Here are a list of tools that I use on a regular basis.
Basics for every computer
- Chrome (Free) – Best overall web browser. Simple, clean, fast. I also use Google Sync to keep my bookmarks in sync across all computers.
- Evernote (Free)– Lets me take notes, make lists, etc and syncs with everything. I have liked OneNote but since it doesn’t sync with my IPhone and IPad(at least as far as I know) I have choosen Evernote.
- Notepad++ (Free) – tabbed notepads do I have to say more. I had tried Notepad2 but settled on Notepad++.
- Beyond Compare ($30/$50) – Simply the best file comparison tool available. In my opinion this is my most essential tool. You only need to go up to the pro version for use with source control, pro gives you 3 way merging which I love. Beyond compare integrates with most source control providers, here how.
- PicPick (Free for Personal) – Screen Capture Tool. This is just the one that I’ve been using lately. I also use the Snipping Tool that comes with Windows 7.
- Virtual Clone Drive (Free) – I use it for mounting ISO’s.
- 7-Zip (Free) – Zip and Unzip pretty much anything.
- Microsoft Office ($$$) – I really would like to find cheaper tools but nothing compares to Word, Excel, and Visio. If you have good recommendations on other tools please let me know. I wish Google Docs was better. That would then be my choice.
- DropBox (Free) – Sync files across devices and access them online.
- mSecure ($) – Password management + spot to track other life information. Syncs across devices using DropBox.
- Visual Studio 2010 ($$$) – Truly a pleasure to work with Visual Studio.
I do wish Microsoft would focus soley on performance of what is there instead of adding more features. It is not always bad, but sometimes performance is horrible.Performance fixed in Visual Studio 2012 this thing is a dream.
- Visual Studio Extensions
- Solution Explorer Tools – Collapse folders in solution explorer and sync to the current document.
- CodeMaid – Cleans up code. Auto formats the document, removes extra spaces and lines etc. No human should have to spend the time to do this.
- PowerCommands for Visual Studio 2010
- Productivity Power Tools
- SQL Search 1.1 (Free) – Search Sql Server Schema and Stored Procs. You cannot live without this.
- RedGate’s Sql Tools ($$$) – Sql Data Compare and Sql Schema Compare are simply the best. I wish they were cheaper for personal use.
- LINQPad (Free, $39 – $79) – Awesome tool for performing LINQ queries. Even shows you the SQL that would be created. Works with Entity Framework or just straight against your database. Use it!
- .NET Reflector ($35 – $95) – Need to find a proper replacement since this is no longer free.
- Fiddler (Free) – Web Debugging tool that logs all http traffic allowing you to view the raw requests and responses + much more.
- Team Foundation Server – My overall favorite for source repository and ALM.
- Fog Creek’s FogBugz – Issue management and bug tracking software and more.
- Fog Creek’s Kiln – Online Sophisticated Source Repository. When you don’t want to manage your own TFS server this has been my next choice.
- Remote Desktop Connection Manager (Free) – Manages multiple remote desktop connections.
- VMWare Player (Free) – I am currently using VMWare Player to create virtual environments I really would like to upgrade to the workstation version so that I could more easily save snapshot but it is two pricey at this time.
- Display Fusion (Free or $35 for Pro) – Managing multiple monitors. The two important features for me are that it adds a task bar to each screen and allows you to easily move a window to another screen through a single click or hot key.
- Acronis Disk Director (49.99) – There have been a handful of times I have a had to mess with my hard disk. Windows has great built in features but when they don’t cut it Disk Director has come to the rescue.
- FreshBooks – I’m trying out FreshBooks now. So far I like how simple it is. I can also updated it with an IPhone app.