It’s Cool Tool Friday!

Every Friday, I’m going to start posting about little tools I’ve found recently that make my job easier, allow me to stay better organized, provide me with new and interesting functionality, or otherwise make using a computer for a minimum of 12 hours a day more enjoyable. I’ll post both Mac and PC tools since I realize there are still some PC users out there. :)

If you have experience with the tool I’m posting about, please post a comment letting us know what you think of it. If you use a similar tool (on any platform), please let us know about that, as well. My goal is an ambitious one: to improve my readers’ productivity and efficiency by introducing and sharing new free or low-cost tools and functionality. Of course, my posts will hopefully just be catalysts — the comments will probably end up being the more complete story.

Let’s start with an easy one. Everyone uses instant messaging, right? (Is there anyone out there who doesn’t?) And may of us probably use clients capable of handling multiple protocols. I’ve used several, and my favorite is Proteus (OS X only). It’s extremely powerful, robust, aesthetic, and even a little bit fun (cool icons). I’ve been using it for about a year, but I recently upgraded to version 4.02 which is a big improvement. Lots of little bug fixes, and very nice enhancements. Proteus also has a pretty decent community in place to help out when things go wrong (which is very rare, but inevitable when using any “unofficial” messaging client).

What instant messaging client do you use? What do you like about it and hate about it? Anyone out there have any experiences with Proteus they would like to share? Is there another client I should be evaluating?