Monday, April 11, 2016

Productivity hacks for you and me!

Hello, everyone!

I have been working at STAQ for over a month now, and I love it so much! I will make a blog post about my experience of being a brand new dev who switched careers and is self taught around my 2 months anniversary with the company!

Thank you, everyone, who reached out to me through email and Twitter to congratulate and ask questions about my journey! I am always happy to talk, let you know what I learned, and possibly help you switch careers as well! 

With that said, let me share with you some productivity tools that can make you more productive! 

     At the Ruby Uncoference on March 5th that I attended, one of the topics discussed was tools that help increase productivity and automate mundane tasks. I wanted to make a post about tools that I use to increase productivity, and about some tools that I learned about at the conference (some I am already learning how to use, and some are on my list to check out).

                           Task automation is key to productivity :)))) 

                         STUFF I ALREADY USE
  1. Bash Aliases: I recently started using them, and it is addicting. As soon as I notice myself typing something for the 4th time, I am itching to create an alias for it :)
  2. Captured. I have been using Captured for several months now. I find it extremely useful if I need to take a screenshot that will persist on top of all the windows while I use it to compare data or as an example of some text (code) that I am trying to reproduce. It is also pretty handy for sharing screenshots. Be cautious when sharing screenshots that contain sensitive data.
  3. Pocket. I use Pocket when I find an interesting internet page that I don't have to read now (but I definitely want to come back to it later). Just put it in your Pocket! :) You can save the link to the page, and add tags to it, and come back to read it later. It is available on mobile and it syncs all of your saved stuff across all devices.
  4. Magnet. I have been using Magnet for a couple months now and it makes window management much easier. The windows "stick" to corners and having multiple windows open on the same screen is a lot more manageable. Several other apps that do similar things were mentioned at the Ruby Conf: MoomDivvy and Spectacle(open source).
  5. Ack. About the same time, I learned about grep, I learned about ack. It is an easy-to-use grep-like brew add-on. You just give ack a string, and ack will search in your current folder and all sub folders for whatever you are looking for. It also highlights all the matches. :)
  6. Chrome. Chrome is super powerful and helpful to automate every day things. You can set it so it opens all the websites that you need when you launch it. If you log into Chrome with your Google account, you will have access to the same bookmarks across all of your devices. From adding a signature to your email to a plethora of available chrome extensions, Chrome can be a very helpful tool to increase your productivity.
  7. bash-git-prompt. I use bash-git-prompt as a helpful tool that shows information about the current git repo (branch name, difference with remote branch, number of staged files, etc). I also use git-completion.bash file to tab-complete branch names while typing out git commands.
  8. Jumpcut. Jumpcut lets you manage your clipboard, and gives you access to your history of "copy & paste"s.

                Want more?

                    SOME MORE POSSIBLY USEFUL STUFF!!!!

    There were a lot of other productivity hacks mentioned at the Ruby conference. Some look very useful and I can't wait to learn how to use them, while some I am not sure I would benefit from. But here is a list of other things that I can remember!!!! :)

  1.  Alfred. Alfred is an application launcher and productivity application. Kind of like your Spotlight but with a lot more features. You can initiate workflows, directly navigate your file system, save text clips, set global hotkeys, access your URL history and much more. There are a lot of user-created extensions for Alfred as well.
  2. SCM_Breeze. SCM Breeze helps you streamline your SCM workflow. It is a set of shell scripts that enhance your interaction with git. It integrates with your shell to give you numbered file shortcuts, a repository index with tab completion and other useful features.
  3. Z. Z (open source) lets you "cd" quickly into your most frecent directories (a combination of recent and frequent).
  4. Boom. Boom gem lets you create, manage and access lists of text snippets right from your command line.
  5. VIM. Yeah, it is on my list. My feelings about VIM can be summed up with "I don't know why, but I must learn VIM". I heard that VIM is awesome, so by learning VIM, I will be awesome. And I am totally planning on learning it by playing me some video games.

    Back to coding, everyone! And be productive!

Thanks for reading, everyone!
All the best,
- Andrei


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