Stuff that makes me happy: Cool downloads

Technology can be overwhelming and sometimes it feels more like work than a way to save time or improve productivity. But other times you find tools that really do make life easier.

Here are 3 of my favourite (free) downloads:

1. For searching – Desktop Toolbar

Desktop Toolbar is a nifty, movable toolbar that lets you launch searches across a range of categories:

                         

It automatically opens a new tab or window in your browser, goes to the relevant site, and executes the search on the term you typed in. Destinations are customizable to the ones you use most often – so for instance, my toolbar has Google, iTunes, IMDB, FaceBook, Amazon, Dictionary.com, Thesaurus.com and Wikipedia.

I keep it open at the bottom of my screen while I’m working on a document or post to launch searches quickly and easily, and minimise it at other times.

2. For blogging – Live Writer

image Live Writer is a Microsoft blog writer. It lets you write your post offline yet see exactly how it will look in your blog (WordPress, TypePad, etc). You can create new posts, edit drafts, add tags and categories, schedule posts, insert videos and images and spell-check before you post direct to your blog.

It’s super simple and much nicer than working in the blogging software.

Formatting options are poor, but the other benefits make up for this frustration.

3. For downloading – LeechGet

image I’m not exactly a power-downloader, but I do get the odd thing and I find LeechGet a handy tool. It’s especially good for capturing those elusive MP3s that open a new window and start playing without providing a download option.

The personal edition is free. But if you want support, updates and the ability to download more than one file at a time, you’ll need to register for LeechGet Premium.

Got a favourite download of your own? Please feel free to share it by making a Comment – the link is just above the next post down.

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