Essential Software

iStock_000002442532XSmallNow that I’ve told you about all the hardware that gets me through the day, time to talk software. Some of these you may not need or use, but don’t worry I’ll let you know what I use it for so you can decide if you need it or not.

1. Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007
My sister recently purchased a laptop that did not come with Microsoft Office. She used some other mail program (I am pretty sure it was by Google). It really wasn’t nearly as good as Outlook. Word, Excel, Powerpoint are the standard in creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations!

2. Eset Nod32 Antivirus V.4.0
Antivirus – we all know we need it, but for me, I don’t want to see it. That’s exactly what ESET does, quietly protects my system in the background (stay tuned later this week for a full review of ESET plus a giveaway!)

3. Tweetdeck – Now this isn’t just for us Twitter users, you can also set it to check for Facebook status updates.  This is completely essential for me since not only do I maintain about 4 different Twitter accounts, I like to be able to do all my Facebook stuff without actually going to the website.  I will be doing a full review of this software later too, it’s free though so go check it out now!

4. Kidrocket – This is another free one, but so important!  This allows my daughter to use my laptop without completely screwing up everything that is on it.  You can set time limits, password protect the rest of your computer and make sure they are only going to certain sites.

5. Roxio Creator 2010
This is CD/DVD Burning software, but so much more than that!  Recently I made a You Tube video.  I used my little Cannon SD550 to take short videos.  I uploaded them to Roxio and made transitions, background music, added text and then uploaded it to YouTube straight from the software!  I also loaded all of our daughter’s short videos and made her a DVD to watch.  She watches it ALL the time!  It has menus and everything.  You can create some great CD’s & DVD’s with it.

6. Adobe Creative Suite 4 Web Premium
– This one is definitely not going to be for everyone. First it’s expensive, and second, most people will not need everything it’s got. Since I do all of my own web design, and a few other people’s websites, I need to have it, and I do use it constantly! Adobe makes such a quality product. I’ve supported people who have used other products (Frontpage I’m looking at you!), and it always just makes me appreciate how good the Adobe Suite is.

7. Evernote – Another free one, but oh MY!  I seriously love this software.  I used to be horrible with my favorites.  If I was shopping around for something, I’d bookmark the page and then keep going.  I’d end up with a ton of favorites, and could barely remember which ones I liked the best so I could go back.  So then I’d have to click through all bookmarks until I found the right one.  Now I just clip what I like into Evernote, and it’s super easy to go back and check through them.

So there you have it… MY OPINION of the software that I could not live without!

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About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website

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