Our desktops, laptops and smart phones come with pre-installed programs when we buy them from the store. The basic programs or applications installed depend on the brand and the operating system of your chosen gadgets. These often include the standard office tools (i.e. Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint), online browser, security software such as Norton Antivirus, Symantec or McAfee, desktop utilities, and multimedia applications. You have the option to keep the pre-installed programs or install your own set of preferred applications on your gadgets and gizmos.
To better make it lighter for our home setup or business to function, we secure other hardware, programs, or tools handy. Here is a quick rundown of the top essentials that I chose to keep.
1. Office Tools and Creative Apps
There are several versions of Microsoft Office Tools or Suites that you can have in your PC, the latest being the Office 2010 version for Windows and Office 2011 for Mac. Aside from standard Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook programs you can also install other tools like the Microsoft Access for database management needs. For the creatives, Adobe Photoshop or Picasa for photo editing needs, and Microsoft Publisher or Adobe PageMaker for business publishing needs.
2. Web Browsers
The Microsoft Internet Explorer is also one of the commonly pre-installed programs in desktops. I use it as my default browser but I also installed Google Chrome and Firefox for faster or quicker access to other websites or applications. Google Chrome works faster than IE when it comes to accessing files from Google Drive and Firefox can speed things up in loading multimedia pages on your screen.
3. Anti-Virus Program
Choosing the right antivirus program is very important to secure your data and protect yourself against malicious software and hacking. Trial versions of Norton Antivirus and McAfee Antivirus are usually pre-installed in computers. This will allow you to test their products first and decide on whether you like to purchase it on a longer term or upgrade to their premium versions.
Consider though the pros and cons of having a free antivirus software and the advantages of paying for it.
4.Scanner and Printer
Things have become easier to manage at home because of the scanner and printer. It’s not just for printing our own business cards. There’s just a lot of scanning and printing that one does in relation to any business.
5. Invoicing System
If you sell services or products, and in turn buy stuff to get your business going, it is but wise to have an invoicing system that would make accounting easy for you. You can always use traditional ledgers, but you can also conveniently upgrade to an online system. In connection to having printers and making your business eco-friendly, having less paper trail is good for you and the environment in the long run.
6. Website and Blog
Bill Gates once said “If your business is not on the internet, then your business will be out of business.” Another version goes “If it’s not on the Web, it doesn’t exist at all.” People search stuff online and one search could mean a new customer for you. It is a wise move to have a website or business page where your contact info, the services you offer, and if possible some testimonials from your previous customers are readily available.
These are only some of the essentials that I have made sure to have so that I can work on my office or business tasks efficiently. Other advanced programs which can be tailored to your work demands may also be installed or downloaded to your desktop. Just make sure that everything you download comes from a reliable source and thoroughly screened by your Antivirus and security programs.