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My essential workflow setup

My screens look reddish in the picture because I use f.lux. see #3

Here I’ll be sharing all of the utilities and software I use to make my workflow productive and effective. There are some programs I find almost indispensable to my workflow and I’ve decided to share them with you in hopes that you might find something useful in the list.

Please note that we all have different needs and these are all the softwares I use in hopes of trying to become a computer ninja. 😉
Double note that most of the software and tools I list below work only on Windows. For mac check this article. 

I’ve linked every software to their official websites.

Highly essentials

1) Launchy:
Launchy is a free cross-platform utility designed to help you forget about your start menu, the icons on your desktop, and even your file manager.

Launchy indexes the programs in your start menu and can launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes!

You don’t want to go to start menu and then search for what you want and then click. You also don’t want to go to My computer and then E: drive and then folders and sub folders to find out what you want. Mac users can use QuickSilver but it’s not available for Windows. So, for windows you can use Launchy.

2) Autohot Key:
AutoHotkey is an open source macro-making utility for Windows that can automate almost anything by sending keystrokes and mouse clicks. It can also create hotkeys for keyboard, mouse, joystick, and handheld remote controls. Similarly, it can create abbreviations that expand as you type them (AutoText). Finally, it makes it easy to create your own graphical user interfaces and custom menus.

If you don’t use this then you are missing out of the greatest and the most productive software. You can map and remap any key. You can execute any software or go to any drive, folder and data you like with just one single button.

In my case I’ve kept Ctrl + G as gmail button and Win + E as a folder in E: drive. Caps Lock as minimize. Ctrl + W as Close. Alt + W as Alt + F4 which means that I don’t need to take my fingers till F4 just to close anything. This software makes you a computer ninja. You can get anything done in just one key stroke.

If you want my Auto Hot Key scripts ask me in the comments below and I’ll gladly send it over to you.

3) F.lux:
F.lux makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.

It’s even possible that you’re staying up too late because of your computer. You could use f.lux because it makes you sleep better, or you could just use it just because it makes your computer look better.

This is really great tool if you use your computer or laptop at night. It diminishes the glow of your screen and makes your screen go red. It is really helpful for your eyes. It helps a lot for your eyes. My eyes don’t pain like they used to.

4) Dropbox:
Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. It’s an online file storage. I get can get any files I want from my computer anywhere in the world. It saves all your data’s and files in the internet so that you can access from anywhere in the world with internet connection.

Photo and Video Editing

5) GIMP:
Screw Photoshop! GIMP can do almost anything Photoshop can do and it’s free and occupies really less hard disk space. I’ve switched from photoshop to GIMP because it’s faster than photoshop, requires very little hard disk space compared to photoshop and it’s free.

Photoshop not only takes time to load, it also makes your computer slow.

Who would pay for anything when they can get the same services for free?

6) PhotoScape:
Photoscape is a simply a fun and easy photo editing software that enables you to fix and enhance photos.

7) CyberLink PowerDirector:
CyberLink PowerDirector is a video editing software application for non-linear video editing This is by far the best video editor tailored for me and my needs. It’s really powerful and I was amazed at the the speed it works. It imports at very high speed and works great. There are probably other great softwares for professionals but this is perfect for me.


Writing Workflows

8) 750words:
This is an online mind dumping site. You can use this to write 750 words every day. It will increase your ability to write more and comprehend better. You will eventually train your brain to comprehend your thoughts into words. This needs practice and the best resource I’ve found till now is 750words.

9) Write Monkey:
Writemonkey is a Windows writing application with an extremely stripped down user interface, leaving you alone with your thoughts and your words. It is light, fast and free. With an array of innovative tools under the hood, it helps you write better.

10) Dark Room:
Dark Room is a full screen, distraction free, writing environment. Unlike standard word processors that focus on features, Dark Room is just about you and your words. Dark room and Write Monkey are almost same compared to it’s function. Both are used for distraction free writing. It’s only you and your words.

11) Zen Writer:
ZenWriter, a text editor for Windows that cuts out all the distraction and lets you focus on letting your thoughts flow. I think I’ll substitute Dark Room and Write Monkey with Zen Writer. My jaw dropped for real when I used this for the first time. This will make your writing very effective. You can set background, music and typing sound as you wish and they are all so cool. I think I’ve found what I needed.

12) Scrivener:
Scrivener is a word-processing program designed for writers. Scrivener provides a management system for documents, notes and metadata. This allows the user to keep track of notes, concepts, research and whole documents for reference (documents including text, images, PDF, audio, video, web pages, etc.). After writing a piece of text the user may export it to a full-fledged word processor for formatting.

