This is the list of what I consider the best (free) tools and I often use for different tasks. Knowing the right tool for each task is essential for me, so if you know of one that is better than what I currently use then leave me a message.

  • PortableApps
    This has become an indispensable tool for me. It allows you to run portable applications, so no more installers and no more ooops when you go to develop or inspect code on a computer which does not have the right tools. I host all utilities I use in it (most of the ones listed below) and I even add applications that are not supported by its developers. This has helped me upgrade from Windows version to Windows version painlessly, as well as upgrade my hardware without worrying. Makes working on Windows bearable.
  • Notepad++
    This is by far the most versatile and powerful plain text editor for Windows. If you are working with code, forget any other lightweight text editors. One could write an essay for its features, but take my word for it, this is the text editor. (available as a PortableApp too)
  • Lightscreen
    If you are developing tutorials, slides, course material or need to frequently make screenshots then this is probably one of the best choices out there. Open source, free and tiny. Minimalistic UI, but very well thought out, already contains the features one would need. It allows capturing the whole screen, a screen portion using a simple selection, or a specific window, it also supports screenshot delay. (available as a PortableApp too)

  • ImDisk
    This tool will let you mount image files of hard drive, cd-rom or floppy, and create one or several ramdisks with various parameters. Open-source and free, this is the tool of choice for creating RAM disks on Windows.
  • Bootstick
    A very simple FreeDOS-based USB stick for flashing the BIOS is Bootstick, created by Timo Heissenb├╝ttel. Sure, there are many other solutions, but this worked out of the box on several occasions for me, so I will stick (pun intended) with it.

  • Robo 3T (formerly Robomongo)
    Robo 3T is the UI tool of choice for MongoDB high level use, debuging and visual inspection of data stored in a mongodb database.