Here’s a list of what I consider awesome apps and utilities for Windows. Even though there’s no shortage of them I sometimes find that it’s quite hard to find those gems that really stand out.
FocusWriter is probably the best minimalistic writing app I’ve come across. It’s open source, cross platform and portable too. It has a lot of features but those never get in the way since it can hide a lot of them, which is something that’s great for my writing productivity.
Even though I mainly do all of my writing in FocusWriter I find it a good thing to sometimes preview my formatting in another app and that’s were MarkdownPad fits right in with it’s excellent live preview.
ResophNotes is the only real dedicated note taking app for Windows with the option of saving the notes in plain text that I’ve found. By enabling a global hot key you can pretty much create a note as soon as it pops into your head.
Since I’ve moved to almost exclusively using plain text for saving pretty much anything I do I’ve also started to use an iOS app called todo.txt. todo.txt provides a graphical interface for a simple plain text file (called todo.txt) and todotxt.net is the Windows counterpart to it.
UV Outliner is probably the only good single pane outliner for Windows. It can also be used as a task manager if you enable the checkbox function, which is pretty nice.
Launchy is a free cross-platform utility designed to help you forget about your start menu, the icons on your desktop, and even your file manager. Launchy indexes the programs in your start menu and can launch your documents, project files, folders, and bookmarks with just a few keystrokes.
I think that the description from Launchy’s official website is sufficient enough so I’ll just leave it at that.
AutoHotKey is an fantastic little app that you can add your own scripts to. Whether it’s about creating a keyboard shortcut for an app, launching a specific document or having a lot of text expansions it can do the job for you.
VirtuaWin is a small for enabling up to four virtual desktops on your screen. It’s not as fancy as OS X’s Spaces and Expose or another vritual desktop app called Dexpot, but it’s extremely lightweight.
I was looking for something better than the built in snipping tool and I found Shotty. One of the things I like about it is that it leaves the shadows of your screenshots intact which makes them look a lot nicer. It may not be essential to everybody but since I need to take screenshots from time to time I feel that it has it’s spot in this list.