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12 Useful Windows Programs You’ll Want to Download

12 Useful Windows Programs You’ll Want to Download

We’ve come a long way since the DOS days of doing all of our computer tasks manually. Nowadays, there’s even an Iphone app that sorts our socks for us. So it goes without saying that there are plenty of useful Windows programs- none of which sort your socks.

Whether you’re a windows veteran or a disgruntled Mac convert, you’ll want to take advantage of the following free and useful Windows programs. If you’re looking for something to help with organization, productivity, or simply keeping track of things, try these out.

1. Avast!: for the infected

No, I’m not calling you a zombie. However, if you’re computer is badly infected with viruses, it probably won’t be long before its performance starts going south. Avast is a free antivirus and anti-spyware program that will run on Windows 7, 8, Vista, and XP.

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useful windows programs

    2. Comodo Backup: for the losers

    Just kidding, you’re not a loser. However, if you lose things often, you may want to think about keeping important files and media in storage. Comodo is like an online hard drive, offering 10 GB of space for free or 100 GB for $7.99 per month. The program runs on Windows systems as old as 2003.

    windows comodo free

      3. WinDirStat

      True or false: You have too much stuff running at once and your computer hates you. You’ll be able to find out with WinDirStat, a program that allows you to view your disk usage and clean things up if necessary. You’ll be able to see statistics as well as a visual display of your file types. Bonus points: cool colors.

      windows useful programs

        4. Lastpass: for the forgetful

        We’ve all needed Lastpass at one point or another. The program recalls your important passwords by creating browser extensions for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Opera. Never sit dumbfounded in front of an account login again!

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        lastpass windows

          5. Rainmeter: for the wallpaper junkie

          Rainmeter is the perfect way to up the aesthetic value of your desktop and organize it at the same time. Thousands of skins are available like the one below. The program allows you to customize your desktop with memory and battery power, email, RSS feeds, weather forecasts, or whatever else you want to keep track of. Plus, they’re fun to build.

          Rainmeter desktop useful

            6. Defraggler: for the clean freak

            I don’t know about you, but just the idea of having “fragments” scattered around my hard drive gives me the immediate urge to clean. Defraggler is your virtual spring cleaning program, sequencing “blocks” of content and freeing up space. It’s especially good to try if your computer has been running slow. Unlike most defragmentation programs, this one allows you to choose specific files instead of the whole drive. Conveniently, you can also schedule the program to run when you’re not at the computer.

            Defraggler free program

              7. Ultimate Windows Tweaker: for the customizer

              This program will run on Windows 7, 8, XP and Vista, enabling you to “tweak” just about every feature you can imagine. Security, network, display, and other options allow you to set your computer up in the exact way you want it. This is great for those little annoyances you wish you could edit.

              wintweak

                8. Breevy: for the timesaver

                Breevy is certainly the product of a fast-paced, technological age. No longer do you have to type out full words and phrases that you use often. Just save an abbreviation in Breevy, and from then on you can type the abbreviation to make the full word or phrase appear. It also comes with a typo corrector and syncs with TextExpander (a similar program) via Dropbox.

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                windows breevy program

                  9. CCleaner: for the hoarder

                  Ccleaner is similar to Defraggler in cleaning and speeding up your computer. However CCleaner wipes out your Browser’s temporary files, history, cookies, super cookies, and autocomplete form history. Think of CCleaner as the poor guys who have to clean out a hoarder’s house. Think of Defraggler as the interior designers who go in afterwards and trying to make sense of what’s left.

                  ccleaner program useful

                    10. XBMC: for the media junkie

                    XBMC is home theater software that allows you to view movies, shows, and pictures. You can also listen to music, play DVDs, and download an XBMC remote control on your Iphone. The program is open source with a 10 foot user interface (yea, get the popcorn ready). As of recently, you can even watch Netflix and download tons of other addons like weather forecasts, skins, and webscrapers.

