Free Opensource Software Commercial Alternatives In 2024

1. LibreOffice An Alternative to Microsoft Office

LibreOffice is a powerful office suite – its clean interface and feature-rich tools help you unleash your creativity and enhance your productivity. LibreOffice includes several applications that make it the most powerful Free and Open Source office suite on the market:

2. Inkscape Alternative to Adobe Illustrator

Inkscape is open-source vector software, intended to serve as a replacement for Adobe Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X. The program uses the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format for files. It serves as a formidable replacement for more complex and expensive program suites and supports some of the more advanced features of SVG graphics editors. The program can make a great replacement for proprietary software, especially for beginning freelancers and small businesses.

3. Scribus Alternative to Adobe Indesign

Scribus is an Open Source application that functions very much like Adobe Indesign. Both are used for Desktop Publishing (layout design for brochures, e-books, newspapers, and pdfs). Since Scribus is Open Source, it’s free and free for others to contribute to the application.  You can use one of the included templates for your project, or just start from scratch and use the included tools to design a finished project that’s perfectly in line with your vision. Scribus is a good alternative to more expensive and elaborate desktop publishing programs.

4. Gimp Imaging Editing Software – Alternative to Photoshop

GIMP is a free image retouching and editing tool, very much like Adobe Photoshop. Tools include free-form drawing, resizing, cropping, and photo montages. It is an extremely capable piece of software with many capabilities. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image render, an image format converter, etc

5. e-book Creation and Management Software

Calibre is a free and open-source e-book library management application developed by users of e-books for users of e-books. Calibre converts files to PDF, ePub, and other file types that work well on e-readers.

6. GnuCash Free Accounting Software

Gnucash is a great alternative to commercial accounting software packages, for small businesses and freelancers of all kinds…And Best of all it’s FREE! GnuCash business features are impressive for a free product!  It is designed especially for the small- to midsized-business owner who needs an accounting system that’s not only easy to use but also easy on the budget!

7. Multi-track Audio Editor and Recorder.

Audacity is a free, easy-to-use, multi-track audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. The interface is translated into many languages. You can use Audacity to:,•Record live audio., •Record computer playback on any Windows Vista or later machine., •Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs., •Edit WAV, AIFF, FLAC, MP2, MP3, or Ogg Vorbis sound files., •Cut, copy, splice, or mix sounds together. •Change the speed or pitch of a recording. •And more!

8. FileZilla FTP Program

FileZilla is an FTP program that comes in handy when you need to manage the files on your hosting server. FileZilla offers a two-window display. One side is the files on your computer and the other side is your files stored on the hosting company server. Filezilla allows you to quickly and easily upload and download files from your computer to the server and vice versa.

7 Important Steps To Develop A Brand Identity

Developing a brand identity is a crucial step for small businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors and establish a unique identity.

A brand identity is made up of what your brand says, what your values are, how you communicate your product, and what you want people to feel when they interact with your company.

Here are some steps that small businesses can follow to develop a strong brand identity:

1. Research your audience, value proposition, and competition .

Understanding your target audience, value proposition, and competition is the first step in developing a brand identity . This research will help you identify what makes your business unique and how you can differentiate yourself from your competitors.

2. Decide on your target audience

Determine who your target audience is and what they want from your business . This will help you create a brand identity that resonates with your customers.

3. Develop your brand personality

Your brand personality is the tone and style of your brand. It should be consistent across all your marketing materials and communication channels.

4. Create a visual identity

A visual identity includes your logo, color scheme, typography, and other visual elements that represent your brand. It should be visually appealing and memorable.

5. Integrate language and messaging

You might have a beautiful website and eye-catching logo and the best sales pitch ever, if it doesn’t solve your customers’ pain points issues clearly and effectively, it will be hard to build a strong and lasting brand identity. You need to develop a brand voice and messaging that aligns with your brand personality and resonates with your target audience.

