Design and development tools

The 2022 update on the software and hardware in my workflow.
3 minute read

While we should always pick the right tool for the job, these are the apps and hardware I use the most.

Design

Sketch
The first design tool since Photoshop CS that really stole my heart. Native performance is unparalleled, and official Apple Libraries make quick work of keeping pace with the Human Interface Guidelines.

Figma
You cannot deny the feature set of this thing. I can soapbox about how problematic Electron is all day, but Component Variants and Auto Layout are game changers.

xScope
Providing an on-screen overlay simulating an array of vision impairments, this is a must-have.

Quartet Whiteboard
I can't think of a project that didn't end up on this indispensable 6-foot by 4-foot collector of to-do items, ideas, layouts, notes, post-its, and magnets. Pairs well with their fine tip EnduraGlide markers.

Development

Panic Nova
Everything Panic touches is gorgeous. A lot of thought went into getting the app out of the way so you can focus on work. As a very junior-at-best web developer, it's appreciated.

Linear
Just enough of a ticketing system for personal and client projects, and it sure is nice to look at.

Eleventy
The latest hotness in static site generators. It's everything I wish I had when I was young with web developer dreams.

GitHub
While hardcore and veteran programmers use git commands, I'll stick to the GitHub Desktop app for now, please and thanks.

Netlify
My website deploys automatically whenever I push a commit to a watched branch. One instance for staging, and another for production.

Notes & note-taking accessories

Agenda
My go-to for client and project meetings. It goes beyond notes with prioritizing tools and tie-ins to your calendar app of choice.

Notion
Amazing for focusing on copywriting and information architecture.

Pocket
I don't think a great bookmarking solution exists, but Pocket has been the best of them.

Miliko A5 size dot grid notebook
The transparent cover lends well to the avid sticker collector. It follows me from office to kitchen, to workshop, to grocery store, to coffee shops all over the globe. This is the one exception to my otherwise Amazon-free shopping.

Studio Neat Mark Two pen
Kickstarter turned me on to Studio Neat's pens a long time ago. This everyday carry goes wherever my notebook goes, and it's built to last.

General

Raycast
I was a ten-year Alfred user, but what Alfred required as an extension, Raycast offers it out of the box. It's a fresh take on all counts.

1Password
Simply put, it's the best password manager for your money and peace of mind.

Apple Music
Music discovery and user experience is lacking. Higher resolution audio, better artist royalties, and a lack of Joe Rogan, however, are great perks.

Apple Podcasts
My most controversial app. Overcast and Pocket Casts just don't do it for me.

Honorable mentions

Apple Reminders, Apple Notes, Safari, Firefox, and Ghostery.

Recent posts