Every time I find myself using a new rig at work or at home, or booting up a new VM image, I inevitably find a great, overwhelming need to install these (Windows only) apps. They’re such productivity boosters that I can’t imagine working without them.

Launchy – The app launcher that I use everywhere. Now, some people might find that there isn’t such a great need for an app launcher nowadays due to the run box in Win 7. However, I still use Launchy almost exclusively because I can easily get Launchy to catalogue my own custom directories. In my case, it’s been set to catalogue the directories that contain all my pdfs and other misc stuff that I use once in a while. Instant launching of any pdf that you have? Without creating shortcuts to each and everyone and dragging them to the Start Menu? Instant win.

xplorer2 – An Explorer replacement that is bursting at the seams with enhanced functionality, with one killer feature: tabbed panes. There’s also lots of shortcuts to turbocharge one’s productivity, which I’ll talk about another time. In fact, there’s so many shortcuts that one of my new year resolutions is to actively use a few new shortcuts each week.

CLCA really useful multiple clipboard that you’ll never ever want to be without, once you get started. I used to think that multiple clipboards weren’t really necessary, but once you need to copy multiple lines of text from one window to the next, interspersed with some editing changes in between, toggling between multiple windows back and forth.. Well let’s just say that I became a quick convert to the wonders of multiple clipboards.