What's On My Devices

June 19, 2019

Here’s a list of all the software I use on a frequent basis. My colleagues frequently joke that I use too much paid-for software, but I believe that software developers deserve to be paid for their hard work, so I have no issues purchasing good software. I also believe using the right tools for the job is worth a little bit of money.

Personal

To manage my personal todos, I’ve bought Things on macOS and iOS. For some of my personal side projects, I use REAPER for editing audio projects. If I’m writing, I’m using Ulysses or Scrivener. (I usually write my blog posts in Ulysses, and my novels in Scrivener.) I listen to music via Spotify. IINA is an excellent alternative to QuickTime Player if you need to play formats that are not natively supported.

Development

I use iTerm as my terminal of choice, running the latest version of bash installed via Homebrew. For my web projects, I use PhpStorm. I do version control on the command line sometimes, but most of my time spent in the GUI is in Sublime Merge (previously Tower, but I don’t love their subscription model). If I have to, I will use Xcode for iOS and Mac projects, but I don’t love it. For connecting to databases, I use the bleeding edge versions of Sequel Pro.

In case I need to connect to external storage, whether it’s an FTP server or a AWS S3 container, I use Transmit. Sometimes I need to test API calls with Paw. For time tracking I use Tyme. For monitoring the active PHP version, I use my own tool, phpmon.

System Utilities

I keep track of my Mac’s running processes with iStat Menus, and keep an eye out on in- and outgoing connections with Little Snitch, which acts as my flexible firewall. I also use 1Password, which is my favourite password manager. I manage my clipboard with Pastebot. I also use Alfred a lot. (I’m at 28K uses. Alfred keeps track. I have the Power Pack and some of my own workflows.)

Design

I don’t use them much, but I did get Affinity’s Designer and Photo apps when they were on sale on the Mac App Store. I’ve also paid for Sketch, which I use more than Affinity’s tools (for work).

Video

It doesn’t happen often, but if I need to make a screencast, I use Screenflow. It’s also a fairly good linear video editor, so you can use it for that as well. If I want to stream something, I’ll use OBS.

Sometimes I need VMWare Fusion to spin up a virtual machine for testing purposes. I’ve used it more in the past, but since I have a Surface Pro at home I find myself needing this less than before.

Services

I pay for Dropbox to keep my files in the cloud. I also pay for Backblaze for the peace of mind it gives me. (In addition to Time Machine backups, that is.)

On the go

On iOS, I use some of the same apps I use on desktop. For task management, I use Things. For writing on the go, I use apps like Ulysses and Scrivener. I also still use Dropbox and Tweetbot. If I’m listening to music, I’m usually using the Spotify app with all of my music available for offline use.

As for iOS exclusive apps, I use Halide for taking pictures, Overcast for listening to podcasts, Apollo for browsing reddit and nPlayer for playing all kinds of media. (I also recently discovered Outplayer, which is a great free video player based on mpv.) I also really like Doppler as an alternative music app, since I don’t really like the default Music app that Apple ships with iOS.