Project Avocado Pt 4, Tools of the Trade

When I was first getting started developing, I used almost nothing in the way of tools to help me. The sheer abundance of choice had me paralyzed.

Well, after a couple of years I have a veritable tool belt which I use most, if not every, day. I thought i’d share these with you and I would live to hear your input on what you use!

Some of these tools are mine. I’m not ashamed of that! I eat my own dog food, so to speak.

Other tools are not made by me, and while I am proud to know some of these people, I am not sponsored or funded by any of them, I use the tools I do because they are good tools.

I am writing the outline for what I am going to do in Easy Writer (Markdown Text app made by me, in the Microsoft Store); This allowed me to easily create an outline with Markdown, re-order my sections and utilise a version history. All while using the cloud to automatically back up my work.

I use Working Hours to track how long I spend doing things. I don’t need to do this, however I find it good to see how much time I spend on each app I create and maintain because as an ADHD person, I have almost zero ability to estimate or track time.

Knowing how long I spend each month and also how long certain projects take me will hopefully allow me to better use my time and also better predict the investment projects need in the future.

In fact, I like this so much I am planning to add it to Kanban Ink in the future. Speaking of which…

I use Kanban Ink (Task and Project management, another of mine, in the Microsoft Store) to record tasks, prioritise them and tag them appropriately. Kanban has proven to me to be an excellent way of organising large pieces of work.

Of course my trusty Dell 2-in-1 laptop which thanks to it’s stylus enabled touch screen allows me to write, code, journal and draw without limits.

I use a standard Dell stylus. I did purchase a beautiful high end Bamboo Ink stylus, but I put it through the washing machine the first night I had it and now it doesn’t work. Sigh.

ScreenToGif is my go-to for making quick GIF’s of progress or features.

OneNote; This tool is good for SO MANY THINGS. Do yourself a favour and try it out. I tend to do a lot of ad-hoc drawings in it.

Character Map for picking characters for icons and buttons etc. You find a lot of amazing stuff in Assets and Emoji fonts pre-installed in Windows 10.

At some point I think I’d like to record my screen and voice for some of this work, I’ve had suggestions to use Mixer, etc, but to be honest I’m terrified of doing that so we will see if I can get up the courage to overlay my heavily accented (apparently) Aussie voice in real time video or not when we get there. Also I don’t know how to use Mixer or the other tools. Get off my lawn, etc.

QuickPad is my go-to text editor. It’s like Notepad with benefits.

Of course, Visual Studio. I currently use Visual Studio 2019 Community, which you can get for free and start your own development journey today. It’s updated regularly and supports many different project types and languages. It’s even on OSX now as Visual Studio Code!