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My day to day tools

Posted Mar 18, 2019

Here’s a list of all the software I use in my day to day life.

📝 Research & Inspiration

Inspiration and research are a huge step in projects if I’m involved in the design stage or just the developer whether it’s researching the best UX flows for new page designs or getting inspired on how to give pages new depth with interesting page transitions I may not have considered before.

I’ll add to this list as I remember or discover more, but below is the list of sites I tend to start my project research:

🎨 Design

Adobe Creative Cloud

When I’m involved in the design of a project, I am currently using the range of products from Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Starting with Illustrator for icons or vector work, Photoshop for image manipulation and I’m currently enjoying using XD for prototyping designs.

As some of my clients are supplying final designs in Photoshop, Illustrator or XD, my usage of these products does vary from project to project.


I’m currently in the transition away from using Photoshop and Illustrator to complete my final designs and Sketch is the current experiment. Really enjoyed it on the projects I’ve trialled it with so far, so it looks like it could be a new staple moving forward.

🛠 Development

Visual Studio Code

Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code is my IDE at the moment, and has been for a few years. After finding other’s too performance-heavy for my MacBook whilst using everything else, I’ve found VS Code to be clean, intuitive and very expandable.


Working with CraftCMS on almost every project, having a simple local PHP server environment is key. MAMP 5 has great features and makes it very simple to operate. My devops knowledge is limited, so having MAMP take care of my local environments makes life much easier.

Sequel Pro

I use Sequel Pro for all my database work. I’m not a natural when it comes to working with database queries by any stretch, so this open source GUI is a great tool to take care of importing and exporting my databases both locally and on my remote servers.

Oh My Zsh

Expanding my terminal with Oh My Zsh has potentially improved my workflow more than any other tool. Allowing me to see git details inline and navigate between directories quicker using $ z project-name with the Z plugin.


I don’t use a GUI for git, but I use it completely within the Shell because I feel like I have more control over what’s happening when I run every command myself. Working with Oh My Zsh, this has become much easier and intuitive.

iTerm 2

Even though I use the built-in terminal within VS Code, when I feel it’s more appropriate to use a terminal away from my IDE (when I’m accessing a remote server, for example) I use iTerm2. With it’s expansive list of features, it’s far superior to the default Terminal with MacOS.

CraftCMS 3

For my projects that require a CMS, I’ll religiously stick alongside CraftCMS. With it’s great UI for content-writers and streamline framework for developing with, I couldn’t ask for a better tool.


As an official CraftCMS hosting partner, I have opted to use fortrabbit for all my hosting needs. As mentioned before, my devops skills leave a lot to be desired.

I was struggling to deliver great support and needed features through my previous combination of Digital Ocean + ServerPilot, so having fortrabbit take care of everything for me is a huge weight off. The support from the FR team has been phenomenal, too. 

JayPack & JayCraft

My project stack uses JayPack and JayCraft, my own project boilerplates. Where JayPack is my front end bundler using Gulp 4 and Webpack 4 and JayCraft is my initial Craft 3 project scaffolder.

Both of them are relatively new to 2019 but they are getting better with every project.


To make sure all my projects work on the latest devices and browsers I use BrowserStack during development.

Google Search Console

I use Google’s Search Console (previously named Webmaster Tools”) to make sure my client’s sites are up and on Google’s radar as soon as possible. This product also gives guidance on what I could do to improve my client’s score.

iOS Simulator (Xcode)

The iOS Simulator app within Xcode is a great tool for making sure my projects work perfectly on iOS.

💻 Setup

2017 MacBook Pro (no touchbar)

My machine is an upgraded 2017 MacBook Pro. Where I saved money by getting the model without the novelty touchbar, I upgraded other features like the RAM and processor.

Although, I have been having consistent issues with it where it’s needed both the keyboard and displays to be replaced and I am in regular discussions with Apple’s support team to try and resolve an ongoing problem with my fans booting up to full-speed even under low usage… 😡 

Samsung LC27H800FCU 27″ Curved Monitor

Alongside my MacBook Pro I am using a Samsung Monitor with built in dock for my primary monitor.

Razer Electra Headset V1

The best headphones I’ve used for keeping the outside world at bay is my seven year old Razer Electra Headset. It’s the first version that can’t be found anywhere anymore, so I’m dreading the day they perish!

Home office

As I’m currently living in a half renovated home we bought in Bath in 2018, I’m not happy sharing my workspace just yet… but I’m making it as homely as possible with a canvas artwork we bought in Cambodia, a Boba Fett POP! toy (he’s my developer duck) and my DotAll 2018 coasters.

🎶 Other


Silence sucks most of the time, so my Spotify Premium membership is something that I could never part with. I just wish Mac OS and iOS didn’t insist I used iTunes or Apple Music all the damn time.


Firefox is my current default browser. But with my focus on accessibility during development I tend to use Opera, Safari and Chrome all at the same time.


Slack has been the best way for me to keep in touch with my range of clients both at home and in the US.


Because remembering passwords is annoying, 1Password means I have more space in my brain for Brooklyn Nine Nine quotes. Noice.