6. Create a brand style guide

A brand style guide is a document that outlines the guidelines for using your brand identity. It should include your brand personality, visual identity, and messaging guidelines.

7. Consistently apply your brand identity

Consistency is key in building a strong brand identity. Ensure that your brand identity is applied consistently across all your marketing materials and communication channels.

Starting A Senior Program Ideas

Starting a senior program is a wonderful way to promote social engagement, physical activity, and mental stimulation among seniors. The types of activities that seniors would enjoy can vary widely based on their interests, abilities, and mobility. Here are some popular activities often enjoyed by seniors:

  1. Exercise and Fitness Classes: Offer a range of classes like yoga, tai chi, low-impact aerobics, and chair exercises to promote physical health and flexibility.
  2. Arts and Crafts: Organize art classes, pottery workshops, knitting circles, or other creative activities to tap into seniors’ artistic talents.
  3. Outdoor Activities: Plan nature walks, gardening clubs, or birdwatching excursions to keep seniors connected with the outdoors.
  4. Games and Puzzles: Host game nights with card games, board games, and puzzles. These activities can be both entertaining and mentally stimulating.
  5. Educational Workshops: Invite guest speakers to discuss topics of interest, like history, science, or literature. Learning opportunities are a great way to keep seniors engaged.
  6. Music and Dance: Arrange musical performances or dance classes to bring joy and movement into their lives.
  7. Cooking and Baking: Cooking demonstrations or group baking sessions can be fun and provide opportunities for socializing.
  8. Technology Training: Offer classes on using smartphones, tablets, or computers to help seniors stay connected with loved ones and access online resources.
  9. Volunteer Opportunities: Organize volunteer activities within the community, such as knitting blankets for charities or participating in local cleanup events.
  10. Book Clubs: Create book clubs where seniors can read and discuss books together, fostering social interaction and intellectual stimulation.
  11. Therapeutic Activities: Consider activities like meditation, mindfulness sessions, or pet therapy to promote relaxation and emotional well-being.
  12. Travel and Exploration: Plan day trips to local attractions, museums, or historical sites to keep seniors engaged and explore their surroundings.
  13. Inter-generational Programs: Connect seniors with children or young adults through activities like storytime, mentorship programs, or art collaborations.
  14. Memory Enhancement: Offer memory games and cognitive exercises to help seniors maintain mental acuity.
  15. Holiday Celebrations: Organize festive events and celebrations for major holidays and special occasions.

Remember to consult with the seniors in your program to understand their preferences and needs. Flexibility and inclusivity are key to creating a program that caters to a diverse range of interests and abilities. Additionally, consider the physical and cognitive abilities of your participants when designing activities to ensure everyone can participate and enjoy the experience.

Starting a Women’s Ministry

Starting a Christian women’s ministry that includes Bible study and other activities can be a fulfilling and spiritually enriching endeavor. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to organize such a ministry:

1. Define Your Purpose and Vision:

  • Begin by clarifying the purpose and vision of your women’s ministry. What are your goals? What do you hope to achieve through this ministry? Define the values and principles that will guide your group.

2. Assemble a Leadership Team:

  • Recruit dedicated and passionate individuals to serve on the leadership team. This team will be responsible for planning and organizing ministry activities.

3. Choose a Meeting Schedule:

  • Determine how often your group will meet. Many women’s ministries meet weekly or bi-weekly for Bible study sessions and then have monthly or quarterly gatherings for other activities.

4. Select a Bible Study Curriculum:

  • Choose a Bible study curriculum that aligns with the goals and interests of your group. Ensure it is suitable for women and encourages spiritual growth and discussion.

5. Host Bible Study Sessions:

  • Organize regular Bible study sessions. These can be held in homes, at a church, or even online through video conferencing platforms. Encourage open discussions and create a welcoming and supportive environment for participants.

