I’m sick of the quality level you get from free stuff, but too broke to give it up. In the category of “I can’t believe this is free”, there are a few really good items for writers.
Ever feel like you would write if only the computer didn’t keep enticing you off to other things? This may be your solution: ~~~ Focus Booster ~~~
Simon Haynes is a published author and programmer known for his Hal Spacejock series. When he’s working and needs a program, he makes it. The program most geared to the process of writing is ~~~ yWriter ~~~.
~~~ Open Office ~~~ is a full office suite (but still free) on par with Microsoft Office, in my opinion. The fact that it is also open source means that there is extensive template support by any user willing to offer their customizations to the cause.
If you want a straight-up mind mapper, you can’t really go wrong with Freemind. If you’re not familiar with the process of mindmapping, it is a way to visually outline information. ~~~ Freemind ~~~ is the best free version I’ve found.
Update: I’ve found a new one – it might seem this concept is over done, and to a degree it is. The all-in-one organizer is done by all the big companies, and well, they’re good. But what if good could also me free? I like that. 😉 Okay, so none of the big guys do it quite like this – encryption, timers and something called a Universal Constructor. Check it out! (And no, this is not a paid ad, lol.)