Computer applications and services I use daily, whilst working from home

This blog post is about applications and services I use daily, whilst working from home.

Update September 2019: Wow this blog post is now over seven years old! I still use all the applications and services mentioned here, but there are some others these days:

  • I prefer Google Chrome to Firefox for web browsing, but don’t like Microsoft Edge.
  • I still use Thunderbird and hardly use Gmail, but I have found Gmail helpful when travelling for personal use.
  • For a while I started using Google’s word processor and spreadsheet services, but still prefer LibreOffice.
  • I did use Gimp for jpeg file editing, but I’ve always preferred PaintShop Pro and have owned various versions, which I mainly use for editing photographs.

These days I’m using desktop PCs more than laptops for work, but I can imagine that changing. I’m also looking at how to perform my work using mobile devices, such as phones and tablets.

Below is my original post

Often people will recommend applications or services, but sometimes the recommendation isn’t the reality of what the actual person uses. Whereas this blog post is about some of the computer applications and services I use each day.

LibreOffice’s Writer and Calc

I used to use Microsoft Office, and I remember using Microsoft Word 1 on MS DOS many years ago. However these days I use LibreOffice, and more specifically each day I use the Writer (word processor) and Calc (spreadsheet) software packages. LibreOffice is free, and although perhaps not as good as Microsoft Office, the suite of applications suit my needs.


Dropbox enables me to sync files between locations and act as an off-site backup. I use Dropbox each day to store documents, but I never store anything sensitive on the service.


I’ve recently started using the incredible KeePass software to manage my passwords. The software stores the passwords within an encrypted file, which means I can use complex passwords, without having to remember each individual one! The software has a search feature and runs smoothly on my Vista laptop.


I can’t stand Internet Explorer, but love Mozilla Firefox. Firefox arose out of the ashes of the Netscape browser, and although it can be a memory hog, I enjoy using the web browser.


Thunderbird is my email client of choice, and I’ve used it for years, after previously using Outlook Express and Outlook. I rely too much on Thunderbird to act as a database, and I must spend time to delete some emails, but its search feature makes it incredibly easy to find contact data when required. Thunderbird is a good alternative to Outlook.


There are other applications I use daily, and others weekly, but these six are used quite intensively. Dropbox does have a free version of its service, and if you take that into account you can use the six packages I’ve listed above for free! For many, working from home doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

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