I recently had the pleasure of setting up a new MacBook Pro. I like making checklists so thought I’d keep track of what I set up for next time.
Also seen it as a good opportunity to share the tools I use, for any other designers that are interested. It’s always interesting to hear what other people are using in the industry.
Checklist for setting up a new MacBook for web design & development (updated July 2015):
- Install Chrome. The best browser.
- Install Alfred. A quick launch & productivity tool.
- Install Evernote. Keep track of everything.
- Install Dropbox. Share files across devices.
- Install a Twitter client. Keep track of what's going on.
- Configure dock (System Preferences > Dock). Hide it. Make it smaller.
- Add Chrome extensions (
Deliciousfor bookmarking, Window Resizerfor quick website screen size testing, ColorZillafor quick color picking, YSlow to check website performance, Pocket for reading later), Hola for VPNing, Buffer for scheduling tweets
- Install Things. Getting things done.
- Install Mailplane. Manage Gmail accounts.
- Add accounts to Calendar: Work, iCloud, Gmail
- Install Arq for backups to AWS.
- Install Kindle for reading digital books.
- Install 1Password for managing passwords.
- Purchase Sketch. User interface design.
- Install Craft, a Sketch plugin.
- Install Abstract for managing Sketch projects.
- Might need to purchase Creative Cloud too. Install Photoshop, Illustrator, Extension Manager.
- Purchase & install Axure. Rapid prototyping. Add Axure Chrome extension.
- Copy across any personal design resources (icons, photography, PSDs, fonts).
- Install Sublime & set it up. Code editor.
- Install iTerm. Terminal.
- Install Oh My Zsh. Terminal super powers.
- Install Xcode (and Command line tools). Comes with iOS simulator and other useful behind-the-scene stuff.
- Set up Git (use GitHub for mac). Version control.
- Install RVM. Manage versions of Ruby.
- Install Homebrew. Package manager.
- Install Rails: gem install rails
- Install Sass: gem install sass
- Install Postgres. Heroku's DB of choice.
- Install Node: brew install node
- Install Heroku Toolbelt. Deploying to Heroku.
- Install Docker.
There are a bunch of other apps I’ve been using as of late.
- Install Inboard. Design inspiration.
- Install Slack.
- Install Skitch. Quick design feedback doodles/notes.
- Install Licecap. Recording animated gifs.
- Related non-digital stuff: Large sheets of paper, sharpies, post-its, adhesive dots, headphones.
Cloud services that I typically use.
- Intercom. Tracking and communicating with users
- Mixpanel. Tracking and aggregating user events.
- Wufoo. Running surveys.
- Segment. Integrating 3rd-party services.
- Optimizely. Running A/B tests.
- Uservoice. Helping to shape feature roadmap.
Would love to hear what you use. Feel free to share your tools in the comments below.
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