We've featured lots of essential apps that we use every day, but some apps and extensions can also be considered life-saving — or at least can save you from tearing your hair out when trying to get things done. Here are a few that have really saved my hide.Photo by twicepix.
Lazarus: Previously featured Firefox, Chrome and Safari extension Lazarus can save you from what might be every web worker's worst nightmare: Filling out a long form and the browser crashing or the info just disappearing after you hit submit. Lazarus has recovered hours of work and saved me from a lot of frustration. If your work depends on online forms, install it; you won't regret it.
PdaNet: When your internet craps out or you've got a power outage but your laptop and smartphone still work, you don't have to stop everything if you have a tethering app like PdaNet installed. Available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and older mobile devices, PdaNet can get that last minute critical email out when all else fails. You'll need to install the app on your phone and your computer before such an emergency arises, however.
Dropbox and SugarSync.com: Yes, we've mentioned online syncing tools like Dropbox a lot, mainly for their convenience in keeping all your files in sync between computers and online. Some of the best features of these services, however, are also the constant backup that they do of your files, and the multiple file versioning, so in case you overwrite a file or accidentally delete it (a mistake I'll own up to making more than once), you can retrieve the original. I'm listing both Dropbox and SugarSync here because I use both, but other similar services would provide the same sort of protection as well.
These programs are the ones that have really been critical to keeping my work flowing and which I would feel stranded without. I'm leaving out a few obvious computer essentials like a regular backup program (having recently switched to CrashPlan based on this recent Lifehacker backup guide), antivirus (and Malwarebytes for rescuing systems), hardware firewall, and even System Restore on Windows.
What are the essential tools or apps that have been life-rescuing or work-rescuing for you?