Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Desktop productivity tools

I'm always very interested in improving my workflow. I don't own a laptop and most of my work is done on a desktop pc. For me, a non-cluttered pc desktop, a non-cluttered physical desktop, a clean and aesthetic software and stationery that boosts my productivity are paramount before I start something heavy (and possibly dreary). Take it as a planned procrastination, but that's how I gear up my momentum before I dive into something big.

I'll list down some of the programs that I use very often to improve my productivity. In no order of importance, here's my best 5:

I've written extensively about this software that aids in managing and tracking my personal finance here. Having used for for 2 months now, I'm still very pleased with how it cut short so much of my time keying in my expenses. It comes with an android / iOS app that syncs with the desktop version. I foresee myself using this for a very long time.

This is those clean up program that everyone should have. It does a couple of functions like optimizing your memory usage, cleaning up temp files and clearing all those broken shortcuts and invalid registry - in other words, it boost your pc performance. You know, after a few years of using your laptop or pc, it starts to slow down as more junk are added. Without clearing them frequently, it slows down to a crawl and even opening a browser or a doc will take ages. This is what you need.

3. Fences

I started using this recently and shared it on my facebook too. This is a fantastic piece of software, especially for people who likes to save downloads onto their desktop (and who don't?). It helps to compartmentalize the shortcuts and saved files into neat little, well, fences, so that you can sort them out. I've a 'Follow up' fence and a 'To be sorted' fence that I dump my new downloads into, so that I can sort them out later when I've the time. It even have a function where you can create multiple 'home-screens', like in your handphone, so that you can scroll horizontal left and right. In this way, you'll end up with multiple desktop, so to speak. Most important find of the year for me.

4. Snagit

I've been using this software for years. It's a screen capture program that allows you to, well, capture screen shots. There are so many ways to capture screenshots, like capturing vertically scrollable web pages, windows, even video clips. After capturing, you be launched into their editor, where you can annotate and add in small pictures or highlights, changing the resolution etc. Lastly, you can also change the file type to be saved, like pdf, jpeg etc. Good for putting those stock charts and drawing trend lines.

Adobe reader is one of the worst pdf readers because it's so slow. After changing to this, pdf files open up so much faster. They also allow you to annotate and add comments (depends on the version), something that is not possible on the free version of adobe reader. To think that I've been stuck on adobe reader for so long! If you don't like this, there are other free and better software than adobe reader. Stop using that bloaty software for your own sake!

This is not an advertorial and I don't get paid for promoting these. These are some software that works for me, and by hopefully for you too. I hope you'll find some of these helpful. If you do, please let me know. Share some of your best productivity tools with me too!


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