6. Plan Additional Activities:

  • Beyond Bible study, plan a variety of activities that foster fellowship, personal growth, and service. These could include:
    • Retreats or conferences focused on spiritual renewal.
    • Service projects that allow women to give back to the community.
    • Workshops and seminars on relevant topics like parenting, marriage, or personal development.
    • Social gatherings, such as potluck dinners, game nights, or movie nights.
    • Prayer groups or prayer circles for women to share their concerns and support each other in prayer.

7. Promote Communication:

  • Establish effective communication channels to keep members informed about upcoming events and activities. This could include email newsletters, a website, social media, or a group messaging app.

8. Seek Feedback:

  • Regularly solicit feedback from participants to understand their needs and preferences. This will help you tailor the ministry to better serve the women involved.

9. Encourage Small Groups:

  • Consider dividing your women’s ministry into smaller groups or “small circles” for more intimate and focused discussions and relationships.

10. Cultivate a Supportive Community:

  • Foster an atmosphere of love, trust, and support. Encourage women to share their joys and struggles, pray for each other, and build meaningful connections.

11. Evaluate and Adapt:

  • Periodically assess the effectiveness of your ministry by reviewing your goals and progress. Adapt your activities and strategies as needed to better meet the spiritual and social needs of your members.

12. Pray Together:

  • Begin and end each meeting or activity with prayer, seeking God’s guidance and blessings for your ministry and its participants.

Remember that the success of your Christian women’s ministry will depend on building a strong sense of community, spiritual growth, and a supportive environment where women can grow in their faith and relationships with one another.

How to Start A NonProfit Charity

Starting a nonprofit charity involves several steps, including legal and organizational processes. Here’s a general guide on how to get started:

1. Define Your Mission and Vision:

  • Clearly define the purpose and mission of your nonprofit charity. What cause or issue will your organization address? What impact do you aim to achieve?

2. Identify a Name for Your Charity:

  • Choose a unique and memorable name for your organization. Ensure it accurately reflects your mission and is not already in use by another nonprofit.

3. Assemble a Board of Directors:

  • Recruit individuals who are passionate about your cause and can provide expertise in areas like finance, legal, marketing, and fundraising. Your board will play a critical role in governing the organization.

4. Legal Structure and Incorporation:

  • Select a legal structure for your nonprofit. Common options in the United States include 501(c)(3) organizations, which are tax-exempt charitable organizations. Consult an attorney or legal expert to determine the best structure for your specific needs.
  • File the necessary legal documents to incorporate your nonprofit at the state level. This typically involves submitting articles of incorporation to the appropriate state agency.

5. Draft Bylaws:

  • Create bylaws that outline the rules and procedures for operating your nonprofit. Bylaws typically cover topics such as board meetings, decision-making processes, and membership criteria (if applicable).

6. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN):

  • Apply for an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This unique identifier is required for tax purposes, including fundraising and financial transactions.

7. Apply for Tax-Exempt Status:

  • If you want your nonprofit to qualify for tax-exempt status, most commonly as a 501(c)(3) organization, you must apply to the IRS. This process involves filling out IRS Form 1023 (or the streamlined Form 1023-EZ for smaller organizations) and paying the associated filing fee.
  • Prepare a comprehensive description of your nonprofit’s activities, finances, and governance structure as part of the application.

8. State Registrations and Permits:

  • Depending on your state and local regulations, you may need to register your nonprofit and obtain permits to solicit donations or conduct specific activities. Check with your state’s attorney general’s office or a legal professional for guidance.

9. Develop a Fundraising Plan:

  • Create a fundraising strategy to generate the necessary funds to support your nonprofit’s mission. This may include individual donations, grants, events, and partnerships.

10. Create a Business Plan: – Develop a comprehensive business plan that outlines your organization’s goals, strategies, and operational plan. This document will serve as a roadmap for your nonprofit’s growth and sustainability.

11. Set Up Financial and Administrative Systems: – Establish accounting and financial management systems to track income and expenses. You should also maintain clear records of your organization’s activities and operations.

