For after effects workflow
Stardock - Multiplicity
This would have to be my favorite bit of software for speeding up my After Effects workflow. It allows you to connect multiple computers together and operate them via the 1 keyboard and mouse. When working on big projects I like to have two machines and sometimes even 3 connected together so that I can be rendering on one and doing designs and gathering footage on the other two. I have been known to have 4 machines (1 eeepc) connected in one long row.
Simply a brilliant and essential part of my working environment.
This is another essential for me. It allows you to add locations to keyboard shortcuts. This means when you are working in 3 or 4 different software packages you're not spending valuable minutes navigating through folder structures. You hit your command sequence (say ctrl + 1) and your instantly in the directory of your project. It also allows you to specify a shortcut key for opening a Windows explorer (opened at your chosen directory). This allows you to stop drilling through folder structures and just open it directly.
When you have a sever or a central hard drive it also works with Multiplicity. So you can open your directory from your main machine.
I use this all the time for remote connecting into freelance companies and controlling a machine directly from home. If you have a VPN setup for you at work this can be a very handy tool as it means you can dump your collect AEP file at work and edit it from home - transferring only the .aep project.
I've started using this recently as a way to quickly access programs without having to navigate the start menu.
You simply alt + space then a window appears for you to type what program you want. Good for quickly launching Photoshop while in another program.
A lot of times I don't even remember all the stuff that I have worked on during the day. I've wanted a tool like this for a long time that didn't interfere with what I was working on and Timesnapper is very good at this. It allows you to capture your desktop every X seconds, it then gives you graphs as to what program you had open and for how long.
Plus you are able to playback your day at whatever speed suits you.
This will be a very important tool for me in the future as I am now at a stage when I am interested in where my time is being spent over the timeframe of a single project. It will allow me to identify where I am spending too much time and where I am spending not enough.