It’s simply a photoshop for writers.

Other Essential Utilities

13) Tipp10:
TIPP10 is a free touch typing tutor for Windows, Mac OS and Linux. The software is easy to use and features a clear user interface. You will be able to learn touch typing quickly and efficiently with the program’s intelligent practice lessons, useful support functions and an extensive progress tracker. You can also play a typing game and expand the program with open lessons or make your own to meet your specific needs.

I use this to improve my writing skills along with my typing speed. I’ve increased my typing speed drastically after using this software. I try and use this for 10 minutes everyday. If you practice through Tipp10 everyday then it’s possible to increase your typing speed in short period of time or else it might not be that easy. You just need to be persistent while using it.

14) Evernote:
Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web.

With evernote you remember everything, communicate effectively and get things done. From saving thoughts and ideas to preserving experiences to working efficiently with others, Evernote’s collection of apps make it easy to stay organized and productive.

I use Evernote for many things. I use it for taking notes, book marking, writing, tracking, audio recording and other stuffs. It’s really handy because you can access all your stuffs from anywhere in the world with Internet connection. It sync’s all your data to the internet.

I also do TimeTracking advocated by Sebastian Marshall and I use Evernote for that. I have modified the template because the original template was simply not for me. I’ll write about the template soon. If it doesn’t make sense then you probably don’t need to know right now. I personally think that evernote is a must have software for everyone. I can’t remember how I lived without Evernote before. You can collect everything and you can get to it later when you need it. You can use it on your Phone, computer, ipad and other device.

15) Ditto:
Ditto is an extension to the standard windows clipboard. It saves each item placed on the clipboard allowing you access to any of those items at a later time.

This helps to manage your clipboard history. It saves everything you copy in the clipboard and you can paste anything you like anywhere by just pressing a single button.

16) Dowce:
Dowce allows you to easily capture & share a part of your screen with others. This is screen capture software. It has the option to store your screen snapshot online and in your hard drive.

17) Jing:
Jing captures anything you see on your computer screen, as an image or short video, and lets you share it instantly.

18) Rescue Time:
RescueTime is a tool that allows you to easily understand and optimize how you and your team spends their time and attention.

It helped me figure out how I spend my time on the computer. So I can stop doing things that distract me and start working on things that matter.

19) Anki:
An open source software program that is used as a study tool to help users commit things to memory. Anki allows you to create custom decks of flashcards to use in study sessions. Anki lets you rate how easy or hard each card is and adapts to that ranking system. Cards you have marked as easy would be shown less frequently than those you have rated as hard. Anki supports images, audio, videos and scientific markup

I use this to learn language and other new stuffs. It works like magic. Use this if you want to learn anything quick. All you need to do is create flash cards.

20) CCleaner:
It is a Freeware system optimisation and privacy tool that erases Internet history and other unused files, and cleans up orphaned registry entries. It’s Free and makes your computer healthy. I use this everyday to clean my computer and registry files. It’s even great for deleting or uninstalling softwares.

21) JDownloader:
JDownloader is a download manager, written in Java, which allows the automatic download of files and split files from one-click

This is the most efficient and powerful downloader. You can download almost anything with any settings. For example, if you want to download a YouTube video, you get many options of format for downloading.Formats like .mp4, .3gp, .avi, .flv, .mp3, .wmv, etc.

22) LastPass:
LastPass is an online password manager and form filler that makes web browsing easier and more secure. I don’t have any password in mind. Lastpass takes care of it.

Programming Workflows (If you are not into programming, Skip this.)

23) Sublime Text:
Sublime Text is a sophisticated text editor for code, markup and prose. You’ll love the slick user interface, extraordinary features and amazing performance.

This is by far the BEST text editor I’ve ever used. It’s really very handy.

24) Python IDLE:
It is an integrated development environment for Python, which has been bundled with each release of the language. Its main feature are:

  • Multi-window text editor with syntax highlighting, autocompletion, smart indent and other.
  • Python shell with syntax highlighting.
  • Integrated debugger with stepping, persistent breakpoints, and call stack visibility.

25) FileZilla:
FileZilla is free and cross-platform FTP software. It’s a free FTP solution. I need this for my work.

26) XAMPP:
XAMPP (or) is a free and open source cross-platform web server package, consisting mainly of the Apache HTTP Server, MySQL database, and interpreters for scripts written in the PHP and Perl programming languages. You can start coding without having to buy hosting.

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