My tool belt 3

As a web developer you need a bunch of good tools. I know that tools are something very personal, but maybe my choice contains some inspiration for your toolbelt.

Toolbelt Picture from brockamer. Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Mac OS X Software


1Password Login Window

1Password is my password manager of choice. Why a password manager? Well its the only realistic way of having a different password for every website. 1Password also hold password to servers, my serial numbers + my credit card info etc.

Apart from being more secure it also makes the whole password business much more user-friendly, fills passwords in and submits forms if I want.

There is one downside however: I don’t know my passwords any more. When I am at my friends computer I have to look them up in the iPad version of 1Password.


Alfred is a marvelous application launcher. I tried Quicksilver and Launchbar but both are not as nice as Alfred.


Apart of the use as app launcher, Alfred is a perfect keyboard interface for iTunes and my clipboard history.



BetterSnapTool manages my windows in an intelligent way. With soon simple grips on the keyboard: I can move them from one screen to another, or arrange them in split view to the left and the right side.


Google Chrome

One of my most important tools is Chrome. Not only is it a nifty, fast and clutterfree browser, but also a perfect tool for web developers.

The developer tools are right build in and contain everything that I need on a daily basis: JS Console, network activity, debugging facilities for CSS and some basic checks for front end performance.

iTerm 2


I spend quite a lot of time in the terminal. I use iTerm instead of the build in Mac OS terminal. I like the split-pane view, Tmux-integration and that it just kind of feels much better then the normal build in terminal.



OmniOutliner is a handy tool for planing new features, thinking about a problems, organizing ideas, breaking down tasks and to understand stuff. There are probably many other Outliners out there – but I am not sure if I could get used to them after all those years..

PHPStorm / Rubymine


Many people don’t use IDE’s – because most of them suck. In my day to day work I couldn’t live without PHPStorm. I love the editor, the code completion, the refactoring support, the GIT integration and the fantastic SFTP sync. Its the first IDE fits my needs and I am very greatful. All my bad experiences with Eclipse, Netbeans, ZendStudio etc are history.

PHPStorm costs ~100€ every year – I rarely pay that much for Software. But PHPStorm is worth every penny.

PHPStorms brother RubyMine is another flavor of the JetBrains IDE. I use it for tons of private projects in Sinatra / Rails and I really like the fantastic integration with Bundler, RSpec, Cucumber and the rest of the Ruby world.



I am a big believer in the Pomodoro Technique. When I started, I used a tomato-shaped kitchen timer. But it constantly fell of my desk and the ticking annoyed my environment. Thats why I choose to use the little app with the name “Pomodoro”. Its gorgeous. It has Things Integration and lives in my menu bar.

Also it has Apple Script integration. Once I used it to set my status in Adium to away etc, and auto reply during pomodoros. Wasn’t a big hit with my colleagues 😉 – Well but that is probably another story..



Reggy is a small program that helps you create and test-drive regular expressions. Its quite simple and saves a lot of time. I can’t imagine how to create complicated regular expressions without rapid feedback any more.

Some of my colleagues had a look at Reggy and instantly wanted this kind of instant feedback for regexe’s as well. If you don’t have a Mac an alternative might be Rubular


I hate email! They suck the energy out of me. I tried many different clients over the years: Mail, Entourage, Postbox, Thunderbird, GMail. They really don’t work for me.


Recently I discovered Sparrow. I like it because it makes email as convenient as using Twitter. You can reply fast and it resides in your menu bar and does not use space in the dock.

What I also like is that it automatically uploads attachments to dropbox and I dont have to send 10 MB big attachment bombs through the internet.

I still don’t like emails.. But they are a lot nicer now..



TextExpander stores snippets of texts that i use over and over again. For example boilerplate code that I have to write in PHP to create tests, or email signatures, Lorem Ipsum snippets and such..

TextExpander syncs itself via Dropbox, so that you can share your snippets between different computers.


Tasks in Things

Things is a pretty neat store of the stuff that pops into my mind, while I am working on hard problems.

I can revisit this stuff later and continue to concentrate on the task at hand.

It allows me to plan Tasks, schedule them, create little projects.

Since the last weekend I also use Things Cloud beta, to syncronize my tasks between my Imac at work and my Macbook Pro at home.

Sequel Pro

Sequel Pro

I already recommended Sequel Pro in the past a while ago. In the meantime it even got better.

If you work with MySQL and a Mac and you don’t have it – get it. Now!

It makes working with the database fun again. You can have favorite queries, browse your database, alter tables, kill queries in a simple, elegant and time-saving way.



Homebrew is the missing package manager for OS X. It my preferred way to install *NIX tools. It works like a charm and just feels better than the alternatives.


Bashmarks is a little shell script that allows you to save bookmarks to directories. With a few keystrokes you can jump everywhere in the system.


My swiss army VCM system. I use it for nearly everything that is related to text. For example also to write blog-articles: on GitHub


Mac OS X


I am quite obsessed about trying out new stuff. So i am really interessted in the tools you use. Tell me 🙂

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