Dawn At Your Service’s Blog

Free Resources for Virtual Assistants and More

Some people are anal about sharing trade secrets. I’m all about sharing knowledge and helping others succeed.

There are so many free alternative resources out here in cyberspace that it blows me away! Thank goodness for Delicious bookmarks! I will continue to edit and update this post as I continue to learn more about what is available, my experiences with the resources and/or any changes in availability. There is an extensive thread on VA resources on Virtual Assistant Forums and more here (not sure if you have to be a member to view).

Accounting
Quick Books Simple Start

Administrative Resources
Google Docs-A convenient way to share documents and calendars (I wish Google had more color coding options with the calendar)
Dictionary.com-Have to throw this one in….don’t know where I’d be without my thesaurus!
OpenOffice.org-Free open source alternative to Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office Online-Free templates of pretty much anything you can think of, along with free website hosting and sitebuilder

Billing
CurdBee-Online billing for small business owners and freelancers.

Blog Resources
blogger.com-Free Blog Site
BTemplate-Free Blogger Templates
WordPress.com-Free Blog site
WP Generator Blog-Word Press Theme Generator
WP Classic-Free WordPress Themes
Artisteer-Free platform to build custom WordPress (Joomla & Drupal) Themes (Free Trial Only)
Twitter Image.com-Free Twitter Backgrounds
freeCSS Templates.org-Free CSS templates that require a link back (I think you can use these CSS templates for most web design programs.)
13 Premium-Like WordPress Themes That are Free and Stunning
Free Themes Directory– WordPress themes. At the time of this post, Free themes Directory states they have 791 themes!

Fax
Fax Zero-Free Internet faxing in the U.S. and Canada-Fax 1 document (max 3 pages), 2 free faxes per day

File Storage, Management & Transfer
Mozy.com-Back up space free for 2 GB
4Shared.com-Back up and shared space free for 5 GB
YouSendit.com-Large file transfers-send only Free version maximum 100 MB
Zamar-Free file conversion
Firezilla-Free FTP Solution-Transfer >4GB
Altools.com-They have a few great PC utilities but I use alzip to unpack zip files

Miscellanoeus
Filehippo-Yeah….I don’t know where to stick this one. It’s a site loaded with free software. Basically a very extended version of this post.
VirtualAssistantsGuide-Looks like I stumbled upon someone else with the same idea 🙂
Tiny URL-I use this URL shorten tool all of the time.
Smashingapps.com– Awesome array of free resources and online tools dedicated to web designers and developers, but useful for all!
Shoestring Small Business-Business resource guide. This site has a products and services directory of free and low cost business tools. One thing I like about it most is it’s also a free business-to-business directory. Good quality directories are great for search engine juice and exposure!

Photo Editing Software
10 Excellent Open Source and Free Alternatives to Photoshop-Thank you Daniel Shain for this resource. I love Gimp! It rocks!
Photoshop Alternatives: Another 14 Free Image Manipulation Tools-Thank you hongkiat.com

PDF Creators-Converters
PDF 995
Primo PDF
NitroPDF
PDF Converter-PDF to Word/Excel (Only allowed one every 30 mins so make sure to get it right the first time!)

Project Management
Ace Project-BaseCamp alternative. Up to 5 users, 5 projects and 50 tasks
1st Manager.com
DotProject-Open source project management software
Client Spot– Up to 5 users and 2 projects

Publications
OpenZine-Create a free online magazine

Remote Access
Logmein
Real VNC

Screen Shots
Gadwin PrintScreen 4.3 freeware-Make sure to download the correct (free) version
FireShot-Firefox print screen extension for Mozilla users

Stock Images
100 (Legal) Sources for Free Stock Images-Thank you Laura Milligan for putting the time into this!

Time Tracking
myhours-Time tracking system that I use daily. It allows me to run reports and export time sheets to Excel.
Cashboard-Financial time tracking software that allows unlimited invoices, estimates, payments and one employee log-in.
ManicTime-Time tracking system that logs computer and application usage.

Twitter
Twitter Buttons -A variety of Follow me coded images.
TweetDeck– Organization interface for twitter users-Makes it a whole lot easier, but can be distracting.
Twellow– The Yellow oages for Twitter users-Great way to follow interesting people and target audience by category. Just Don’t spam….we don’t like that.

Video & Conference Calling
Skype-a head-set is recommended to improve sound quality
ooVoo – video chat & conferencing up to 6 people (make sure to review system requirements)

Web Design & Development (Some template/CSS sites are listed under Blogs Category)
Open Source Flash Projectsa lot of great resources, especially for the more advanced web developer.
CMS Made Simple-Open Source Content Management System
FreePHPLD Templates
Joomla-Content Management System that is a bit more advanced than CMS Made Simple.
NVU-HTML/WYSIWYG Editor
Max’s HTML Beauty-Free wysiwyg editor that color codes HTML/PHP Code
FavIcon From Pics-Display your picture or logo in browser tabs or address bar.

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March 27, 2009 - Posted by | Business Development, Business Management, Free Resources, Work From Home | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Comments »

  1. This is good information. I’m glad I found it. Thank you for providing this. I provide professional web design services and solutions and can relate.

    Comment by Kirk Brown | April 10, 2009 | Reply

  2. Hi
    This is very good source list..
    The Time Tracking are web based services

    Personally I’m not a big fan of that concept especially when it comes to my private/personal data.
    For Time Tracking I use ManicTime, a freeware that track all your computer activities. Great tool for freelancers.

    Comment by Amit | Web Design | May 7, 2009 | Reply

    • Thank you. I”ll check ManicTime out and will add it to my list.

      Dawn

      Comment by dawnaturservice | May 7, 2009 | Reply

  3. Hi…

    Great post. I was unaware from many of these sites, which required for Web development & design, stock images and publications.

    Thanks a ton.

    Comment by Hosted Desktop | May 27, 2009 | Reply

  4. Thanks for adding me to your directory. I’m glad you find my free and low cost business products and services directory valuable. I hope others do too. 🙂

    Patty
    Unlimited Resources for Limited Budgets

    Comment by Patricia McGuinness | January 17, 2011 | Reply


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