Quickly bring organization to the chaos of your life with ShoutDone

I’m all about process. Everything that you do is process oriented – from the simplest things like your morning routine, to service and repair depot activities – everything can be broken down into basic steps and to-do’s that make up a process flow.

Managing process isn’t always easy. It’s very common to have multiple tasks going at once and keeping track of all that can become cumbersome, time consuming and difficult. That’s why I like ShoutDone. It’s a multiplatform task management tool.

ShoutDone allows you to complete a six step process in managing your projects – Capture tasks, Organize, Process, Sync, Review and Do. Once you’ve made it through the process, you should be well on your way to process optimization and a well tracked, well managed process. It’s actually very easy.

ShoutDone allows you to easily capture your tasks. With it you can quickly add all of your projects and tasks to capture absolutely everything that needs doing. Once captured, you can sort through your projects and tasks using ShoutDone’s drag-and-drop ‘inbox’ tool. Here, you can prioritize tasks and identify next steps, ensuring that you’re always progressing toward your goals and milestones.

Once you’re on your way, you can review your progress at any point. ShoutDone gives you a clear overview of your tasks, while its filters generate ‘living’, contextual lists. At that point, all you have to do (other than completing the actual work) is tick off the tasks as they are completed. If you want to take your tasks with you, The Pro version of ShoutDone synchronizes information between multiple PCs and/or Macs.

I am all about the to-do lists. Managing them helps me manage not only my day, but also the projects I’m responsible for. ShoutDone does all of this, AND it integrates with Evernote, giving me the ability to use my notes with my tasks. The Pro version is $37USD as of this writing for a 3 PC license, which is an awesome price. If you’re looking for a task management tool, give serious consideration to ShoutDone, as it may be the tool that you’ve been looking for.

Download ShoutDone

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Blender – Fully integrated 3D graphics creation suite

You can get an idea of Blender’s capabilities by listing some of the projects that have used it. For example, the makers of ‘Spiderman 2’ used Blender for 3D and character animation; it was used for the special effects in the film ‘Vendredi ou un autre Jour’, movies ‘Elephants Dream’, ‘Big Buck Bunny’, ‘Sintel’ and ‘Plumiferos’ a 3D CG feature film were made in Blender; as was the 3D game ‘Yo Frankie!’

Blender comes from the not-for-profit Blender Foundation. It is open-source, free to download and use but requires a considerable investment of time and effort from the serious user and rewards her with the flexible software and skills to model in 2 and 3D, animate, render and process images and videos to an award-winning professional standard. It includes related functionality: a game engine, fonts, motion capture and many, many more.

A good place to start is to become familiar with the interface which has been reworked in the recent version. Support comes in the way of texts, models and tutorials from the official website. A CMS gathers background information and lists many websites and groups maintained by Blender followers, (Blender Art Magazine, Blender Nation, and so on). If that is not enough a shelf of specialist commercial books offers guidance through the Blender product.

Read full review | Download Blender

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NetBalancer gives your the proper priority to your internet activities

Even in today’s world of high speed internet and wide pipes, prioritizing and monitoring what takes up the bulk of that personal bandwidth can be important.  If you have large files that you need to transfer quickly then pulling back incidental network traffic can be important. If you have small things that you’d rather move in front of that large file transfer, throttling the large transfer in favor of the low hanging fruit may provide the win.  That’s why I like NetBalancer. It’s a network utility for Windows.

NetBalancer allows you to browse and complete any internet activity easily, even when transferring huge files from one end point to another.  All you need to do is lower their network priority with NetBalancer. You can use NetBalancer to set network transfer rate priorities for any application, and monitor that traffic.

Applications with a higher network priority will gain more traffic bandwidth than those with a lower one. You can set download and upload speed limits for a process. You can manage priorities and limits for each network adaptor (wired vs. wireLESS, for example).  In short, you can define detailed network traffic rules.  You can group local network computers together, and synchronize and balance their network traffic.

