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Upgrade to Free: The Best Free & Low-Cost Online Tools and Apps Paperback – August 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: TSTC Publishing (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934302953
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934302958
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #740,890 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Beth Ziesenis is an author, speaker and complete tech geek. Since her first Commodore 64 computer, Beth has been fascinated with technology. From her home base in sunny San Diego, Calif., Beth helps computer users filter through thousands of apps, gadgets, widgets and doodads to find the perfect free and bargain technology tools for business and personal use.

More About the Author

Meet Beth Z, your own personal Nerdy Best Friend. She's keeps up with all the new online applications and downloads that can help you look like you're working with a team of marketing, computer and productivity experts, even if you suffer from a shrinking staff and a disappearing budget.

Beth loves to share her tools online via the blog and in person at presentations. And she's even been known to share a few tips over cupcakes and coffee.

Beth Ziesenis is an author, speaker, marketing analyst and complete tech geek. Since her first Commodore 64 computer, Beth has been fascinated with technology and computer shortcuts that make people's lives easier.

From her home base in sunny San Diego, California, Beth helps computer users all over the country filter through thousands of apps, gadgets, widgets and doodads to find the perfect free and bargain technology tools for business and personal use.

Customer Reviews

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See all 15 customer reviews
I've read this book from cover to cover a couple of times.
Jose Santa Cruz
Ms. Ziesenis writes in such an engaging and witty manner, that I found myself laughing out loud.
Gkabel
This books is going to help save me time and money as well as boost my performance at work.
C. Doyle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By AnastasiaW on July 21, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is an absolute must-have for students and professionals, from freelance to full-time. Beth Ziesenis writes in a fun, quirky way that engages the reader, making you almost forget your reading a book all about tools and apps for the computer and smart phone. And there are so many great tools out there! Most are really inexpensive if not free and are really handy. My favorite, and which I am totally hooked on now, is the Naked Alarm Clock. I know that sounds funny, but I travel a lot and am very paranoid about getting up in time to make my meetings. This clock is so basic, but I absolutely love it. That's only one of nearly (maybe even more than!) 300 tools in this book. A small investment (very small, if you compare with most books) that pays itself back almost immediately. You won't be sorry you bought this one. I'm certainly not.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By TNT Centurion on July 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I have to admit I wasn't much of a tech guy before I got my first iPhone, so I'm not really an expert on a lot of tools in this book. But every time I flip through the chapters, I find a tech tool I want to try out. These days I have an iPad and have come to rely on a bunch of tools in this book to help me stay connected and cut down on paper.

My favorites are Dropbox and Evernote, both tools found in the book. They keep me connected to files in the office and allow me to go to court (I'm a lawyer) without piles of files. I appreciate both the variety of tools and the straightforward way she writes about them... makes non-techy people like me feel like they can make the tools work.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Gkabel on August 19, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I absolutely loved this book. I am a small business owner and am always looking for ways to save money, and get connected. I loved it so much, I bought extra copies for "techy" people that helped me starting my business. They were so pleased with the gift. Even though they were "techy", there were many apps they hadn't heard of and were excited to check out. Ms. Ziesenis writes in such an engaging and witty manner, that I found myself laughing out loud. I wanted to keep on reading just for fun. Please keep the information coming, and keep on writing!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JudyinTexas on August 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Upgrade to Free is an awesome book. It has great information, broken into categories. Short and to the point synopsis of each tool, but done with a great deal of humor. Like getting information from a trusted friend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Garicia on July 27, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Looking for tech tools to give you more time for you or your family? Beth Ziesenis has found tons of ideas for you to simplify your tech life in a witty, easy to use book.
I love just opening the book to any page and reading through her quirky writing to try out great organizational apps and fun graphics tools. The kids love the QR codes that allow you to immediately check things out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul Lappen VINE VOICE on September 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
Everyone loves free, or really inexpensive, tools for their computer or smartphone. This book has lots of them, with website and QR code included.

The well-known computer tools, like Skype, Twitter and OpenOffice are here. There are tools here for web meetings and presentations, tools to share information, tools to convery Word files into pdfs, and convert pdfs into Word files, along with IT and security tools to help keep your computer running smoothly.

WorkTime is a tool that will track every activity on your computer, so you will know just how long you have spent being unproductive. To get a group of people to decide on a convenient day and time for a meeting, consider using WhichDateWorks. If Photoshop is too confusing for editing of pictures, try Picnik or FotoFlexer.

Emailing a screencapture of a whole page to someone else, and having them understand what you are talking about is difficult at best. Jing allows the screencapturing of just part of the page. If you want to add some music or movement to your presentation or website, pay a visit to animoto, ispringfree or ispeech.

Small business owners can use freshbooks to manage their billing online, xpenser to keep track of their expenses, or logomyway for ideas to spruce up their old logo. For those who want to start their own blog or website, there is snappages for quick websites, and wordpress for quick blogs. How are you on writing to-do lists and reminders? Sites like rememberthemilk, doitdoitdone!, teuxdeux and toodledo can make it a lot easier.

Whether you are a computer professional, or someone who can barely send an email, this book is very highly recommended. There is something here for everyone. There is no need to download everything in this book; pick just a few tools and go from there. It may just turn a technophobe into a technophile.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jose Santa Cruz on August 22, 2011
Format: Paperback
WOW!!! I've read this book from cover to cover a couple of times. The first time, I must admit, that I only scanned all the QR codes. The second time, I actually read the descriptions of every application and decided which applications would best fit my daily schedule. The best part about this book is that it provides you with applications and tools that you can use anywhere. Aside from saving you money, this book also saves you time. Each application has a QR code that will link you directly to the webpage where you can download and read more about each application and tool. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking to be more efficient with their time and their money.
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