Productivity Software

Productivity software makes people more efficient and effective in their daily activities. This software is becoming more popular and more in demand to learn for employment. The three popular applications are word processing, spreadsheet, and database. All three programs are very useful programs

  • Word processing is widely used to create or edit a typed document. In this program you can change the format of your work like color, text size etc… This program also allows you to add clip art, change margins, spell check, header and footer et.
  • A spreadsheet is used to organize data in rows and columns in a worksheet. Data is stored in cells that are divided in columns and rows. More then 15 million cells can hold data. Cells can hold numbers, formula or functions. When data in one cell is changed all of them that are affected will change automatically. Most spreadsheets allow you to create macros, which hold a series of keystrokes and instructions. Most programs have the ability to create charts, which is a huge advantage
  •  A Database is a system that collects data and allows access, retrieval and use of the data. Data is stored in tables, which consists of rows and columns. Data could contain text, numbers, dates or hyperlinks. When data is entered the program can validate it by comparing a set value or it may have established rules. Once the data is stored, you can sort it, query it, and generate reports from it. This is sometimes referred to as a database management system.  It is far easer to use instead of writing all the information down.

Productivity Software Examples

Productivity software is a tool such as Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Kid Pix, publisher, and many more. These programs enhance a teacher’s lesson plan and allow the teacher to take their students beyond textbooks and boring lectures. For example, Excel is a productivity tool that can be very helpful in teaching situation dealing with math and science. Excel possesses the ability to change numerical data and put it in the form of a graph in a matter of seconds. This technique allows the teacher to show the difference in the results of an experiment or survey using a graph or chart. This visual picture is just as important as the numerical data. Some children are visual learners and they may not be able to comprehend the difference of the data without seeing it in a chart or graph.

Now, it is true that a teacher does not need a computer program to make a graph, but drawing the graph would be very time consuming and would take away from class time that could be better spent learning other important lessons. The time issue in the situation is a prefect example of why productivity tools are so important. They allow us to increase the amount of information that teachers teach their students in less time than ever before.   PowerPoint is another great example of productivity software. A teacher could stand up in front of the classroom and lecture to a group of tenth graders and hope that they pick out the important details from her lecture, but this is highly unlikely. Specifying verbatim what they want the student to write down is tedious and also very time consuming.

On the other hand, PowerPoint enables teachers to make slides of their notes and project them onto a screen so that everyone can copy word for word what the teacher wants them to learn. So what is the difference between using a regular projector with individual transparencies and PowerPoint? The answer is time and efficiency.  The teacher no longer has to spend ample time moving the transparency down so that the children in the back can see what is at the bottom of the page, or take time to put down away, get out another, and readjust the projector so that it isn’t blurry. All of those time taking frustrations vanish when using PowerPoint. A teacher is able to go through her slides quickly with ease. She could even add pictures or links to show and support the data that she is teaching to the class.

The PowerPoint system is also a lot easier to read because it can be made in large fonts without the worry of wasting transparences, which also allows everyone to view and read the teacher important facts. Inspiration and Kidspiration are another great example of how children can us technology to interact and learn a curriculum. These two programs allow teachers to design their own activity for their students to finish. By performing the activity themselves they are not only learning the information required, but they are interacting with the information which will make a much longer lasting impression on the students.

Students can site and memorize material until their head turns blue, but until they minds are stimulated and have a desire to learn these facts or tools for life, they will not completely understand the information. Productivity tools stimulate a students mind using color, pictures, graphs, activities and so much more. It is not what a child learns in a lesson, but what he or she takes out of it and is able to apply to everyday life, and Productivity software enhances the impression of the lesson on the student.

Productivity Software List

  1. Google Apps for Business. Google’s office suite includes a selection of office productivity tools including enhanced-for-business versions of Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sites, and Google Video. Several pricing options are available, based on the size of your business, and limited-time free trial is also available.
  2. LibreOffice Productivity Suite. This free office productivity suite comes from the not-for-profit organization, The Document Foundation. Applications include Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base, and Math. Because it’s free, support comes primarily from the community of users and the developers. The license for this suite is LGPL, meaning it can be customized as needed.
  3. OpenOffice. Another free office productivity suite. The following are included in this suite: Writer, Calc, Impress, Draw, Base, and Math. Oracle is the primary contributor of code to OpenOffice, but other major companies also contribute. For technical support, they offer a forum and a FAQ site as well as a user guide.
  4. Microsoft Office. The Microsoft Office Suite has a variety of configurations from home use to student use to use by various size businesses. Depending on the configuration, the applications included in the suite can change, but it usually includes at least Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote. The suite is not free (although some versions may have a free trial), but there are a huge number of free templates available on the Microsoft site.
  5. WordPerfect Office X5. Another office productivity suite that offers multiple configurations based on the customer need. The home and student version includes software for word processing, spreadsheets, slideshows and presentations, and a digital notebook. Free trials are available although the productivity suite is not free. Some templates are also available. Support plans are available and there is also knowledgebase of frequently asked questions.
  6. Zoho. Zoho offers a large number of productivity software tools, but as far as I could tell they are not packaged together in a suite. As of the time of publication, Zoho products were free for personal use, although the site stated that business and corporate users may be charged. Some Zoho tools that may be of particular interest include: Writer, Sheet, Show, and Calendar. Support is available.
  7. Quickoffice & OfficeSuite Pro5. While these are technically not office suites themselves, these apps give the capability to access your Microsoft Office files from your mobile device. For the freelancer on the go this means mobility. OfficeSuite Pro5 is specifically for the Android Market. Quickoffice can work with a variety of mobile devices.
  8. PlusOffice Free 3.0. A freeware package is based on OpenOffice. Use this on Windows 7/Vista (I did not see a Mac version). The suite includes a text editor, spreadsheet, presentation package, and more. Compare with commercial packages.
  9. IBM (r) Lotus (r) SmartSuite (r). This suite will cost money, but the product also has the support of IBM. It includes Word Pro (r), Freelance Graphics (r), and Approach (r). Additional software options are available for an added cost.
  10. ThinkFree. This office productivity prides itself on being compatible with MS Office. Use it for word processing, creating spreadsheets, and presentations. There are many versions of this suite available, including one for the Windows, the Mac, Linux, and even Android operating systems. Even though this suite costs money, you can download a trial version.
  11. KOffice. This is another free office productivity suite alternative. It includes KWord (a word processor), KCells (a spreadsheet) and Showcase (presentation software). Because it’s free, it largely depends on volunteers and users to maintain and update it. There is a Userbase and forum.
  12. NEOOffice. This is an office suite specifically for MAC OS X. They’ve even included a mobile version that can be accessed remotely. It is distributed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It is funded entirely by user donations.
  13. Softmaker. This office productivity suite includes TextMaker (word processing), PlanMaker (spreadsheet), and Presentations. There are multiple versions available including a mobile version. This package does cost money.