Best of: Productivity Tools

Hi my name is Bill and my passion is productivity.

These are three tools I’ve found myself repeatedly using lately to stay maximally productive:

1. Google Desktop. God help you if you are still searching for files on your computer using Windows XP search. I can distinctly recall that when running DOS 3.1, about 15 years ago, I could recursively search for a file in about half the time XP search takes (and don’t even get me started on the 30 seconds XP takes to delete a file (must…avoid…turning blog entry into tirade… deep breath and)). Google Desktop indexes every email, document, and file on your computer to provide search results across your entire computer as you type words into it. Being as that you are currently visiting a high tech “blog” I assume you are probably tech-savvy enough to already have Google Desktop installed, but if not, godspeed to Google.

2. Firefox Bookmarks Synchronizer. I first saw this on Craig Babcock’s blog, and have since seen it many other places, which is no surprise, because it’s that good. In literally less than one minute, you can download it, install it, and setup an account that will henceforth keep the Firefox bookmarks for all of your computers in sync. I have about four computers I use regularly, and I am certain this tool is a Very Good Thing for people like me.

3. Office OneNote. No download link because you can’t download this because it ain’t free. But it is handy. It’ll let you do productive stuff like hold “Windows Key-S” and drag a box around any image on your page. This cropped image will immediately be pasted into a OneNote document (even if OneNote wasn’t open), where it can be labeled and organized into a page of your choosing (see example of the screenshot+note in image at right). It also has a lot of tools that make creating tables easy, as well as generally promoting order in an habit (note taking) prone to chaos. If it’s sitting idle in an installation of Office on your computer, open it up and give it a shot.