13 Tools for Windows That Have Made Me More Productive

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Windows 7

For what it’s worth… here is a list of 13 miscellaneous Windows tools that have made me more productive over the years:

  1. PortableApps.com Platform and Launcher – The PortableApps.com Platform™ is a full-featured portable software system that lets you build your own custom portable app suite for use on your USB drive, cloud drive, or local PC. It includes a built-in library of dozens of portable applications you can download directly from the launcher.
  2. OutlookAttachView – A great tool that scans the messages in your Outlook mailbox and displays a list of all the attachments it finds. From there, you can easily save any or all of the attachments to the folder of your choice. The save function also supports dynamic renaming of attachments – for example, you can append the name of the sender to the attachment file name. OutlookAttachView can also delete attachments to save space in your mailbox.
  3. Notepad++ – A very useful and versatile FREE text editor. It works well as a source code editor and supports many programming languages. Features include syntax highlighting, auto completion, search/replace using regular expressions, and much more. (Also available as a free portable app.)
  4. CCleaner – Protects your privacy and makes your PC faster by deleting useless junk, temporary files, tracking cookies, browser history, and much more. Fully configurable so you can choose what it does and does not delete.
  5. SuperToast – Useful if you use Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business. SuperToast is a software add-on specifically designed to notify users of any missed instant messages, audio and video calls. If an instant message is not acknowledged within a certain configurable timeframe, or a call goes unanswered, the application will notify you by displaying the missed item in a pop up window.
  6. Everything – a small, quick search tool for locating files and folders by name on your PC. It does not index the contents of files, but it provides a very fast way to search for a file or folder whose name contains a particular string of characters.
  7. System Explorer – A free tool for monitoring your PC, sort of like a more robust version of Windows’ Task Manager and Resource Monitor. It offers detailed information about Tasks, Processes, Modules, Startups, IE Addons, Uninstallers, Open Windows, Services, Drivers, Connections and Opened Files. It also provides usage graphs of important system resources. (also available as a free portable app)
  8. Duplicate Files Finder – Searches for duplicate files (files which have the same content, but not necessarily the same name) and lets the user remove duplicate files, either by deleting them or by creating links. The search is very fast compared to other similar programs. (also available as a free portable app)
  9. WinDirStat – Analyzes disk usage and displays a useful, easy-to-understand color-coded drive map showing which folders and files are consuming space on your PC. It also allows you to inspect and delete items as needed.
  10. Fences – Create shaded corrals (“fences”) to group your desktop icons. It can also organize your desktop icons automatically. Highly recommended – makes the desktop usable again. My favorite feature: double-click on the desktop and all the icons disappear, leaving only your desktop wallpaper. Double-click on the desktop again to bring the icons back.
  11. Revo Uninstaller – Uninstalls programs easily, then performs a deep scan for leftover items such as files, folders, and registry entries that the standard uninstaller did not remove. (also available as a free portable app)
  12. PicPick – A full-featured screen capture tool and image editor (and a good replacement for the now-defunct Skitch.) It includes a color picker, pixel ruler, and many other features. (also available as a free portable app.)
  13. CloudBerry Explorer – A free Windows client that provides an “Explorer-type” file manager for Amazon S3, Amazon Glacier, Microsoft Azure, and other cloud storage platforms. The features include things you’d expect like moving files, deleting files, etc., but it also provides features specific to the cloud platform, such as the ability to create and delete S3 buckets, create and manage IAM policies, and more.

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