[Current topic: Free software for startups; and we are inviting startups to tell us free softwares that they use (and recommend).
Here is a guest post by Vikram Shenoy of Magoosh]
Balsamiq Mockups (http://www.balsamiq.com/products/mockups) – Balsamiq is a tool we use to create mockups for brainstorming purposes. Balsamiq provides easy to use tools which help you rapidly create and iterate through mockups. Our team is spread across cities and countries and Balsamiq is an excellent substitute for in person white-boarding sessions. It has nice collaboration tools to help you brainstorm/iterate in real time. If you have an idea or concept in mind, this is the easiest way to mock something up and send it to the rest of the team.
Cost: The license costs $79, but you can get it for free if you blog about them, or if you are willing to demo the software to at least 15 people (A few more options for getting it for free can be found at http://www.balsamiq.com/products/mockups/desktop)
Etherpad (http://www.etherpad.com) – Etherpad is a web based word processor that allows people to collaborate in real time(and its really real time unlike Google Docs). We use it at Magoosh to take notes and collaborate during meetings. They also have an excellent (infinite) undo feature.
Cost: There is a professional version available (free up to 3 users).
Dropbox (http://getdropbox.com/) – Dropbox lets you sync files online and across multiple computers. It also lets you share files with other users. We use Dropbox to share files and collaborate on those files with team mates. You can access and share files via the web or using a client version (Mac + PC). Changes to a file are instantly propagated to other users who have access to the file.
Cost: 2GB of online storage for free. You can refer other people to Dropbox and get additional storage.
Evernote – Evernote is a tool which lets you store clippings (and notes) of things you read on the web. It can then sync these notes across computers and phones. Evernote also has an excellent search feature. I (and my colleagues) tend to use Evernote while researching stuff on the web.
[If you want to share your experience with free softwares, please get in touch: ashish at pluggd dot in]