Toolbox

Toolbox

This is a toolbox of my favorite software/hardware/learning resources available to anyone. Its mostly geared towards DIY/web-dev/software-development/productivity

I draw inspiration from awesome-list


Favorite Software

I ignored Linux here. I do all my programming on macOS. List of all 700 apps I’ve tried here.
This list last edited 9-1-18, subject to change as new software hits market.
This is mostly tools to help me do get shit done faster
My rule is every quicktask needs to be done in 3 steps or less
I don’t believe in todolist apps for personal use, only for team-based tasks

  • Notetaking / Productivity
    • Dynalist – Primary notetaking software
    • Airtable – Google spreadsheet meets microsoft access. A swiss army knife for business. Very useful for making a minimal viable prototype
    • Pinboard – Bookmarking. I consider this 3rd party chrome extension a must-have, I bind it to my CTRL+D key
    • Anki – Flashcard software. I use it to speed up learning math, programming languages, and computer science.
  • Software Development
    • Chrome – My everyday browser
    • Slimjet – A simple chromium based browser that I use for webdevelopment occasionally. Because then I can have a seperate desktop icons
    • VS Code – My primary IDE
    • Github –  Git + cloud storage for programming projects
    • Codepen – Isolated frontend environment. Used to A/B test components and explore cool things. Organize codesnippets here like I do in evernote.
    • Postman – API testing
    • LucidChart – Making flowchart diagrams and data models. Not free though, for that I prefer draw.io
  • Design Tools – (macOS and windows)
    • Flux – Makes screen red at night so I can sleep easier
    • AffinityDesigner – I use all adobe products as well, but I prefer this over illustrator
    • AffinityPhoto – Same reason, I prefer over adobe photoshop
    • AdobeIndesign – Catalog & Brochure design
    • Figma – UX design tool, applesketch is macOS only
    • AutoCAD – Architectural drafting program, but not free
    • Fusion360 – 3D modelling program for DIY projects
    • GooglePhotos – Photo & video backup
    • Dropbox – Cloud storage for files/folders
  • Windows specific
    • Phraseexpress – Keyboard macro automation. Checkout my 14 phrase-express guide to see use cases
    • Autohotkey – When I need an advanced macro that phrase express doesn’t work on. It has a high learning curve and ugly syntax language though
    • DirectoryOpus – Native windows file explorer sucks, this is best file explorer in market. Has a learning curve. Checkout use cases here
    • 7+ Taskbar Tweaker – Smaller icons on my windows desktop screen
    • Blank Spacer Exes – It gets hard to look at so many icons in windows, so this gives me eye relief by grouping icons together
    • Greenshot – The best windows quick image editor out there. First thing I install on friends/family PC normally, its that good. MacOS version is not good.
    • ShareX – ShareX is greenshot image editor that supports gif uploads / custom image-hosting options. Version 11.6 is the best. MacOS has no equivalent.
  • MacOS specific – alot of programming apps
    • Iterm2 – A better terminal environment. I binded it to ⌃⌥[spacebar]
    • Oh-my-zsh – My preferred bash alternative for development
    • Penc – Gesture based window snapping/resizing
    • Spectacle – Keyboard based window snapping/resizing
    • Keyboard Maestro – Keyboard automation for macOS. Similar to phraseexpress but better
    • Alfred – Better alternative to macOS’s spotlight for quickly opening files / apps. I binded it to ⌥[spacebar]
    • Captured – An inferior version to shareX without gif support, but best thing I could find.
    • Dropzone 3 – For quickly
    • Cheatsheet – Because I’m a new mac user I need to quickly memorize commands
    • Unarchiver – So I can one click install things on macOS
  • Chrome Extensions – Productivity
    • Silverbird – For quickly tweeting things on twitter
    • Tabsnooze – Set reminders to myself to pay bills at end of month, and to do incremental reading
    • Pagenotes – When I need to save some specific information on a website. E.G. terminal commands, regular expressions on regex101.com, etc.
    • TheGreatSuspender – Suspends unused tabs after 30 minutes. Because chrome is a memory hog
    • Tampermonkey – Injecting javascript on a page to enhance notetaking tools. Its like your own chrome extension. Read about how I use it here
    • Ankitab – Relatively unknown, but its the opposite of Momentum. I use it to review flashcards thoughout the day
    • DynalistCompanionClipper – I use this with my notetaking app dynalist, I dump all my ideas here as they happen.
    • Stylus – Add custom CSS to webpages. Since stylish was tracking user data and got banned
    • VideoSpeedController – So I can play youtube videos up to 16x speed with captions to speedread. Its how I consume information very quickly
    • Imagus – Hover over an image to see its full view. Useful for my notetaking app dynalist, as well
    • GoogleDictionary – Select a word to see its definition.
    • PowerThesaurus – Select a word to see synonym and antonyms. Thesaurus are my favorite business and coding tool, naming is important
    • ClipboardHistory2 – SelectAll, CopyAll – you now have a saved copy of whatever your typing on reddit / hackernews / wordpress
    • Lastpass – Chrome extension for managing passwords. Cross platform
    • AmazonAssistant – So I can dump all my favorited wishlist items anywhere to amazon, export it out later
  • Chrome Extensions – WebDevelopment
    • Wappylzer / Builtwith – To check what websites are running these days, accurate 50% of time
    • Page Ruler – Measure things on screen quickly
    • Webdeveloper – Powerful swiss army knife for webdevelopment, but I never use it
    • ViewportResizer – For responsive webdevelopment, I use this daily. Better than chrome’s native tools. Checkout bookmark version here
    • Gifscrubber – I need to pause gifs especially if I want to make a codepen of it from dribbble, etc.  PlaytheGif is a close equivalent.
    • RefinedGithub – Better looking github made by Sindresorhus
    • Octotree – Left side file explorer for github repos
  • Android / General
    • ColorNotes – Every other noteapp I’ve used sucks. I write things here, copy+paste it to dynalist later
    • GoogleKeep – When I need to quickly sync an image or text from my phone to PC and nothing else works
    • Meetup – Use the specific link, login, and add URL to homepage. Meetup android app sucks. Shows only the 28 techmeetups I’m subbed to
    • SolidExplorer – File explorer
    • Should I answer? – Tells me if phonecaller is a scammer. Not that I pick up phonecalls I don’t recognize anyways, that’s what voicemails for.
    • Slack – Team communication
    • OfficeLens – For making PDF’s from documents using your phone camera.
    • waze – If I know a driving route is slow, I use waze
    • okgoogle – My favorite commands are: “Play spotify”, “Next Song”, “Navigate Home”, “Exit Navigation”, “Find Parking”
    • Spotify – Music
    • Musixmatch – Lyrics for spotify
    • GoogleCalendar – Calendar
  • Content / News
    • Youtube – I only put an alert on people that post high quality content infrequently. E.G., SmarterEveryDay, MarkRober, TomScott
    • ProductHunt – Where I like to see all the new fun tools out there
    • Hackernews – Lots of smart and interesting people here. Also, where I find out about news in the tech environment
    • Reddit/subreddits – Copy this multihub, delete ones that aren’t relevant to you, add cool ones like r/welding, r/cableporn, r/engineeringPorn
  • Website / CSS Tools / Analyitcs / Useful Business Tools
    • Mangools – Best tool to do SERP checks for free, 5/day
    • namecheap – domain registar
    • siteground – wordpress
    • …. more to add later

