ID’s Top 5 Favorite Desktop Apps

I do a variety of things for work everyday.  Whether it’s writing articles, creating graphics, screencasting, etc. there are always a few piece of software that always comes in handy.  Some are free, and some are paid software, but I can tell you now these are definitely worth the cost.

Here is my top 5 favorite desktop applications to use during a "normal" working day.   They are in no special order, just the top 5.

1)  Windows Live Writer

One of the main things I do during the day is write.  Blogs, news, articles, you name it and I will mostly likely do it.  For much of it I use Expression Web, simply because I need the server tools, and it has more formatting options.  However, when I need to make a quick blog post, or a post that doesn’t require a ton of formatting, Windows Live Writer is what I reach for.

It has an easy to use interface, and can integrate with many blogging platforms like WordPress and JoeUser.  One of my favorite features is the ability to download plugins to enhance WLW.  There are many to choose from, but you can find plugins that can add Flickr photos to your posts, videos, etc.

Download: Windows Live Messenger (free)


2) SnagIt 8.2

SnagIt from Techsmith is what I mainly use to create screenshots.  While there are a few free alternatives which I have tried, the features and ease of use that SnagIt offers makes this application worth every cent.  It has a variety of ways to capture screenshots whether it’s a simple full screen image, or a scrolling web page.  It also has a integrated editor which can do basic image editing and the ability to add a wide range of graphics such as arrows, callout boxes, and text.

Download: SnagIt 8.2 ($39.95)


3) ObjectDock Plus 1.9

Having a big list of applications that you use often means you need an easy way to access them.  I personally can’t stand going through the Windows start menu, and I do not like my desktop cluttered with a bunch of icons.  Stardock’s ObjectDock has been one of the most valuable time savers I have ever worked with. 

There is a free version of ObjectDock available, but the Plus version is highly recommended.  One of the biggest features of ObjectDock Plus is the tabbed docks.  With this you can add a dock that has tabs which you can label which gives you easy access to applications, shortcuts, web links, etc. 

Download: ObjectDock Plus (free version, Plus version $19.95)



I am a big social networking user.  One of my favorite sites to keep up with is Twitter.  Twitter allows you to post messages to the public, or a group of friends.  It’s a great way to keep up with your friends and contacts, and also a good way to network.

You can use Twitter through its website, by sending text messages, but I don’t want to stay logged into the website all day just to see what’s going on.  Witty solves that problem as it’s a Twitter client that is powered by the Windows Presentation Foundation.  It’s still in its early stages, but the developer, Alan Le, is working hard on making Witty the best Twitter client out there.

Download: Witty (free)


5) Flickr Uploadr 3.0

Flickr is one of my favorite sites.  Not only is it a great place to upload your photos, but it’s also a perfect way to share photos with friends and family, and form groups with people of similar interests.  There are many way to upload your photos.  You can upload them through the Flickr website, through Windows Live Photo Gallery, and plenty more.  My favorite is the "official" Flickr upload tool.  It has a simple interface that allows you to upload multiple images, tag them, put them in sets and more.

Download: Flickr Uploadr (free)


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