The tools that I’m using #4

Written on 8 September 2018, 01:10pm

Tagged with: , ,

It’s time for a new post about the tools that I’m using. See previous editions:
2013
2014
2016

As usual, most of the applications are still there, but there are some changes. More importantly, I merged Productivity and Work into a single section since I no longer see a good reason to separate them.

Productivity and work

  1. Chrome
  2. Dropbox
  3. f.lux
  4. Logitech SetPoint
  5. Sublime Text
  6. Total Commander
  7. + LastPass
  8. + Workflowy
  9. + Pocket
  10. + BitVise
  11. + WizzMouse
  12. + Ditto
  13. + Freedome VPN

Gone are the anti-virus/anti-malware apps (Avast, MalwareBytes), along with the KeyTweak (I got a new notebook and I no longer need to tweak the keys). Also gone Beyond Compare (even though I’m still using it from time to time), and OneNote, replaced by Workflowy (Google Keep currently under evaluation) F-lux is at the borderline – still there, but I don’t know for how long. New entries: Wizz Mouse, because it makes your mouse wheel work on the window currently under the mouse pointer, instead of the currently focused window. Workflowy because of its brilliant simplicity and LastPass + Pocket because I forgot to add them 3 years ago. BitVise – because it’s much better than Putty + WinSCP combined. And finally, Ditto, a clipboard manager. Clear privacy issues, since it stores your clipboard forever, but it saved me a few times. Speaking of privacy – Freedome VPN is now in the list, since you can no longer not have a VPN nowadays…

Entertainment

  1. Neflix
  2. FastStone Editor
  3. WebShots
  4. + Photolemur

VLC and FastPictureViewer are gone, Photolemur is a new entry. And WebShots is still awesome!

The tools that I’m using #3

Written on 14 July 2016, 01:30pm

Tagged with: , ,

It’s time for a new post about the tools that I’m using. See previous posts:
2013
2014

Naturally, most of the applications are still there, but there are some changes:

Productivity

  1. Chrome
  2. Dropbox
  3. f.lux
  4. Logitech SetPoint
  5. MalwareBytes
  6. Avast
  7. WebShots
  8. KeyTweak

I removed from the list Skype, CrashPlan, WinRar, Avira.

Work

  1. Sublime Text
  2. Total Commander
  3. OneNote
  4. Beyond Compare

I removed from the list Wamp, Putty, Win Merge

Entertainment

  1. VLC
  2. Neflix
  3. FastStone Editor
  4. FastPictureViewer

Image resizer, GomPlayer and µTorrent are gone.

Productivity: know your tools!

Written on 4 December 2014, 11:38pm

Tagged with: ,

I’m always surprised by the fact that a considerable number of people in our field don’t really know how to make the best use of their tools. I’ll try to put together a set of good practices and possible improvements.

1. Hardware

Display: Know what type of monitor is better for your job (designer vs developer). Know the difference between IPS and TN panels, between fps and refresh rate, between LCD and LED technologies. If you are using a dual monitor configuration, know what is the set up that works best for your workflow. On the same page, you need to know how to sit correctly (or maybe stand?) and about the…
Ambient light: know what temperature of light is fit for what purpose (TL;DR: warm white for relaxation, cool white for work). Use f.lux to automatically adjust the screen color temperature according to the time of the day. Know that a dark color scheme is easier on the eyes compared to a light one.
Keyboard: Here the most important part is not the keyboard itself, but the way you type. Touch typing is mandatory at this level. If you don’t master it yet, get on it now.
I personally prefer this keyboard because it’s classic, it has a great touch feeling and – as a bonus – has separate multimedia keys that work with Spotify 🙂
Mouse/trackpad: no matter which one you use, it should allow you to be fast. In my experience the mouse is always faster on a day-to-day use, but if you are mostly browsing/reading and you need less pointing precision then the trackpad is probably enough. Just know how to use 2-fingers scroll and stuff like that. I personally use this mouse, after using 3 or 4 pieces from the older generation. After 8 years of using them I settled for the following configuration:
– button next to the wheel – middle click (=closing tabs)
– left/right wheel buttons – volume down/up
– left button 1 – minimize window
– left button 2 – mute toggle

Almost 2 years later, the mapping changed:
– button next to the wheel – middle click (=closing tabs)
– left/right wheel buttons – ctrl+shift+tab/ctrl+tab (switching tabs)
– left button 1 – ctrl+t (new tab)
– left button 2 – minimize window

Headphones (for music or conference): Ideally you would like to have some headphones with noise cancellation, but if you are video-conferencing a lot then you need to have some headphones with a good microphone.

2. Software

Here the motto is Learn the shortcuts. Since I am mostly using Windows, the tips below concern that operating system, but some of them are more general.

(more…)