12 Essential Things Every Programmer Should Have (But Aren’t Thinking About)

Disclosure: Your support helps keep the site running! We earn a referral fee for some of the services we recommend on this page. Learn more

It’s easy to get caught up in the sea of development, design and hosting tools you use on a regular basis, but you can’t forget about the little programs that you are or should be using to make your life a little easier. Set aside some time to make sure you’ve got the right tools for the most basic of jobs (keeping you organized and productive) with these 12 tools.

  1. WorkRave: Getting caught up in your work isn’t always a bad thing, but it is if it starts to affect the health and well being of your body. Working on a computer all day can take a toll on your eyes and wrists so force yourself to take mini-breaks with WorkRave. The program will remind you after a set period of time that you need to give yourself a rest and you can use to time to grab coffee or work on a non-computer related task.
  2. Plaxo: Ever misplace contact information or forget to sync up your laptop’s contacts with your desktop’s? Try storing your important client and business information with a program like Plaxo instead. It will automatically update any contact information you put in your email client and store it for you on Plaxo’s servers, meaning you can get to it from any computer or just keep it nice and neat.
  3. Blinklist: A real computer geek is rarely satisfied with only one computer, but syncing up multiple machines is often a pain. Make it easy on yourself with Blinklist. Share your bookmarks between multiple computers or use the program to create notes you or clients can access from anywhere.
  4. Wunderlist: Staying organized and focused on your work can sometimes be a challenge even for the most diligent of workers. A program like Wunderlist can help you out by creating an easy and painless way to keep all of your tasks in order and access them from any computer you use. Whether you use it to build a grocery list or keep track of the status of your latest project, this is a very valuable productivity tool.
  5. Chrome: Chances are, you’re already using Chrome or another IE alternative like Firefox or Opera, but if you’re not, now’s a great time to consider making the switch. Secure, packed with great features, and amazingly customizable, Chrome is the browser of choice among Internet professionals and the hoi polloi as well. Plus, there are tons of great plugins and extensions that can make working and finding entertainment on your computer easier and faster.
  6. TestDisk: It happens to even the best of us. You’re working away steadily and forget to save a file or accidentally delete something that you later realize was pretty important. Protect your work from mishaps like this by using TestDisk to resurrect your data from the depths of your recycle bin. This program will bring back your files even when the headers are missing and your boot sector has been damaged, saving you time and possibly a heart attack over lost data.
  7. Skype: Long distance bills can get expensive, especially if you have clients or family overseas. Help slash prices with VoIP provider Skype. Skype offers many free calling options as well as extremely discounted international rates when you use the program to make calls. The program also comes with icons you can put on your webpages to make it easy for customers to contact you through your e-commerce site instead of through email. Best of all, you can bring it with you when you’re on vacation or traveling for work, so you’ll never lose your connectivity.
  8. Filezilla: FTP is an incredibly useful tool whether you’re uploading websites or just sharing files with a friend. With a free FTP program like Filezilla, you don’t need to pay for an expensive FTP solution. Enjoy standard features like drag and drop, transfer resume and a wide variety of supported transfer protocols, all without breaking out your credit card. Filezilla Pro offers access to cloud resources like Amazon S3 and Google Drive.
  9. SurDoc: Computer storage space isn’t unlimited, and if you’re churning out lots of work you’re going to eat up your hard drive space before you know it. You can give yourself a little bit of a storage boost with a free web-based app called SurDoc. This program allows users to store up to 100 GB and access files from any computer securely and privately. So whether you’re storing your collection of Michael Jackson CDs or important work files, you won’t be using up your computers’ space and you’ll have the ability to get to your stuff from anywhere.
  10. EditPad Pro: Chances are pretty good that if you’ve done a substantial amount of programming or web design in your life that you’ve use Notepad to do some of your work. After all, it’s simple and gets the job done, right? Well why not kick it up a notch with a program lie EditPad Pro. It has the same functions as Notepad, but offers a few great additions like the ability to switch between files using tabs and a “previous editing position” tool so you never lose your place.
  11. CCleaner: Being on your computer all the time can lead to the accumulation of a lot of junk that can slow you down. Keep your computer clean and in good working order with a program like CCleaner. It will help clean out your registry and get rid of useless space-hogging programs taking up residence on your hard drive to help make your computer a lean mean development machine.
  12. KeePass: You probably have a multitude passwords to remember and sometimes no matter how clever you thought you were being when you created the password, you just can’t remember it. Make brain farts like this a thing of the past and save yourself time with KeePass. This program will keep track of all your passwords for you, making your life just a little bit easier every single day.

Leave a Reply