Everyday Tools

September 03, 2017

Let's be honest... everybody needs some help. A simple reminder, a little tool or also just some programs to help you with your work. We're all using tools. And today I'll give you a little look into the toolkit case I'm using every day. So, grab your reading glasses and let's explore some of them!

My general tools and setup

So first of all, let's clarify the environment in which I am and what tools I might need. As you might already know, I'm a software engineer and actually do some digital designs pretty often. I'm really open for new tech and I'm trying a lot of things out to improve my workflow. Nowadays there are plenty of tools for keeping track of tasks, taking notes and a lot of other stuff. If you want to find a tool know and try to dive straight into that mess, you get lost. I needed some time, too, but now I have a pretty solid base and I'm really happy with that. But enough talk. Those pretty things are may base tools:


Todoist is a wonderful, lightweight but pretty powerful todo list app by the awesome doist team (who are also developing the communication app twist, which is pretty awesome, too). It works on every device you can think of and gives to a lot of functions! Projects, statistics, teams, support with AI and a lot more. This swiss army knife can handle almost everything and works wonders for me! I use it every day for a few years now. Todoist is my main container for everything I'm working on and my go to tool for reminding myself of the things I have to do. No matter what. Work, university, private, shopping... I see everything in todoist!

General writing tools

In combination to todoist, I always have a little notebook in my backpack. I use the Bullet Journal system in this one, which works really well for me and gives me a pretty good overview of everything. It also works for quick notes and ideas on the go. I will tell you a lot more about my note taking and task management workflow in another post pretty soon ;-).
For general writing, I'm using Byword, a pretty simple editor with Markdown support and a good amount of minimalism to focus on writing. I really like this one and I use it for all of my blog posts, too!
For a few months, I'm also using Evernote as kind of container for notes. I don't like it when things are at different places, so I've decided to have Evernote as my single source of truth. I sync all my stuff to Evernote and keep it there nicely organized once in a month.

Coding tools

When it comes to coding, I don't have that many tools I need for my daily work. But I think that's also some kind of a specific aspect, depending on the work you have to do. There aren't any big surprises regarding the setup. So let's take a look at my favorite picks.

The master of tools

I think this one shouldn't be missing in any list. Git and GitHub. I use this for every project I'm doing. No matter what. And I love it. The versioning, interacting with others and their projects and the collaboration on projects are just amazing and I would never miss this both in a project.

Where I write my code

Well, considering Swift and iOS development I don't have many choices and here I like sticking to the default. So, xCode is the place to be. And this one is a nice and official tool where you can do pretty much everything you need to do when it comes to iOS development.
The editor I'm using for pretty much else is Atom. Developed by the GitHub guys this is one powerful little guy! Now, there is an extension or a plugin for almost everything you can imagine and you can also write your own one, too! So, no matter what to do, you can do it in Atom. Oh, and it's totally free!

And a few development tools

There aren't any real development tools which I "have" to use in a project. Actually, I like to make this decision in the process of planning and it depends a lot on the project requirements, too. But that doesn't mean that I don't have any tools I like.
The first one on the list is Jekyll, a static site generator. I use this one like a kind of cms for my stuff. Jekyll also powers my website and this little blog. It is pretty powerful once you got your head behind it. I really like this static site generator approach, too, to be honest.
The second tool that I'm using for a pretty long time now is Bootstrap. Mainly because of the easy to use grid system that works really well. I don't have to think about setting up custom grids and columns and can kickstart my development right away!

Design tools

Besides my coding tools, some design tools have a place in my toolkit case, too. Don't expect here anything too fancy, too. It starts every time with some simple pen and paper sketches in my notebook. This is the best thing to get a quick overview and shoot out your ideas pretty fast. Afterwards, I mainly use Sketch (and some small plugins) for the screen designs and Illustrator CC for some little illustrations or logo designs. Before Sketch I used Adobe XD, which is also a pretty solid tool and excellent for starting out in design.
I'm also using Figma sometimes. And I really like their web based approach. Especially when it comes to working on different machines or in real time with different people. Another tool to mention here is Abstract, which is kind of a git or versioning system for sketch files. You should definitely take a look at this one!
For prototyping, I'm using Invision. Oh and also their craft plugin package for Sketch is pretty amazing and handy!

My little toolkit case

That was a quick little look in my toolkit case and the tools that I use day to day. I hoped you enjoyed it and maybe got some inspiration. For me, it was also nice to reflect on all those things. And here I have to say one thing... Tools don't matter! Focus on the thing you want to build. Tools will change all the time, but the methods and the art of creating stays. Keep this always in your mind! Thanks for your visit. I would be glad to see you back soon! Now, let's go out and create awesome things!

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