This article was written by Ruchir Chawdhry.
PS: Mac users can check out 14 Essential Mac OS X Applications for Bloggers that Darren wrote a while ago.
Mozilla Firefox is the king of all browsers. Limitlessly extendable, fast, and lightweight. If you’re still using any other browser (even Google Chrome), then switch to Firefox immediately, it’ll boost your productivity – guaranteed. There are many Firefox plugins, these two posts give the essential ones for bloggers:
Stop wasting time typing the same thing repeatedly. MemoKeys saves you time by letting you call up commonly used text with keystroke combos. This is very handy is you get a lot of email, comment on blogs a lot, or have a default email/comment template.
All you Microsoft haters might say otherwise, but you need Power Point, Excel, and Word if you want to make it big as a blogger. Office 2007 is easy to use and has beautiful default templates.
If you don’t want to pony up for Office 07 then the open-source OpenOffice is a nice alternative.
SnagIt is the best screen-capturing program out there. Using SnagIt, you can take screenshots of menus, windows, specific regions, and more. The more-than-capable editing program that comes with SnagIt is also a godsend for productivity seekers and Photoshop phobics like me.
WordWeb is a free powerful dictionary and thesaurus program. It’s mainly an offline dictionary tool with about 150,000 words in its database, although it also allows you to look into online reference sites such as Wikipedia. WordWeb’s a feature rich dictionary & thesaurus tool and a must have for bloggers who write their own content.digsby-logo
Digsby is an all-in-one IM/social networking client. It supports most of the IM protocols out there, like Yahoo!, MSN, ICQ, and AIM. It even supports Facebook chat! It features tabbed conversation window, allows you to manage your email, and stay up-to-date with everything that’s happening on your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and LinkedIn accounts. As its makers say: Digsby = IM + Email + Social Networking.
Link Popularity Check checks how many links you have according to Google, Yahoo!, MSN and a bunch of others.
RoboForm is the tool to have for bloggers. It cuts out the time you spend filling various forms online, it remembers all your passwords, and it even features a random password generator for the security freaks among us. The price? Only $29.95. Use the discount code GOOG1 to get $6 off.
I’ve yet to come across another app that is better or on the same level as RoboForm. If you don’t have it, you don’t value your time.rss-bandit
9. RSS Bandit
RSS Bandit is a desktop RSS reader that syncs directly with Google Reader. The best feature is has is that it allows you to download your feeds (including images) for you to view offline. Very useful for travelers and those who hate web based RSS readers.
10. Camtasia Studio
Camtasia Studio is the ultimate screen-recording program for PCs. With the latest version, you can create HD quality professional-looking videos. It can produce your videos in many formats such as iPod, Flash, Quick Time, Windows Media, AVI etc.
A full-featured desktop blogging application, Writer allows you to add images, videos, maps, tables, and much more. Overall, it’s a much better alternative to your blogging software’s inbuilt editor.
This little known color picker has recently gone free. It’s fast to load, easy-to-use, and captures colors in HTML, RGB, C++, VB, and Delphi color codes. You can capture color codes anywhere on the screen. What more could you want?
13. Yahoo! Widgets
Yahoo! Widgets adds small widget apps to your desktop. Aside from being glitzy, it can be useful if you choose the right widgets. Here are a few widgets that bloggers should get:
- Day Planner – Calendar – A very useful to-do and day planning widget that also has a calendar
- Simple Notepad – Useful for quick note-taking without having Notepad always open
- My MemoPad – Useful sticky-note widget. I actually use it to display my goals.
Of course, how could I forget Twirl? A must-have app for twitterers to twitter their tweets.
PeaZip is a beautiful but fast archiving utility that supports most of the compression formats out there. It’s recommended for bloggers who download and sample a lot of files. Alternatives are WinRAR and 7Zip.
16. The Journal
Keeping a diary/journaling can help you improve as a blogger. Now, not many of us are so keen on opening a notebook every now and then to write in, so if you’re such a person then The Journal is for you. It supports separate volumes, inserting images, tables and the like, and you can even password-protect your diary.
For more on why you should keep a blog diary, check out Darren’s post:
What Do You Use?
I’m sure that I’m just scratching the surface here. I’d love to hear from other PC using bloggers – what applications are you using?
You can catch Ruchir Chawdhry at TechVivo where he blogs about gadgets, software, online tools, windows tips & tricks etc that you can use to become more productive & better your life. Click here to subscribe to TechVivo.