Following on from my post of My Top 10 Gadgets for 2010, I realised as I was writing it that there were some cool apps and software that I was using this year that deserved to be mentioned. These are not apps that I’ve bought or started using this year, but the ones I have had to most use for this year.
- Confluence – I have used Confluence probably more than any other software this year, and I still love it. I jointed Atlassian for two days for their Doc Sprint a while back, and have been creating lots of complex pages using forms and macros. I love this product.
- Google Apps – Basically if you don’t yet have Google Apps for Your Domain, and you have a domain, then get it. It just works! I would recommend GAFYD to any organisation unless they have a specific reason or are large enough to use Microsoft Exchange.
- Google Docs – Even though it was sad that Google Wave died this year, there have been so many great features added to Google Docs that I now use either Google Docs or Confluence more than Word. Some of the great new features are Drag and Drop images, Heading Style keyboard shortcuts, Collaborative editing and mobile editing.
- Dropbox – How much do I love DropBox? Let me count the ways… It’s one of those apps that falls into the category of, if you don’t have it already, just get it now!
- Access 2010 – As with most of the 2010 office suite, Access 2010 is a vast improvement over Access 2007. Having built one major client app in Access 2007 and Access 2010 each, I will very much think to say to clients that unless they upgrade to 2010, there is not much point continuing.
- Snagit – One of the projects I have been doing this year is writing a help system in Confluence. So ScreenShots are a key part of that project. Snagit is indispensable for ScreenShots. Snagit 10 has some great new features also that makes it worthwhile to get the upgrade.
- Sketchflow – I did a full project Mockup in Sketchflow. I now have a bit of a love / hate relationship with Sketchflow. It has it’s place if you are creating a full Silverlight or WPF app, but probably stick with Balsamiq for simple Mockups.
- Visio 2010 – Again there are so many fantastic new features in Visio 2010 that makes it so much easier to create good looking and easy to update diagrams. The new live connectors feature alone is worth the upgrade.
- Notepad++ – I use Notepad ++ extensively and just found some great new features in it that makes it even better.
- Google Chrome – My browser of choice now and the great new features of the Chrome Apps and Syncing makes it the best browser now. I still do use Firefox for web development, however as I love Firebug still.
- Gmail – still my favourite email app – every time I have to use Outlook (event though 2010 is much better), I die a little inside.
- Various VPN’s – I use at least 4 VPN clients and it allows me to connect to various client workplaces and work remotely, which is great.
- Office 2010 – Apart from the specific mentions above, Office 2010 is just a fantastic improvement over 2007.
- Google Wave – Such sad news this year that Wave was killed off. But overall it might be good – there are features that have been integrated into Google Docs, and now Facebook messaging will be taking a leaf from Google Wave – can’t wait to see that.
- SharePoint 2010 – I haven’t done much work with SharePoint this year, but I can’t wait to get my hands on SharePoint 2010 for a real client’s site to see how it works.