During the holiday weekend, I spent some time going through some tools and software that I have installed and determining what I wanted to continue using in the coming year (and what I no longer needed).
Ultimately, it was about coming up with the apps for 2017.
I guess it’s part of the “fresh start in a new year” kind of thing. But the short of is that given the goals I’ve set for myself (and some upcoming things I’ll discuss), I did an audit and paired down my system to exactly what I needed.
Sure, we’re all going to be using different software. And I know many of us – myself included – have talked about the things we use at the WordPress level, but what about the tools we use each day?
Apps for 2017
This isn’t meant to be a long post justifying why or what I’m using. It’s just a list of the software I have installed, the tools I’m using, and some notes as to what purpose they serve.
And for those who are curious, none of the below are affiliate links. 🙂
- 1Password probably doesn’t need much of a description but this is how I manage a number of licenses, passwords and so on for my software. I’d given Master Password a try but it doesn’t work as well in a family context.
- Bartender reduces the clutter of the menu bar.
- Better Rename helps to organize images and videos with my phone so I can easily organize them via year, month, date, and time.
- Boom 2 is my favorite equalizer for macOS. If you’re even the least bit of an audiophile, it’s worth it.
- CleanMyMac. I know that macOS manages the file system differently than other operating systems but that doesn’t mean there aren’t times where I want to reindex Spotlight, mass uninstall applications or verify the integrity of my drive.
- Deliveries. If you’re business accepts a lot of deliveries or you get a lot of mail related to, say, toddlers then this app helps track everything in a single place.
- Dropbox doesn’t really need an explanation but the premium aspect of this may be on the chopping block for me as I’m looking at some alternatives (that I’ll cover in a future post).
- Droplr is far and away my favorite tool for sharing screenshots, screencasts, annotations, notes, etc. It’s integration with Tweetbot and its iOS counterpart are solid, too.
- GarageBand. In my copious amounts of free time (that we all have, right?), I like to mess around with recording and mixing music.
- Firefox is my browser of choice right now. Again, there will be a post about this in the future, but it’s funny how some of this stuff moves in cycles in terms of bounding from one browser to another.
- Gemini is great for finding duplicate files especially if you’re syncing to, say, Dropbox and you want to make sure everything is as lean as it can be.
- Google Chrome doesn’t really need any explanation other than it’s a backup browser and that it’s used for testing.
- Handbrake is my app of choice (which just exited beta after 13 years!) for converting videos into a format that works with macOS, iOS, etc.
- ImageOptim, despite a variety of other applications, is still my preferred tool for optimizing images for the web.
- Kaleidoscope is great for whenever you’re dealing with merge conflicts.
- Keka supports just about every compression format that exists for both archiving and unarchiving.
- Macro is great application for easily working with image resizing when you don’t need a full-featured editor.
- MAMP is my web server, database, and PHP installation of choice when working with web-based projects.
- MDRP is my favorite utility for ripping DVDs to my machine and placing them on the kids’ iPads so we can watch them on trips.
- Notability is one of the applications I used to replace Evernote. I primarily use this for taking hand-written notes on my iPad. It’s, hands-down, the best app I’ve found for capturing hand-written notes.
- Postman is my app of choice for working with various API calls and examining their responses prior to working with code.
- Pixelmator is my image editor of choice for macOS.
- Poedit is the front-end application I use when working with internationalizing WordPress-based projects.
- RescueTime. I’m a bit obsessive about measuring how I spend my time as well as staying focused when working.
- Screenflow 6 is my favorite app for more advanced screen casting (than what Droplr supports).
- Sequel Pro is my preferred front-end for working with databases when doing local development. It’s support for remote database connections is also great.
- Slack. I could do an entire post on how I think many of us abuse Slack, but I use this for three channels one of which is for Pressware. It brings together some services to keep our inboxes clean and to keep us updated as to what’s been fixed, deployed, by whom, and when.
- Spark has become my new favorite email client both on macOS and iOS.
- Spectacle makes it easy to easily re-arrange windows on the desktop with keyboard shortcuts. I use this thing daily and it’s worth its weight in whatever denomination you donate (which should be a lot 😉).
- Spotify is my favorite streaming music service for a variety of reasons the least of which is not discover weekly.
- Spotify Notifications is a small, simple add-ons that adds macOS notifications for Spotify for when a new song is playing, etc., much like iTunes.
- Things is how I keep track of the things I need to do (versus scheduled events or reminders).
- Tower. I know a lot of developers dig on the command-line for git (and I don’t blame them – no pun intended 😏) but I’m still a fan of this particular client.
- Transmit. Basic S/FTP isn’t the hardest thing in the world, obviously, but having a front-end that lets you mount servers as drives and that works with other protocols like S3 is nice.
- Tweetbot. My favorite iOS Twitter client. My favorite macOS Twitter client.
- uTorrent. Originally, I tried Deluge but uTorrent is my old standby and it continues to serve its purpose better than any other client.
- Versions. I recently wrote about my switch to Versions from Cornerstone, but it’s installed thus it’s worth a mention.
- VLC is my favorite video player of choice (especially given that it supports so many different file types and I don’t have to recode every one of them).
- Visual Studio Code has been my IDE of choice for some time now and it still continues to be.
- Windscribe is my favorite VPN client for when I need to make quick connections for certain operations.
- Xcode is installed for a number of its developer tools many of which are required for React-based development.
Looking back, it doesn’t feel like it’s that many apps but 41 of them. Yikes. It doesn’t feel like it was nearly that much when I was installing them, but each of them is needed.
Perhaps I’ll do a follow-up post later this year to see what I’m still using, what I’ve added, and what I’m no longer using. I already know that I’m planning to cover some of the alternatives that I’m aiming to use (like Evernote and Dropbox alternatives) but that’s much later.