Desktop Apps I Can’t Live Without

This list is primarily targeted at developers and other web-oriented folks, but some others might get some use out of it.  Here’s the various software I have come to rely on.

Desktop Software


Rather new on the scene, Pressmatic has stolen my heart.  It quickly took the place of Vagrant mainly due to it’s simplicity coupled with extensibility.  It rocks my world.  If you use a local development tool (you should), Pressmatic is the way to go.

I reviewed it not long ago here.

Slack (and the Mac app)

Most people reading this probably already use it, but it’s always worth a mention.  I’m on so many teams it’s ridiculous and the single app helps me to keep track of things.  Integrations with things such as GitHub allow me to track commits perfectly.


Your eyes will thank you.  Flux is why my monitor looks orange to most people.  It’s main purpose is to adjust your screen to remove a lot of the blue light, and does so throughout the day.  As it gets later, Flux will remove more and more blue from the spectrum, making things almost orange.  It takes some getting used to, but after a few hours, it becomes normal.  In fact, if I disable it, my eyes start burning.


It’s cheap (or free if you don’t need the premium features) and you shouldn’t have a single reason not to use a password keychain.  Use it, automatically generate your passwords, and don’t worry about losing your passwords anymore.  With tools like LastPass (or 1Password), you have zero reasons for using the same password multiple places.


PHPStorm is a PHP IDE with a ridiculous amount of power.  Every bit of code I write is done with PHPStorm.  Autocompletion, WordPress support, and countless other tools such as automated version control and deployment are insanely helpful.

Display Menu

On a Mac, my resolution options are somewhat limited without it.  MacOS does a great job scaling, but often times 4k makes elements too small, and 1080p is way too big.  I’m a big fan of screen real estate and try to maximize it the best I can.  Display Menu allows me to change resolutions on the fly; even those not selectable within the display settings.

Cloak VPN

I travel quite often and nothing scares me more than public wifi.  It’s absolutely terrifying.  Would anyone target me?  Probably not.  Could I get caught in a broad man-in-the-middle attack?  Certainly.  Cloak puts me at ease and because I don’t need it at home or in the office, it allows me to buy day/week/month passes so that I’m not on something recurring.


I copy and paste a lot.  Sometimes, I copy something, and miss the “V” key, causing me to copy something else.  Paste allows me to easily store my clipboard into history so that I can just grab the thing I copied earlier.


Backblaze is a backup solution that keeps a changelog and allows for easily reverting my changes.  One click restores a file that I accidentally overwrote. Think of it as version control for cloud backups.


My memory sucks and I like lists.  Everything from cleaning my desk to things I need to document in Gravity Forms gets noted in Todoist.  Using the desktop app allows me to hotkey it and access it within seconds.

Other mentions

  • Spotify: I need my tunes
  • Knock: Unlocks my Mac or enters in my admin password by just knocking on my phone.
  • Chrome: Mainly because Firefox is a resource hog.
  • VLC: Plays any media files I throw at it.
  • Clementine: Open source audio player that I mainly use to play FLAC files until iTunes supports it.



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