Taking a page from TechCrunch’s annual “Products I Can’t Live Without” series, I present my own list for the apps I used the most in 2009:
1. Android Phone -The Android Phone has been a savior to me in many ways, actually FREEING me from being on email and online too much through productivity apps and scheduled email check-ins. It’s pretty darn fun too.
2. Google Maps Navigation – How did I get around before this?
3. Remember the Milk – The best to-do list manager I’ve ever used and tied for the best example of online app keyboard shortcut usage I’ve ever seen (the other coming shortly). How come keyboard shortcuts aren’t used more in web apps?
4. lala – Listening to the music you want to listen to (not finding new music) has never been easier. An extensive library, which will hopefully expand after Apple’s acquisition. A great pricing structure and recommendation engine for the users as well.
5. Shazam – I use this Android app daily to identify music from the radio or wherever I happen to be. It even worked in a gigantic Home Depot! Great tagging system and interface.
6. delicious – I’ve been using the firefox plug-in for quite some time now. Oh, the revelation I had once I realized how pointless the hours I spent organizing my bookmarks in the past were.
7. google reader – I don’t read many people’s twitter accounts. I don’t buy newspapers. I don’t visit individual blogs. I don’t watch the news. I talk to people and rely on google reader for my information. The key to google reader is to use the “Mark all as Read” button liberally to avoid information overload. This is the other #1 keyboard shortcut app… the J key has probably seen a good 500-1000% increase in usage since I began using google reader.
8. meebo – Online IM account aggregator. No more desktop apps, no more cracking trillian pro (just kidding)just a browser click away. Coupled with FaviconizeTab in Firefox and you can hide this just like a desktop app. I’m slowly using meebo less and less and GChat more and more.
9. Faststone Capture – Another app I use daily and quite possibly the only desktop application used daily outside of Outlook and OCC. Hands down, the smallest and best screen capture tool with just the right features needed, including a simple editor! Absolutely perfect for marking up sites.
10. Buddi Personal Budget Software – I love tracking things and generating reports. Mint.com does it right, but categorizes many items incorrectly and offers little in the way of custom accounts, driving me insane. Buddi is dead simple and allows you to use it however you want. I have custom categories for how much friends owe me and budget categories from Alcohol to Clothing to Groceries.
11. xplorer2 – Organizing my desktop is one of my favorite activities (not really). Dual window file explorers are the ideal solution. xplorer2 has tabs for when I tap into a networked computer and my external HDD. File management heaven.
12. 1by1 – I’ve used iTunes. iHateIt. Heavy on resources, closed system, lack of directories, crap. iWould never use iTunes if I didn’t own an iPod. 1by1 is the most simple, fast, and lovely little MP3 playing software I’ve ever used. You can drag and drop a song to it for instant play, delete files directly from the app and browse by directories. I spent hours organizing it all with xplorer2 into directories, I want to be able to browse the files using the directories, damn it! I only find iTunes to be cooler in showing album art and all other artist info.
13. Pandora – Everyone knows about this one, but I love the Android application especially. Explore new music on the go? Yes, please.
14. OnlineChatCenters – Of course I use our own product and saved the best for last. =]