Theorizing the Fun...

Productivity Tools

E-Z Contact Book: is a free easy to use yet powerful Windows program to store and manage contact information.You can use it as a business directory, customer database, or a personal contact address/phone book.Phone numbers, emails, web pages, faxes, business and home addresses, customer notes - you can save all this data in an organized format. You can start sending emails, open web pages and making calls using Skype in one click. The program has a simple intuitive interface with quick and powerful "wildcard" search feature.

Program features: Import and export data to/from comma-separated (CSV) text files, MS Outlook, Google CSV files, and its own database backup files. Printing of a single card or the entire Contact Book. Birthday reminders. Print mail envelopes. Find contact location in Google Maps. Integration with GMail Contacts.

Desktop iCalendar Lite: Desktop iCalendar Lite is a free desktop calendar for windows. It allows you to manage your events, to-do list on desktop. It allows subscribing public Google Calendar, such as holidays, election or NBA. It is full customizable. A build in skin editor makes it easy to set the skin by your own taste.

Desktop iCalendar is full compatible with iCalendar standard, and can work with the calendars created by Thunderbird Lightning, Sunbird. This free program lays itself out on the upper right corner of your desktop. A month-view calendar appears, with the current day highlighted, and below it is a list of reminders for the day.

Google Docs: You can upload files from your desktop or create documents, spreadsheets, forms, and presentations right in Google Docs. The result? You can open all these files anywhere and share them with anyone.

I definitely haven't made the full transition to an online office suite but I'm 90% of the way there thanks to Google Docs. Even with such serious competition from the likes of Zoho, I've found Google Docs to be reliable, fast and definitely enough for my needs. Because I write a lot, I would love to see some form of online spell checker, but the sharing ability, ease of use and organizational aspects are just amazing. Whether you want to use this for serious team collaboration or you simply need a 'note taker' that is accessible from anywhere, you could definitely benefit from this.

InFormEnter: InFormEnter adds a small, clickable icon next to every input field in a web form, from where you can select the item to be inserted - no typing required. You can configure it to display your frequently used information such as name, email, address...

Online forms are one of those things that are time consuming but always necessary. We see them everywhere don’t we: Blog comments, Shopping site, checkout carts, Website registration forms…and everywhere in between. There are a few possible solutions to this issue, but my favourite is definitely InFormEnter. This Firefox plugin means that I can fill in any field of any form in literally two clicks, especially handy for blog comments and other forms you tend to fill in regularly.

Revo Uninstaller: The Uninstaller tool lists the installed programs and components for all and current user. With a choice of views, as well as a context menu, information on program components is available: program properties, their registry entries and links to manufacturer's web site, for a start.

The "Search" option finds installed applications just by typing the first few letters of their name. Revo Uninstaller Pro scans for leftovers with even more advanced algorithms that are so precise, fast and very effective in search for leftovers of Windows Services, Drivers, File associations, Shell Extensions, COM components, Windows Installer components, program settings and more!

WinRAR: WinRAR is a powerful archive manager. It can backup your data and reduce the size of email attachments, decompress RAR, ZIP and other files downloaded from Internet and create new archives in RAR and ZIP file format. RAR is the native format of WinRAR archiver. Like other archives, RAR files are data containers, they store one or several files in the compressed form. After you downloaded RAR file from Internet, you need to unpack its contents in order to use it.

WinRAR provides the complete support for RAR files, so you may both create and unpack them. If you installed WinRAR on your computer and downloaded RAR file from Internet, you may double click on RAR file icon to open it in WinRAR, select all files, press "Extract To" button, enter a destination path and press "OK". Another way is to click on the RAR file in Explorer using the right mouse button. If you enabled "Shell integration" option when installing WinRAR, the file context menu will contain "Extract to ..." item.

SafeMSI: is a tiny, portable, freeware application designed to let you uninstall programs in safe mode. When the computer is in safe mode, the Windows Installer service isn't started so most programs can't be uninstalled.  It is also not possible to start the service manually, an error message will come up saying "Could not start the Windows Installer service on Local Computer. Error 1084: This service cannot be started in Safe Mode". This tool will do a registry tweak so that Windows Installer is made a safe service and it will launch the Windows Installer service. The tool is meant to be used after you are already in safe mode, it is a tiny .exe that just needs to be double-clicked or run and it runs very quickly.

WinKey: Many of us don't like our mouses: Not only can they cause repetitive strain injury, but they can slow us down. This program returns you to the "old school" of computer operation by helping you create keyboard shortcuts to access your favorite programs, documents, and files. Once you've made a shortcut, simply press your desired key combination to launch your program. This tool supports up to 200 key assignments, giving you lots of choices and room to grow.

I'm a fan of using keyboard shortcuts. WinKey allows me to set shortcuts for commonly used programs and files so that they are only one keystroke away.

VisiTimer: is a fun, new, freeware countdown timer app for Windows that you can use to time anything from baking a cake, taking a break, or rationing out time for kids to do things like play video games or use the computer.  The coolest feature of this timer is that you get a visual representation of how much time is left as it counts down in the form an image or shape being "filled-in" or "painted" progressively in a radial sweep pattern in synch with the set time as it counts down.

This makes it great for teachers or parents of young children who can't yet comprehend the concept of numbers counting down as time passes, as well as for those who just want a quick visual indication of the time passage without having to waste valuable mental resources processing numbers.

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