That’s all the tools I use on a regular basis. There’s other tools I didn’t mention like onenote, evernote, etc. I just have old notes on there and occasionally use onenote as a copypaste dumping ground. I omitted social media apps those aren’t relevant to getting stuff done. In addition, I omitted email applications, etc

……….. to be done later. Hardware will cover things like stickynotes, most optimal wallets I’ve found researching online, bags, youtube content cutters for finding the best software/hardware reviews I’ve curated.

Basically I’m going to make this singlepage a wirecutter.com for hackernews type people

Favorite CSS Tools

SOP (Standard Operating Procedures

Useful Links I use in google chrome bookmarks

Windows OS software Tools

Mac OS software Tools

Favorite Books

Best Productivity / Tool reviews

Reddit Threads

Websites

CSS Tools

Hardware / DIY hacks

Industry Specific Events

Shortcut links to meetup on mobile, etc

……………to be done later


If your anything like me, you might find this list useful. Otherwise, probably not. Here are things about me:

  • I like trying out new things at least once
  • I like doing 3 things at 70% quickly than one thing at 95%
  • I start a lot of projects but only finish maybe 20% of them in reasonable timeframes
  • I’m introverted
  • I’m always investing in new hardware and software tools.
  • Ducktape is the answer to half my DIY problems
  • I always pick the dumb paper solution before upgrading to shiny tech
  • I don’t believe in a todo-list app, its now, never, or really far down the road
  • I calculate exactly how long it takes for me to do common tasks while doing it. This includes how far my fingers have to move, and eyetracking.
  • I use my Macbook as much as I use my Windows desktop
  • I avoid reinventing the wheel unless its for learning purposes.
  • On the personality spectrum I am mostly an INTJ, with a small mix of INTP and INFJ

I do big data on myself. I do this because I have cognitive overload if I don’t. I’m constantly filtering data into one memory location that my brain can remember easily

To the point where I should probably make a scraper on my own data. And make an app so I can search for all of it in one place. I have SOP’s (standard operating procedures) for everything I do; there’s a rich history behind why I chose to do things the way I did.

  • I made 13,000 annotated images / gifs over 4 years, among some documenting reddit r/place
  • I have a 5000+ wishlist on amazon of case studies on different markets / things with multiple types of applications over 4 years.
  • Wrote 500,000 words in 2 months so I can discover myself a bit more
  • Keep track of every youtube video I’ve watched, I can search for 1500+ videos pretty quickly
  • Sub to 1000+ content creators, but am very picky on who I subscribe too
  • Keep track of all 1000+ software applications I’ve used, and written 200+ software reviews on alternativeto.net
  • I have about 500 logins tracked through lastpass, 2FA on everything