Flipping Heck! Learning To Be Productive One Day At A Time

10 Killer Apps I can’t Live Without

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10 Killer Apps I can’t Live Without

I’m terrible when it comes to gizmos, gadgets, software, websites… if it comes along I’ll try it! But, pretty soon they all fall by the wayside and I wonder what on Earth possed me to use this at the time.

Occasionally though, something comes along and it’s so fantastic or useful that I stick with it so (because I’m still procrastinating over my “Managing Web Projects” series) I thought I’d share a few of them with you.

This fantastic little program hovers anywhere you care to place it on the screen. You can set customised keywords which will fire up the appropriate program, website etc. Since starting to use this I’m much quicker at loading new programs. For example,  I simply type the word “morning” into Slickrun and it loads up my email client and time system login screen – brilliant!

When I swap to my Mac at work, I use QuickSilver (which is much prettier but quite clunky compared to SlickRun).


The one thing I love about Max OSX is that you can set a colour of a folder/file and someone else can see that colour over the network. This is great when trying to figure out what needs to be updated on a website. iColorFolder comes close to emulating this and it’s great for making the things I’m working on stand out. (Note it only works for folders, not files and can’t be seen by other users)

TaskBar Shuffle

Why Micro$oft decided to make the items in the taskbar rigid and set in opening order is beyond me (at least they allowed grouping finally in XP), sometimes when I’m swapping backwards and forwards between programs I’d like them next to each other on the taskbar, originally I’d have to shut everything down and then open them in the right order – how irritating is that? But, no longer! Enter TaskBar Shuffle to the rescue which, as the name suggests, allows you to move your taskbar items around – hoorah!

1stPage 2000

I know that a new version of 1stPage is out but I’m hooked on this one – and it’s free to boot. This editor has excellent customisable syntax editing, file browsing, code library – the works! You can download 1stPage 2000 from here

SQLYog (Community Edition)

This brilliant little program allows me to conntect to all my MySQL databases with ease. It is somewhat feature limited (if I need to do certain tasks I’ll use PHPMyAdmin or similar) but the functionality that is there is a lot smoother than MySQL’s own equivalents.

The Gimp

When I hear that people are shelling out money on programs like PhotoShop or PaintShopPro, I do chuckle a little. Download the Gimp and design wonderful websites or fix those dodgy photos for free!

Trout’s Gif Optimizer

This free program compresses all sorts of image types into smaller files – a must for any web geek


I’ve only just started to scrath the surface of this DTP program but already I can see the potential. Now to figure out how to use it!


I use OpenOffice at home for writing up all my minutes, printing my business cards, letter writing, the works – brilliant when you think it costs nothing. It still has an annoying “Clippy” like help system though.


I use this at home to make PDFs from certain applications (although OpenOffice can print directly to PDF anyway)

So, how much did this little lot cost me?

Nothing, not a sausage, nada! Don’t you just love the internet?!

So, what about you? Have I missed anything? What (preferably free programs because I’m tight) can you not do without?

About The Author
Katy is always trying to be more productive one day at a time! Whether it's analogue, digital, motivational or psychological who'll try any system that will help her get things done and get organised. As well as running, she also loves making music and reviewing things.
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1 Comment


    “I use Launchy ( /), which looks to be quite similar to SlickRun. When I’m on Linux, I use Katapult ( which is pretty much the same idea. Just those little tweaks have saved me so much time when it comes to running programs.

    Another tool I use is FolderSize ( /). It’s not really a productivity app, but it means I can find large folders quickly to clear up hard-drive space. It’s more useful considering my laptop is creaking by with only a gig of space left 🙁

    I never really got into OpenOffice, and I’m trying Office 2007 at the moment which I’m really impressed with.

    Any IDE that has autocomplete/intellisense is a massive time saver, and I can’t really live without that feature.

    The other app I use most is PHP for “”glue”” scripts, like generating files from templates and such. Naturally I could do it manually, but part of being a programmer is automating tasks that don’t really need doing 😀

    I think I’ve rambled enough.”

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