My Five Favorite New Productivity Tools: Nirvana, Homebrew, Ttytter, Sequel Pro, and Chrome

Sep 20 2010

I spend most of my days doing software development and system administration. And I am always busy, so streamlining any part of my workday can have a big impact on how much I get done and how good I feel about my productivity. Taking a look back over the last six months, I see that I have added a handful of new tools that have had a positive impact on my daily work.

1. NirvanaHQ

I've never been all that successful managing a todo list. But Nirvana has changed that. Nirvana does one thing very well: It helps manage todo lists. The user interface is great. It keeps everything front and center. It's easy to create new tasks and projects. It's easy to see what needs to get done today. And it's easy to organize all of your tasks into meaningful groups. The mobile web app runs remarkably well on my iPhone.

2. Homebrew

These days my routine work is done on a Mac. While there are many things to love about it, one thing I have long missed is the ease of installing new Open Source packages. Mac Ports was never my thing. But Homebrew is. It functions like a blend of Debian's apt-get and the BSD ports system. And it is not only easy to use, but easy to add new packages.

Now I'm running wget on my Mac.

3. Ttytter

The first homebew package I created was for ttytter. Ttytter is a command-line twitter application. I love it's low key CLI interface, the ease of use, and the fact that it supports pretty much all of the twitter goodies that I want. Oh, and it can use Growl for notifications. Yes, I miss some of the pretty profile images. But otherwise, it's a Twitter dream come true.

4. Sequel Pro

I'm not a huge fan of GUI database management apps, but I have to admit that I am really enjoying Sequel Pro, an Open Source OS X tool for working with MySQL. With SSH tunneling (which it supports out of the box), I can use it to connect to everything from my local virtual machine to production servers.

5. Google Chrome

I sorta hate to add "just another browser" to the list, but Chrome's crash proof tabs make it a big deal for me when I use large web apps (and work on unstable code). Plus, it's fast and seems to take less of a toll on my workstation that Safari. <!--break-->