Amazing freebies that help you become more efficient…
I REALLY use my laptop every day. It is an older Acer and I torture it with tons of emails, databases, etc. In fact my email client (Thunderbird) has over 10 gigabytes of information on it…from over four years of quotes, updates, etc.
I use this laptop and its information all the time and I need my laptop to work without fail.
Over the years, I have found lots of freeware that I have installed on my laptop that makes it more reliable and makes my life easier. I have tested these thoroughly and use them daily at my office.
So here, in no particular order, are a few of my favorites. If you would like these, Google them and download them and install them to your system. I make no warranty about their compatibility with your system but they sure work for me. IOW, use them at your OWN RISK!
As I said, I have had no trouble with any of them and found they are great tools for me!
Please email me for links to this software…some of it is no longer available on the internet
This allows me to create small electronic post it notes on your monitor screen. I use it as a clipboard organizer and as a launch pad to hold information that I need to access throughout the day.
This backs up my hard drive to an external drive that jacks into my USB port. It backs up everything. It backs up every day all by itself without me telling it to do this important project. ARE YOU BACKING UP YOUR LAPTOP??? You should. What will you do it the thing gets stolen or blows up…Hmmm? External hard drives are available at Best Buy for about $80
This backs up Thunderbird (and Firefox) only. It backs it up to your laptop drive and is a good idea as Thunderbird gets buggy and you can loose folders very easily. Backing it up makes sense and this software makes restoration pretty simple. You must run this manually.
PS: If you use Thunderbird, do NOT forget to COMPACT your folders from time to time!! Do this every month to keep it running smoothly. Here is how:
Highlight the folder
Go to the next folder
If you don’t do this Thunderbird’s directories get out of whack and you will not be able to access your emails…period.
Looks for and destroys viruses, spy software, malware, etc AND immunizes your laptop.
5) TINY LITTLE FIREWALL
Sets up rules that it learns from your for who can get TO your laptop and what can go OUT from your laptop. A great firewall! I have been using it for eight years and it is pretty solid.
6) GOOGLE DESKTOP
Indexes your hard drives on the laptop so you can search for files and emails in the same manner you search the web…only you search your internal drives instead. Note that it can NOT search the content of a pdf file unless you have openend it.
A great tool for managing your start up sequence and your registry. It also cleans out unwanted files.
8) AUSLOGICS DISK DEFRAG
It’s true, your hard drive can get as messy as my desk at work (well..nothing is THAT messy!). MS has a defrag program built into XP and I hate it…so I found one that works…this is it!
9) Open Office
If you HATE what they did to MS Office (2007) you can download Open Office for free. It has a word processor, spreadsheet, database and power point features.
10) Short Keys Lite
I have been using this for several years. Here are some features:
- It allows you to invent quick keystrokes which it uses to trigger difficult or repetitive keystrokes. For instance, I use it to type the word “Albuquerque” whenever I need it. I have programed this word so that when I hit the letter q three times, up pops Albuquerque at my cursor position.
- It repeats these things accurately. No typos, no confusion.
- It is free, has no bugs or viruses and it WORKS (I am always on the hunt for free ware that works…this one works great!)
- It works inside PrinterSite, Word, Excel, TBird, Foxpro, Yahoo Mail, etc.
- It auto loads when I reboot (so it is always there)
- It sits as an icon next to the time stamp in the lower right corner of your screen so it you click on the RED S with a key running through it you can edit your macros, etc.
- It will learn anything from a simple word to thousands of characters. So I use it for everything from my email address to my printer site description prompts (see below). I actually only have four macros with which I use this thing…but I use each every day many times.
This package is pretty idiot proof.
As an example, my macros include QQQ which types the word Albuquerque for me. DDD inserts my email address.
Just about ANY combination of keystrokes will work…you decide. FYI could fire off For Your Information and JIT could fire off Just in time and RR3 could fire off Thank you very much….it does not matter. What DOES matter is that you DO NOT program in a sequence that will get in the way: I would never program in the sequence ing to mean something as EVERY TIME I used ing the thing would burp up my macro! ALSO…only program things that you use all the time. No sense in writing a macro for a big, long word that you only use once a year.
And yes, you can edit the program as things change!.
Of course ALL these things take (geek) time away from your day…please focus on your REAL job and download and implement these tools after hours (yes…you CAN do something more productive than watching Dog the Bounty Hunter!). If you use any of this software, install it one at a time until you are used to them. Let me know if you would like me to send you these. Some (like AUSLOGICS) pester you to buy other stuff from them. If you click on their links you go to their web pages for more products…NONE of which I have ever used.
After you get these installed and orchestrated a GOOD IDEA is to make a check list of these maintenance projects and sit down once a week/month and run them. Some run all by themselves and others need to be manually run by y-o-u. They take about as much time as it takes you to watch Judge Judy on TV and are easy to do and are worth the effort and time!