It appears our blog has been neglected for a few days so I decided to write a brief blog about some tools I use on a daily basis that increase my producitivty and can’t imagine living without. I’ll break the list down into two categories: programs and FireFox Extensions (yes, I’m a junkie).

  • Launchy – Launchy allows you to index your start menu, program files, and other common places programs / files reside and run them with a quick hotkey. For example the default settings have it set to where you hit “space + alt” and a little search comes up. Type in a common program such as “firefox” and hit enter – tada FireFox launches. My description doesn’t give it justice – this program is an absolute must.
  • Pidgin – Pidgin is a multi-protocol instant messaging application that is open source and light-weight. The reason I’m including it in this list is because its simple to use, no ads, and the UI is nice and quick so it won’t distract you (yea I know a bit iffy for the list but I love it :)).
  • ZendStudio (Eclipse) – Tony turned me on to this – it’s a wonderful IDE created and maintained by the crew over at Zend (PHP). If you’re a PHP programmer this IDE will save you time from simple auto completion to built-in documentation. It also has other useful features such as built-in SVN support, error handling, phpdoc inserts, and much more.

FireFox Extensions

  • FireBug – Anyone whose developing on the web should be using FireBug to help debug their applications. It allows you to debug and monitor CSS, HTML, JavaScript, and other things such as POST and GET requests (see those pesky Ajax requests!).
  • ColorZilla – This is essentially an eye dropper tool for your browser. This allows you to select any color on screen and capture the code to use elsewhere. Extremely useful if you’re a web developer / designer.
  • RSVP Reader – RSVP stands for “rapid serial visual presentation” which basically allows you to speed read by displaying single (or a couple) words at a time. Basically it takes the difficulty out of the speed reading technique (read more about it, my description stinks).

In hindsight this is really just a quick post of some applications I can’t live without – I may post a followup with a few more I use on a daily basis in the near future.

Until next time,

I had the formatting all pretty but WordPress’ WYSIWYG editor is insisting on it being ugly. Who am I to argue?

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2 Responses to Productivity…

  1. fenerli says:

    I may as well share some too:

    Linux stuff (some of it is available on Windows/Mac too):

    Zend Studio for Eclipse (I previously used Eclipse with PDT which was free)
    Evolution Mail
    VMWare Server
    Gnome Do (similar to Launchy)
    Compiz Fusion

    Firefox extensions:

    Probably too obvious for a mention:
    Web Developer, Firebug, YSlow, Greasemonkey

    A new and interesting Mozilla Labs extension which is a big time saver once you get used to it:

    Some other productivity or time saving extensions:
    Firefox Companion for eBay
    Tabs Open Relative
    Resurrect Pages
    Organize Search Engines
    Menu Editor

    And you think you’re a junkie :p (I’ve got about 50 extensions all up)

  2. Hah, I used to have a bunch until I realized I could cut out the bloat and only keep essential ones that actually helped me increase productivity (tried to minimize the “toys”).

    Nice list, going to check out some of them.. what distro are you running on your desktop?

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