What I use for: Word Processing
Since my first post on piracy, I've been asked a few times to outline the programs I use day to day. Today I'm covering word processing and notes. I use a mix of online services and desktop programs. It sounds cumbersome, but it is pretty simple as each program has a specific use.
For notes and my blog posts, I use a simple program/web service combination called Evernote. It's a cross platform program with native apps for Mac, iPhone, Windows, and Windows Mobile. It is also accessible through the Evernote web site on any computer. All of these sources sync via Evernote.com, so I'm always up to date, everywhere. Think about that… your notes everywhere you are. The Mac version is my favorite because of the interface design. The built-in spell checking on the Mac is pretty amazing too. The Windows version is fine, but I'm not a fan of interface to the documents. It's like a long sheet with a strange cumbersome slider. Oh, be sure to check out the cool text recognition features of the iPhone app!
While Evernote is great for notes and blogs entries, most people don't use it. When I need to edit Word documents or send them to others, I use either Apple's iWork Pages or OpenOffice. Since all I typically do is read documents, the odd rendering problems I may encounter aren't that important. Compatibility in those applications has come a long, long way however. iWork '09 from Apple is $64.99 at Amazon. It includes Pages (word processing), Numbers (spreadsheet), and Keynote (presentations). OpenOffice is free and can be downloaded from OpenOffice.org. There are Mac, Windows, and Linux versions, all available for free.
For work and when I need to collaborate on documents with others, Google Documents is simply amazing. It's 100% web based, and is great for allowing others to edit and view your docs. There is a revision history so you know who did what and when. It isn't as robust as a stand alone word processing program, but you should at least try it as it will serve the needs of a whole lot of you.
What do you use?