I am a productivity freak . I am always looking for ways to automate repetitive tasks and minimize the number of clicks it takes to do something. here are my top 10 windows apps which helped me save countless hours in 2018. I am not including Popular apps like gmail, evernote, slack and whatsapp , which everyone uses anyway.
1.Ditto : Clipboard Manager (Open Source)
Ditto is an open source clipboard manager which sits in your task tray and captures your Clipboard Contents. It saves a lot of time when you need to copy multiple items from one window to another. Rather than switching back and forth between source and target window, you can copy all the bits of text you want from source, then switch to target and copy all at once.
2. rbtray.exe : Right click to Minimize to Task Bar (Open Source)
Too many open windows not only distract you from focusing, but also makes it difficult to switch between them. I like to keep my taskbar clean, without having to close a program and losing the state. With RBTRY, you just right click on the minimize button of an open window, and it is minimized to taskbar.
There is no installation, just make sure rbtray.exe is running all the time ( place it in your startup group). Almost all the programs are supported ( some like remote desktop, thunderbird are not )
3. Listray : Universal Search ( Lite Free Version)
Tap control key two times and listray search window pops up. Search for any program name, file or folder name and it efficiently brings it up.
4. Thunderbird : Desktop Email Client (Open Source)
I have been using thunderbird since 2006 and it remained my top productive program even in 2018. Install extensions like nostalgy and Lightning , and you will never go back to any other email client.
5. Auto Hot Key : Macro Recorder and Automation (Open Source)
With Auto Hot Key, you can automate almost anything. Have a hot key for regularly used phrases, simulate multiple key strokes, send an email periodically etc. My Favorite is pulling a report out of the ERP system with a hotkey that otherwise takes 4 steps and 8-10 clicks.
6 . Gadwin Print Screen – Screen Capture ( Open Source)
Take a screen shot, crop it , resize it, save it and send it to email or printer – all with just one program. I use Gadwin for all my screen captures.
7. Irfran view – Image viewing and Editing (FreeWare)
Nothing Beats ifran view in speed and versatility when it comes to Image editing. This extremely lightweight program is full of features. Use the batch mode for bulk operations at once, like inserting background, changing size/format or Auto crop borders.
8. Libre Office for regular expression matching and replacing (Open Source)
Libre office is free and open source. It also can search and replace based on regular expressions. The one regular expression that I use the most is ‘W.*?R’ which will match any string starting with W and ending with R.
9. Google sheets for smalltime web scraping
I can have my google pull content form the internet everytime I refresh it. Taking competition price from a URL, updating a stock price, or checking stock status from a URL can all be done with Google sheets importxml().
10. Python and Selenium for Web Automation
To use this you would have to know a bit of python, but this is the most powerful way to automate your browsing. I have automated stuff like login, classified postings, scraping web and even website testing with python and Selenium.