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The best paid and free productivity software for business

Business software can track your finances and handle accounting tasks, manage contacts, keep you organized, and help collaborate with colleagues. And with so many business tools in the cloud, it's a snap to keep up with your work from a mobile device.

Business and productivity software FAQs

  • What to look for in productivity software
    A full-service productivity suite includes word-processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software and helps you create and manage professional-looking business documents. Look for a suite that comes with desktop (or browser) and mobile versions so you can work in the office or on the go. A few provide document-management and cloud-storage services.
  • How do I collaborate with team members?
    If you work in a group, look for a productivity suite that offers collaboration tools so team members can work in real time on documents. To just share documents, PDF readers let you create docs your coworkers can view and comment on. For group communication, some suites offer email, but look for those that offer group video conferencing or, like Slack, services that let teams chat without using email or messaging.
  • How do I manage projects?
    With project planning and tracking tools, team members and stakeholders can keep an eye on deadlines, progress, and budgets. While many choose Microsoft's full-featured Project tool, the software may not suit your needs, so shop around to find one that matches how your group works.
  • What payment and accounting software?
    If you are looking to sell just a few items, an auction site like eBay might meet your needs. Setting up a payments system for a physical store is not much more work. With a point-of-sale service like Square you can easily handle payments and track sales. To fill out your business kit, add QuickBooks for accounting and payroll functions and MailChimp for email marketing and you are about set.

Best productivity software for business

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office sets the standard with its powerful collection of word-processor, presentation, email, and spreadsheet productivity software.

Google Docs Suite

Google Docs Suite

Unless you need apps with a ton of horsepower, Google's free and collaborative apps should meet your needs.

Clifford Colby follows the Mac and Android markets for He's been an editor at Peachpit Press and a handful of now-dead computer magazines, including MacWeek, MacUser, and Corporate Computing.