I'm an experimental physicist by education. But since quite some time, I do not frequently perform experiments myself. Instead, I'm essentially acting as a consultant. I help to design experiments, to interpret and analyze them. And mostly, I advice my colleagues how to publish the data they got from their experiments or computations. Which often means that I have to analyze data, process images, create graphs, and write text myself, but always in close collaboration with others.
This interactive and iterative process takes time. Since my order book is already filled for the rest of this year, it is important for me to do that efficiently for being able to process each request within a reasonable time frame. In particular, I want to have the same workflow everywhere, whether I'm using the desktop at the office or at home or my netbook at a conference in Nice (basically ruling out all proprietary software).
The following list provides an overview of the applications I've chosen to use for these tasks in a loose hierarchical order (my second choice is given in parentheses). The one-liner below each entry briefly summarizes my personal reasons for the first choice. If I feel inclined to do so, I will elaborate on them in separate, subsequent posts.
Cloud storage: ownCloud
My cloud with all current projects.
Vector graphics: Inkscape
Standard compliant svg, eps and pdf ready for the web or publications.
Editing: Several. Currently giviving atom a chance.
Syntax highlighting, command and citation completion, syncTeX support.