March 30, 2012

Here at Designzillas, we're constantly on the lookout for tools, tips, and apps that can help us save time and be more efficient in our workflow. To that end, we've accumulated quite the toolbox of productivity enhancers, and today we'll be sharing 5 of our favorites. Seeing how we're a 100% mac shop, these will be our top 5 desktop apps for mac (ideally for web designers).

TotalFinder - $18.00 

Total Finder Desktop App for MacWhen we first discovered TotalFinder back in 2009, we instantly fell in love. If you're like some of the DZ team members, you migrated to OS X from Windows and felt like there were quite a few common sense things missing from the vanilla build. TotalFinder enhances the native Finder with tabbed browsing, hidden file toggling, and dual-panel browsing. I always hated the way that new Finder windows would just pop up in any random position they liked, and TotalFinder does an excellent job of corralling them into a single group. Dual-pane browsing has probably saved me at least 5 million hours over the last couple years alone.


ClipMenu - Free

Clip Menu Desktop App for MacWe copy and paste a lot here at the office. Snippets, filenames, entire documents, they all need to be transferred from place to place, and in the past we'd always run up against the one item at a time limitation of the default clipboard. Enter, ClipMenu: an insanely handy way of buffering your clipboard into an always accessible menu.

Pro tip: got a lot of single-lines you need to copy and paste between items (like, for example, tables)? Use ClipMenu to copy all of your items into the buffer, and then selectively paste each of them when ready. 2 steps instead of 12? We'll take it!

DOWNLOAD FOR FREE (Be sure to donate)

Coda - $99

Coda Desktop App for Mac Web DesignerIf you're new around these parts, you may not yet have heard about Panic's venerable Coda: the best one-window IDE we've ever used. Back in the day some of us used to use Dreamweaver for editing, Transmit for FTP, and TextEdit for quick updates. Coda simplifies all of that into a single program that offers code completion and update tracking, all within the same window.

According to this post on Twitter, Panic has plans to release Coda 2 sometime this summer. The only way we could be more excited is if they let Mr. Zilla drive the truck icon.


CloudApp - Free

Cloud App Desktop App for Mac Web Designer ReviewSometimes clients just want to see one more revision to the design you just sent out before they give their final approval; do you really want to open Photoshop, access the PSD, make your changes, Save for Web, and then Upload via FTP every time a text change is request? Of course you don't. Check this out: CloudApp lets you bind a key command (we use CTRL+R) to the Photoshop Raindrop (their term for a plugin) that automatically uploads a flattened PNG version of your current document to their servers and places the direct URL into your keyboard.


SequelPro - Free

Sequelpro desktop app for mac web designerLast but not least is the ultra-useful open-source database app SequelPro. We happened upon SequelPro while trying to find a better alternative to phpMyAdmin, and we couldn't have asked for a better manager. SequelPro is native, speedy, and doesn't suffer from the same timeout issues and limitations as phpMyAdmin. Sure, phpMyAdmin will always have it's place for quick database modifications, but if you're looking for a more permanent relationship, give SequelPro the chance it deserves. By far the best looking MySQL Cocoa App and blows PHPMyAdmin out of the water.


Got any suggestions?

There are so many great apps that we put to use on a daily basis that didn't make this article: Hyperdock, TextExpander, Dropbox, and many, many more. Got any suggestions that simply deserve a mention? Drop us a line on our Facebook page!

About the author

Michael joined Designzillas in April 2010 with a passion for UI/UX and SEO. He received his Bachelor's of Science in Digital Arts and Design from Full Sail University. When he isn’t working hard at Designzillas, he spends his time researching how best to serve and inform users, reading, exploring and testing different techniques for organization, automation, and optimization.