Here are some tools that I find indispensible to work at full capacity.
Which do you like? Where am I missing out?
Rapid Environment Editor: As it stands, the "Environment Variables" section in Windows' control panel is both well hidden and a pain to use. Enter Rapid EE - it makes editing a breeze, has auto-completion for path-like values and even checks entries for validity.
MS SysInternals Suite Process Explorer: A fully featured replacement for the built in Task Manager, this one shows processes and their dependencies, system load and even file handles.
Everyday ToolsConsole2: Console is window dressing for Windows' command prompt. Tabs? Check. Colors? Check. Resizing? Check again. It even remembers where you want your prompt to start.
Notepad++: It's no secret that the original Notepad isn't quite up to standards. The two ++ in this tools name are just what I need.
Google Chrome: It's the world's most popular browser for a reason.
Pidgin: There are many IM clients out there. I just happen to like pidgin best.
Generic Developer Tools
Putty & WinSCP: There's hardly a day I don't use one of these. They do what they are built for, and they do it admirably.MSysGit: Git for Windows. Of all the SCMs I have used, git feels best, and this Windows package answers all questions I might have.
Java Developer Tools
IntelliJ IDEA: I liked IDEA when I first saw its phenomenal Grails support. I started loving it when I first used it for Java development. I used eclipse for 7 years, but I never looked back.JProfiler: Now that Java comes with a profiler of its own, JProfiler is no longer the indispensible tool it once was. Easy to use, simple to integrate and abundantly powerful, it is still the best to me.
Maven & Gradle: While I like Gradle better by far, it pays to have both of them around if you want to have a look at the inside of open source software once in a while.
Disclosure: I have received free Open Source licenses for both JProfiler and IntelliJ IDEA.