Tools of the trade
I love my tools. I love having the right tool for the job! As a Drupal developer, I will sometimes use the command line for things like Drush or creating symlinks, but for the most part, most of my day is spent in one of the tools below.
[Full disclosure: I joined the Cult of Mac years ago so this is a Mac-centric list.]
I love the quick animations, the clean lines, the simplistic functioning of well designed user interfaces. Sometimes I tell myself I’m simple-minded, but in truth, a well designed user interface imparts confidence and agility to its user.
Following are some of the tools that I use every day.
|Toggl: Nice little time tracking application so that I can enter my time in a tool like Freshbooks or Quickbooks at the end of the day. It even has an Autopilot feature to automate time tracking … I will be adventurous someday soon and try it.|
|Mailplane: I’m a Gmail fan. I can’t imagine using anything else. I really like that Mailplane puts my Gmail into a wrapper so that I don’t accidentally close the browser window. There are too many benefits over a browser-only experience, so I’ve included the link.|
|Evernote: I use Evernote for so much. I take notes in meetings, store snippets of code I want to remember, store web pages. I even use it for grocery lists. I like the trust I feel when I add something and I know it will be on my app, on the web, and on my device within seconds.|
|LastPass: I have always been a huge fan of 1Password. LastPass recently won me over with the ability to send credentials to coworkers. I can send a coworker account credentials without them even seeing the password. I can’t remember all the passwords in my life and this tools keeps them all wonderfully secure in a vault that only I can access.|
|Espresso: This little programming tool is wonderful. I am also a fan of Coda, but the feature that keeps me in Espresso? Code expanding! I love that I can type ul>li*4>a and then press Ctrl+, and it expands everything into fully indented HTML with four rows of LIs. It seems to read my mind with the smart tab feature that knows when I want to tab inside a tag and when I just want to jump past a closing tag and start something fresh.|
|CSSEdit: Before CSS Edit, I used Firebug. I am a fan of Firebug, but I’m much much faster in CSS Edit. My favorite feature in CSS Edit is X-ray inspector. I can click what I want to style, click to add that complex CSS selector and then click a few properties. I also like that it quickly jumps to the existing styles to edit … a lifesaver when working with someone else’s code. [Note, this tool is being integrated into Espresso in the near future.]|
|Versions: I’m very visual. I love using this tool to manage files under source control. I find that I fight with it from time to time, but that is always my fault (I accidentally delete .svn folders all the time — am I the only one?|
What tools do you depend on?
I love hearing about new tools — please tell me what tool you can’t live without.
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image by: magnuscanis