Can Tor be used with applications other than Web browsers?
From what I can see Tor mainly handles your web browser's traffic, but is there a way to do all of your connections through it? Like email, Dropbox, Carbonite backup, Skype etc?
(Please explain whether this might be a good or a bad idea in the first place. I can understand that Skype might be inherently 'spy friendly' due to it's closed source nature and slow.)
Although Tor is made to handle any TCP traffic, the majority of applications are not designed with anonymity and/or privacy in mind. Thus, torifying an application can be tricky. You have to make sure that there is no leak i.e connections routed outside the Tor circuit. A pretty usual example is DNS leaks.
If you want to use other applications apart from a browser, consider using Tails Live Linux an operating system which is specifically designed with anonymity and privacy in mind. Tails routes every connection through the Tor network.
Tails has a variety of application such as instant-messaging client, email client. Of course you won't find every single one of your favorites applications pre-installed in Tails but that's the trade-off between comfort and anonymity.