Tools are an indispensable part of our daily life and we all have our own likes and dislikes for them. Here are a list that I use (almost daily), most of them influenced from the greater list. Having a great keyboard support is something that I look out for, especially for those that I interact with more frequently (IDE’s or code editors). Couple of days back, while having a chat with my friend Bappi some of these came up and he found a few interesting, so though of sharing the list over here.

  • Visual Studio: This one is almost daily and is one of them that gets on along with my laptop. For a Microsoft stack developer I do not think there are much alternatives(WebMatrix, Visual Studio Code) if you are looking for full fledged development. Personally I am on VS2015 now(since I am lucky enough to have a free MSDN subscription), but being on any of the version is equally good.

  • One Note: For note taking I prefer OneNote as it is easy to manage and organize and is available on all platforms. Collaborating with multiple users is also so easy and comes loaded with features making it suitable for all kinds of scenarios.

  • OneDrive/Dropbox: I use a mix of OneDrive and Dropbox for backing up my data and photos and find the experience for both good on all devices.

  • Cmder: Looking out for a cool console in Windows, then this is the one! Loads of features and awesome color scheme makes it really one of the best consoles. Ctrl + C for copy and Ctrl + V works nicely on this(and you do not need to be on Windows 10 for this) and that alone would drive me to try out this one.

  • Sublime Text: As the tag-line says, this is ‘The text editor that you would fall in love with’. I use this primarily for all my writing (except for markdown formats, for which I use MarkdownPad), quick edits, formatting and even for some coding when I do not want the full power of Visual Studio. There are loads of plugins available and a good community of users backing it. Visual Studio Code: The experience on VS Code has dramatically improved from the day that I originally wrote the post. Code is now my one stop editor and I use it for my blogging too.

  • Todoist: I have tried out a lot of tools and finally ended up with the premium version of Todoist for task management. Its got everything right and highly flexible to organize your tasks and has full fledged apps on all platforms, browsers and even mail integration. Its almost easy to access Todoist from any context that I am working on and syncs across all devices seamlessly. Its really worth paying for this one, if not you could use the free version with some reduced features.

  • AHK: This tiny little tool has innumerous uses and capabilities, but I just use very few of it to automate certain mundane tasks, store a list of hotstring and application shortcut keys. I have all my scripts synced across multiple PC’s and have added a task in Task Scheduler to run the scripts with highest privileges every time I log on.

  • 1Password: It’s a password manager and is available on all platforms and quite easy to get started with. I had been using the browser capabilities to store and sync passwords before which was working fine. But password managers solve a totally different problem of generating passwords (though they also sync generated passwords without which it would be more difficult to use them given that we have multiple devices these days) as a secure password is one that you cannon remember. 1Password has a one time fee for license, can shared by up to six family members living in the same household, has various synchronization options and mainly gives you the control where all the data is stored.

  • Noisli,SoundCloud: Like to here music or have some background noise then these are for you. Noisli is a background noise generator, and lets you create different different combinations for your taste. SoundCloud has a lot of music tracks in them and it is free for online streaming.

  • Fiddler: The free web debugging proxy for any browser, system or platform, this one is really an indispensable tool if you are doing any kind of web development.

  • Feedly,Pocket: Feedly is an RSS reader and has got quite a good UI and syncs across all devices and helps me keep all the reading list in one place. If you want to have some articles to read while offline then Pocket is for you. Pocket downloads the article while online onto devices and keeps it available for reading. I have been experimenting (for a little over a month) to go offline on mobile and use this for my offline reading if I don’t have the Kindle.(The experiment is going pretty good if not for a very few times I had to turn connectivity on for finding bus routes and timings.)

  • Beyond Compare: Really its ‘beyond’ just comparing files and is really useful for comparing and merging files. I use the pro version and really recommend it. Integrates nicely with Visual Studio and other IDE’s and also provides context menu’s on file explorer.

  • Resharper: I had been using this on and off and realized that mostly I was using only the ‘navigate to’ feature and decided on to start using the in built features of Visual Studio. Mark Seemann has quite an interesting article on this and I couldn’t agree any more. Resharper is also changing their licensing model going from a one time fee to a monthly fee, which I don’t personally prefer especially for a tool like R#.

While there are some more, this is what I use most of the time. What tools help you at work. Do you have any better alternatives that I could try to replace something on this list.

Comments