Michael Bryant, CEO and sole employee of Career Transition Services (CTS), in Baltimore, believes that for a business his size, financial software would be a waste of time. He isn't a Luddite. He just relies on computers for more cost-effective applications.

For bookkeeping, he tracks names and addresses the way our grandmothers kept recipes: on three-by-five cards, stowed in little plastic boxes. Whenever he has a business expense, he puts the receipts in an envelope marked, say, "CTS Parking" or "CTS Supplies." At the end of the year he adds up all the receipts.

As for billing, most clients who come to Bryant's office write a check before they leave. But if he has to mail an invoice, he puts a copy in a folder with the client's name on it. When the check arrives, he marks the invoice and puts it into another folder containing all the other paid invoices.

"That thing works like a charm," he says proudly, pointing at the shoe box full of envelopes. "I'm not spending all those hours entering things into a computer, either, just so it can spit something out one time."