Post-production on images is a deep and varied process with no one way to do any task. So what are the most important tools and in which order should you use them?
When I started photography, I drastically underestimated the importance of post-production. I would look at images and presume huge amounts about how the image was made, with the weightings incorrectly skewed towards the camera and lens. In actuality, a lot of what was being achieved was done in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, which was ironic given I had a background in Photoshop long before I bought my first camera.
Being a beginner in any vast craft like photography is daunting enough, but to know that even if you master your camera, you could improve your work with a completely different skillset can be disheartening. On that note, I would recommend you take the time to watch content creators in your chosen area of interest (landscapes, portraits, etc.) and watch how they edit and what tools they use regularly. In this video, James Popsys goes through his workflow and highlights which editing tools he considers to be the most important and in what order you ought to use them.