Some Digital Tools We Recommend Using … And Some We Don’t
(Dates to be added to all below:)
Opera: Faster than Chrome & Firefox (esp. on older hardware)
Vivaldi: Very fast & comparable to Opera, but lacking key features & compatibilities, most notably with Google Drive Apps. Perhaps slightly less stable.
Related: How to set a default RSS reader (Chrome, Opera, Vivaldi)
Line: As of 2018-09, native Windows app is most modern & feature-rich, but can be cumbersome, with ugly fonts. Windows Store and Chrome versions have cleaner UI, but are lacking features, such as message replying. Chrome version is most limited, requiring its own window to be open and active, or signs you out!
To Disable Annoying Repeating SMS Alerts in iMessage on iPhone: Go to Settings->Notifications->Messages> (Scroll Down) Set Repeat Alerts to NEVER.
It’s simple. You will never receive a “Repeat Alert”. Some people tend to ignore their messages because they are busy, etc. that’s why default setting is you will receive one “repeat alert”.
Google Hangouts — Use browser extension for whatever your primary browser is b/c otherwise you will miss notifications. Unlike 3rd party clients, supports SMS, which supports emoji unlike the Google Voice extension, but you need the app installed for txts to go to your phone 😞
Multi-platform Messaging Apps
Friendly (iOS): Pros: Typically smaller than messenger (maybe around 150 mb installed), includes passcode lock, much less of a privacy risk
Cons: has its own ads in social networks plus theirs, requires background refresh enabled to get notifications (which disabled in power saving mode), no stickers or reactions, typing is sluggish
Trillian: annoying “buy me” notices, but performs well, no Skype. Note: you must enable “less secure apps” for Google Talk support or use App PWs
Digsby: No Skype, often services crap out
When setting up Gmail on iPhone, manually change settings to delete, not archive messages. And use trash as archive folder, NOT All Mail!
EM client: Decent UI, but unlike Windows Live Mail doesn’t support autocorrect, IM also doesn’t either, as Trillian does (though it doesn’t support special chars like apostrophes, as with Windows Live Mail. Also, it’s visually bland. Great for moving messages from one IMAP mailbox to another.
MailBird: Nice modern email app which unfortunately only supports one account for free
Windows Live Mail (Discontinued)
Pros: has nice autocorrect and doesn’t limit # of accounts. Also integrates well with Windows’ Send to > feature; shows visited link color (useful for clicking multiple consecutive hyperlinks) | IMAP configuration | Note: Update required for Microsoft account compatibility
Cons: Somewhat slow and contacts mysteriously disappear from lists. Also unofficially unsupported, “Recovered Items” handling is a total mess and it somehow uses its own font rendering w/ no Mac Type support; No manual sorting
POP3 (setup wizard default) causes your own mail to always be blocked as unknown sender, in IMAP, you get duplicate sent messages or none. Recommended settings don’t help
Thunderbird: | Pros: Account Wizards; FWD as attach, Inline editing; Built-in IM, no MacType issues, includes IM (FB, gTalk) | Cons: No contact sync; Poor UI (ugh, tabs; weird lack of margins; too many right-click options); significantly more sluggish than WLM; 55 MB; no AIM chat; no manual sorting
MailSpring: Nice modern client, which unfortunately lack support for Calendar & Contact Sync, unlike EM Client
Hiri: Very interesting concepts, but only works with Outlook/Exchange accounts at present
Essential PIM: Small download (12 mb), extremely obnoxious in trying to get you to upgrade to paid features, which allow for cloud sync (not free)
Opera Mail Performs pretty well, UI not quite as good as WLM, surprising lack of preferences; no MacType issues, but has no FWD as attachment (deal breaker), no autocorrect, no contact sync; Doesn’t allow moving messages from one IMAP account to another :-\
MailBird: Great interface, performs well, large install (117 MB) doesn’t allow inline editing or FWD as attachment :-\
Outlook 2007: So old, terrible interface, clunky as hell, manual IMAP message purging, no good import options, no syncing, Doesn’t work with Live.com, etc. etc.
