Multi-provider IM tool. Lets me use the same UI for dealing with MSN, Yahoo, ICQ and AOL. Plus it is just a nicer UI to work in. It keeps a log of all my conversations, it lets me keep all open chat windows in a single container on the desktop so I don’t have a bunch of chat windows taking up space on my Windows bar. The company I work for (QuantumPM) has employees spread out all over the country and we make HEAVY use of IM for communications so I figure I owe it to myself to have a UI that makes it easier to deal with. $25
The coolest screen cap application I have used, EVER! Ive been using it since about 1999 and have loved it the whole time. Let’s me take caps of just the menu, of certain parts of the UI or even scrolling captures to get the whole page, even if it is more than one screen long! I can output to any format. It will auto-name them…the list goes on and on. Only $39.99 but if you have to do lots of screen shots it will be worth it!
Cool KM tool for capturing AND sharing content from the web or from docs you read. See this post for my opinions on this app. But it will suffice to say that I have only had the app for under a week now and I already use it 20 times a day! It comes in two flavors $29.99 for the or $79.99 for the Pro edition which gives you more output options.
VERY cool shell for Internet Explorer that adds a tabbed interface, ad blocking and a TON of options and cool time and work saving features. I always hated opening new windows if I wanted to NOT navigate away from the page I was on, plus it cluttered my task bar. MYIE2 also lets you save sets of open pages as “Groups” so you can open them all at the same time. Too many features to even go into. It is free too. You can also look at AvantBrowser for many of the same features at the same price.
Outlook based RSS/Atom aggregator. Brings newsfeeds into Outlook and treats them like posts\emails. Allows you to have all your feeds offline so it is great for laptop users since they can download their feeds and then take them with them on the road. I am now not sure what I would do without this application. It is at the very center of my personal strategy for learning and keeping up to date on the ever changing world of project management. It is $29.99
Super fast searching for Outlook. I use this 20 times a day. Since I use NewsGator and keep many of the posts offline I use this to search my feeds as well. It is in Beta but coming along nicely. It is free right now and Im not sure what it will cost when it goes v1 but unless the developers go crazy and charge some HUGE price…I will pay it gladly. I figured out that in the last 2 weeks it has saved me about 3 hours (roughly) over the built in search in Outlook)
Makes multiple monitors much easier to deal with. It has a ton of features but the two I use most are the profiles (which lets you quickly setup monitor profiles if you, like me use a laptop with multiple monitors) and the 2nd Windows task bar. It adds a task bar to the bottom of the 2nd monitor so you don’t have to look back over to the main monitor to min or max an application running on the 2nd monitor. Very cool!
Mind Mapping software that figured out that the WBS in a project looks a lot like a mind map. You can export your mind maps to a Project MPP file and it will retain the hierarchy as summary task\sub-tasks! A bunch of features I have not had time to look at yet (like it will read RSS feeds and then MAP them visually!) I use it for decomposing task hierarchies and braining storming. It is $199 but well worth the price.
Lets you have “virtual” computers within an application window right on your machine. So I can be running Windows XP on my laptop and have a VMWare Virtual Machine running on it that is running Windows Server 2003! If I did not have this software I would need 5 or 6 machines in my office. I have been using this software for a few years now and it is pretty amazing. It is $299 but also comes in Server versions for virtualizing your server environments.
This is pretty much the same concept as VMWare but it is made by Microsoft. Im in the process of moving away from VMWare and toward VirtualPC based on the amount of work I do with Microsoft and the obviously widespread use of the tool there. It does not have all the features of VMWare but it is also cheaper and does an excellent job. It is also only $129
Microsot Project\Projct Server 2003
If it were not for this product I would not even have a job. Well OK I would have a job but it would not be nearly as cool as this one! :-) The most popular\best selling, easiest to use and coolest Enterprise Project Management application out there. Sure I have a vested interest in this product doing well but don't we all have an interest in the tools we make a living supporting?