Are you a journalist-entrepreneur, with a new business to launch? Whether you're planning a new mobile application or starting a consulting company, we have a list of free, must-use tools.
What: Free suite of word processing and spreadsheet software. Store your documents for free in the cloud, access them from anywhere. Share with your colleagues and manage projects.
Why: Software is expensive. If you're just starting out and you need a free solution, Google Docs is for you! And while you're at it, consider using Google's calendar tool, which you can customize to keep your own private schedule as well as your company's availability.
What: Mail Chimp is an easy-to-use mass email system. You can build lists and keep ownership of who's in them.
Why: You'll want to build a relationship with your customers, and email newsletters are a great way to stay connected!
What: A global social network for professionals and businesses.
Why: Create a company profile on LinkedIn to help others find and connect with you...and to help market yourself.
What: Yes, Twitter is the near-ubiquitous real-time social network. But you can use it to promote your company and services, too.
Why: Create a Twitter account for your business and tell others what you're doing, who you're working with and how you're helping your clients. New publications can use Twitter to distribute their stories and projects.
What: Skype is an invaluable tool for those of us who need to make a lot of long-distance calls.
Why: Video conference or just use voice. Skype lets you connect with anyone around the world...for free!
What: If you're running a business, you must track your company's finances. Mint is an easy system geared towards small business owners.
Why: See how much you're spending, track how quickly you're going through your startup money, budget individual projects, process your payroll and much more!
What: Get automatic news alerts from Google based on any keyword you choose.
Why: Create a Google alert for your brand name, your competitor's name and other keywords that impact your work.
What: Now that you're traking yourself on the web, get Twitter alerts too! SocialOomph sends you notifications anytime someone mentions a keyword you're tracking.
Why: A successful brand is one that's being talked about lots. Monitor yourself and the competition, and think about what you can do to raise your profile.
Amy Webb is a digital media consultant and the CEO of Webbmedia Group, LLC. She has also launched Knowledgewebb, a new website for multimedia training. You can follow Amy on Twitter. Webbmedia Group is a vendor-neutral company. Any opinions expressed about products or services are formed after testing, research and interviews. Neither Amy Webb nor Webbmedia Group or its employees receives any financial or other benefits from vendors.