Top 5 pieces of software I can’t live without

***Sorry, this is only for the Windows PC because I use it a lot more than my Mac on a daily basis, and the Mac already has most of these cool features built into their own proprietary programs.

Other than the usual culprits: Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, Powerpoint), and Google (haha…which isn’t really a software), these are my (mostly free) pieces of software that I ALWAYS download on any new computer.

Internet Browsing: Mozilla Firefox 3 (Free)

Download Firefox 3 here

Not only is the icon cute (hah!), this is probably the best Windows browser I’ve ever used. Some of the cool features I liked in this browser over the Internet Explorer 7, which is similar.

1. When you click on a link, it immediately opens it in a tab in your current window instead of a New Window like in Internet Explorer 7

2. When you click on something to download, it gives you a download manager (like in the Mac), and you can know when something is finished downloading and click on it

3. It spell checks everything you type. EVERYTHING.

4. People say it’s safer and keeps out viruses better

5. It doesn’t give me stupid pop-ups in Blogger when I try to enter in a URL when I’m blogging (like now), telling me that Javascript shouldn’t be run because it’s unsafe or some crap like that

6. The “Find” function is a godsend. Just do a Ctrl + F, and a little tiny window pops up at the bottom and searches through the whole mess of words AS YOU ARE TYPING to find what you want. It’s a beast of a feature for bloggers, and something that the Mac Safari browser doesn’t have (for some reason the search function doesn’t read inside the windows)

Notes Tool: 3M Post-It Software Notes Lite (Free)

Download 3M Post-It Software Notes Lite here.

There is a MUCH sexier version of this out, but I’m not willing to pay for it. If you are though, by all means – go and download the sexier version with coloured and transparent post-its and let me know how you like it!

Not much to say about this other than the fact that when I need to make a VERY quick note to myself, instead of opening a Text file, or Wordpad, I just click on the little yellow post-it icon in my taskbar, and POOF I can type whatever I want.

I tend to make huge To Do lists on there, bold the font, and add a bit of colour, and it helps as a way to keep track of everything I need to do because I make notes in that Post-It as I’m doing it, equivalent to a piece of paper on the desk.

Another thing I like is that ALL the notes can be double-clicked at the top to be made super small, so you can mouse over them to read a bit of what it says, or click once to open them back up again.

Image Capture: Snag-It (Free to try, $50 to buy)

Download Snag-It Software here

There are no words to describe HOW MUCH I USE THIS software. I just do a simple CTRL + Key function that I preset, and it captures anything on my screen (not video), and I can crop it, and use it to post on Blogger, or anything else.

DEAD useful.

Too bad it costs $$$$.

Photo Editting: (FREE)

Download here


Secondly, it is pretty powerful for a free program. It works on the same principle as Adobe Photoshop and takes a bit of getting used to, but it crops, changes colours, does text, etc.

The only caveat is that it takes time to get used to the fact that the text doesn’t quite type or work the same way as in Photoshop, when you change colours of things, it’s kind of awkward to do so, and a whole host of other minor little things.


It’s free, and it works quite well. Much better than Microsoft Paint, that’s for sure.

Pseudo “Telephone”: Skype (Free)

Download Skype here (Available for Windows OR the Mac).

It’s not perfect like a phone but this has saved me hundreds in long distance telephone calls to BF. You just download it, set up a User ID (no need to pay), and call to his computer.

The sound quality is pretty good, he gets a video of me from my MacBook but sometimes it does this weird squeaking noise (BF says it’s the Mac trying to talk to the Windows PC and it ain’t work well), but overall, this is an awesome piece of software.

That does it! What are your “MUST HAVE” pieces of software?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.