Great software you use often

I had entered this as a post in another thread, but I just realized that was about free software, so that’s why I’d never entered anything there - there are free apps I use on Android, but the really useful stuff has a fee attached to it. So I’ll start off this thread with that post I’m moving from that other thread:

  • Email Client: Kiwi for Gmail - Basically a container? port? (not sure of the terminology) of Gmail. It looks and works like Gmail, but it adds some more features, and it means fewer tabs in the browser. Mac/Windows
  • Font Identification: Find My Font - Indispensable for my work; works incredibly great and saves so much time! Mac/Windows/Android
  • Time Tracker: OfficeTime - Great little time tracker/invoicer that I’ve been using for years. Mac/Windows/iOS

And more :slight_smile: :

  • Libre Office
  • Adobe suite (Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Acrobat DC)
  • Google suite (not the paid version but just the free one)
  • One Password - password and other sensitive info manager
  • YNAB (You Need a Budget)
  • OneNote for a whole bunch of business & personal stuff, but mostly business.

Most of the software on my daily use PC is FOSS or otherwise free software. A short list of the highlights include: Firefox, VLC, VirtualBox, Paint.NET, Notepad++, PuTTY, Pidgin, Steam and Eclipse (running under AdoptJDK.)

In the category of paid software that I would pay for again if I had to, there is Directory Opus. It’s a Windows File Explorer replacement, with dual panes. It started as an Amiga program back in the 90s, and I used it even then. There are free versions of software that is similar, but for whatever reason I prefer it better than any other choice.


MRemoteNG - multiple, tabbed windows for remote desktop sessions, SSH etc. and a manged list of connections - managing dozens of severs is much easier using this system.

TeamViewer - remote support. Free for home users, needs active (concurrent) session licenses for business.

VMware ESXi - hypervisor system for running virtual machines. It is a very spartan Linux distribution, which boots from SD card, USB stick etc. or hard disk and provides the bedrock for running virtual systems.

VMware vSphere - management interface for ESXi, when using multiple ESXi servers. We have the full shebang and have vMotion, which allows VMs to be moved from one ESXi server to another whilst they are being used, for example.

HyperV - the same from Microsoft. Can be run under itself, Windows Core, Windows Server or Windows 10 Pro.

Veeam - backup software for virtual environments.

CaptureOne - Photo management software.

Redmine - ticketing system and project management, complete with Wiki and various other useful tools.

Pi-Hole - DNS serving with black and white listing.

I use Pi-Hole, CaptureOne and HyperV at home, the rest are at work.


I’m a Directory Opus user from back in the Amiga days. :heart:


I had never heard of this, but it looks like something I would find handy, so thanks for the intro.

Email: Outlook
Project Management: Karbon
Accounting Software: QuickBooks Online
Payroll Software: Intuit Online Payroll for Accountants
Tax Software: Thomson Reuters UltraTax
Screen Clipping: FastStone Capture
Photography: Lightroom, Photoshop, Luminar 4, Aurora HDR
Spreadsheet: Excel
Docs: Word
PDF Reader/Editor: FoxIt PhantomPDF


Over the years as my work changed and my interest changed my software changed as well.
1987: Bought my first personal computer, Tandy:1000

  • MS-Dos
  • Typing Tutor IV
  • Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy text based game
  • Word Perfect

Over the years I went though many word processors, data bases, graphics programs, and games; as operating systems changed and new computers bought. Nowadays the must have apps for my laptop are:

  • Excel (I am addicted. I make all my own accounting spread sheets with it.)
  • Ulysses (just made the switch from Scrivener) Haven’t been this pleased since WordPerfect.
  • Aeon Timeline - keeping the storyline of my novels straight
  • OmniGraffle - for mapping out the universe of my novels
  • Drafts (all platforms) - for short notes on the go
  • PDFpenPro - Found it when I was trying to get Adobe out of my life
  • Downie - for watching YouTube offline
  • SuperDuper - saved my bacon more than once
  • Viber - For video calls and chat as I travel
  • Plex - for playing those videos from Downie

When I am online:

  • Wordpress
  • Google …
  • Duolingo (browser edition)
  • Pocket Cast Web Player
  • Brave Browser

I have also started using Timeline to plan my travel plans and making a time line of my life, for when I get forgetful in old age.

I won’t put in the mobile apps that are must haves for me. That would need its own topic. But all my essential apps have good iPad companion apps, so that my iPad can step into my workflow if something happens to my laptop.


Lots of good ones I’ll be looking into! Thanks :blush:

Great list of software @big_D - A great open-source alternative to VMware ESXi is XCP-NG. Switched to this a few years ago when the licensing costs increased. I also use xen-orchestra to manage the server via http, etc.


Yep. ESXi is free, but everything that makes it really useful in business costs a lot of money. The same with HyperV, the basic instance is free, but start adding in the tools for managing clusters, failover, hot swapping hosts etc. and there is very quickly a very big dent in your wallet.

I use Microsoft’s OneNote program pretty extensively for business and personal stuff, big fan.
Plex is also a big one. Obvious for movies/TV but it’s also a fantastic podcast client.

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:+1: XCP-NG is a closer alternative to xen-server as Xen was decommissioned as of March 31, 2019