Email Service Providers
Outlook.com (as of 2016/11): Only 5GB storage (1/3 of Gmail’s 15 GB), Better IMAP folder handling than Gmail, Built-in Skype (no file x-fer, video/audio is glitchy and requires extra plug-in) | Remember to turn on authentication for SMTP, in addition to SSL for IMAP and SMTP
How to Put Free Ebooks on Your Amazon Kindle (2015-12) | NOTE: Sending via email generally works for mobile devices, but not desktop. However:
Adobe Digital Editions: Not used because it’s bloated, laggy, cumbersome, no syncing
Adobe Acrobat Reader DC — Horrible interface, 189 MB installed!!
DoPDF : Lightweight PDF creator
Swift Key — as of 03/05 doesn’t work well with iPhone
Wrike: Only supports 5 users free, no mobile web support; GANTT charts not free; haven’t found obvious advantages over Asana
Trello: Recommended for Agile/Kanban. Slightly simpler than Asana.
Asana: 15 free users? So-so UI, sluggish w/ no more mobile web support; Sub-tasks are awkward; Task description formatting problematic w/ no simultaneous updating.
Basecamp: No dependencies, no relation of tasks to calendar
Dreamweaver CS4: Generally unstable on Windows 8/10. CS 5/.5 is OK, but has issues with WYSIWYG and includes.
CoffeeCup HTML Editor: Free, includes built-in FTP/site manager. Interface is a bit sluggish in Windows 10, no split-screen in FTP client. No WYSIWYG.
OpenElement: Very sluggish, strange web-based templates; Requires Visual C++
BlueGriffon: No built in FTP, automatically wraps text :-\
Adobe GoLive (Discontinued): Sluggish, doesn’t support PHP.
BeyondCompare File Comparison Tool | Supports FTP
File Backup, Synchronization & Sharing
Mega (Free): Gives you the most storage for free of any free service & has great pin-protection from their mobile app
Google Drive & OneDrive: too hard to delete things permanently (trash seldom if ever empties, creating potential duplicates!), clumsy layout, hard to organize via folders. OneDrive also syncs as it copies files, which is slow & inconvenient
uTorrent for Windows: Ads everywhere, buggy
qBittorrent: Less ad-infested
Atom (BitTorrent): bloated, sluggish
Deluge: Doesn’t seem to support grabbing individual files from torrents
Adobe Bridge CC (Free): Manage all your images in one place.
- CS2 has UI related issues (on Windows 8, at least), apparently was the first release to do away with PSD Explorer preview Icons
- CS4 seems to have corrected the Windows 8/10 UI issues.
Alien Skin Exposure X (not free)
GIMP: Cannot open all newer PSD files, poor layout, large & bloated.
Adobe Photoshop Express (Free): Very basic image editing
Microsoft Office Suite: Huge, bloated, expensive.
Microsoft’s Office.com (Online) (freemium)
SoftMaker FreeOffice: Comparatively easy & lightweight vs MS Office. Requires free online registration.
Formatting differs from official Office more than Google Docs does & therefore can create file compatibility issues.
WPS Office: Free, Chinese-spawned alternative, pretty sluggish & clunky at times, though better than OpenOffice.
HootSuite: Free version only supports posting to 3 accounts. 100 accounts = $10/mo
Buffer gives you 5 (1 per service) free, up to 12 for $10/mo
GitHub for Windows Client (a/o 2015–01): Bloated, sluggish, oversimplified UI. Doesn’t work well with BitBucket, generally horrible.
SourceTree for Windows: Extremely sluggish w/ lame UI.
SmartGit: More zippy, slightly confusing UI, requires JRE
Overdrive.com — Sync eBooks free among devices
iTunes older versions: https://support.apple.com/downloads/itunes
Audacity can be used to boost audio levels: http://audacityteam.org/download/
Windows Movie Maker (Windows 7 & Earlier): Was the best iMovie alternative for novices, now discontinued. Weak file format support.
Microsoft Photos (Windows 8, 10). Hands-down the easiest
OpenShot: Extremely Buggy
Shotcut & Lightworks: For serious pros only
*Lightworks only exports to Vimeo 1080 and YouTube 720 for free!*
KdenLive: Fully free & OpenSource, but no installer & fussy, but pretty good!
VSDC Free Video Editor: (freemium, buggy)
Avidemux (HORRIBLE, Basic, free. Horrible UI)
VideoPad: http://nchsoftware.com/videopad/ Not bad, but not worth $
Premiere: MASSIVE, overly complex, so bloated.
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