Tools to use in our business
Can we use free software that is available to us?
There is lots of open source (free) software available these days which we can use. You don’t have to buy the latest in Microsoft Office software, you can make use of Open Office software which is upgraded often, and there are many other software packages available. Within Open Office there is an equivalent to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. http://www.openoffice.org/
Skype and MSN / Yahoo messenger are two packages that are invaluable for communication for VAs and transcriptionists, it means we can talk to our peers worldwide and communicate between each other virtually. http://www.skype.com/intl/en/ http://download.live.com/messenger
A major piece of software that Transcriptionists use is Express Scribe. This is used around the world to transcribe files - the software is available free. http://www.nch.com.au/scribe/
There is open source software for accounting and desk top publishing. http://www.serif.com search Google and see what you can find.
The more we educate ourselves as VAs and Transcriptionists the better for us. Our aims should be to keep up with technology, keep up with our skills and our education. We are never too old to learn new things within our jobs using the technology that is around to assist us.
Alison Fourie, AMF Typing Services