35 FREE Tools for IT/Developers And Business

Estimated reading time: 4 mins

The Open Source movement continues strongly, and with it comes a greater number of more powerful free tools and applications. After a long week of scouring the web for the best free programs, I’ve compiles a list below where you will find a great selection of tools and applications for those in the IT/Development and Business.

Thunderbird Email Client

Thunderbird logo Thunderbird is a must have, open source email client that lets you share, receive, and keep track of your emails.


OpenOffice Open Office is a free and open source with applications for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases. If your looking for an alternative to Microsoft Office products, OpenOffice is the way to go.


AbiWord Abiword is another free, open source word processing tool. Works on most operating platforms.


FreeMind Freemind is a really unique and free mind mapping application, allowing you to easily create your own mind maps.


Skype Skype is an extremely popular (and in my view the best) tool to communicate with anyone on the internet for free. You can also dial to phone and landlines for very cheap. A must have tool for any freelancers.

Pidgin IM

Pidgin Pidgin IM is a free online IM system for windows that allows you to talk with any other IM platform such as Yahoo! or IRC.

CC Publisher

CC Publisher allows you to tag video and audio files with information and licenses, they also allow free file hosting for certain audio and video files. Why not your next meeting for those who missed it?


Nmap Nmap an open source (license) utility for network exploration or security auditing. Many systems and network administrators also find it useful for tasks such as network inventory, managing service upgrade schedules, and monitoring host or service uptime.


Clamwin ClamWin is a quality and open source antivirus scanner for windows, excellent for detecting viruses or trojans.

NotePad ++

Notepad ++ Notepad ++ is a free source code/html editor, which has attained a very high following due to its ease of use.

Programmers Notepad

Programmers NP Programmers Notepad is much like Notepad ++ but much more aimed towards computer programmers.


Kompozer A fantastic and free WYSIWYG html editor that runs on linux, windows, and mac os x.


Graph4.3 Graph is a free tool made for graphing mathematical points that can be copied to most other programs. It can also handle many math equations. Great for copying into word to send to your boss.


Gimp The free and open source alternative to photoshop. Though not quite as powerful, the GIMP is quite capable of sprucing up your documents, images, presentations etc.


Inkscape Inkscape is a free vector editing graphic program (a rival to the expensive Adobe Illustrator), great for touching up or making that company logo. Or drawing inappropriate cartoons of your boss.


Blender Blender is a really cool free tool that lets you build and shape 3-d objects and animations. Great for when your supposed to be working and want to try something fun.


Wordpress WordPress is a very popular and powerful open source CMS and blogging platform, great for setting up and managing your portfolio.


Drupal Drupal is another open source CMS system, with a lot of really nice shopping cart and e-commerce plugins and add-ons available for free.


Joomla Joomla is yet another very popular CMS with many of the same features and functionality of Drupal.

Dark Copy

Dark Copy Dark Copy is a unique text editor/writing tool created to help you focus soley on writing the task at hand.


Dark Copy WriteRoom is much like dark copy, but for mac os x.


Printable Paper Printable paper is a really cool website where you can download graph paper, lined paper, financial paper, music paper, and more.


Lecture Fox LectureFox is a website that allows you to watch free lectures from top colleges such as Yale and MIT.

Circle Up

CircleUp Circle up is a completely free tool that allows you to create and plan meetings and communicate with those inside of your business or corporation.


RotaBoard RotaBoard is a free online tool that allows you to organize and track your employees work schedules. Great for small businesses.


Wrike Wrike is free to try for 30 days, and is a really powerful tool for managing business projects and employees.

Website Grader

Website Grader Free online tool that generates a full marketing report of a website, creating suggestions and also allowing you to compare your data to competitor websites.


Web Snapr Captures screenshots of any page you wish, great for showing off a product before a customer downloads it.


AnyClient A free no-download ftp/sftp online applet.


FileZilla Arguably the most popular FTP client, FileZilla is free and available on all platforms.


pingability Pingability is a free application that will monitor a website of your choice for as long as you like, ensuring you are aware of any down time that occurs.

7 Zip

7zip An open source file archiver with a very high compression ratio.


Audacity Audacity is a free and open source program that allows you to create and edit sound files, this can be useful for setting up presentations or mock-ups.


pdfForge pdfForge is a free tool to create PDFs easily from nearly any application.


TrueCrypt TrueCrypt is a free open-source disk encryption software for Windows Vista/XP, Mac OS X, and Linux. And there you have it, tools to surely help any IT person or Developer.


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About the author /

Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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  1. Drew Douglass

    Meebo looks pretty cool, I might have to give it a try sometime, thanks for the link 🙂

  2. Ant Harper

    Great list, with plenty of stuff I hadn’t seen but are now keen to try out. Many thanks! Ant

  3. Maria | Never the Same River Twice

    This is a great list Simon – gave it a Stumble. I’m a huge fan of mindmapping and think Freemind is a fabulous program. It’s as powerful as programs that cost $50-$100 and it works on any platform.

    I have 2 additions to your list. I really love Sandy a free, computerized virtual assistant. “She” has a great memory and fantastic organization abilities. I do not.

    However, my FAVORITE, free program has to be Evernote. I have yet to find anything this personal information organizer can’t do. I’m a researcher by trade and Evernote helps me keep my life, and my brain, in working order.

  4. simonstapleton

    @Maria – that Evernote tool looks really cool. I see it having some serious productivity benefits and the fact it can be used to index and search all kinds of documents and images with real ease makes it quite unique. I have downloaded it and I am going to give it a try. The movie clip on the homepage is a great demo of Evernote’s capabilities! Thanks for the tip Maria.

    Guys – try this out! EVERNOTE

  5. Jill Florio

    An excellent list of free resources. I printed this out for my own use. Thank you.

  6. polyGeek

    Good list. Let me give a big thumbs up to NotePad +. I’ve been using it for over a decade – the same version. Amazingly useful, simple tool that has a lot of power if you take the time to learn everything about it.

  7. simonstapleton

    @Jill – thanks for the compliment. Maybe you could write back on how you got on with the list? Getting through all 35 might take you into 2010!

  8. simonstapleton

    @polyGeek – most developers I know use or have used Notepad+. They say the same thing – it’s very simple but very powerful. Learning all the features, I hear, takes a little time but well worth it

  9. simonstapleton

    @Jason – thanks for feedify – looks like quite a nifty tool. It does look like it could be a ‘neat’ tool for feed-scraping… consolidating a lot of stolen content from blogs and presenting is as ones own though! Could be a splogger’s dream! What do you think?

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