currently i used these programs for the majority of my work, in order of priority:
i use omnigraffle for all my wireframes, and 9 out of 10 times, i use it now for final renderings. the style in which we do alot of design allows me to work faster with our Execs, UX director, developers. all designs can be mocked up faster, pixel perfect, in the grid. it also allows me to export to PDF which is great for sending out ideas to our team and get feedback quickly.
as much as i hate microsoft products, entourage is probably the second most important program for me. besides the obvious feature of email, it keeps my schedule organized (though my calendar is a little flakey at times).
most of my time is spend researching our competitors, studying our market, testing our product, and looking for new innovation. surfing the web and studying companies like facebook, twitter, etc is part of my job.
i try to avoid designing in photoshop and illustrator at all costs now, since they are the slowest programs to edit. my new work flow only requires me to use photoshop for creating final art assets and optimizing our product. originally, our addthis button was about 1.5k. by manipulating each individual pixel in photoshop, i was able to reduce our button size to 0.5k; ultimately, reducing our cache-fly costs in the order of 6 figures per year. I also redrew each favicon used in our menu and optimized each image so that the sprite image was reduced from 16k down to 7k. this level of optimization is extremely painful, since it requires me to literally push pixels… but the result is phenomenal.
other programs i use (but not on a daily basis) are:
excel, powerpoint, word, indesign, quark, snap z pro, keynote, final cut, adobe after effects, protools, quicktime pro, flash, tweetdeck, ical, and many more. (obviously, itunes, adium, etc are part of daily use, but not for creative design work).
what programs do you use?