Tips for Choosing Your Home Office Software

There’s nothing worse than the feeling of drowning in your stomach when you realize that everything you’ve worked on for the past month is gone! This has happened to many home business owners – maybe even you. You boot your computer one day and you realize that your computer has a virus and all your data has been erased! Because many of your home business operations tend to be carried out and stored on your computer, managing yourself with the right office computer software, including virus protection, is very important.

Of course, before you start choosing software for your home office computer, you need to assess exactly what you need. You must choose specific software for what you do. For example, if you enter a data report, you must install spreadsheet software. Likewise, if you write to make a living, you will need a solid word processing software program. Photographers will need photo editing software, whereas bookkeeping does not.

In addition to special programs there will be several other software programs that every home business must have. You will need a way to track your expenses, invoices and all money in your business. There are a number of very good financial software programs on the market that will help you do this. Quickbooks and Quicken offer several options depending on the size of your business and whether you have employees and inventory to track as well. You will also need tax preparation software; however, this must be purchased every year. Even if you have a separate accountant or bookkeeper, you don’t need this.

You will also want a word processing program that will handle basic letters, label printing, estimates and other daily business needs.
There are a number of choices here. You can try the Microsoft Works package that has an integrated word processor. If that doesn’t meet your needs then Microsoft Word offers all the features you can need. If your budget is really tight, make sure and check out the Open Office software package – it’s completely free and gives you a complete home office program package.

Of course if you use the Internet, you will need an Internet browser such as Internet Explorer or Netscape to access the internet. Firefox is a very good web browser and doesn’t experience as many “problems” as Internet Explorer. Some of these programs are also equipped with e-mail programs to keep your e-mails stored properly and allow you to create new messages as needed.

Of course, the most important software that you will get for your computer is virus protection software that will keep your computer safe. A firewall is also a good idea to protect your investment. Be sure to set up a backup system for your computer too. By backing up your work, every day, once a week or at least once a month, it won’t be a disaster if your computer suffers from a virus because you can get all your info back and continue working.

There is a variety of computer software available on the market today and you might need to look for a program that will work best for you. Remember to keep using the basics and don’t overload your computer with lots of programs you won’t use.