The world of business is a tough one indeed. Anyone will tell you that. From the guys at the top earning billions per year to the lowly freelancer, tucked away in a small home office. The big jobs are often the easiest. There’s nothing like landing a huge contract or finishing off that job you know will earn you more work. The small things however like administration and document control are annoying.
For all the small business owners, and indeed the tech geeks who just love new apps to play around with; here are three great online office apps that will help you reduce all of that paperwork.
This tool will take care of a lot of boring transcription that we all have to do now and again. I often find myself transcribing accounts and business plans into a text editor when I really should be using this tool.
To put it bluntly, it takes a scanned image of a document or a PDF file and transforms it into an editable text document such as MS Word or MS Notepad (*.txt file). This service is free – to an extent. There is no registration required and you can convert five pages every hour as an unregistered user which is plenty for small business owners. For registered users, the first five pages are free but after that every page costs 10 cents. I’d imagine this is only for large businesses who would be scanning documents with hundreds of pages in a short period of time.
Many of us will have to fill in several forms when tax returns are due, insurance policies are required or indeed for business procedures. It’s common practice to receive those forms in PDF format either by e-mail or by downloading them and then printing them out to fill in by hand.
FillAnyPDF is an extremely easy-to-use online PDF form editor that allows you to fill in a PDF form using a text editor or freehand writing. What’s more, you can also create your own PDF forms and share them online with other people and request they fill them in using this editor.
Obviously security is a big issue when dealing with confidential forms online so FillAnyPDF gives you the option to ‘whiteout’ certain areas and only make those areas visible to the person the form is intended for. The last thing you need is somebody having access to your social security number and personal details.
As we touched on above, security is paramount concerning business documents. But you can’t exactly put a PDF in a briefcase and handcuff it to yourself. It’s impractical and sort of weird. Plus I’m sure every thief that sees you will definitely want that briefcase.
Anyway, this is a method of sharing pretty much any document online, in a secure environment with the intended recipients.
Here is how it works:
- You upload the document, enter the recipients e-mail address and set the security measures on the document such as an expiration or curtain.
- You add instructions for the recipient concerning the document (optional).
- Then the recipient gets an e-mail with a link to the document.
- They can view the document with registration or downloading anything.
- He or she cannot copy or download the document without your direct permission.
- Once the expiry date comes the document is destroyed and is no longer viewable online.
I think this is actually one of the best ways of sharing documents in business these days because, as governments and banks around the globe have shown us, CDs, e-mails and hard copy documents have a habit of going missing along with tonnes of valuable information.
Hopefully these three tools will make your office life flow a little smoother. Which office apps do you use regularly?
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