Software

3) You’ll Wonder Why "Homeschool Panda" (App) is Free – But it Is

We’re not sure how or why Homeschool Panda is free. It provides for lesson planning, budgeting, calendaring, task management and assignments, connecting with other homeschoolers in your area, and much more. They have gone on record saying security is their top priority. You can work from a web interface or use the app for android or iOS. What’s more, they’re constantly rolling out new features. Maybe they’re thinking that, once they build a huge following, they’ll introduce ads or sell the app someday? Who knows. What we DO know is that, for now, it’s completely free of charge. If you or your missionary workers are doing home school, this is the go-to app to check out for your kids — and you.

 

homeschoolpanda.com/

 

4) Finally, a Free, AllOne Design Tool for Everyone Using Windows

PicPick is a free (for personal use), all-in-one design tool for everybody who uses Windows. It features a full-featured screen capture tool, an intuitive image editor, a color picker, a color palette, a pixel-ruler, a protractor, a crosshair, a whiteboard and more. You can capture anything, edit your images, enhance them with effects, share them, create mosaics in the faces of people you need to obscure (because they work in sensitive lands). And to top it all off, it’s free. We’ve needed this. We’ve been looking for it for years. Now it’s here.  

 

picpick.app/en/

 

5) How Did I miss the Development of "HEIC" as a New Graphic Format

Have you been seeing these new “HEIC” images lately? Nothing on your laptop will open them? They seem to have come about, in part, from a new iPhone iOS upgrade. If you need an app to convert them (for free) on your laptop, just head on over to…

 

imazing.com/heic

 

You’ll find exactly what you need — with no spam, no trash built in, and totally for free. Thanks imazing!

 

4) Decision: Going to Give Todoist Another Try

Thanks to all those who commented and interacted about the best task management app last week. After much thought, I’m going to give Todoist another try. Why? First, because it works offline. After a month in which I spent quite a bit of time overseas, out of wi-fi range, I became more convinced than ever that it was no longer possible for me to track my to do list in an app that required internet connectivity to function. Second, it contains an effective tagging system. Tagging is clutch because of the way it cuts across all other organizational paradigms (like projects, subtask hierarchy, dates, and more). Third, it’s fast. Fourth, it’s multi-device, real-time, not only with my phone and with a Windows desktop app, but also a webpage as well. Finally, it’s affordable. If you’re looking for a great task management tracker, try Todoist today.

 

todoist.com

10) Can Someone Tell us Why We Shouldn’t Use "OnlyOffice?"

After looking at the comparison at…

 

www.onlyoffice.com/best-microsoft-office-alternative.aspx

 

We’re trying to figure out why we wouldn’t use this app as our main way to create and view documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Their desktop version seems solid (and, in some ways, a lot clearer?). And their cloud version can be free for qualifying nonprofits. And it’s open source, right? So we can see the security holes (if there are any), right? And wow — the price is great (free for the desktop version; free for the cloud version for qualifying nonprofits). Can someone click “comment” below this item and tell us why we shouldn’t invest in this rather than corporate alternatives?

10) Could Teamwork Project Be the Perfect Task/Project Manager for You?

Teamwork Project Management Software owns a GREAT home URL. It is simply…

 

www.teamwork.com/

 

Over the past year, this Irish software development company has distinguished itself at finding what could be a great financial approach to helping organizations, churches, and companies afford software designed to help them keep track of projects, milestones, goals, and the people who make them happen. Their project management software includes a “free forever” trial (limited to two projects and 100 megs of stored files), and a decently-priced pro version (essentially $45/month for 50 users, 300 projects, and 100 gigs). What we miss when we evaluate Teamwork, however, is that both of these levels (the “free forever” AND the pro version) can accommodate an unlimited number of collaborators across an unlimited amount of time. The company offers its software on the web, as well as via apps that are available for virtually every type of device, including iOS, Android, Mac, and Windows PC. It’s definitely worth the look. What’s YOUR opinion on project managers like these? Click Comment following the web version of this item to share your voice about whether or not these project managers hold out any hope to track disciple-making and church multiplication.

11) Is the Tor Browser better than a VPN for Anonymizing You?

