When you work with technology every day you very quickly fall into habits. Technology is largely designed to help us – be more productive, be healthier, be safer, etc – so here are my list of preferred pieces of technology that I like to use when I’m working on projects.
For more information on how I work, you can visit: About Fred.
I literally swear by my Apple products… at least two of them go with me pretty much everywhere I go. There are only a couple of times I might leave my Macbook at home and take an iPad instead. But in my line of work I find it really important to stay connected. A quiet 10 minutes in a coffee house whilst waiting for a meeting to start, or even on the train. It means if there’s just that little bit of code that needs to be tweaked I can do it right away.
Plus Macs have Apache web server built in so it’s super easy to have a local copy of the project you’re working on on your local machine, make the changes then just Git Push the changes when you’re next connected to the net.
I found Coda by Panic a number of years ago, and have stuck with it. They’re new version Coda 2 is much improved. There are also plugins available to install so you can customise your usage some what. It’s perhaps not quite as tech-geeky as Sublime but it ticks all the boxes I need:
- Code color highlighting
- Plugins (function auto writing for WordPress, Laravel etc)
- FTP/SFTP connections
- and more…!
You can also save sites and connections and arrange them into folders. It also has a built in GUI for Version Control either GIT or SVN.
It also can connect to MySQL databases from right within the application. Oh, plus it has it’s own terminal application so really you never need to come out of it…
Talking of Terminal…
iTerm is another piece of software that I found out about in it’s infancy. If you’re used to Putty or MacOS’s native Terminal then you’ll be at home here. The main benefit that I’ve found that iTerm2 gives you is tabs! (admittedly MacOS’s Terminal does give you this now)
Plus iTerm2 brings some great features of Putty to the Mac, like saving profiles so you can automatically connect to a server using a shortcut key.
I’ve actually wanted to use Slack for a while, but whilst being a freelancer I’ve never really had the opportunity to. However when I started to work with the team at Cranleigh School we quickly adopted Slack – gradually dropping the use of Basecamp.
The amazing thing about Slack is that it actually does do what the developers claim. It reduces the amount of emails in your team. Emails are slow and tedious – now with Slack we can just message each other questions or comments… it’s all searchable and it’s there easily to check back on.
The integrations that Slack gives are so helpful as well. For example each project that I work on has it’s own Slack channel so I keep all conversations well grouped. Each project that has a Github repo (most of them) will have the Github integration installed so I can see any Issues, Pull Requests, Commits that are new right from within Slack – no more emails, no more having to check Github.com regularly.
I think this one is pretty self explanatory. I pay for the international calls package. I’ve found it particularly useful for the times when I’m abroad and what to call a client back home, or vice versa.
Plus the SkypeIn number allows me to have a business line, without having to give my personal email out to the public.
Having a GUI that can connect to MySQL databases is really useful. I quite like this one, it’s simple to use and very Mac Friendly. It does have a few oddities when it comes to formatting a SQL dump which have stumped me a couple of times.
If you don’t like this I’d also suggest MySQL Workbench – which is the official app developed by the MySQL team at Oracle.
When I’ve got a lot on, I’m often pretty useless as prioritising and remembering the little things that need to be done. I like to use Todoist like a checklist. Similar to the reason why I like Coda2 is that Todoist is a native Apple App that syncs across all your devices, and also has a web interface. So no matter what device you’re on you’ll always be able to see your todo list.
I personally pay for the premium version so I can arrange things with colour-coded labels, receive reminders by email, or SMS (USA only), and attach extra data to notes including PDF attachments or even spoken voice recordings.
I was introduced to Evernote when I was working at Global Radio back in 2011. Every employee was told to download it and we all got ‘training’ on how to use it.
It’s perfect for note taking during meetings. Plus you can share the notes with the rest of your team afterwards.