Here's my typical scenario:
- Multiple IM accounts. Google Talk ( personal ) , Yahoo ( friends from TW and previous companies ) , TW's internal chat ( based on Jabber ) and sometimes IRC when I need geek-help. ( I am on IRC all the time outside of work, though )
- Multiple email accounts -Like most people my TW Mail account is open all day. And like most people I check my personal email from time to time.
- Yammer - We have an internal Yammer account for collaboration
- Facebook - not open all day but I check it multiple times a day , like most people
- Mingle for project management
Applications that are usually open all the time during work:
Adium - All IM accounts and sometimes for Facebook chat as well
Colloquy - For IRC
Mail.app - for my TW and personal GMail accounts
Yammer.air for our internal Yammer server
Murmurs.air for reading/posting murmurs to the project's Mingle instance.
And last and definitely not the least Growl which gives us notifications for all of these apps above!
I noticed things were clearly going out of hand and I needed to optimize - so I came up with this rule -
"Stop using desktop clients & rely on the web apps"
This is my current setup.
- Safari set as default browser during working hours. TW Mail is typically open on it
- Chrome for all personal work - typically have my personal GMail account open in it
- Firefox for all web development work - I like to not use Firefox for casual browsing. Firebug and Web Developer toolbar are my friends. I know you can do almost all that these plugins provide i