Oh shiny! here's some tools

  • Post by Maxime Cote
  • Dec 18, 2019
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If you’re anything like me you most likely love to find new tools to try. I just recently added some newer ones to my workflow. Taking a look back to see how they fit my system, I figured I could make a list of them all. I hope you will find some interesting one in there that can help fix some pain point.

My general goal is to try not to repeat myself or do the same things over and over. I’m definitely not there yet, but it’s more a journey than a goal. Some of those tools are Linux specific, as it is my main OS. Some are for Android, as it is my phone OS. Many are cross platform thankfully so everyone should be good there. Also worth noting other platforms might have similar apps just not the exact same, now let’s jump in.

Android

  • Tasker One of the most powerful automation tools on Android. It can do nearly everything you can think of automating, and even some things you didn’t realize you could. Want your phone to get on mute automatically when you arrive at work, but not if you have headphones? Done. Want your brightness to adjust based on certain apps? Done. Want your phone on no vibrate when it’s plugged in? Sure thing. The possibilities are nearly endless. Also, all of those examples are real one I use every day.
  • KLWP Make your launcher exactly how you want. That also includes any shortcuts, quick launcher, quick access you want. This is a “wallpaper” app and I put quotes here since it’s just technically true. Where KLWP really shine is its editor to create homescreen/launcher app. The “wallpaper” you build are actually interactive and live, on top of being fully customizable. You can create folders, clock, drawers, music controls all in the wallpaper.

example of wallpaper

  • FluidNG I’ve always been a fan of hidden navigation button. From way back in android 4.0 with custom ROMs to today. This is one of the new generation that is a lot more user-friendly. It simply hides the button from your screen until you swipe from the side you selected. What’s also nice about it is you can choose what your buttons do and their position. You’re not stuck with back, home and switch or any other order. You could also make one of the buttons launch an app you always use, or other shortcuts like that.

showing lower buttons

Linux

  • tmux One of the best ways to do terminal on a remote server or local PC. This application allows having multiple “tab” all in the same terminal. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. You can also split the tab in multiple small section. You can receive notifications when a script finishes in a tab. You can create a “launcher” of app when you get into tmux, all in their own tabs. Finally, it stays running as long as the server/PC is running, even if you disconnect.
  • ZSH One of the multiple shells out there for Linux replacing Bash. Why would you replace Bash? For most users and use cases, they both will be very similar. What I really love though about ZSH is it’s awesome plugin ecosystems. On top of being an awesome shell, you can extend it to do everything you want. I included below some of those plugins to give you an idea.
    • alias-tips
    • zsh-autoswitch-virtualenv
    • kube-aliases
    • zsh-vim-mode
    • zsh-autosuggestions
  • ulauncher This launcher app is new in my workflow compared to some others. It is truly awesome, though. It’s mainly a way to quickly launch other apps. You make it appears and then type which apps you want, it search and launches it. This one is also very fast and extendable with the help of plugins. Want to kill a misbehaving app? It’s gone. Want to do a quick math equation? Done! Want to execute a command from terminal? Yup you can too.

Cross platform

  • Hyper.js This app pair itself very well with tmux and zsh as it is a terminal application. What makes it special though is it’s written all in JavaScript. That makes it very extensible with either plugins or just your own code, if you so wish. I really love a lot of the themes on there and it’s the overall clean look. As for plugins my most used one is “summon” which turns Hyper into a drop-down terminal. I love drop-down terminal as they get out the way and come around when you need them.
  • Espanso This app is very new, both in terms of its development and my use of it. It definitely changed massively how I do things, though. It’s a text expander. It simply sits in the background and wait for you to trigger it. Once you do it will replace whatever you typed into what you chose. Always accidentally typing “definitely” wrong? Now just need to type :def and done. Tired of typing your email address 30 times a day? :email instead and here it is. It also allows some other neat things like emojis, gif, etc. on top.
  • Rescuetime Ever wondered how much of your time do you spend in an app on your computer? This is what rescue time is trying to answer for you. It registers every app your use and the length of the session. Then at intervals you get stats on how your time is spent. There is also a subscription version. With the full version, you get more features like notification when you reach certain thresholds. You can also integrate it with your browser to plain block websites after threshold use or in focus time.
  • Sublime Text What tools list would be complete without a text editor? Sublime, in my opinion, is one of the best one at that task. It’s sleek, fast, feature rich and comes with plugins to extend it. Want to have code linting? There you go. Code style formatting? Sure thing. Git integration for seeing change? Why not. Code auto-complete? Yup got it.