So when you've got 9 PCs across homes and offices, you get pretty good at figuring out what software you really use and need to install. While this blog is high-tech light, I get asked enough about "what do you use on your PC" that I figured a simple dump could be useful. I've pared it down the essentials. :) In no particular order:
Skype - I'm a complete convert. Skype-to-skype is better than any phone call, Skype-out and skype-in work great. Essentially my business phone line now rings on whatever PC I'm working at (home, vacation home, office), and I /never/ have to use call forwarding... Genius...
Activewords - whether it's signature lines, handy keyboard shortcuts for programs, or commonly used phrases, if you're a keyboard shortcut fan, this is the best thing going for PCs. Has saved me hours and many brain cells.
Textpad - I've learned that when it's time to focus on quality of writing (or when I want to go fast), dumbing it down to a plain text writer does wonders for limiting the amount of time I waste trying to make a document "pretty" and jerking around with formatting and fonts. I estimate I'm 50% faster and 200% better when I start writing in plain text. Nothing like cold, hard text staring you in the face to tell you when you've written crap.
Snagit - Screen capture heaven. This is one of those apps that once you start using, you can't imagine how you lived without it. To the clipboard, a file, the printer, you name it, if it's on your screen somewhere, this will grab it (including scrolling windows, timed capture, video capture, etc.) and output it.
Stuffit - simply the fastest, most flexible, best file compression tool for the PC I've found. Whether it's been compressed on a Mac, PC, or Unix box, this sucker will open it and expand it.
Groove - an incredible way to share files across PC and to collaborate with small, trusted groups (on PCs) with some great collaboration tools. Best part of Groove is that it syncs everything to local folders and on your hard drive, so it works on airplanes. I couldn't work without it.
Picasa - simple and straightforward image archive. Fast and sweet.
Mindmanager - when you want to visualize a problem, some thinking, or a conversation, a bulleted list often breaks down and imposes vertical structure onto your thinking. Which implies priority. Not always a good thing. This is a great visualization tool that creates branch and tree bubbles. Love it!
Microsoft Desktop Search - I love this magical little tool. I no longer worry where I've filed something since I can always find it in seconds with just a few keystrokes.
Connected - even with multiple copies of my files scattered around, you always need a good remote storage service. These guys rock.
FTP Voyager - I love how simple and good this program is. Profiles, background transferring, etc.
TuneUp 2006 - I'm no longer the uber-geek I once was, but my sense is that this little program keeps my PC working faster and better by cleaning out all the gunk that used to slow down my boxes...
Office - I use MSFT Office on the main boxes and Open Office on the secondary and tertiary boxes. If you don't need office docs with high frequency, Open Office is surprisingly good. Not so good for fancier formatting... I use Outlook Live for contacts and calendar.
If you have favorite software I haven't listed above, please tell me about it. Near-future post will be my online sites...