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[Utilities] Derek's daily favorites

  • November 01, 2011
  • |
  • 2 minutes to read.

I’m pushing the rest of team to take a break to share some of their favorite or most used software / utilities. Applications which improve productivity or are just so damn useful that everyone else should consider a download.


  • Alfred - The first thing I download on a new computer or after a fresh install. The few keystrokes required to initiate this powerful tool allow for a much faster access to Mac files and apps, quick searches to frequented sites, custom commands and global hotkeys.
  • Dropbox - Serves two purposes: Allows for seamless sync / sharing with everyone else on the team and a no nonsense file access to files from my iPhone or iPad. We’re seeing more and more clients using Dropbox internally which allows us to share comps and assets with clients easily.
  • CloudApp - Shortens URLs and provides fast file sharing with friends, co-workers or clients.
  • QuickCal - Menu bar access to personal and shared calendars or reminders. Super slick natural language quick event entry.


  • Photoshop / Illustrator CS5 - Standard issue.
  • Versions - My preferred SVN client. I’ve tried a few but this one just works. Not to mention it integrates with my next favorite app.
  • Kaleidoscope - Beautiful file diff tool. Does images.
  • GitHub - We manage a few projects on GitHub and what better way to access said projects than with the official client?
  • TextMate - Powerful yet oh so simple. I’ve tried a few other editors but I always return to TextMate. Something about the keyboard shortcuts, established snippets repository and promise of an eventual update keep me happy. Runner up would be Espresso.
  • LiveReload - This utility is so slick I don’t even what to think about how my front end development used to be. Manual refresh?! Pfff. LiveReload watches project folders for changes and updates any browsers automagically.
  • iA Writer - Clean canvas, great typography setting focused writing mode. For some reason whenever I’m assigned a writing task in office, IA Writer helps me get it done.


  • Airfoil - It’s hard to work in a quiet office. Airfoil lets me pipe any audio from my Mac to the shared office speakers.
  • Spotify - I saved some HDD space and removed my iTunes library. Entertainment in the cloud without killing my entertainment budget. There are quite a number of other utilities and apps I use on a daily basis, but these are the core must have apps that help me get through the work days.

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