tools for getting things done

Jeff Levensailor
May 17 · 5 min read

caps lock mutes microphone

If you’re like me, you have a ton of conference calls, and if you aren’t a complete noob, you have yourself on mute when you don’t need to talk. The problem is hunting for the mute button and no visibility when you are “on air”

For this I use Push to Talk in conjunction with Karabiner to remap caps lock to Push to Talk’s shortcut sequence (mine’s control+p). The best part is I get a blue light that goes on and off to show when i’m “on air”.

I realize this takes away the caps lock, but unless you’re in mainframe all day, how many times do you actually use caps lock? I haven’t missed it..

MacBook toolbar push-to-talk

emojis for chrome bookmark folders

I organize my bookmarks by emojis, and have folders for the following:

work, study, software development, conferences, bills, fantasy football, music, food menus, vacation, and shopping list.

Chrome bookmarks

open in vscode

Sure, “open console here”, is great but my favorite finder integration by far is “Open in Code”. It’s a fast way to start off where you left off, opening the current folder in VSCode in a single click.

finder integration “open in code”

bear

I’m not going to get in an argument over which notes app is the best, as long as you are using one and not just saving text files all over the place; but, if I was, I think it’s Bear, which takes the #hashtag approach to organizing, including #nested/tags. It comes with several themes (I use Dracula), supports markdown and emojis. It also syncs across all devices. I moved from Evernote and the biggest thing I noticed was how lightweight it was, loading super fast.

It also supports the x-callback-url specification, making integration easy.

Bear notes app

omnigraffle

Visio is not great. Omnigraffle has been my go-to for diagramming, drawing and brainstorming (I think they call it mind-mapping now) for years. It’s just so much more flexible! It has a built-in stencil repository called Stenciltown, and even more online like Graffletopia.

Us technical folk, we don’t always get a chance to express our creative side, so I always enjoy making visuals when I’m working a project or learning something new.

Omnigraffle

skitch

my favorite screenshot utility lets me quickly call out, crop, retract or write on a clip and automatically saves everything to the cloud. Sharing is easy — it can copy a public url to the clipboard. When you’re done you can stop sharing. I can’t however take a screenshot of skitch with skitch 🤔

gimp

I’ve been using Gimp as a freeware replacement for Photoshop since like 1998 and I’m not sure what it can’t do as an imagine manipulation application.

I like to use it to help market a product (hackathon, vaporware mostly) or making marketing slicks.

Gimp 2.10

iterm2 + zsh + oh-my-zsh

I won’t take too much time other than saying I found out about this through another Medium article by Ayuth Mangmesap. I wanted a better terminal for Mac that did things like tmux and git indicators. Read below!

https://medium.com/ayuth/iterm2-zsh-oh-my-zsh-the-most-power-full-of-terminal-on-macos-bdb2823fb04c

iterm2 + zsh + oh-my-zsh

cisco cli analyzer

On top of being an ssh/telnet client, this uses the hashtag approach to organizing devices, has ability to create security profiles that can apply common credentials across multiple devices for auto login.

Possibly my favorite feature is that it will automatically run commands on login and uses this data back in the application itself. The device model, serial number, ip address, hostname are shown in the dashboard. Hey his is great because you never have to think about what you’re logging into.

As a final touch, It even has a photo of the device!

Cisco CLI Analyzer

aws launcher

My biggest nuasence with AWS is the shear number of services it has. It’s like having 100 icons on your desktop, except it’s not my desktop and I don’t login every day. It’s just clumsy. Or maybe i’m clumsy. Either way I found AWS Launcher to be the quickest way to get to what I need.

aws-launcher

taurine

You may run into a time when you don’t want your device to go to sleep. If you’re speaking at a conference and sharing the stage with others, for instance, I need to start presenting without logging in. Maybe your serving something on your laptop. For those one-offs, there’s Taurine.

    Jeff Levensailor

    Written by

    Software Developer, Engineer, Builder of things

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