Where I Live, 2023 Edition

I used to do these every few years, listing out all the software I use on a daily basis. But looking back at the last one I posted ten years ago (gulp!), I realize not that much has changed. Sadly? Gladly? I’m not sure tbh. Good software is timeless software, apparently. Though as a developer, I know that keeping any sort of software afloat over time is a lot of work, no matter the platform, so I appreciate that some of these are still around, let alone still the best of their game.

Icons of several apps described in the article

  • Sublime Text (now at v4) is where I’ve now spent a good portion of my life for 12+ years. I know everybody’s salivating over VS Code these days, but I recently gave it a shot, as well as another earnest go at Nova, and I just keep coming back to Sublime Text. It’s so damn fast, and it has come a long way with context-aware autocompletes, especially for highly-custom codebases, which I spend most of my time in. I have a few sites that now stretch back 20 years, and their quirkiness is welcome in ST-land, where VS Code and Nova don’t recognize my weird brain patterns 90% of the time.

  • I’ve switched to mostly using Safari these days, because of how fast & lean it is, but it’s probably 50/50 with Brave usage. I prefer how Brave handles View Source, and Safari drives me crazy how it so often treats a manually-entered *.localhost URL as a search. If the path isn’t in your history, you have to prepend http:// like an animal, or you end up on a useless search page for clixel.localhost/whatever. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how to tell Safari to always resolve *.localhost to for dev domains.

  • I used The Hit List for ages, but it started crashing consistently at some point, and seems to be abandoned by the folks that bought it (Karelia) about 5 years ago. I decided to finally give Things a try, and haven’t looked back. It’s a very streamlined, opinionated to-do app that I love using on my Mac and iPhone (and Watch).

  • Fork has taken over as my git client from GitX. They’re very similar, but Fork has excelled at making everything a bit more elegant and streamlined, and is a paid app, so hopefully it keeps on keepin’ on. It’s an amazing git GUI client, well worth the $50.

  • I’m elated to say that Pixelmator Pro has been able to totally replace Photoshop for me. It’s insane what you get $50, and they often have sales where you can get it for an even more insane $20. (After leaving Firebelly in 2022, I lost my access to a CC subscription, and I refuse to give Adobe a monthly fee for their garbage apps.) I also keep up my registration and fire up Acorn often for quick image needs. Both Acorn and Pixelmator Pro are super powerful options. My dream of Adobe having strong indie competition on the Mac has finally been fulfilled.

  • I still use ForkLift 24/7, now at version 3. It’s an amazing dual-pane local/remote file manager, which I’ve used daily since I started these silly posts 13 years ago. I still pay for Transmit (and Nova, which has Transmit built-in), but honestly never use it unless ForkLift barfs at some obscure FTP requirement (I’m looking at you, nearlyfreespeech).

  • Sequel Ace has taken over for Sequel Pro, as it’s regularly updated. It’s pretty much the same layout and functionality, and still a great app for local mysql management, though I do miss the old syrup-drenched Sequel Pro icon.

  • iTerm2 is still open 24/7 on my machine. I’ve tried various other terminals but always come back to iTerm.

  • For notes, I switched from Notational Velocity to using The Archive for several years, but in the last year have been using Drafts full time as a daily to-do and archival note repository. It’s infinitely configurable and oft-updated, plus I appreciate that it has a healthy pay-to-play setup so it will stick around for the long run.

  • I’ve honestly been pretty disgusted with how Apple software has been falling apart (really…it’s been so bad), and Music is one of the worst. Doppler is a lean & focused local music player for Mac that I’ve been enjoying as a replacement. The dev is super responsive and has added several features from feedback I’ve sent.

  • Another app still in regular use is Tweetbot, but since Elon has taken over Twitter, I’ve been spending more and more time at Mastodon, and look forward to Tapbots’ Ivory client. In the meantime I’ve been using the very well crafted Mastonaut for Mac, and the default Mastodon client for iOS.

  • I still pay for CodeKit but only use it on a few personal projects. Usually I have a gulp or webpack setup. Hilarious version update notes are still a bonus.

  • Apple Mail is on the list because I’ve been doing my best to return to owning my data. I deleted my Facebook, then switched from using 100% Gmail to hosted email via nate@clixel.com on Opalstack (which came about when WebFaction shit the bed), and recently even deleted my Instagram, which I’m still ambivalent about. Everybody’s still on Instagram! But I kept finding myself hating my time spent there, and the direction they’ve been taking the app, chasing TikTok as if all services must compete for the exact same experience. Instagram was such a great site when it was solely focused on photography (eventually with a dash of short-form video) from your friends. I miss ye olde Instagram as much as I miss Flickr.

  • For invoicing, I used On The Job for much of the last 10 years, but when Catalina came out it stopped working. After struggling with several betas and frequent issues + slow updates, I ended up writing my own web-based invoicing software (!!), and have been using that since, even utilizing it as a menubar app via Unite which creates a Mac app from a webpage (previously I used Fluid until that also stopped being updated).