==> softwares that changed my life <==

few changes happen overnight. self-help books may try to sell you on a "Easy and True Method", but either the method isn't easy, or it isn't universally true. most things in life improve over time in a gradual, invisible, unsexy way, and only through habit and determination we may begin to see actual changes.

however, there are always exceptions. in this page, I present to you the software applications that actually changed my life overnight.

they are all free.

[last updated: 2020-11-29]

Search Everything (Windows)

find anything in your hard drive in less than a second.

I'm not the kind of person who spends a lot of time organizing their folders. in fact, I'm pretty bad at it. this means that finding a file in my computer is a nightmare. specially when I only kind-of-know what I'm looking for, e.g.: "well... I remember it has 'invoice' in the title, and it's in the Downloads folder somewhere... but I can't organize by name because I'm pretty sure it starts with some numbers... ah heck..."

the obvious solution is to use the Search Bar on Windows Explorer, but the problem is: the Windows Explorer's Search function sucks hard. it takes a very long time to run (minutes!) and the progress bar doesn't follow any logic whatsoever. this has been the case for most of my experience with Windows systems for the past ten years.

if you also have this problem, then "Search Everything" is a must. it's a Search function that runs in less than a second for any query. I must stress that this is not a hyperbole. if you bind the "Everything" search bar to some hotkey on your keyboard, then the connection synapse-to-file is so fast that you'll feel like the computer is a part of your brain. this is some Memex shit.

the downside is: "Everything" runs in the background and takes up 200mb of your memory whenever you have it opened. in my opinion that's a very small price to pay for freedom. also, the program takes a minute to load when you open it. I just leave it opened forever and don't look back.

Ditto (Windows)

find anything that you Ctrl+C'ed in the past few days.

here's a scenario: you're copying and pasting some text from a file and you accidentally copy the wrong sentence, erasing the previous clipboard forever, so you have to go back and copy it again. or: you want to find some link that you sent a friend two days ago, but you realize it would take a few minutes to actually open the conversation and find it. or: a lot of people are asking you for the same information over e-mail and every time you respond, you have to open whatever and copy the same text.

all these situations would be significantly more painless if you could hold more than one thing in your clipboard at a time. this is what Ditto allows you to do: by pressing a hotkey in your keyboard, you open up a menu with the last 500 things you copied. not only texts, but any images and files as well. and it's fast: any query in this history runs in less than a second. any time you think a problem could be solved by checking something you copied in the past few days, Ditto saves you tons of time.

i know these situations may sound specific, but I promise you, once Ditto clicks in your head, then you'll find tons of situations where it turns out to be a big help.

Ditto makes the Windows clipboard look like a embarrassing demo.

Lightshot (Windows)

fast and easy screenshot-to-clipboard workflow.

taking screenshots of certain parts of my screen is a task that I have to do all the time. Windows 10 already has a built-in screenshot app, and it even allows you to crop the pictures, but I have found it to be a little too cumbersome and wonky to use.

Lightshot, like the other apps in this page, is fast. you press "Print Screen" and it opens immediately, allowing you to select the section of the screen that you want to capture. it further allows you to draw on the picture, removing the perpetual step that always plagued me: that of opening MSPaint only to draw a red rectangle and highlight part of the screenshot. Lightshot offers a ton of features, like sharing the picture on social networks, but mostly I either use it to save the image or copy it to my clipboard.

I haven't tested any other similar software, but for me, Lightshot solves all the problems related to capturing screenshots on Windows. if you also have Ditto installed (see above), this turns into a powerful combination.