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Summary:

I’ve posted before about good applications to put on a USB thumb drive, for both Windows and the Mac. If you work on a mobile basis frequently, this is a great way to have any application handy at any time. Recently, I’ve been loading my pocket […]

I’ve posted before about good applications to put on a USB thumb drive, for both Windows and the Mac. If you work on a mobile basis frequently, this is a great way to have any application handy at any time. Recently, I’ve been loading my pocket drive with cross-platform applications. As long as there is a Windows, Mac or Linux system around, these apps let me get work done.

In this post, I’ll round up several cross-platform applications good for your pocket drive. Many of these have very small footprints.


The iScribe e-mail client is downloadable in a small footprint form factor for Windows, the Mac and Linux. Even though it doesn’t take up much space, it has a contacts database and a calendar.

If you want a richer e-mail client, Mozilla’s Thunderbird is much larger in footprint than iScribe, but it is available for Windows, the Mac and Linux.

The Firefox browser from Mozilla is also available for Windows, the Mac and Linux. I use it on all three platforms on a regular basis.

Thinking Rock is personal organizer software for Windows, the Mac and Linux. It’s based on GTD (Getting Things Done) principles, and is good for brainstorming and tracking processes.

While it’s not small in footprint, OpenOffice is a great, free open source suite of productivity applications you can keep with you in Windows, Mac and Linux versions.

If you don’t like to be without your RSS feeds, RSS Gorilla is a good way to get them and organize them. It’s available on all three major platforms.

If you want to stock your USB thumb drive with good Windows and Mac apps, check the links at the top of this post. Especially with the big capacities you can get on these drives for very little money at this point, this is a good way to never be without top software applications.

Do you keep any good cross-platform applications with you on a portable drive?

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By Samuel Dean
  1. Password Dragon (www.passworddragon.com) is a good cross-platform password manager for the thumb drive that works on Windows, Linux and Mac.

    I use outlook for my GTD. I will try the Thinking Rock. Thanks for the list.

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  2. Please note that Password Dragon requires java runtime environment installed on the computer

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  3. I still like PortableApps’ well-organized compendium of reputable, portable versions of software applications. (Even if you’re not using their application.)

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  4. I’ll second PortableApp’s suite of software offerings. I’ve been using various versions since one had to download them from John Haller’s web site instead of the PortableApp’s site.

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  5. This is a great idea. I would love to have something similar to the ‘PortableApps’ usb drive that is also cross platform.

    I think I’ll try KeePassX that I saw there, because a password safe is a must for this type of use.
    Anyone have more ideas for at least Mac & Windows?

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