Cool tools

I’m always on the hunt to find cool apps to add to my collection. Part of it is driven by the need to find faster or more efficient tools. Part of it is the desire to find more beautifully designed experiences and maybe learn about how developers are putting these things together.

Here are a few apps I’ve found recently that have been a great help in productivity on the desktop as well as my iPhone. Bonus: I realized it after I typed these all up, but they are all free!

  • Numi – A beautiful, minimal app for macOS that makes you feel as though this is the way the calculator should have worked all along. It seamlessly blends math with text. It reminds me of those ticker tape calculators from years past, except this one has syntax highlighting, understands units to make conversion easier (forex, crypto, time, data size), variables so you can reuse calculations, percentages and simple math functions (like factorial, round).
  • Spectacle – A fast, simple window manager for organizing windows on your Mac. After having tried a few of these over the years, what I like is that the app is really lightweight and the keybindings are really intuitive and “just work” out of the box. This way, you don’t really have to customize every single view and can install it on every machine you have and have them all behave the same.
  • Chime – I’ve long been looking for a simple watch (or watch app) that simply vibrates every few {five, fifteen, thirty, or sixty} minutes on my wrist. I found this simple app for iOS that does this well, all while doing so with a simple interface and no stray notifications in your drawer. I tend to keep all sounds off on my phone (texts, apps, etc), but I’ve long wanted to have little reminders throughout the day to help let me how quickly time is passing. As my wife often likes to say, “All we have is time.
  • exiftool – A command-line app that reads, writes, creates files and metadata in a huge number of file formats. It support all types of images, RAWs from cameras, PDFs, etc. It’s great when you want to see what metadata is attached to a particular file; even better when you want to strip some of the properties before posting or sending the file along to someone.

You can find all of these on kit too: