5 (free) tools I am really digging right now

I use a Mac for my work as a front-end web developer and I’m learning how important it is to always refine your workflow. Things like watching how other people work can teach you a lot. If you’re reading this from a distance then you probably cannot watch me work, so here are 5 tools that I’m really digging right now.

Shiftit - When I moved over from Windows 7 the big gaping hole in my toolset was something to manage my windows. I was missing that “snap” to the left, or right, functionality really bad. Shiftit is a tiny, open-source application the provides hotkeys for snapping and resizing windows to top, bottom, left, right, full screen, as well as all four corners. It even works great on dual monitors. Seriously, this is making a huge difference for me right now.

Tape - I’ve tried a couple client-side web browser rulers (like Free Ruler, Measureit, and Chrome’s built-in dev tools one), but this one is my favorite. It snaps to elements on the page so you can be sure you’ve lined things up properly. Also, you can lay down persistent markers so you can reference back to it over and over again.

Jumpcut - This tool is dead simple. It silently keeps track of the last several things you’ve copied to your clipboard. In that moment of dread when you realize that you’ve hit cmd+C and copied over something you needed, you just go up to the icon, find the one you want in the drop down, and it’s back on your clipboard again. That’s it.

Caffeine - This is another tiny app that does one thing well: it makes sure your computer screen doesn’t go to sleep. Whenever I connect to a projector or set up to give a talk, I just click the little cup and don’t worry about it. That way I can save power with liberal sleep settings without having to get under the hood every time I need to keep the lights on.

Evernote - Evernote is an application for managing notes. It shines at being available on your computer, on the web, and across all devices, while keeping everything synced up. With all sorts of options for sharing, organizing, tagging, and anything else you can imagine, it’s changed how I keep track of notes and reference information.

Do you have some little tool that you can’t live without?