A freelancer’s toolbox (July 2013)

I seem to have an ever-changing collection of preferred software and tools, so I thought I’d document what I use. This list is for anyone who may be looking for inspiration, and for future-me to see how my development process has evolved. So, here’s a rough list of every piece of software I currently use as a developer:

Web Browser

  • Chrome – My default web browser
  • IE, Firefox, Safari, Opera – Installed for testing


  • PHPStorm – It’s fantastic! I un-installed Eclipse last week after it kept crashing and was recommended PHPStorm. I’ve been very impressed.
  • FileZilla – Fantastic FTP client
  • PuTTY – Everyone’s favourite SSH program
  • GIMP – Free image editor which can do everything I need
  • GitHub – Git version control; I tend to only use this for personal projects as clients have their own version control methods (or not).


  • Chromodoro – Chrome plugin to time 25 minutes then 5, to help focus my mind then give me set breaks
  • Coffitivity – Plays sounds of a coffee shop. Ambient noise is really helpful when trying to concentrate.
  • Grooveshark – There’s new “broadcasts” which are kind of like hand-picked radio stations, and there’s one which plays electronic and alternate music specifically to compliment coding.
  • RescueTime – Helpfull to spot trends, though I only really bother to check the weekly digests. I’m only on the free version so there’s not a huge amount of control I have over what it monitors.
  • Paymo – Time tracking software which has everything I need. It also lets you share reports and logs with clients, which really is the only reason I use it.


  • Google Docs – my internet connection isn’t great which has been causing trouble, but all in all Google Docs is still my go-to office suit.
  • Open Office – If I need to do something more complex. OO also has a very helpful save-to-PDF option.

Leave a Reply