That new laptop just arrived, shrink-wrapped and ready to help you get to work. Now the big question you might ask is, what should you install to get up and running quickly? As someone who is constantly testing new laptops, I've picked a few apps that help me do my job. I tend to load these on every new laptop, in the order listed below starting with Google Chrome. Where possible, I've included the direct download link.
The first app I install on every new laptop is Chrome. It's my portal to email, my files, and just about everything else. It's fast and reliable, and tends to have the best security features to ward off hackers and malware. Another perk: The memory management for each tab is much better than other browsers and reduces crashes.
I've been using Google Docs for years. For longer documents, I tend to use Word because of the new grammar-checking features (called the Editor), which has helped me improve as a writer. The biggest advantage is speed. Word runs smooth even for docs over 100 pages.
I'm not exactly a high-end Photoshop user, but I do appreciate how easy it is to place an image and retain the aspect ratio (helpful for my Inc.com slideshows), make some edits and run a few filters, and save. There's been quite a few times when I'll also remove a blemish in a photo or crop something out.
I've found that most people use Skype or know how to install and use it. That makes it much easier to connect with people for a quick video chat. Plus, the app is on my phone as well, and I know I can use Skype on the web in a pinch without downloading it.
Right after a few production and workflow apps, I tend to add the Texture app right away. As a journalist, I want to keep tabs on magazines and this is the best way to do that. (Inc. Magazine is also available through this app.) You can even search for articles that were in print and download them for reading offline.
I'm known to carry both an iPhone and an Android phone, but for music listening, I tend to sync everything through iTunes. When I add a new album in Windows or on a Mac, it syncs to both an iPad and iPhone in the cloud. My only complaint: Since I already pay for Spotify, I don't use Apple Music which makes streaming a little more complex.
I always use Photoshop for editing, especially when I need to retain a certain aspect ratio for a photo, but Lightroom is my go-to app for organizing images. It's perfect for me because it lets me tag images, search for them on a new computer, and quickly access RAW images (the ones that comes my my Canon high-end camera).
The Spotify app is what I normally use for music streaming because I know most of my favorite bands (like The National and Frightened Rabbit) are a click away. It's also a great app for curation--I've found new releases and singles faster than other music app.
I prefer the desktop version of the collaborative workplace app Slack for one reason alone: It reduces clutter in my browser window. (You can also use the app online.) Without so many tabs, I can quickly check conversations and send files. There's also a Mac version and even one for Linux (and your phone and tablet).
You need some diversions from work, right? If your new laptop can handle this visually stunning racing game (it requires an Intel Core i7-3820 processor at 3.6 GHz, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or 1060 graphics card with 4G of VRAM and at least 12GB of RAM), it's worth having it available, especially for long plane rides.