Well, I think it's time for this to get a makeover. Rather than going through all the basics like anti virus, browsers and media players, of which we've already found our favourite flavours, this one's going to be more about adding functionality to make your life easier. The focus of this is for Windows, but a few of these apps are also available for OSX.|
Because there's always room for improvement.
Notepad++ (Win) is a great little alternative to the feature-light Notepad, it's also worth keeping an eye on Bend (which I notice has been removed from the public eye), it's a sexy little next-gen notepad replacement.
ImgBurn (Win) is a simple, usable disc burning software that does everything you'll need of it.
Soluto (Win) is a brilliant msconfig replacement that keeps track of your boot processes and helps you through optimising all those startup apps.
Picasa (Win) is the best picture viewer out there, you needn't bother with the main app so much but being a Google app, it also comes with a chunk of online storage and allows you to upload any pic with a right click.
Search Everything (Win) is just as it says, it's a heap faster than the integrated Windows HDD search and lets you save a heap of processing time and all the disk thrashing of the default.
LogMeIn Hamachi² (Win) is a small VPN app that lets you link any amount of computers up just like a LAN, but over the internet. Brilliant for all sorts of stuff, not least streaming your private music collection, copying files and folders and other such things. You can also use it to play LAN games, even multiplayer over great distances for console emulators.
Because as good as things are, they can always be a bit better.
WizMouse (Win) lets you scroll a window without it being focused. A common annoyance.
Switch to the last active window (Win7 registry hack) with a single click rather than clicking the icon, then the window preview. It always annoyed me having to do two clicks where there should only be one. It still works the original way, but this is much better. It's a simple registry tweak rather than an app.
Default Programs Editor allows you to tweak various settings about your filetypes, how you'd like them to open, their default icon, their context menu options, all that sort of thing. Not something you'd need every day, but great if something's being a little problematic.
To do shit.
Google Docs (Win/Mac/Nix) for all your Office needs. A brilliant bunch of apps in the comfort of your browser. You can share and collaborate everything you do on it, and it'll be stored online, so you can get at it from anywhere. Offers import options of all the usual formats, which makes migration and backup simple.
Sumo Paint (Win/Mac/Nix) is an in-browser photo manipulation and paint app that's rich on features and low on installer.
Input Director (Win) lets you control all your computers on a network via one keyboard and mouse. It's not the most simple program to initially set up, but it's certainly not rocket science.
Wunderlist (Win/Mac) is a simple, elegant To Do list that looks pretty and helps keep you organised. It's still in beta, but phone integration and synchronisation is to follow.
FocusWriter (Win/Mac/Nix) could be described as a Notepad replacement, but it's a little more interesting than that. It's a non-distracting, barebones word processor. I set mine up to look like a 1980s IBM greenscreen complete with a scanlined font because it tweaks my nerd nipple.
Dropbox (Win/Mac), in case you haven't heard is a folder syncing app that allows you to share and upload files to the internet, both privately and publicly from the comfort of your OS. That's my referral link, so if you like this, or any of my guides, you can repay me by signing up to Dropbox via it
I'll probably think of a bunch more stuff at some point later and I'll add any goodies that anyone posts.
+1 / Like / Tweet this post