In the spirit of Christmas, I’d like to give a little love to the applications, websites, and gizmos that I use day in and day out. Without them, there’s no way I’d be as productive, creative and entertained. Here is my list (I checked it twice).
- Firefox. Firefox rocks because of the add-ons that are available for it (see below).
- Adobe LightRoom. It handles white balance better than iPhoto—at least for my photos—and its exporting options are extensive. Wishlist: the ability to crop in the Quick Developer pane, and ability to import movies (but not doing anything with them) like iPhoto.
- PowerPoint. I speak sixty times a year and often use “house” Windows machines at conferences, so I use PowerPoint. Plus, I don’t need 3D graphics to be convincing.
- Preview. I use it for “saving as” various graphic file types and to add simple annotations.
- Skype. Video chats with my daughter when I’m traveling make my day.
- Entourage. I bounce back and forth between Entourage and Mail. Entourage can do everything I need, but it corrupts files. Mail can do most of what I want, but for the life of me, I cannot get it to save outgoing Exchange mail when I’m not connected to the Internet. This is a showstopper. Not even Apple has been able to solve this one. Can I be the only person in the world who uses Exchange and travels on airplanes without Internet access?
- Word. I only use a word processor to write books, and I write a book every three years or so. I start with a Word outline and go from there. The problem is that I cannot remember how to do things in Word for three years.
- BBEdit. I use 1% of the power of this text processor. Basically, I run a script that cleans up my HTML. Wishlist: a “do again” keystroke command and sticking italics tags around text instead of “#selectorinsertion#.”
- Posterous. Posterous is the easiest way to blog. The Alltop team uses it for HolyKaw. Wishlist: MarsEdit compatibility. (Disclosure: I am an investor in Posterous.)
- MarsEdit. I write long blog posts in MarsEdit. It manages multiple blogs for me—other than my Posterous ones, that is.
- TextExpander. Expands text from snippets. For example, “tg”becomes “Thanks, Guy.” I loved Typeit4Me which does the same thing, but switched to TextExpander because of its integration with Tweetie (see below) on the iPhone. I only wish I could make it sync across computers.
- LittleSnapper. LittleSnapper creates the best looking labels to annotate screenshots and photos. Just started using Snagit, and it looks promising. Wishlist: ability to constrain the area I’m dragging to a specific aspect ratio (4 x 3). Neither LittleSnapper nor Snagit can do this.
- Goomzee. Goomzee enables me to create custom SMS responses to process marketing leads. If you want to see what I mean, text “Alltop” to 44133 (U.S. only).
- AppZapper. It deletes applications and all of an application’s files that are scattered who-knows-where on you hard disk.
- Alltock. A fun little project. It makes a Mac’s clock fast by up to fifteen minutes, but you don’t know how much exactly so you’re more likely to be on time.
Firefox Addons and Utilities
- Xmarks. Xmarks enables me to keep my Firefox and Safari bookmarks in sync. I like it so much, I use it even though I hardly ever launch Safari or use any other computers.
- Fast Dial. This creates a page of thumbnails of your favorite websites.
- Bookdog. Firefox can sort your bookmarks, but Bookdog does it faster and easier.
- ObjectiveMarketer. ObjectiveMarketer is the foundation of my Twitter efforts. It enables me to create, post and analyze tweets. (Disclosure: I am an advisor.)
- Tweetdeck on MacBook. I’m not a Franco-phobe—I just think that Tweetdeck has the cleanest UI of all Twitter clients. Wishlist: ability to double-click on a user profile avatar to expand it.
- Tweetie on iPhone. Fast, does everything I need like “favorite” from the list view, block people who are a pain in the ass, and manages multiple accounts.
- SocialToo. SocialToo kills DM spam for me by searching for keywords. It also unfollows the idiots who spam me or add me to their stupid Mafia family. (Disclosure: I am an advisor.)
- SocialOomph. SocialOomph auto responds to new Twitter followers of @guykawasaki. Believe it or not, the auto response explains why and how not to follow @guykawasaki.
- TextExpander. When you have to tweet as many links as I do, TextExpander becomes very important not only on your Macintosh, but your iPhone too.
- Tweetmeme. The most powerful button on the Internet: it enables people to retweet your pages and to see how many times it’s been retweeted already. (Disclosure: I am an advisor.)
- MyAlltop. I’m the co-founder of the company so I better like it. I use this customized Alltop page to stay on top of the news and to find interesting things to post on Holy Kaw.
- SmartBrief. Every morning I get about seven emails from SmartBrief. They are summaries of the best stories in topics such as tech, IT, entrepreneurship and social media. This is like having seven editors filtering news so that I can find good stuff for Holy Kaw.
- StumbleUpon toolbar. The StumbleUpon Firefox toolbar helps me find interesting sites to tweet about. The “Share” menu is marvelous for sending links to one’s ghosts.
- TravelTracker Pro and Tripit. I use TravelTracker Pro and Tripit because they provide slightly different information about my trips. For example, one has weather and one shows street maps. Plus, I like to have multiple copies of my itinerary in case one app goes south on me. Wishlist: Tripit would have a secretary/boss scenario and to answer my emails.
- Ego. Ego is a quick way to see how many people are following my various Twitter accounts and also to monitor Google Analytics page views. Wishlist: show the previous day’s Twitter follower count or the delta between days.
- Evernote. This is my dumping ground in the sky. I dump travel documents, receipts, photos of business cards, email confirmations and anything else that I might need someday into it. Love that it does OCR on photos—for example, business cards.
- You’re #1. You assign one phone number to this application, and when you launch it, it dials that number.
- UDID Helper. If Apple intentionally made seeding of beta iPhone apps hard, it could not have done a better job. This app grabs the all-important UDID number and enables you to send it to the developer.
- Evernote. See above in iPhone.
- Dropbox. I put my most important documents in my Dropbox folder. In this way, I know I can access it from other computers and know that if any computer dies or gets stolen, I haven’t lost anything.
- Python Blur by Booq. The only backpack that I’ve found that enables me to carry a laptop and a digital SLR—and get to the SLR quickly. (Disclosure: Booq sent me an evaluation unit.)
- Sprint MiFi 2000. This gizmo enables me to create a personal Wifi network using the Sprint EV-DO network; it’s useful because there isn’t Wifi everywhere—for example, the back of a taxi. (Disclosure: Sprint sent me an evaluation unit.)