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Part: 2 Getting Productive

Part 2: Getting Productive

Editors' Poll: Which Productivity Programs Do You Use All the Time?

DM: I'm a longtime user of the standard trio of Microsoft Office applications. And I'm tired of hearing so-called knowledgeable power users repeat the folklore of their being Windows ports—each is now an excellent Mac program. I've been faithful to Power On Software's Now Contact and Up-to-Date information managers. Over the past few years, I've increased my use of Adobe Acrobat, until now it's my default printer driver.

BF: As a writer, it's Word, but I also use video-related programs such as iMovie 2 a great deal.

AD: E-mail (Eudora Pro), Word (of course), and Internet Explorer. Nothing else comes close.

CB: I make my living with the word processor (Word 2001), e-mail client (Eudora and Entourage), and Web browser (iCab and Internet Explorer). Because I spend a good portion of my day trying to breath life back into comatose Macs, I use a fair smattering of troubleshooting utilities—Alsoft's Disk Warrior and Casady & Greene's Conflict Catcher 8 are among my favorites. And Ambrosia's Snapz Pro is a must-have for anyone who needs to take lots of screenshots.

GS: As someone who struggles to earn a living as a writer, I live in Microsoft Word, which still gets my vote as the best word processor on the planet (on any platform). My favorite utilities include GraphicConverter and Snapz Pro X, both again related to my regular workday routine.

JOG: If my machine is on, I am almost guaranteed to be using e-mail and a Web browser. Currently those would be Entourage and Explorer. My other main applications are BBEdit and Interarchy for Web publishing and Limewire for all kinds of stuff.

MC: I have a tolerate-hate relationship with Microsoft Word.

KT: When I'm in the middle of a design project, I use Acrobat Distiller (and sometimes Acrobat itself) for preparing proofs for clients. I handle correspondence with either PageMaker or InDesign, and one or both is usually open all the time, as are Eudora and a Web browser. I use Excel for all sorts of purposes, even sometimes including number-crunching—but mainly for text editing, tagging, and other weird purposes its developers probably didn't envision.

JF: When I want to be productive, I go work in the garden. I think the greatest productivity tool that could be made for a computer would be the one that induces users to read carefully. If people actually read the e-mail I sent them, for example, instead of just skimming them (or whatever they do), I could cut the number of letters I write (“As I said in my last message…”) in half.

JR: I depend on word processing, but I think I write more in e-mail software. My e-mail application is open all the time. I also use an HTML editor daily for my Web site and some graphics editors for simple chores. Web browsers and Sherlock are my main research tools.

JO: Outlook Express—I launch my e-mail program first whenever I sit down. Internet Explorer—after skimming my mail, I often head to the Web to check what's new on Ric Ford's excellent MacInTouch Web site. Microsoft Word 2001—I do a lot of writing (on Macs and PCs) and find it gives me the best cross platform functionality with Word 2000. Quicken—I spend a fair amount of time managing my finances, and Quicken seems to do most everything I need.

ML: Word, Excel, FileMaker Pro, and Entourage. You can bash Microsoft all you want, but you can't beat the power of Word and Excel for Word processing and spreadsheet tasks—if power is what you need. And Entourage…well, I use it, but I'm still not sold on it.

SS: My three constant software productivity companions are InTouch (long gone, but still running flawlessly in Mac OS 9), Entourage, and Adobe Acrobat.



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