Hi, I am Nicolas

I'm a software engineer who fell in love with UI and UX design. After years of freelancing, I am currently working for PSPDFKit and build industry leading frameworks.

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Apps I use daily

I often get the question what apps, tools and keyboard shortcuts I use daily. Because of this, I decided to write a blog post series about it. I will cover all the Apps I use and why/how I use them. Tools for your command line or Editor and my favorite Keyboard shortcuts. I am not affiliated with any of the products I will mention, but I can recommend all of them. I hope you will find something that’s useful for you:

Arq

Arq is a great app because it encrypts your backup and uploads it to the cloud provider of your choice. I am using it with https://www.backblaze.com, but they offer a lot of other providers like Dropbox, Google Drive etc.

1Password

I don’t know how I lived in a world without a password manager. 1password is also one of the few apps I was able to recommend my dad that he still uses on a daily basis. They have a great browser plugin and you can also use it in your company to share passwords.

Little Snitch

I was really happy after I realized that Little Snitch is from an Austrian company. You can get a great overview how many apps connect to the internet and with the latest version you even see a world map with all your connections. After looking at the map I got a bit paranoid because 80% of my apps connect to US or Russian servers (looking at you Telegram!)

AppCleaner

“Just delete the app from the Application folder” - well that’s not the whole truth. There are always some small files that stay on your Mac and AppCleaner will help you with them.

Archive and Keka

Both are pretty good file archive apps, one is free and looks ugly, the other one looks pretty and you have to pay for it. You can decide ;)

Archive (Paid App): https://archiverapp.com/

Keka (Free App): http://www.kekaosx.com/

Dash

Have you ever wondered how inefficient it is to look up documentation while you are on a poor internet connection, or in general, how long it takes to look up the documentation of something you can’t remember all the time (I am looking at you Flexbox!). Well, Dash helps a lot, it also integrates nicely with your editor of choice. Now I only have to press ⌃ + H and I get the documentation for the underlying code immediately.

Things

For a long time, I used Wunderlist after I came to this pretty app. Things 3 was released this year and I was blown away by their design and all the nice details. Yes, it’s not cheap but if you love beautiful design and want one todo app that you will use every day, it’s worth the money.

Git Tower

Most of my work git work happens on the command line, but Git Tower still gives me the best overview of changed and untracked files. I can really recommend it and they even have a student discount.

Sketch

I tried out Sketch when it was just released and I was working as a UX/Frontend Developer. Even though it has its flaws, it’s still a great way to do some quick prototypes.

Calibre

I don’t use it that often, but when I really need to transfer some ebooks to my Kindle, Calibre is a great choice. Btw, you can also set up an email address for you kindle, where you can email stuff to your Kindle to download it (but there is a file size limitation) https://calibre-ebook.com/download_osx

Code Editor

I am not so stupid and will write about my favorite code editor and get all of the internet hate about my choice. Everyone can make his own decision here and everything is fine … except for Emacs ;)

Spectacle

I can’t work on a Mac anymore, where there is no spectacle app for window management. If you also like the software - donate some money, it’s a free product which improves your productivity a lot.

Alfred

Spotlight is nice, but Alfred is nicer. It feels faster and the plugins are great. I only use the Dash and GitHub plugin for now, but it is also searching my bookmarks so I can find stuff really really quickly.