Multipurpose Tools / Packages

Tools that do many things. In many cases they're listed under their separate functions as well.

Name Comments

What it Does: Organize and process ideas in multiple ways.
Runs on: PC only
Price: $135
Uniqueness: It's one of only a few tools to provide this combination of functions
Best Feature: The extraordinary versatility of the program
Worst Feature: The unfamiliar (but logical) and sometimes awkward interface
Learning Time: Hours --- Export/Import: Good
My use: Regular --- Confidence in Evaluation: Good
Comment: "The Axon Idea Processor provides a specially designed environment that supports and empowers the thinking processes. Objects and Links form the basic entities for idea processing. These entities are displayed in a multi-level, 3D workspace." It's true.
Google Pack

What it Does: Many fine programs - some listed separately here
Runs on: PC, Mac, Linux
Best Feature: Easy installation and maintenance of good programs.
Worst Feature: May become a time-waster because you get so many toys to play with.
Learning Time: Hours ---
My use: Daily --- Confidence in Evaluation: Good
Comment: Amazing complilation. They'll probably charge for it eventually, but now it includes 14 worthwhile pieces of software including several listed here: 5 from Google; 4 others; 5 optional.
Review & Comments about Google Pack in Academic Tools Blog
MS Office

What it Does: The standard office suite - I've included components too.
Runs on: PC, Mac
Drexel Site License
Best Feature: Standard
Worst Feature: MS
Learning Time: Hours --- Export/Import: Good
My use: Daily --- Confidence in Evaluation: Good
Comment: Everyone has it. It's refined and pretty darned stable. The imminent Office-2007 is a big quesition.
Multipurpose note: All the "standard" programs: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.

What it Does: Office Suite - MS Office compatible - Free
Runs on: PC, Mac, Linux
Free, Open Source
Best Feature: Free
Worst Feature: Lacks MS Words Outline mode
For advanced MSOffice users the compatibility is not total.
Learning Time: Hours --- Export/Import: Good

Comment: It does almost everything MS Office does.
The reason I don't use it every day is that I use outlining a lot. OO stinks in that one area.
The drawing program is very good - you can do basic drawings for CAD work quickly, but don't expect to interchange with Autocad.

Multipurpose note: Free - Some capabilities better than MS Office



Update: 2006-11-26