There was a time when we all thought we were supposed to use a VPN. Could the Tor Browser be the next generation of security? I have to admit, it’s a bit scary at first blush. The prospects of my communication bouncing around the computers of countless volunteers around the world doesn’t sound a bit secure to me. But after a grad student working on his doctorate in political science told me I should take a look, I did. See for yourself at…

 

www.torproject.org/projects/torbrowser.html.en

 

I had thought this “Tor” deal was mainly for the dark web. But as I checked into it more and more, I discovered that the very components attracting terrorists and drug dealers (the anonymous nature of Tor) were the same components attracting LOTS of people who just want general minimum web security. Think of Tor as a kind of “bit coin” view of the web. Tor prevents sites from discovering your physical location, your identity, and your web browsing habits. In 1 minute or so, you can learn how it works by watching this brief video:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6czcc1gZ7Ak

 

What’s YOUR opinion of Tor? Any I.T. professionals willing to weigh in with a comment? You can do so anonymously, whether you’re browsing via Tor or not. : ) Just click Comment following the web version of this item. Thanks in advance for sharing! (Thanks for suggesting that we look into this, Caleb! : ) )

 

11) Affinity Designer: A Fantastic Photo Editing App

affinityThanks tons to Ed for pointing us to Affinity Designer. Yes, it’s currently available only for Mac, but for all the Windows users out there, the writers say a Windows beta is just weeks away. (You can sign up to be notified.) The great part is — it’s not a ‘subscription-based’ deal. Pay $50. Own it. For good. Love it. Looks like one of the most powerful photo-editing tools we’ve seen, but, then, we don’t use Mac — so you’ll have to verify in the comments following this post in the web version – please.

https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/

9) What’s Your Favorite Mind-mapping Software? (to Track Groups)

If you’re doing three-thirds groups (or Discovery Bible Studies), you’ll want to track your streams (those who are being trained and training others). Seems like the front-runner, for those who can pay the piper, would be MindJet, or the bigger package, MindManager. Learn more at

https://www.mindjet.com/mindmanager/

If you’d rather go the free (web app) approach, try…

https://coggle.it/

It’s still very powerful, especially for the price. Use these mind manager apps for org charts, knowledge base bubble charts, project planning, and much more. Amazing that you just paste the spreadsheet data into the web portal there. No need to register or pay anything. Pro Pricing (kind of stiff; $99/month) gives you security and password protection, faster geocoding, 10 users, PDF support, 20K datapoints at a time and more — plus, no ads.

6) The Best of the Best Outliner

outliner*** This is another area that has generated a ton of contenders. One thing for certain: It’s NOT Microsoft Word. How could any program be so HUGE and so WELL-RESEARCHED (not to mention so popular) and still not have a decent outliner?????????? For me, most recently, it feels like WorkFlowy will win this category. It’s free, great for real-time collaboration with teammates, and has some powerful features. The web interface is great and the phone interface updates instantly. How is it that these folks have passed up the software engineers at a certain Redmond, Oregon office complex (Yes you, Microsoft)??? Either way, what’s YOUR favorite outliner?

11) Best CRM Software Might be Less Expensive Than You Think

tntmpd logoHow about FREE? We asked, in our June 29th edition, “6) Are You In Search of Great Constituency Relationship Software?” Scott commented, “We have used tntmpd (put out by Campus Crusade) for several years now and find it to be quite useful. It syncs perfectly with Outlook and MailChimp, and our mission sends us a file we can import each month with donations that have come it – so we can keep updated on what is coming in and from whom. And best of all, it is free.”

Learn more at…

http://www.tntware.com/tntmpd/

And Scott, thanks for the input!

6) Are You In Search of Great Constituency Relationship Software?

bloomerangYou’ll see it promoted as “CRM” software – Customer Relationship Management. In the non-profit sector, we sometimes substitute the word, “constituency” for customer… but the idea is the same: How can we keep track of all the people we know? If we keep track of their names, addresses, contact information, and characteristics, we’ll presumably be better at being their friends and saying thank-you when they partner with us through prayer, giving, and meaningful friendships.

There are multiple ways of tracking all these loose bits of information. We’ve covered several previously. See, for example,

https://brigada.org/2013/03/10_11077

However, we haven’t mentioned Bloomerang. I know; funny name. But serious intentions. See them at…

https://bloomerang.co

Pricing might scare away some of us. See their model at…

https://bloomerang.co/pricing

But for those who are serious about helping donors become partners and partners become friends for the Lord’s purposes, this is indeed another viable option. Let us know if you try it please, along with what you conclude.

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