Many bloggers have listed their Top Ten Tools. Since none of their collections really resembles mine, here is my list.
It mainly consists of very basic tools.
- Notepad for quick notes to self, for drafts of longer emails, and for texts that will become HTML. With its quickness, immediacy, and lightweight, it is closest to paper.
- Powerpoint as mindmap much more often than for presentations. I described my favorite (simple) techniques here, and the relationship to concept maps and real mind maps here.
- Outlook Express for email, because this is what we also offer to our students in our pool rooms (since we did not get netscape mail working reasonably in this roaming environment).
- NewzCrawler as RSS reader. Since I think RSS is a great blend between email (push) and web (pull) I don’t like it to be too much integrated into either of them, but rather love my specialized, standalone desktop reader.
- IE7 as browser, for a similar reason as 3. above.
- SSH filetransfer especially for syncing office and home materials, see previous separate post.
- Shortcut to. This may not count as a tool, but it is very important for me to mitigate the hierarchical filesystem by a dense network of cross-references. I described my desktop usage and filing habits earlier.
- MS Office (Rest). Similarly like with Powerpoint, I use the rest of MS Office often for other purposes than the standard ones.
- I need Word mainly for printing web pages in a more readable format: 2-column.
- Excel is for me mostly a transitional stage from text files to Access tables or back. Also for occasional Autocomplete tasks.
- I use Access more often for short-term sorting or rearranging tasks than for long-term storage of facts or other information. Furthermore, Access serves me as transitional medium for importing keyword lists from text to powerpoint. Both is described here.
- WordPress also for notes management. After a long time of struggling with text files and testing with a personal wiki, I recently moved my notes to WordPress.
- DeepaMehta. I use this “semantic desktop” for very special purposes that justify the considerable effort: When a category of my notes collection has become too large and I want to visualize the network of their associations.