Productivity Apps ’08

New(ish) year. Seems like a good time to discuss the apps that are making my life more productive. Some familiar apps, and some new ones.

1. At the top of the pile, once again, is Quicksilver. Not a minute of computer use goes by where I don’t use this app. It’s so crucial to my computer use that it was the first thing I installed on my wife’s new MacBook. I simply can’t compute without it. While apparently Alcor will no longer be developing the app (he’s too busy at Google), I find it suits my need perfectly as is. Get it. It’s free.

2. 1Password has gone through a bunch of revs, and at this point hums along beautifully. Another app that I use constantly, and saves me a ton of time and worry. Keeps all my passwords as well as the urls for my ever-increasing on-line commerce sites. Well worth the $29.95.

3. Yojimbo is another app that has recently undergone some significant updates. It stores all the various articles, web pages, notes, ideas, and other folderol that floats through my transom on a daily basis in neat little folders. The addition of tags, security, and smart folders only adds to the value you get for $39.00

4. Yep is a little buggy (perhaps because I’m still using the free version), but I find it indispensable for scanning right into a tagged organizational system. (If I could scan right into Yojimbo, I’d likely abandon Yep). So much of my organizational jujitsu comes from the fact that I have a scanner on a shelf right under my desk. Some random piece of paper comes in…biff…bam…boom…it’s scanned, imported into Yep, and organized for future reference.

5. As I give presentations pretty much every work day, one of my favorite little free apps is Caffeine. It does one thing: keeps your screen from going to a screensaver or sleep mode. While I’m aware this can be accomplished via system preferences, I find Caffeine a heck of a lot easier. It’s free.

6. I was lucky enough to get an invite to the private beta version of Skitch, but now it’s in public beta, and everyone should get their hands on this fantastic image capture app. It’s so unbelievably well thought out (ability to resize, rename, mark up, email, FTP images, etc. – all within the interface) that it simply shames all the contenders.

more soon.

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