It’s amazing to see how much the open-source movement has evolved in the last few years, with social coding services like Github and Gitlab supporting collaboration between developers across the world. New technologies and tools will help programmers reduce the cost of app development and deliver better results.
Nowadays there are numerous new projects available for you to discover, serving a vast variety of use cases and boldly standing next to their proprietary alternatives. Some of them can be directly installed on your desktop or mobile device and some are designed to be hosted on a server so that you and your co-workers can access them from any client connected to the internet by using the web browser.
In this post, we are going to take a look at some of the most promising open-source apps that will help you boost your productivity and improve your workflow by increasing the efficiency of various day-to-day tasks.
Among all the office suite alternatives there is one that stands out for its professional design and user-friendly approach, called OnlyOffice. It’s an open-source project that works well with all the popular document types and can be installed on any device.
The OnlyOffice suite includes three main open source applications labeled correspondingly as Documents, Spreadsheets, and Presentations. The overall user experience is very close to Microsoft’s products and the applications themselves are pretty lightweight and fast even with larger files.
OnlyOffice offers installation packages for all major desktop and mobile operating systems and can be downloaded from the official website. You can optionally connect to the OnlyOffice Cloud, Nextcloud, or Owncloud service and get additional collaboration features and tools.
The company behind OnlyOffice offers premium features for subscribed members which can become a great asset for any business that works heavily on the cloud.
With cloud services taking over the web, Nextcloud automatically becomes one of the most important projects on our list. From file syncing to chatting and web meetings, you can use Nextcloud as your daily productivity tool and easily collaborate with other fellow users.
Nextcloud can be installed on your server with a few simple steps or you may use one of the available subscription plans the project vendor provides. It is a powerful alternative to other cloud environments and has numerous third-party plugins that enable integrations with external services and platforms such as Outlook, Collabora, OnlyOffice, and many more.
There are numerous available packages and modules that work directly with Nextcloud with the most important being the desktop client that can synchronize file changes of your local machine with the server, just like Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and the likes do. Other available modules to the web interface include webmail portals, online bookmark management, contacts, notes, etc.
Professionals that operate on a schedule or teams that work with meetings can immensely benefit from online appointment scheduling applications like Easy!Appointments. The application can be configured to work for any type of company or user, by offering different user roles, sophisticated working schedule management and its smart availability generation algorithm.
Anyone can make an appointment with you by visiting your website and selecting the preferred service, employee, and available time slot. The application has a user-friendly calendar that allows for optimal event management and can even synchronize registered appointments with Google Calendar automatically.
Easy!Appointments is a self-hosted application, though more clients and services are in the works at the time of writing and will become available to the audience soon. Additionally, the application integrates with WordPress websites very well so that you are able to easily add fully-featured scheduling to your sites with minimum effort.
One of the best open-source all-in-one solutions nowadays is by far Rambox, a workspace browser application that allows you to manage multiple applications from a single place. The community edition supports over 99 integrations featuring among them Gmail, Messenger, Skype, Slack, Teams, and many more.
Created with efficiency in mind, Rambox is perfect for people who care about productivity and work with many applications, both business and personal. Try it if you want to access most of your data from a single application, instead of having to switching between different environments or having countless tabs open on your browser.
Rambox is cross-platform, meaning that it supports all the major desktop operating systems and has a very user-friendly environment that you can use to enable your favorite services. The integration activation steps include you logging in to the desired service and granting access to the client so that it can perform the required actions from inside Rambox.
For more integration options you can optionally subscribe to the premium plans that offer additional features and over 600 integrations for you to explore.
Mailspring is a popular open-source alternative to all the other available mail clients out there that continuously grows both in features and in community users. It supports most major mail services like Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo, and Office 365 out of the box, but it can also be configured to work with your own mail servers with the use of the POP3 or IMAP protocols.
The application offers a modern user interface with a user-friendly approach and includes many shortcut actions that will make your messaging experience a breeze. With features like offline search, multiple accounts, and attachment preview you will not miss anything from your current application. It supports any device and operating system and can easily be installed without causing any headaches.
You can optionally opt-in for a pro subscription with a small fee and unlock features like email templates, reminders, read receipts, and much more functionality, analytically described on the official website of the project.
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Alex Tselegidis is a Freelance Software Engineer with years of experience in designing and implementing sophisticated software solutions for any domain and use. He frequently contributes to open source projects and constantly works on building new services from the ground up.