Contacts and Email -

Messaging - Pidgin - Instant Messaging

VOIP - Ekiga Softphone - Voice and Video Communication


The above list is by no means exhaustive and the software titles can vary - the theme of the manual is more about the concept of using a Floss alternative to Proprietary software rather than promoting a specific software or explaining a specific software (that will come later).

Each area or tool will include:

  • What this type of software does
  • Why convert to Floss alternative
  • Tips for converting
  • Testimonials from businesses.
  • (any other ideas are welcome!)

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