Tools I use

Here’s a list of tools I use.

For Development Work

Here’s what my text editor looks like:

  • Terminal: I like to use Visual Studio Code integrated terminal whenever I can.
    • If I need more space, I’ll whip out iTerm2.
  • Git: I use Visual Studio Code’s integrated terminal whenever I can.
    • I whip out Tower when things get complicated. You can get 20% off the first year of Tower with zell20.
  • Database: MongoDB Compass is great for checking data in MongoDB. It works for both local and remote databases.
  • Hosting: I host most of my sites on Digital Ocean.
    • I use Netlify for sites that don’t need a backend.

For Writing

  • Text Editor: Ulysses is the best text editor for Mac.
    • iA Writer is a good second choice.
    • Visual Studio Code works when I need to do code-related stuff
    • I purchased a Setapp subscription because Ulysses is in it. With this subscription, I get lots more tools to use (as you’ll see below).
  • Emoji: Rocket is hands-down the best emoji picker for Mac.
  • Editing:
    • Hemingway helps me prune sentences
    • Grammarly helps me check for grammar and spelling mistakes
  • Screenshot: I use Cleanshot over Mac’s default screenshot taker.
    • It’s faster
    • It cleanups the desktop.
    • I get Cleanshot via Setapp.
  • Annotation: I annotate screenshots with Skitch.
    • Skitch is easier to use compared to Cleanshot.
  • Video capture and GIF makers: Kap is the best video capture out there.
    • It’s easy to use
    • It’s output (both .mp4 and .gif) are smaller than others I’ve seen
    • Kap doesn’t capture device audio
    • When I need to capture device audio in my videos, I use Capto (which comes with Setapp).

For Design

  • Design: I use Sketch.
    • I’m considering Figma going forward.
  • Font Management: I need a good font tool because I bought a huge number of fonts from Designcuts.
    • I tried Fontbase. It’s okay, but it doesn’t let me search according to Serif/sans-serif etc.
    • I also use Typeface because it comes with Setapp.
    • Still looking for a better font manager.
  • Color Picker: Sip (via Setapp) is a great color picker tool.
    • It lets me check color-contrast against accessibility guidelines.
  • Color Palette: I create color palettes with this method.
  • Measuring: If I need to measure distance of stuff on screen, I use PixelSnap. (Comes with Setapp).

For my Business

  • Email List: I use Convertkit to send emails. It has the best UX and interface compared to others I’ve tried.
  • Payment provider: Currently I use Gumroad.
    • It lets me sell through in USD and keep $$ in USD.
    • Doesn’t handle limited subscriptions well (like 12 payments of $XX)
    • Looking for a better payment provider.
  • Managing Money: Gumroad transfers money into Paypal.
    • I use Transferwise to convert USD to SGD because it has better rates.
  • Scheduling: I use Calendly to schedule calls.
    • It lets people choose an empty slot from my calendar.
    • Works great especially if I work with people from a different timezone.

For Streaming

File Storage and Backups

  • Dropbox: For files that require good syncing capabilities and speed
  • Google Backup and Sync: For less essential stuff
  • Google Drive File Stream: For syncing business related stuff
  • Backblaze: To backup all my projects (because they have large node_modules folder). Backblaze backs EVERYTHING up.

Mac Stuff

Lots of stuff here.

  • I use Endurance (via Setapp) to extend battery life.
  • I use Tripmode (via Setapp) to save mobile data.
  • I use Clean my Mac X (via Setapp) to remove unwanted files.
  • I use Bartender (via Setapp) to cleanup menu bar icons
  • I use Alfred over Spotlight
  • I use BusyCal (via Setapp) as my calendar.
    • Fantastical was better, but they decide to start charging monthly so
  • I use Moom to manage windows placement on Mac.
    • Setapp has Mosiac that does the same thing.
  • Email: I used to use Airmail.
    • But they screwed it up with animations.
    • Looking for a better alternative
  • Todolist systems: Major pain point here.
    • I tried Anydo, Asana, Notion, Things, Trello, Todolist, and many others.
    • But none of them work for me.
    • Thinking about building a Todolist system. Interested to hear more? Let me know!

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