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Unfortunately you have to pay for their products, but when you are working as a freelancer and you charge hourly every single second that you save with a code editor is pretty much a good investment. I used to think that a lot of tools are dispensable and you throw money out of your window but as soon as i’ve seen the time and how organised I can be, and the confidence by just spending a couple bucks on an app.. it’s pretty amazing. Also worth mentioning JetBrains offer their products for free if you are a student.
I also use Visual Studio Code for programming and this one is open source which means is absolutely free. I use this mainly when I code simple tasks like coding up a landing page, or static websites because I personally find it a bit difficult and uncomfortable when working on large projects with your team. This is just a personal opinion, please don’t throw rocks at me. Visual Studio Code is available on all platforms.
Before moving on, I just want to clarify that using a better code editor doesn’t make you automatically a better programmer, it will just save you time when it’s worth saving. What I mean by that is before buying monthly subscriptions or even hardware make sure that the time you save with this tools it’s worth more than the actual investment. Do a quick math, if you save an average of 30 minutes per day by using paid product you will save 11 hours per month. Think about how much money you can make in 11 hours and if the monthly expense is lower than that, you are pretty much on the plus side!
Next app is called Postman. I use postman for developing API’s by testing out requests a lot faster than you would do normally. It has a very intuitive and beautiful UI and it basically makes your life easier if you work with API’s frequently. It’s available on every platform and they even have an chrome extension.
If you have worked with designers before I’m sure you’ve heard about Sketch — it’s used mainly to design interfaces, and also they have some pretty good prototyping features if you are interested about that. This is the software that pretty much forced me switch to macOS, but this doesn’t have to be the case for you mainly because I also do digital product design for mobile apps and web apps as well, and it’s pretty much an bargain compared to Photoshop when it comes time saved. If you are interested about apps like sketch on windows or linux adobe launched an product similar to this called Adobe XD.
You only have to pay once to download Sketch compared to adobe’s monthly subscription. Also if you are a student they have some discounts.
ImageOptim is a small app only for macOS and I use this for optimising and compressing images for web. It’s not a indispensable app, you could use a lot of alternatives for optimising images like Photoshop, Sketch and so on.
inVision — Invision is an collaborative app mainly for designers who want to gather feedback from their own team or clients. I use inVision on a daily basis to get the confirmation on designs before starting to code the website. It saves me from a lot of unnecessary work.
When it comes to communicating with remote clients or team I use HipChat. This app is cross platform, and it’s developed by attlasian, the king of productivity apps for programmers, make sure you check out their products!
As productivity apps I use 2Do. This is macOS exclusive app that I use to organise my schedule, because I’m a pretty messy person when it comes to dates and I forget things like team meetings, or a movie someone just mentioned or I even bookmark some articles or books, that I absolutely need to read.