This page is here mainly for my own reference. I got the idea from Adam Wathan's Uses page who got the idea from Wes Bos' Uses page. I call mine Tools I Use, but the concept is the same. I don't really get a ton of questions about the tools I use for doing what I do, but I always find these things super interesting.
As someone who embraces change, these things may change. I'll be doing my best to keep this up to date. And lastly, there may be some affiliate links included, which means I get some sort of payment or reward if you use the links to make a purchase. That said, these are all tools I do actually use. Lastly, these things are in no particular order. 🙂
Last updated: 1/4/20
Productivity & Project Management
- Things – I use Things for all of my tasks/to-dos. It's what I work out of pretty much every day.
- Basecamp – I used Basecamp years ago, then ditched it for something else, followed by just email, and now I'm back to using Basecamp. It's gotten better and it helps me keep client projects organized. It also helps clients know where we're at with any given project, whether on-going or finite.
- Physical notebooks – I'm a bit of a notebook junkie, and as much as I love Moleskine notebooks and discbound notebooks, I don't have a strong preference for any one brand. Regardless, I always have a notebook on hand while I'm working to quickly jot down ideas or to use it as a scratchpad as I'm working on more complex design or development problems. I also use a notebook for calls and meetings.
- GoodNotes – For more research-based notes or reading notes, I use GoodNotes on my iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil. It's a pretty slick app. I also use it to roughly schedule out projects for proposal purposes.
- Google Drive – Needing to share documents is practically a requirement in my line of work, so Google Drive it is. I'm not a huge fan of it, but it's unfortunately the better option at the moment. I would love to use Dropbox Paper instead, but the need for spreadsheets makes Drive the winner.
- Figma – I've only recently started using Figma and have been really enjoying it. It's got pretty much everything I need for website and UI design, as well as prototyping.
- Sketch – Although I've turned to Figma as my main design app, I still use Sketch from time to time, depending on the project. I still really like Sketch and would recommend it without hesitation.
- Photoshop – Yep, I still use Photoshop. There's no better app for photo compositing. It just handles photos better than Figma or Sketch when it comes to basic editing. For more detailed editing, I'll use Luminar Flex in combination with Photoshop.
- Illustrator – When it comes to icons and logos, I don't think you can beat Illustrator.
- Contrast – Readability and color contrast is crucial in web design. Contrast helps me keep that in check.
- Visual Studio Code – I was a long-time Sublime Text user, but after getting a new machine, I made the switch to VS Code. Although I sometimes feel like VS Code is overkill, I haven't really looked back. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- Firefox – I switched to Firefox as my primary browser several months ago primarily due to it being better at privacy and security than Chrome and even Safari. It's also improved its developer tools, so it's also become my main browser for development.
- Chrome – Although Firefox is my main browser for development, I'll still crack Chrome open because it does a few things a little better than Firefox.
- Sequel Pro – I don't touch databases too often (other to export and import data), but when I do, Sequel Pro is my go-to.
- Terminal – I am not a fan of the command line, but when I need to use it, I generally just use the one that comes with every Mac: Terminal.
- CodeKit – Modern web development requires a lot of moving pieces. Some of it is complex and ain't nobody got time for that. That's why for 99% of my projects, I use CodeKit.
- Bitbucket – I used Beanstalk for a loooong time to host my code/site repositories. I finally made the switch to Bitbucket several months ago and haven't looked back.
- DeployHQ – Having ditched Beanstalk, I needed a way to deploy my code. DeployHQ won. It's super slick and modern.
- Spark – As much as I actually like Apple Mail, Spark email is what I use as my go-to email app on both my Mac and my iPhone. My email is hosted at Rackspace.
- Dropbox – I use Dropbox for the majority of my files, work and otherwise. The ability to grab a link for sharing straight from the Finder is awesome for sending clients files.
- Backblaze – Even though I use Dropbox for most of my files, I keep my Mac backed up via Backblaze. Worth every penny.
- Ulysses – I use Ulysses for two key things: writing and reference material such as code snippets.
- Airtable – When it comes to goals and ideas for content creation, Airtable is my repository for it all.
There's plenty I'm forgetting, but I'll get around to adding to this list when I can. Or when I remember. 😉