12. Launch and Promote Your Charity: – Officially launch your nonprofit and begin implementing your programs and services. – Develop a marketing and outreach plan to raise awareness about your organization and attract supporters, volunteers, and donors.

13. Comply with Reporting and Compliance Requirements: – Stay informed about reporting requirements, tax filings, and compliance obligations for your nonprofit. Failure to meet these obligations can result in penalties or the loss of tax-exempt status.

Starting a nonprofit charity can be a complex process, so it’s essential to seek legal advice and guidance from experts experienced in nonprofit law and governance. Additionally, consider joining nonprofit associations or networks in your area for support and resources as you embark on your charitable journey.

10 Basic Steps To Starting A Home Business

Starting a business comes with a lot of responsibility and a new family member, and his name is Uncle Sam.  One thing about family, we try to avoid any family disputes, to do this, you must follow the rules and regulations, that govern starting and running a business. There is no excuse for ignorance of the Law! There are 3 branches of Government you will have to answer to, Federal, State, and Local.


The first mistake many people make, is they start a business without a plan or vision for the business! When I hear someone talk about starting a business my mind wanders to a scripture passage found in the bible Proverbs 29:18, which says where there is no vision, the people perish, the same rule applies to starting a business without a vision for your business, it is destined for failure.

A Business Plan is a document that clearly describes your vision, including all the details of your business operations. If you are planning to seek financing for your business then a business plan is a must! The main purpose of a business plan is to guide the entrepreneur from where he should start and the business’s goals.


If you intend to operate your business under a different name other than your own, you may be required to register your trade name with your state or local government. This form of registration is known as “doing business as” (dba) or fictitious name filing. Check with your state office for information on Business Name Registration.


Generally, if you are going into business for yourself and you are not starting a corporation or non-profit organization and do not employ anyone, you do not need an EIN. Your social security number is your EIN. You will only need an EIN if you answer “Yes” to any of the following questions.

The legal structure you choose for your business will impact your business registration requirements, how much you pay in taxes, and your liability.

Sole Proprietorship – A sole proprietor is not only one of the most common forms of business but it is also one of the easiest types of businesses to form. You are not required to do any kind of special incorporation filing. A sole proprietor is someone who owns an unincorporated business by himself or herself. A business, owned by one owner, makes no legal distinction between the individual owner and the business itself for tax purposes. The owner is fully liable for any legal actions brought against the company.

General Partnership – A business, owned by multiple owners, that makes no legal distinction between the individual owners and the business itself for tax purposes. Owners are fully liable for any legal actions brought against the company.

Limited Liability Partnership – A business, owned by general partners and limited partners, that makes no legal distinction between the General Partners and the business itself for tax purposes. General Partners are also fully liable for any legal actions brought against the company while Limited Partners have limited liability. A limited liability company (LLC) or corporation helps protect your personal assets in case a lawsuit is brought against your business for products sold or services rendered. But may require the help of a professional to start.

C-Corporation – A business, owned by owners and an unlimited number of shareholders, that is a separate legal entity from its owners and shareholders for tax purposes. Owners of a C-Corporation are taxed twice: once as owners and once as shareholders. Owners and shareholders are not legally liable for any legal actions brought against the company.

S-Corporation – A business, owned by one owner and a limited number of shareholders, that is a separate legal entity from the owner and the shareholders. The owner of an S-Corporation only gets taxed once, must be a U.S. citizen, and is not liable for any legal actions brought against the company. Shareholders are not liable for any legal actions brought against the company.

Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) – A business, owned by one owner and an unlimited number of shareholders, that is a separate legal entity from the owner and the shareholders. LLCs need at least two people to be created. The owner of an LLC only gets taxed once and is not legally liable for any legal actions brought against the company. Shareholders are not liable for any legal actions brought against the company.


Check with your local zoning laws, also referred to as ordinances, ordinances establish what business activities can be carried out in a particular municipality. You need to have approval, and any required permits from zoning, before setting up a business in a particular location including your home. In some areas of zoning and planning, agencies require all home-based businesses to get a Home Occupation Permit.


