The following software utilities and tools will help you work faster and make you more efficient at using your computer.
Enso is a free application launcher, but it is also more than just that. Enso is similar to Ubiquity, however, Enso works at the Windows operating system level, not just inside your browser. It is available to you in any application you’re using. On the other hand, Ubiquity is open-source, Enso is not. Enso is also similar to Quicksilver on Mac.
Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal explains:
Enso is dead simple to use. You just hold down the Caps Lock key and type an Enso command, which is displayed in a translucent overlay. Once the command is typed, you simply release the Caps Lock key to activate it, and the overlay disappears. If you type fast, it all happens in a flash. For instance, to launch the Firefox Web browser, you just hold down the Caps Lock key and type "open firefox." To look up the meaning of the word "proclivity," you just hold down the Caps Lock key and type "define proclivity."
CLCL is a freeware clipboard caching utility. It allows you to stack things (text, images…) on your clipboard in one batch then bounce once to the destination and paste them all in the appropriate places, one at a time.
AutoHotkey is a free, open-source macro tool that allows you to automate almost anything by sending keystrokes and mouse clicks. You can write a mouse or keyboard macro by hand or use the macro recorder. Using AutoHotkey, virtually any key, button, or combination can become a hotkey.
Microsoft PowerToys for Windows XP have many useful (and free) “toys”, but one of the most useful is the “Virtual Desktop Manager”. It allows you to manage up to four virtual desktops, each with a taskbar controller, unique wallpapers, and hotkey support. Virtual desktops provide an excellent way to kill distractions, stay focused and concentrate on the task at hand.
On Linux, both GNOME and KDE have virtual desktops built-in. The Leopard version of Mac OS X added this feature, called Spaces.
Almost all operating systems and applications that run on them have keyboard shortcuts. There is a reason why they are called shortcuts, it’s because once you master them it takes shorter time to perform a task using keyboard shortcuts than using the mouse. The following is a list of common and useful shortcuts:
I have been using the above tools for a while. I can now do things on my computer faster than I’ve ever been able to.
Other than the ones mentioned above, what tools or tips do you use that help you be more productive using your computer?