I recently found a two neat software applications I haven’t seen mentioned very often in IM circles.
The first is free. VMN Toolbox adds a tiny widget to your screen that lets you pick colors, capture the screen or parts of it, magnify anything on your screen, post sticky notes to your desktop, and measure anything on your screen in pixels. It doesn’t take much screen real estate, but it can be very handy if you’re designing websites, or trying to match colors with CSS.
The second application I’ve found is great for creating links blogs in topics I know nothing about. When I’m creating such a blog, I subscribe to Google Alerts on the topic, and whenever a good page or article comes up in IE, SenseExplore Summarizer highlights the important bits, which I then ususally excerpt or rewrite to create a keyword targeted blog post linking to the original.
It’s not free, but at under $20 it’s not expensive either. And it has allowed me to venture into some new niches that I wouldn’t have had the time to deal with before.