This is a continually updated list of what I'm currently using.
- Cheap minimal standing desk from IKEA.
- Stool for when standing gets old.
- Nada Chair for correct lumber alignment while on said stool — better back support than any chair I've used.
- Sunlamp for keeping energy high.
- Awesome cat that thinks he's cooler than my keyboard.
- Yerba Maté for caffeine (but I still love coffee). Here's why I love it.
- 15" Retina MacBook Pro - love the pixel density: displays as much as a 23" monitor.
- 27" & 30" monitors; love that screen real estate!
- A Laptop Stand, an Apple Bluetooth Keyboard, & a Magic Trackpad - needed to get the laptop's display up in height so I didn't hunch to look at it. Back pain sucks. Used to be anti-external keyboard as I loved having my thumbs rest on the trackpad & fingers on the keyboard but whatever; the Magic Trackpad is epic and I love how I can position it so my wrist is always straight.
- Time Machine drive that backs up laptop & a portable USB3 hard drive that holds all photos. I have another Time Machine hard drive off site that gets updated with the photos hard drive & laptop about once a week or so. If my house got broken into and all computers & hard drives got stolen, I'd lose no data; I'm mainly concerned about my 60,000 photos I've taken over the past 13 years.
Oh boy, this could be a lot; however being a Front End Web Developer is my trade and these are my tools. Here we go.
Using a Mac Without These Apps Just Feels Wrong
- Alfred - The ultimate productivity utility. I used to be a big LaunchBar fan, but have recently crossed over to the Alfred camp. I can already see the benefits. I highly suggest people moving from using Spotlight as an application launcher to using one of these amazing swiss-army utilities. Version 2's workflow are out of this world, and Version 3 makes them even better.
- Moving the arrow keys to the home row - Holy crap what a time saver; just like using keyboard shortcuts saves you time by not moving your hand off the home row, having your arrow keys in a place that doesn't require you to move your hands off the home row saves you so much time.
- Moom - Effortless window management. Here's all my keyboard shortcuts for window management.
- Flux - Save your eyesight at night by tinting your monitor at sunset. Helps you sleep better too; seriously.
Without These Apps, I'd Be an Organizational Mess
- OmniFocus - I have a love/hate relationship with this application: I love it because my life would be a mess without knowing what I need to do and I hate it because it reminds me of how much stuff I need to do. I am a self-admitted app junky and I have tried all the to do apps, and this is hands down the best one. Learning it takes a lit bit more work than your average app, but the return is far greater, and OmniFocus 2 for the Mac looks to of improved the usability hurtles that the initial version had. I love the syncing with my iPhone app which is robust and powerful as well. For those that are curious: I had my start with OmniOutliner + Kinkless to handle tasks before OmniFocus.
- Dropbox - Truly safe storage & syncing of files. It provides versioned backups every time you save a file. Also, I keep a lot of plain text files in Markdown format for my notes on projects or anything else that is frequently referenced and edited heavily and bounce between nvAlt, Byword, and MultiMarkdown Composer for editing, and for just about everything else it heads to the next item.
- Evernote - If it makes it into Evernote, I know it'll be safe and more importantly: that I can find it within two minutes. I've been using Evernote since April 17, 2008 (got in during private beta) and currently have 3,472 notes; and I can find anything that's in there in about two minutes, even from my phone. And since I can add to it from my phone, it gives me a super important thing: ubiquitous capture and retrieval i.e. I can add to it and get stuff from it and anyplace and anytime (yea, there are a few exceptions, but it's a lot of places!). And that means I trust it!
- 1Password - There are a few things that don't make it into Evernote or Dropbox: passwords, credit card numbers, and other things that belong in a digital safe. The app is super secure too.
- Calendar - I subscribe to GTD's approach to calendaring: it is the immovable landscape. However I have other calendars as well for optional events: Fun for anytime I see a concert flyer or cool thing to do, and I set a two day heads-up alarm so I can act on going with enough time to plan. My favorite way to interact with my calendar is easily Fantastical; I love that it's always up in my menu bar and putting events into it is not only easy but a joy. That's right: I just said that it can make calendaring a joy, therefore the app must be awesome :)
Front End Web Development Apps
- Sublime Text - The code editor of my dreams and so incredibly powerful. All the "GoTo" functionality makes it feels like the editor is an extension of your brain. I'll be giving a presentation at the Portland Front End Drupal Users Group this week actually! It'll include this app and a few of my favorite packages:
- Emmet - rapid CSS & HTML expansion
- Git - Commit, push, pull & more quickly from within Sublime Text
- Sidebar Enhancements - Should really be baked into the core app functionality
- TextExpander - Code Snippet & frequently used text management. I used to use and love CodeBox, but it seems to of dropped off in active development and I'm seeing more features I like with TextExpander.
- SourceTree - Great visual version control app for Git, Mercurial, and Subversion.
- Xscope - My indispensable digital ruler; I particular love the "Loupe".
- CodeKit - Slick code assistant for all your SASS & LESS CSS processing needs. Web Development feels wrong without live reload as well.
- Google Chrome Canary - It blows me away how much you can do in the Web Inspector now, keep the latest improvements coming your way. Here's why you should use Chrome Canary over Chrome.
- Sketch - A true web design application. At least as close as we're getting right now...
- Photoshop - Only because I have to. More and more I'm seeing this great application that was made for editing photos (hence the name: PhotoShop) and using it to design the movable web.
- SequelPro - Makes MySQL Database management easy.
- ScreenFloat - Floatable screenshots. Great for grabbing just a slice of a comp and pulling it with you. Great for those times that screen real estate is a concern. Bonus: if you scroll down while hovering over them you can make them transparent and use them for pixel perfecting web work. Love this app.
- Eon - Awesome time tracking that integrates with tons of sites.
- ImageOptim & ImageAlpha - Fabulous image compression
- Pixa - Stock Images & Vector organization. This app is so sweet I almost want to write a blog post about just it. Can scan an external folder, uses OpenMeta (native) tags, can search by color… it's just sweet.
- Skitch - Screenshots with arrows and text just explains things so much better. They've also fixed a lot of things that people didn't like about the 2.0 update.
- Patterns - Finally allowed me to understand Regular Expressions.
- Aperture - iPhoto Pro basically.
- PanoEdit - Panorama merging. Used to use Photoshop's Auto-Align & Auto-Blend.
- PlaceTagger - Geotag your SLR photos by having your iPhone track your GPS route.
- Yoink - Finder drag 'n drop zone (the best part of PathFinder)
- Droplr - Super helpful for sending files across the web without email. Gives you a nice little share link. Tip: Append '+' to them to get a direct link (helpful for embeds!).
- Hazel - Powerful automated organization. I'm just starting to get into this, already see the benefit, and am sure I'll blog about some really cool uses soon!
- TweetBot - Phenomenal Twitter App