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Creating the Ultimate Paperless Office for REALTORS

Four Easy Steps Help Realtors Focus on Income Production, not Paperwork
By Jeffrey Raskin, GRI, e-PRO
Arizona REALTOR® Magazine – February 2010

http://www.aaronline.com/AZR/2010/Feb/Paperless.aspx

Gmail – The best web based email by far

Gmail web based emailWith Google’s approach to email the sky is the limit. Gmail includes excellent spam protection, phishing warnings and virus scanning; ultimate organization, conversation view, POP3 access and 8 GB of inbox storage that continues to grow every day. Additionally with Gmail you can chat, post documents and spreadsheets online, customize your homepage, get mobile access, check your RSS feeds, be notified every time you receive a new message and your account never expires.

Gmail provides some of the best email organization on the Internet. Their pride and joy feature is the “conversation” interface. Instead of having a list of back and forth emails between you and a friend or co–worker all replies and sent messages are filtered into one line of inbox with a corresponding number of messages in that conversation. Gmail’s security includes spam, virus and phishing protection. All spam is filtered into a spam folder that allows you to separate the good from the bad, all incoming and outgoing messages are scanned for known viruses, and suspicious messages that look like phishing scams are flagged with a big red banner across the top of the message. Additionally, you can report both spam and phishing attempts to Google. To sign up for a free account go to http://www.gmail.com

Google Voice

Google Voice is a web based application that you gives you a local phone number of your choice, or you can port your existing number to it, which can call up to six phones simultaneously. When a person calls the Google Voice number, the user’s home, work, and mobile phones all can ring simultaneously. The user can set up the service so specific phones ring for different callers or groups of callers, or so some callers go straight to voice mail. Google transcribes voice mails after they’re left, too, e-mailing it to the Google Voice user or letting them read and listen to the message through a Gmail-like interface.  You can send and receive text messages directly from the Google Voice website. On the whole, it is a nice service of which everyone will want to have an account (just like Gmail), especially since it is free. Google Voice also has Android and BlackBerry based applications, iPhone users can now use Google Voice through Google’s iPhone web based portal. In order to get a Google Voice number, you need to request an invitation. Go to the Google Voice invitation page and submit your email address. Some time later, you will receive an email requesting you to register.

Remember the Milk – To do list

Remember the Milk allows users to create multiple task lists. Added tasks can be edited to include (or not) various fields. Locations can be added, and an integrated Google Maps feature allows users to save commonly used locations. Tasks can also be organized by tags. Tasks can be postponed and Remember the Milk will inform users of the number of times that that task has been postponed. Remember the Milk also has iPhone, Android and BlackBerry based apps that sync directly with your online account. You can access it here http://www.rememberthemilk.com

FireFox – Free web browser and excellent replacement for Internet Explorer

Mozilla Firefox

Firefox 3 touts faster rendering, vastly reduced use of system resources, clever new data-mining tools for your bookmarks and browser history, and more security features than any other browser. If only for the speed, lightness of being, and security alone, Firefox remains CNET’s Editors’ Choice for best Internet browser. Mozilla Firefox also has over 6,000 add-ons to customize and enhance your web browsing experience. Firefox is available for Mac, Windows and even Linux. Download it here http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/

Openoffice – Free alternative to Microsoft Office

OpeOffice - Free alternative to Microsoft Office

OpenOffice.org 3 is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose. Both Mac and Windows versions available.

Evernote – Remember Everything

Here is a link to a free program that I use to keep track of everything I find on the web. It allows you to take notes and save web pages with one click. There is a Mac and Windows version too! http://www.evernote.com/

Evernote

VLC Media Player

VLC Media player

VLC media player is free software alternative, open source, highly portable multimedia player and multimedia framework capable of reading most audio and video formats (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, DivX, MPEG-1, mp3, ogg, aac …) as well as DVDs, Audio CDs VCDs, and various streaming protocols.

Download it at http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

Mint.com – Free Personal Finance Software, Budget Software, Online Money Management

Mint

Mint.com is a free web based application that has been named the best online personal finance tool by Money Magazine, PC Magazine, and is PC World’s Editor’s Choice. Read the reviews or the full list of awards. In five minutes or less, you’ll see where you’re spending your money, understand how your investments are performing, and set up realistic budgets. Set up email and SMS alerts and you’ll be automatically updated whenever there’s an important change in your finances. Only Mint.com finds you personalized ways to save money, using patent-pending software which analyzes your current spending. The typical Mint.com user finds $1,000 in savings in their first visit.

Microsoft Security Essentials

Microsoft Security Essentials

Tired of paying a yearly subscription fee to keep your computer safe and secure? Spyware, Malware and Viruses are a huge threat to your Windows machine and the data stored on it. Microsoft Security Essentials is a free software alternative that provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. Microsoft Security Essentials is a free* download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and always kept up to date so you can be assured your PC is protected by the latest technology. It’s easy to tell if your PC is secure — when you’re green, you’re good. It’s that simple. Microsoft Security Essentials runs quietly and efficiently in the background so that you are free to use your Windows-based PC the way you want—without interruptions or long computer wait times. Download it at http://www.microsoft.com/Security_Essentials/