Software’s make up a very integral part of every computer and many a times people have a list of favorite software’s that they just cannot live without. In this post I am pointing out top 5 software’s which has made my time spent on the computer more productive, the list is a mix of software’s that I use for different purposes on a day to day basis and that help me save time and become more productive.
1. Google Desktop [Desktop Search Tool]
The king of web search also rules my desktop. I have never used Windows default search since I have installed this software and it’s one of the software’s that I cannot live without. Using Google Desktop search not only made my searching more better it made it more powerful.
Another advantage of using Google Desktop is that I can make use of several gadgets that bring all the information I require to my desktop. Gadgets such as Adsense status, Weather bug, network connection monitor, to do lists, notes, Google calendar, dictionary search, wikipedia search make me more productive as I can view all the information I want without having to visit multiple sites.
Also the sidebar works great for me because I hide it when I am do not require it, just hovering my mouse on the corner allows me to view the information quickly and then hide it back again.
Searching my computer is also easy with the the quick search box feature which pops up when the ctrl key is hit twice, so as to allowing me to search even without opening a browser window. The search results are unmatched and have helped me find files on my system which were created and long forgotten.
Managing a lot of email accounts on your desktop client also is not easy every time, but the indexing of Google desktop is really powerful and my email search just is easy as ever, without even having to use my email managers inbuilt search.
Overall I rank this software on the top of my list as its power packed features have made me more productive while using my computer. You can check my ranting’s about top 10 reasons why you should love Google desktop.
If your not using Google Desktop yet then I highly recommend it.
2. Mozilla Firefox [Web Browser]
I believe that this may be on the top 5 list of many a users, but I chose it because of the customizations I can apply to it. For me Firefox does not end up being just a browser and it’s like my mini development tool for me, what with extensions such as Web Developer, Firebug, ColorZilla, Tamper Data allowing me to help me in my development needs.
Customizing the browsers look and feel is also so easy with so many themes being developed. Customizing different web sites to suit your needs is also possible with Firefox using popular extensions such as Greasemonkey and Stylish.
Another good thing is that you can find lots of extensions to take care of your needs may it be integrating a music player or searching for torrents, you can mind many extensions that make your time online productive.
My personal favorites are All in one sidebar which puts up all the tools in a tidy sidebar from where you can easily manage Firefox add-ons or view your bookmarks. Auto Copy is becoming my favorite too since it allows me to copy text on selection just like a Linux system does. Xpather is one extension which takes care of my xpath development needs.
Overall its a power packed software that makes your browsing experience much better and I would definitely recommend this to try out. This ranks second on my list and has been one of my all time favorites.
3. Eclipse IDE [Software Development Tool]
How can Eclipse be left out of the list, this is one of the best development IDE that I have ever used. Eclipse is not a tool I use for Java programming but have also started to use it for PHP programming.
Eclipse is basically a open source community who have projects that focus on creating development platforms compromising of extensible frameworks, tools and runtimes for building and managing software across the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).
The reason I use Eclipse is not only because its free, but because it is an exceptional development environment. Not only does it provide with a good experience of managing projects but is also a time saver for me. It definitely has made me more productive with tools that help in automatically doing tasks that would require manual intervention.
Like the my #1 and #2 Eclipse also has a big community of plugins and feature development. These plugins and features help to make the IDE more better and useful. I would recommend this to users even though if your new at development as it will help you improve your coding style and also ease your development.
If you saw in the top 3 of my list I have chosen software’s to which I can easily add new features by the way of adding plugins or extensions. Choosing such kind of software’s gives you a variety of choices as you can easily extend your software. If you want to add new features to the software you can also make use of the API’s and create your own plugin or extension.
4. Poderosa [Shell and SSH Client]
Connecting between Linux based system from a windows desktop requires you to have a client that supports ssh/telnet. I have to connect with many such Linux clients from windows, including my development environment, my own website servers, work related servers etc.
Poderosa is a tabbed terminal emulator for windows which allows you to connect to Linux based system using ssh/telnet. My earlier favorite for this was Putty, the only problem I faced with putty is that I had to open multiple windows to connect to multiple servers. That was one factor that drew me towards Poderosa, it has a tabbed style GUI thus allow me to connect to various servers in one window itself.
If you are a website admin and manage multiple servers then you should definitely give this a try, its worth it. I still use Putty for tunneling though as this is one feature that’s missing in Poderosa.
Worth mentioning here are tools such as cygwin which creates a Linux like environment on you windows PC and pscp which allows you to transfer file from windows system to Linux and vice versa using a command line. You can read the post about how you can easily upload files to Linux from your windows PC using pscp.
5. Picasa [Photo Organizer]
I have a lot of huge collection of photographs from various of trips I have made, my childhood pictures, the latest pictures which I clicked here in US. It’s a huge collection of photographs overall and managing it is very hard until I began using Picasa.
Organizing my photographs have never been easier and Picasa works like a charm. Not only does Picasa search every nook and corner for Pictures and videos it also allows me to organize it in collections, so I can create a collection called personal and store all my personal pictures in there or for the blog pictures that I use on this blog, I can call it blog pictures. Picasa doesn’t just help me to organize my pictures it also allows me to edit them too.
Sharing pictures with my close ones is also very easy using the web albums feature Picasa provides. I can simply use the in built feature to upload all the pictures to my web albums without having to use a browser to upload every individual picture. And with 1GB of storage space online its quite a charm.
My photo organizing skills definitely grew after I made use of Picasa and it definitely helped me lots of time organizing and sharing my photographs. If you do not have Picasa then I recommend you get it.
To wind it up the 5 software’s I listed above has definitely made me productive in different ways and will definitely move with me even if change computers or re install my system. These are the first five things I definitely could not do without on my computer.
What are your top 5 software’s that make you more productive? do leave your responses in the comments. I would definitely like to try out more software’s that have helped you.
This post is written to take part in the Top 5 – Group Writing Project organized by Darren from Problogger.