The app provides a volume of information, including a system tray monitor and graphical representation of both traffic coming in and out of your adapters. While the free version is limited, the paid version is reasonably priced and depending on the amount of bandwidth you consume every month, may be well worth the purchase price.

read full review | download NetBalancer

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Autoruns from Microsoft has been updated to version 11

Autoruns is a Sysinternals utility that shows you what programs are configured to run during system bootup or login, and shows you the entries in the order Windows processes them. Developed by Mark Russinovich and Bryce Cogswell, this utility brings a deeper control in terms of auto-start applications and registry files. It represents everything that MSConfig cannot do.

Autoruns is a portable utility, so all you have to do is to copy it in a secure location on your hard drive and simply run it. The app starts instantly showing you 18 tabs including logon entries, Explorer add-ons, Internet Explorer add-ons including Browser Helper Objects (BHOs), Appinit DLLs, image hijacks, boot execute images, Winlogon notification DLLs, Windows Services and Winsock Layered Service Providers. It’s a classic chaotic interface for casual users, but I have to admit that this is the best way to view from a single look everything that breaths on your computer.

Overall, using this utility is simple if you know exactly what are the components running in your system. For example if you want to disable an auto-start entry uncheck its check box. This option is very useful in case you want to find out what that entry is doing in your system without taking the risk to delete it. To delete an auto-start configuration entry just use the Delete menu item or toolbar button. If you want to locate any registry file of an auto-start item just use the Jump menu item or toolbar button.

This utility works also in conjunction with other Sysinternals utilities. In case you want to view the properties of an executable configured to run automatically, select it and use the Properties menu item or toolbar button. If Process Explorer is running and there is an active process executing the selected executable then the Process Explorer menu item in the Entry menu will open the process properties dialog box for the process executing the selected image.

In addition Autoruns’ Hide Signed Microsoft Entries option helps you to zoom in on third-party auto-starting images that have been added to your system and it has support for looking at the auto-starting images configured for other accounts configured on a system. Also included in the download archive is a command-line equivalent to Autorun that can output in CSV format, Autorunsc.

download Autoruns 11

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Monitor your PC with Microsoft Process Explorer

Ever wondered which program has a particular file or directory open? Now you can find out. Process Explorer shows you information about which handles and DLLs processes have opened or loaded.

The Process Explorer comes with two sub-windows. The top one shows a list of the currently active processes, including the names of their owning accounts. The bottom window shows a different information based on the mode that Process Explorer is in. For example if you set the application to be in handle mode you’ll see the handles that the process selected in the top window has opened. If Process Explorer is set in DLL mode you’ll see the DLLs and memory-mapped files that the process has loaded.

Version 15.0 of this application comes with a GPU usage monitor. Unfortunately this feature is not visible by default so you have to search for it in the View tab -> Columns in order to activate it. Once you’ve done this, the System Information window will show also your GPU activity based on GPU Usage, GPU Private Data, GPU Committed Bytes, or GPU Shared Bytes in graph mode.

Process Explorer’s latest version includes also the ability to restart a service. You just have to double-click a process instance, click the Service tab, choose the desired service and click Restart. In this way Process Explorer will stop and start it for you. Though you should be careful while restarting services, because you can cause your system to crash in case you have chosen a wrong one.

download Microsoft Process Explorer

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Genie Timeline offers the easiest way to complete a backup process

Data backup is always a necessary process for any small, medium or large company. There are many solutions for this process which can be more or less convenient. But what about the casual user? Should he not take care of his data? In general for the casual user a backup software is enough to solve most of the data recovering needs from a personal computer. In case you want to start using this type of software, Genie Timeline is an entry level easy-to-use backup tool, which will offer all the basic backup needs for free.

read the full review download Genie Timeline

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An application that combines both the clean aspect and security issue of your computer

System Explorer is not an antivirus, nor a registry cleaner. It’s more of an upgraded Windows Task Manager with additional features. Not only that you can view all the active processes, startup applications, system services, but you can also see details from each enumerated component based on the producer’s own data base (which is quite impressive). In case you want further details related to a single process or application, System Explorer offers access to third party web sites such as ProcessLibrary.com or Google.com. At startup, it can also perform a virus scan with an online antivirus tool. This way you can detect any harmful process and search its roots.

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