It's important to remember that no tool will ever be able to make you get up off of your ass and get working, but they can certainly remind of things that you need to do. If used correctly, they can even make you happier about doing things that you need to.
First on my list is my Tada list. This site makes it easy to keep an online to-do list. There are other, more complex solutions, ala Palm Pilots or Outlook schedules, but I feel like adding an event, time, category, due date, etc. takes far too much time. I want to jot things down quick, order them easily, and be able to check my list from anywhere. Tada list makes that happen for me.
Another tool that I use daily is Metapad. It's a replacement for MS Notepad that is a bit more full-featured but still free of bloat. When I'm doing research online, jotting down notes, or copying snippets from the web, I fire this up from my Quick Launch bar and go. It allows you to set font options easily, do some coding, and allows you to save in Win or *nix formats. (No more carriage return problems!)
For email, I use Mozilla Thunderbird in conjunction with Hotmail Popper. This allows me to pull my mail from 5 different accounts into one easy to manage interface. the spam filter is pretty good too - after a month or so of training, it ships all my spam to a Junk Mail folder, so that I don't have to deal with it.
This is edition one of my recommendations. Leave a comment and weigh in on what you use, and check back soon for more tips.