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07/05/2010

10 utilities which make my life easy and cool

Filed under: Software — Jimy Shah @ 7:50 pm

I am often attracted to new widgets/software which promises to simplify my life in one way or another. I don’t care about the learning curve as far as it serves any of the two purposes:

  1. Simplify tasks which I repeat frequently
  2. Make me feel satisfied that I am using something “cool”

It’s difficult to pick 10 out of many software that I use, but I will try to list the ones which I use the most. I either found these tools while aimlessly browsing download.com or were introduced by a friend who would be using these widgets. Here goes the list:

AutoHotKey: I am a keyboard person. Mouse is so 1990s. I use autohotstrings to replace few letters with a long pre-defined text. Like my signature or custom template for emails. It is also very powerful in automating process of typing/clicking or opening some application.

Launchy: The first thing that I do when in front of a computer is to hit Alt+Q (my shortcut for launching Launchy). I cannot remember when was the last time I went to Start->Program Files->someProgramName to start some application. I also search the web and send quick emails directly from Launchy. It is so very convenient.

Taskbar Shuffle: I may have 20-30 applications open at a time, I want to group/arrange them in my own way and that is exactly what this tool does.

Startup Batch files (windows scheduler): I like it when all the applications which I regularly use are already opened when I start my machine. Few webpages which I visit every morning and few software which I will need to work on.

Remember the milk: It would be sufficient to say that this is a to-do list manager which I have settled for, after trying out many others. Features such as grouping, reminders, integration with Google Calendar and mobile interface makes it a powerful tool.

Google suite (Gcal, Gmail, GReader, GDocs, GChrome, Picasa et cetra): Is there anyone out there who does not use even a single application from Google? I would be really surprised if I find someone. It makes me nervous but I often dread a day when Google might make its services paid.

ReadItLater: I often come across articles via Facebook, twitter, blogs, colleagues or emails which I would want to ready but not at that very moment. With just one click, I can tag the pages and read it later whenever I have free time.

Amazon Wishlist: Safe, easy and fast way of maintaining a list of books which I would like to read. It also makes it easy for me to purchase them.

Saavn/Dhingana (online song streaming): Who doesn’t listen to music while working? Well, I surely do. I have playlists created on these sites based on my mood for the day J

Digsby: All in one client. It is a one point access to all social networking platforms.

I often hear that using these tools require lot of effort in familiarizing, memorizing the functionalities and remembering to use them when needed. I would say that’s the most interesting part. It makes my daily work easy, fast or fun.

What utility tools do you use? Do you have any favorite which aids in your daily work?

Do share the experience of reading this blog by leaving a comment to this post. It is the only way for me to improve.

Cheers,

-Jimy Shah

Live 2 Eat, don’t Eat 2 Live!

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