There are plenty of articles out there that lists “essential” tools for web developers, and almost all of them will mention a “good text editor” and “powerful image editors”. I completely agree that those are essential, but this list won’t cover those tools. This will instead be a list of personal favourites that help me out and makes my work just a tiny bit easier.
I’ve always been one for simplicity and ease-of-use. Who isn’t? The problem I find however is that many tools and websites does not offer this. They are sometimes so feature rich and have more options and settings than any normal human being would ever use. I’m looking for tools and websites that reduce the amount of time I spend on projects. This is why I’ve started using a few things that help me achieve that.
As a developer you can easily collaborate with team members and clients in Dropbox from many different devices. There is no need for me to worry about saving attachments from emails, wondering which file is the latest version or where I saved a file ages ago that I now need again. Dropbox is easy to set up and use, which is why I prefer it above all the other cloud hosting services.
Very often when you build a website, you need placeholders for images. Placekitten is great as instead of creating many different images of different sizes, you can simply use the placekitten URL followed by the size you require. It also uses cute photos of cats which is obviously great.
I’ve never had much use for time tracking apps, but since we currently do a lot of ad hoc work, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to keep track of how much time I spend on each task. Toggl is great for this as you can use it in its simplest form by simply creating a task and starting the timer, or you can use the advanced features which allows you to set goals, collaborate between team members, have it automatically calculate how much to invoice and even automatically generate invoices for you.
This program does exactly what the name suggests. You can test your website in every version of Internet Explorer as far back as version 5.5. This is an essential testing tool for all developers as there are still quite a few users who use outdated versions of Internet Explorer.
I have my best ideas at 2 in the morning, and if I don’t jot them down immediately, chances are I will not remember them come sunrise. Evernote is great for this as my phone or tablet is always within arm’s length, and I can make a note of it. It will then synchronize automatically with all my other devices and be put to use later on.
tlk.io is a web-based chat client that can be used by anyone. There is no need to install any software. You can simply send the URL to people you’d like to talk to and they can then join the conversation.
As much as I love these apps and websites, there are always new and exciting ones that appear. Keep an eye on our blog to get updated when we find them, or if you know of any others that we’re missing, tell us on Facebook!