"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."

Thomas Jefferson

There are always multiple solutions to a problem, as there are multiple tools to use while solving the problem.

My experience with certain applications has revealed the necessity of their presence in my arsenal. These staples are programs I feel any individual wishing to continue their personal development professionally should truly grasp and effectively be able to utilize.

Go ahead and treat yourself to this suite. It is an absolute creative haven and offers remarkable bang for the buck. For just over 50$ a month you get the ENTIRE SUITE OF ADOBE PRODUCTS. The latest versions, the latest updates, the latest new offerings. While there competition is non-existant, I feel that there is a misconception on the power Adobe's software has to offer - it's not just for your high school photojournalism class. And if it's been that long since you've dabbled with it, prep yourself.

We'll start with the absolute basic here - yes I am aware that Acrobat reader is available for free. And honestly, recognize that we take that for granted as they add features to it over time. If you are a professional that is not utilizing Acrobat Pro and settling for reader - you are at a disadvantage.

Digital forms and e-signatures aside, I would say the most underrated feature of Pro is that it accepts javascript. Use it. Imagination is the only limitation (within reason, here) that should stand in the way of this tool. I've taken vast amounts of redundant, wasteful, processes and eliminated man hours of processing just from utilizing digitized forms with automation via javascript.

Even if you decide not to get the entire suite, please treat yourself to Acrobat Pro. Stop sidestepping for the freebies.

The next most underrated application in the bundle is Media Encoder. Seriously, any media file type, with any extension you've never seen before, can be effectively processed and done so with an algorithm that promotes quality and speed. Eight gig video file you need to shrink for distribution? In a respectable amount of time (depending on your hardware) and you've got a nearly unnoticeably changed video at 200 megs.

This particular type of software may allude some professionals - it may not make its power known for many professions. However, most everyone is dealing with digital media in some manner - and the days of me looking for the capabilities of the built in media players, or even the browser convertors are over.


The remainder of the 20+ applications you get are powerhouses in their fields. Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Illustrator. . . you get the idea. It's a one stop shop of the most capable software for handling media available. And with a price that is relatively easy to swallow. I know I'm not mad about the charge. And everything from my charter proposals to my resumes blow the interested parties against the wall.

Other Considerations

Additional items to check out if you are not already implementing them in your day to day are below:

  • Microsoft PowerApps
  • OneNote (for the love of everything everywhere, stop using notebooks. I like physically writing on paper as well but navigating a full notebook of projects and information never ends well)
  • Visual Studio Code (if you're coding at all, this is free - and will auto set your programming languages for autocomplete and formatting)
  • Microsoft Flow (flows are another automation technique which can help you streamline efforts quickly)