                    XBMC

                      11. Virtualbox

                      Virtualbox is an open source program that enables you to run two operating systems at once. If you’re wondering why on earth you’d need to do that, you’re probably just not nerd enough. It’s useful for testing out new upgrades before installation, playing games, or running programs that are incompatible with your host system. With Virtualbox, you can use Windows as the host or guest system. There’s also a feature called Snapshots that allows you to revert back to a previously saved state.

                      virtualbox program useful

                        12. Unlocker

                        Windows sometimes decides to be incredibly frustrating and not allow you to delete a file. It will often say that the file is being used by an open program, but you might have no idea which one. Unlocker is the solution. Download Unlocker, right click those files, and select “Unlock” to get rid of them. That’s it!

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                        Unlocker windows

                          Featured photo credit: Joergermeister via flickr.com

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                          Last Updated on August 29, 2018

                          5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

                          5 Killer Online Journal Tools That Make Journaling Easier and More Fun

                          Journaling is one of the most useful personal development tools around. Not only does it help us process emotions and experiences, work through internal conflicts and improve our self-awareness, it also provides us with a way to keep a day-to-day record of our lives. Traditionally an activity limited to pen and paper, the expansion of consumer technology has enabled journaling to go digital.

                          Saving your journaling entries online enables you to access them from anywhere, without having to carry a notebook and pen around, and provides you with digital features, like tagging and search functions.

                          Here are a list of five online journaling tools you can use to bring your practice into the modern age:

                          1. 750words

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                          750 words

                            750words is a free online journaling tool created by Buster Benson. The site is based on the idea of “Morning Pages”; a journaling tool Julia Cameron suggests in her creativity course The Artist’s Way. Cameron advises aspiring creatives to start each morning with three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing to clear away the mental clutter, leaving you with a clearer mind to face the day.

                            750 words is the three-page digital equivalent (assuming the average person writes 250 words per page) and lets you store all your journaling online. Each morning, you’ll receive a prompt asking you to write your 750 words, and the site keeps track of various statistics associated with your entries. The site uses a Regressive Imagery Dictionary to calculate the emotional content from your posts and provides feedback on features like your mood, and most commonly used words.

                            750 words is simple to set up and is ideal for anyone who finds it challenging to maintain a consistent journaling practice. The site uses a number of incentives to motivate users, including animal badges awarded to journalers who complete a certain number of days in a row, leader boards, and opt-in monthly challenges.

                            2. Ohlife

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                            ohlife

                              Ohlife is designed to make online journaling as easy as possible. Once you’ve signed up for your free account, the website will send you an email each day asking “How did your day go?” Simply reply to the email with as much or as little detail as you like, and your response will be stored on your account, ready to view next time you log in.

                              Ohlife’s appeal lies in its simplicity: no stats, no social sharing, no complicated organisational systems—the site is designed to provide you with a private, online space. Simply respond to the email each day (or skip the days you’re busy) and Ohlife will do the rest.

                              3. Oneword

                              oneword

                                OneWord is a fun online tool that provides you with a single word as a prompt and gives you sixty seconds to write about it. The concept’s aim is to help writers learn how to flow, and the prompts range from the everyday mundane to the profound.

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                                Oneword is not a private journaling tool: if you sign up, your answers will be published on the site’s daily blog, which contains a stream of users’ answers, and might be used by Oneword in the future. If you’d rather keep your answers to yourself, you can still use the tool for fun without giving out any personal details.

                                4. Penzu

                                  Penzu is a journaling tool that allows you to store your journaling notes online. The service also offers mobile apps for iOS, Android and Blackberry, so you can journal on the go and save your notes to your account. The basic service is free, however you can upgrade to Penzu Pro and get access to additional features, including military-grade encryption and the ability to save and sync data through your mobile, for $19 per year.

                                  With either version of Penzu, you can insert pictures, and add tags and comments to entries, as well as search for older entries. You can set your posts to be private and viewable by you only, or share them with others.

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                                  5. Evernote

                                  Evernote isn’t a purpose-built journaling tool, however its features make it perfect for keeping your journaling notes in one safe place. With the ability to keep separate “notebooks”, tag your entries, include pictures, audio and web clipping, Evernote will appeal to journalers who want to include more formats than just text in their entries.

                                  Available online within a web browser, and as a stand-alone desktop app, the service also comes with a series of mobile apps covering almost every device available. These allow you to make notes on the go and sync between the mobile and browser versions of the app.

                                  For additional features, including text recognition and the ability to collaborate on Notebooks, you can upgrade to Evernote’s premium service, which costs $5 per month.

                                  Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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