My Top 5 Apps

My friend Jamie Dinkelacker used to say that everyone uses about 3-4 apps most of the time (his actual words were “3.5 apps”). It is not difficult to list a set of apps you use most frequently and figure out the top few. I think the number is more like 5-7. Here is my list:

  1. Firefox Browser
  2. Search Engine
  3. RSS Reader
  4. Wiki
  5. Email
  6. Microsoft Word
  7. Instant Messenger

In an interesting twist over the last few years, RSS reader and Wiki have moved up, overtaking Word and Excel. My RSS reader (in addition to digg.dot.us) is my main source of News. I find myself using Wiki more than Word or Excel. My use of Excel was mostly to manage various lists. Now I use a Wiki.

Here is an interesting blog from 43FoldersWhat is Your Killer App? which explores a similar theme. The comments on this post are almost as interesting as the blog itslef.

Some observations:

  • Browsing and Searching have become such regular habits, I did not even think of listing them first.
  • The way I consume news has changed dramatically. I pull news using RSS readers and search for specific items of interest. I check diggdot.us (a mashup of digg, slashdot and del.icio.us) several times a day, read blogs a couple of times.
  • My note taking, making lists, keeping track of resources activities changed subtly. Instead of using a Word processor, I now use a personal wiki.
  • I interact with my family more, but electronic interaction (through mail, IM) is more than phone (both our kids live in different states). I think we share more things (jokes, items of news etc.) now, than before.
  • Interaction with colleagues has changed as well. There are more IM sessions and email threads and somehow, they seem more convenient than meetings. Meetings, when they happen are more efficient since most of the mundane stuff is covered already.

Five years ago this was very different. It will be interesting to see this list five years from now.

2 thoughts on “My Top 5 Apps”

  1. No blog in that list? 🙂
    I’d add my blog(s), my media player, my p2p software and remove Microsoft Word. Like you I’m gravitating more towards a personal wiki.

  2. Actually, the list is much bigger than I thought. As I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, I read more blogs than I write them. RSS reader covers both blogs and news items I read. When blikis become mainstream, my blog and wiki authoring may integrate.

    Can you tell me more about your p2p software? I have to keep Microsoft Word since that is how most of clients still want their documents. The same thing goes to Power Point and a couple of others. But these do not dominate my workdays or leisure time.

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