Software I Use

Last week I shared my current hardware set-up. This week, as promised, I’m listing the software I use as part of my regular workflow. Some of the tools are specific to my craft, while others fall into the category of “can’t-live-without” productivity apps.

Creative

  • Adobe Photoshop CS4: my de-facto go-to tool. Photoshop touches practically every angle of my workflow, whether it be graphics for the web, illustration, or comics.
  • Corel Painter X: Admittedly I use Painter primarily for inking. Its coveted Scratchboard tool gives me the line variation I need.
  • Autodesk Sketchbook Pro: New to my arsenal – but has quickly found its way to my must-have list. Sketching with this program rivals drawing on paper for me.

Productivity

  • Launchbar: super fast application launcher (and much, much more)
  • MarsEdit: A must-have for composing and editing blogposts. Highly customizable and easy to use. This powerful blogging tool is essential, especially if you manage multiple WordPress sites.
  • Divvy: lets you quickly and accurately position application and Finder windows exactly where you want to on your screen.
  • Blast: this program lives in my menubar and makes it a snap to quickly grab recent files I’ve been working on, regardless of their location on my hard drive. No more tunneling down into Finder windows to get what I’m after.
  • Typinator: keyboard macros make writing boilerplate text a breeze.
  • Default Folder: Imagine setting a specific application to always point to a specific folder. The time saved by this application alone is enormous.
  • Pages: Fast and elegant word processing without all the bloat of MS Word.

Web

  • Flickr Uploadr: This one has some quirks, but until I can find a better tool that lets me upload my photos to Flickr, I’m stuck with it.
  • Google Chrome: Fast browser that lets me synch bookmarks across all my machines.
  • Dropbox: 2GB of free space you can use to share files between machines. A browser interface lets you grab your files anywhere you have an Internet connection.
  • Transmit: FTP wasn’t sexy until this application came along. I’ve used this program since 1996.
  • SpamSieve: A terrific program that sorts junk mail from good mail. It learns quickly, and reduced my junk mail by several orders of magnitude.
  • Backblaze: For my off-site back-ups.

Utility

  • iStat: A calendar, clock, processor monitor, network checker, etc. all rolled into a neat menubar applet.
  • iDefrag: Mac hard drives get fragmented. I run this app once every 3 months.
  • Disk Warrior: The Lou Ferrigno of disk utilities for the Mac. I run this once a month, or when my system gets wonky.
  • SuperDuper: makes reliable bootable back-ups. Each of my regularly used machines runs this app.
  • Applejack: repairs permissions and clears caches. My first go to utility for routine Mac maintenance.
  • Chronosync: synchronized back-ups – useful for archving specific folders from one hard drive to another.
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