2021 was another year spent largely online, but that's nothing new for the open source world. The ability to work from anywhere is in our DNA, preceding the pandemic that ushered remote work into the mainstream.
Still, all that time in front of screens this year made our community consider open source alternatives. Regardless of the tool type you need, many of the most popular vendors are not your only option.
If you're burned out on Zoom, want a CRM that's not Salesforce, or would like an analytics tool that Google doesn't own, read on. We've got the most popular articles on open source alternatives that readers loved in 2021.
My favorite open source project management tools
If you're managing a project, it might seem like you have an endless amount of tools to choose from. With Gantt charts crossing into Agile territory, it's now more common to see them deployed in service of large projects.
If you think Microsoft Project is your only option, fear not. Frank Bergmann shares several open source alternatives for single users to plan and track large, single projects. Redmine, ProjectLibre, and TaskJuggler are among the open source alternatives covered in this list.
An open source alternative to Microsoft Exchange
Microsoft Exchange's dominance in groupware might be coming to an end. In 2020, an Austrian open source developer built grommunio to serve as an open source alternative to Exchange.
In his review of grommunio, Markus Feilner shares the vast list of features that the tool offers. Integrated, native exchange protocols let Outlook and smartphones connect to grommunio the same way they'd connect to Exchange. Calendar management, video conferencing, and meeting capabilities courtesy of Jitsi are among this robust list.
Manage your budget on Linux with this open source finance tool
When it comes to money management, Linux likely isn't the first tool platform you think of. However, it turns out that there are many apps built on Linux to help keep your personal finances on track.
Options like HomeBank and KMyMoney let you import data from your bank and review expenses against your budget. Seth Kenlon, this article's author, prefers Skrooge and shares how he uses it. If you're looking for an open source tool to track expenditures, this could be the one.
5 open source alternatives to Zoom
Almost two years into the pandemic, it's safe to say most of us are all Zoom-ed out. For many of us, most work and social events are exclusively online. But as Seth Kenlon astutely points out, one of open source's biggest benefits is the ability to work remotely. Accordingly, open source enthusiasts have several choices if you're sick of Zoom.
Popular names like Jitsi make this list, along with some surprises. For instance, did you know that Signal added group video calls to its features list? P2p.chart, BigBlueButton, and Wire also make this list of tools based on various video needs, from small group calls to corporate meetings.
Schedule appointments with an open source alternative to Doodle
Appointment scheduling apps like Doodle save the song and dance of picking mutually available dates. For folks like Kevin Sonney, who hosts a podcast, these tools help him and each guest easily find dates that suit them both.
While Doodle wins the popular vote, Sonney shares his experience with Easy!Appointments in this article. Aimed at helping service organizations, Easy!Appointments has a WordPress plug-in that lets users put request forms on pages or posts. The app also syncs with Google Calendar, and there's talk of adding support to sync with additional backends.
Why choose Plausible for an open source alternative to Google Analytics
If you need to use web analytics, it might seem like Google Analytics is your only option. Uku Taht and Marko Saric set out to change that when they built Plausible.io to provide an open source analytics tool that could manage large amounts of data without a performance decline. Two years post-release, Plausible can ingest over 80 million records per month.
In this article, Ben Rometsch shares Plausible's journey from software with sensitive code to an open source option under AGPL. It's well worth the read if you're curious how this little analytics engine that could grew from 500 to 4300 stars on GitHub.
Try Chatwoot, an open source customer relationship platform
Looking for an open source end-to-end platform that covers ticket management/support? Built with Ruby and Vue.js, Chatwoot might be a viable choice if you want something other than Salesforce or Zendesk.
Nitish Tiwari shares Chatwoot's architecture, installation, and key features in this piece. It's available on several platforms, including Linux and Docker. This article shares the installation process for Docker, along with features like channels and integrations.
Get started with an open source customer data platform
If you're managing data at scale, you likely use or are searching for a data warehouse. Those searching for an open source warehouse can consider RudderStack, which collects and routes event stream data before building customer data lakes on data warehouses.
Amey Varangaonkar shares how to get RudderStack's workspace token, then install and deploy on Docker or Kubernetes. The tool's rudder-server repository and destination integrations are open source, letting users see how the utility completes complicated tasks. In an era of risky black boxes, having this transparency is a big benefit.
Try Dolibarr, an open source customer relationship management platform
You're not seeing things: This is another article on open source alternatives to customer relationship management. This piece by Pradeep Vijayakumar covers Dolibarr, which has robust ERP features along with its CRM status.
Vijayakumar works directly on Dolibarr, so his knowledge of installing its CRM, adding customer data, and setting up campaigns is unparalleled. Screenshots show each process in detail, with helpful hints to optimize the tool.