Tools I Use in 2020
- macoS Mojave - I’m still a happy macOS user. The Touchpad and Terminal are what keep me coming back.
- 1Password - I used to be anti-password manager and would roll my own solution for keeping track of and generating unique passwords. But, I’ve grown to love 1Password more and more and especially enjoy how it handles 2FA.
- Spectacle - I use this handy app to have keyboard shortcuts for moving windows around. I have 2 external 2560x1440 displays (so called 2K QHD) and Spectacle allows me to easily arrange windows side-by-size and move them around from display to display.
- iTerm2 - This terminal is really great. I used a customized theme, based on the excellent Honukai theme.
- Zsh with Oh My Zsh - Yes, I am a happy Zsh user.
- Dato - A replacement for the system menu bar clock on macOS. Dato helps me to orient day by quickly telling me what the date is, what day of the week it is, what time it is, and what meetings I have coming up. It has lots of options and is fun to configure.
- Chrome - I’m a Chrome user for browsing and development. All factors considered, it’s still the best IMHO.
- VS Code - Still my code editor of choice and still love it. I have these extensions installed: EditorConfig, Open in GitHub, pgFormatter, Prettier
- GitHub - I use GitHub for work and for personal projects. I have really enjoyed utilizing GitHub Actions in the last year.
- Beyond Compare - I’ve been using this diff and merge tool for a really long time; back to my Windows days. In fact, it’s the only tool on this list and is also on my 2011 tools post. It’s a solid tool and I am perfectly happy with it.
- GitHub Desktop - I use this simple client primarily for staging and committing changes. It’s particularly useful when I want to commit only a few lines of a file. I use the Git CLI for everything else.
- TablePlus - I love this database client! It supports PostgreSQL and SQLite (along with many others) and does just what I want it to. It’s also very fast and stable.
- psql - For running simple queries or looking at definitions in PostgreSQL, I still turn to the simple psql CLI tool. It’s simple, very configurable, and fast.
- Docker - I’ve learned quite a bit more about Docker in the last few years and rely upon it for development environments. I’m not using it for production (yet) but am feeling more and more confident with it. It certainly simplifies app environment management.
- Digital Ocean - This service is still great for simple servers to host apps. I also use Digital Ocean at work for a few of our CI/CD boxes.
- AWS - Good ‘ole AWS. I can’t live without S3.
Communication and Collaboration
- Franz - I use Franz to organize all the services I use to communicate (Slack, Gmail, Basecamp, etc.) into one app. I highly prefer having them in a single app rather than several tabs open in my browser. I love how it shows me badge count notifications for each service so I know which ones I need to look at. I use a custom plugin for Basecamp, since it doesn’t support it natively.
- Zoom and Google Meet for video calls - I can’t decide which is best but Zoom can record meetings which is nice when you need it.
- Slack - We use Slack at work for chat and voice calls. I like it just fine. Although, our custom emoji use is a bit out of control.
- Basecamp - I use Basecamp primarily at work for collaborating on projects.
- Google Docs - I still love Google Docs and prefer it for documents, spreadsheets, and presentation.
- Tuple - Tuple is a code pairing tool. Think screen sharing on steroids. I’ve been using this tool more and more recently at work and it’s been working great, especially when I need to allow the other person to control my machine with keyboard and mouse.
- CleanShot X - I am thrilled with this screenshot, annotation, and video capture tool. It really is one of my favorite apps lately. I had been on the search for quite awhile a tool that could take screenshots, annotate them, take screen videos and allow export to GIF, and more. This app has all the features I need for grabbing visuals to communicate effectively.
- Monodraw - Plain-text diagramming! This app is a joy to use and I love the simplicity of its output. It feels good posting plan-text diagrams to the tools I use rather than a large image.
- Jabra Evolve 40 Wired Headset - This headset is comfortable to wear and the microphone quality is superb! No Bluetooth but I consider that a good thing.
- Cable Matters Thunderbolt 3 Dock - My coworkers are surely tired of me raving about the day I finally brought a powered Thunderbolt Dock because I should have done it ages ago. I was having so many issues with my small non-powered dongles and hubs and this solved most of them. The thing I especially love about having a powered dock like this is there is a single cable connected to my laptop that runs under the desk. It’s glorious.
- Bayside Mesh Office Chair - It’s no Herman Miller but this thing has been comfortable and I recommend it.
- ASUS PB278Q 27” WQHD Monitors - I have 2 of these monitors attached to my Thunderbolt Dock (one is rotated) and really enjoy the screen real estate. These monitors are wide enough so I can have 2 windows side-by-side.