There's never enough hours in the day, so we've rounded up a list of our five favourite time-saving applications, from easy-to-use databases to home faxing software, we guarantee they'll save you time.

Supercharge Excel

As I've come to appreciate just how well Microsoft Excel can work, I've also gained a better understanding of its shortcomings, which is where a little £30-per-year gem called DigDB for Excel comes in.

This program from Data Instruments Group adds handy features to Excel, improves existing ones, and makes the application easier to use. For everything from tracking down broken links to generating median values to trimming errant spaces, this software is certainly worth the price of admission, plus you can try it free for 15 days.

Ditch the fax machine

When I need to send a fax to my home office or receive one from there, I use TrustFax from Comodo. The service is less well known than eFax or MyFax, but what I like about it, besides the fact its clean, easy-to-use web interface, is its pricing options for light fax users like me.

I pay TrustFax $30 (about £15) a year for a fax number, 50 outbound and 150 inbound fax pages, and online storage. To use the service I scan my document in my multifunction printer, upload the file to the TrustFax web site, and send it off. It doesn't get much easier than that.

Make pretty pictures

Sometimes I need more than a well-crafted sentence to get my point across. I need boxes, circles, and arrows. That's when I turn to SmartDraw, a business-graphics app from the company of the same name. After a free trial, it costs $297 (£149). It's pricey, but you can often find it deeply discounted at SmartDraw's website, and if you've ever struggled to make flowcharts, time lines, mind maps, or even floor plans, you'll love it.

NEXT PAGE> Add-ons for databases and folder sharing that will save you time

  1. Save precious time with our software picks
  2. Add-ons for databases and folder sharing that will save you time

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