In today’s day and age, where everyone is always on the go, with barely any time to think, technology always seems to come to the rescue and act as a form of solace to make our lives easier. That’s why there are apps available. And the good news is, they come in all shapes and forms, for a variety of daily activities. Granted, Windows has loads of great programs, but some are essential to just about every PC setup. That’s why Namerific has decided to highlight the must-have downloads for better productivity, communication, media management, and more.
Wunderlist – with so many to-do apps available, in reality, which you choose depends greatly on how you work best. That said, Wunderlist is definitely at the top of our list. Apart from being free, it syncs to the cloud, and exists on just about any device you could want or have. There’s also a plugin for Microsoft Outlook that makes it easier to share to-do lists, turn email into actionable to-dos, and set reminders based on emails and requests in your inbox. What’s more, it’s incredibly easy to use, which is ultimately the purpose of any to-do list.
ResophNotes and Evernote – everyone needs a place to store little notes and clippings, but not everyone needs the same thing. So, for the different note-takers out there, we’re going to spoil you with two options: ResophNotes and Evernote. ResophNotes lets you sync plain text notes through Dropbox so you can get back to work. On the other hand, Evernote is more of a filing cabinet for notes, web clippings, and just about anything else you could possibly need.
SumatraPDF – the first time you go to open a PDF on a new Windows PC, you may be greeted with that ever-familiar prompt to install Adobe Reader. Don’t do it! Unless compatibility issues force you into using Adobe’s reader, you’d be much happier with something fast, light, and simple, like the awesome (and free) SumatraPDF. If you need to edit PDFs, check out our favorite PDF editor, PDF-XChange.
Internet and Communication
Pidgin – whether you live and die by instant messaging or just need it for the occasional contact, having a desktop client is much easier than using the web. An app like Pidgin, you can sign into multiple accounts at once (like Google Talk, AIM, and Facebook Chat), carry on multiple conversations in one window, and do all sorts of other stuff with Pidgin’s fantastic plugins.
Duolingo – this popular language-learning app is now available as a Windows Universal app. Get the same drills you’ve come to expect on your PC, with 16 languages to choose from for English speakers. You get the same fun progression through difficulty levels, starting by simply choosing the picture of the word in the other language and hearing it spoken, then you move on to typing translations and more. And the best part is, its setup is super simple.
Music and Photos
MusicBee – it’s customizable, lightweight, and accessible — a hard combination to find. It has loads of options to tweak the interface, install extra plugins to get everything working smoothly.
Spotify – this streaming music player on hand is a great app to keep around. It helps you discover new artists, try them before you buy, listen to different streaming radio stations, and create awesome collaborative playlists —among many other hidden features. Not to mention, music isn’t the only thing you can listen to on Spotify. There are audiobooks, radio dramas, language lessons, famous speeches, poetry, and even guided meditation.
Google Photos Desktop Uploader – this app uploads all your photos from all your devices for free! It organizes the photos, and makes it easier than ever to share them with friends and family. The Desktop Uploader just makes it easier to automatically back up all photos on your desktop, cameras, and other devices.
Paint.NET or GIMP – unless you’re a professional designer, you needn’t have something as advanced and complicated as Photoshop to edit the occasional image. Paint.NET is a basic, free, easy-to-use image editor that fills the basic needs you’ll encounter on a regular basis. Alternatively, there’s the slightly more advanced but still free GIMP, since it’s such a staple in any casual image editor’s collection.
Polarr – is an impressive, Lightroom-style photography app. It offers raw camera file import, lots of lighting and color adjustments, and a clear, touch-friendly interface. It also boasts a richness of effect filters, and, if you get the paid Pro version, you can even create your own.
CrashPlan – everyone needs a backup. There’s nothing worse than having your hard drive crash and having to start from scratch. Enter CrashPlan. While you could always back up to an external drive, that won’t save you if you lose your computer in a fire, burglary, or other disaster. CrashPlan backs your computer up to the cloud, using either CrashPlan’s cloud service or a friend’s computer, keeping your data safe no matter what.
7-Zip – when you stumble on a less familiar file format—like the much more efficient RAR or 7Z—you’ll need an archive tool. 7-Zip is the tool that does the trick, allowing you to not only create and open archives of other formats, but also encrypt them for safe keeping, all right from Windows’ context menu. It’s perfect for compressing a bunch of files or sending sensitive information online.
Avira – no matter how careful you are, every computer should have a good antivirus program installed. If you pick the right one, it’ll be lightweight enough that you never notice it, but strong enough to pick up any infection that comes your way. Avira is easily one of the best options in terms of usability.
We all have our preferred apps, mainly because they’ve been efficient and reliable in our daily tasks of the day, be they leisurely, school or even work-related. Which is your ultimate favorite app?