General Business License

As a business owner, you are normally required to purchase a yearly general business license. Contact your county clerk’s office for more information and/ or any other licenses or certificates you may be required to carry based on the type of business you are starting. If you plan to run a home business from a property you are renting you may also be required to get permission from your landlord to acknowledge he/she is aware of the fact that you are starting a home business on his/her premises.

Sales Tax Permit

If you intend to sell taxable goods or services online or offline, you may be required to collect state and local sales taxes from your customers. It is your responsibility to apply for a sales tax permit if the state where your business will be located charges a sales tax or levies a gross receipt or excise tax on businesses. Check with your State Revenue office for more information on your state’s requirements for collecting and submitting sales tax.


Most States if not all, require you to register your business with your State Revenue Agency. State Revenue offices issue a variety of business permits/ licenses depending on the type of business you are starting and the needs of the business.

8. Open A Business Checking Account
A business checking account helps you stay legally compliant, organized, and protected.


Setting up a good Bookkeeping system is a must! Keeping track of your business income and expenses will help you in the long run, to be prepared in case of an IRS audit and it will keep you compliant with the law.


As a business owner, you are required to file and pay small business taxes including State, Local, and Federal. Check with your state and local officials for more information on the self-employment taxes you are required to file.

How to Reconcile The Gnucash Checking Account

Reconciling your Gnucash account simply means you are matching the income and expense transactions you entered into  Gnucash against your business banking checking account for accuracy which is very important that everything you enter into Gnucash balances with your banking statements.

Double-checking, your records against your banking account transactions each month will give you a better understanding of your transactions such as uncashed checks and undeposited amounts owed to you from third parties. 

Gnucash can help you catch any discrepancies between your Gnucash business transactions data and your business banking account monthly statements.

How to Manage A Business Credit Card Account In GnuCash

In the tutorial, you will learn how to manage a credit card account in GnuCash to keep track of all your business credit card expenditures.

It is not uncommon to use a credit card for some of your business transactions after all a credit card account is like a short-term loan that comes in handy when you have a business, but then you .eventually have to pay back the money, often with interest.

Credit card transactions are a liability because it is money you owe. In GnuCash The purchases you make with a credit card are classified as expenses.

You have a couple of options when entering credit card transactions. The simplest method is to only track monthly payments to the credit card company.

This method only requires you have a checking account, a credit card liability account, and a credit card expense account.

The obvious limitation of this simple credit card setup is that you cannot see where your money is going. And since you are tracking business expenses you want to be as transparent as possible, when it comes down to your business expenses. If not for yourself for tax purposes.

How To Enter A Split Transaction in GnuCash

Once you Apply the business settings the Save As Dialog Screen should appear. In this next step of the business accounts setup, you will name your accounting file and create a folder to hold the files.

This step is crucial because GnuCash generates a lot of files and if this step is not done properly, your files will end up outside of the folder intended to hold the business files and all mixed in with your files in your document folder. When done right your files will be saved and organized into the folder specifically created to hold your Gnucash files.

Entering A Simple Transaction in GnuCash

Notes: The chart of accounts represents the different types of business expenses and income you can expect to encounter in the course of your business. For instance, the opening balance should be your very first entry. You only have to enter this transaction one time when you first start using GnuCash.

The opening balance should reflex the ending balance of your last business checking account statement or the newly deposited amount if you have just opened a new business checking account.

In Gnucash a transaction with only two splits is called a simple transaction., since it only involves the current account and a single chart of account. An example of two splits in the tutorial is with the opening balance transaction of the 500.00, the two splits involved are the checking account and the equity: opening balance.

Every transaction in GnuCash has at least two splits, but a transaction can have more than two splits. A transaction that involves three or more accounts is called a split transaction. The need for 3 or more splits in a transaction occurs when you need to split either the “from” or the “to” account into multiple transaction accounts.