Managing side-projects or freelance projects can be hard when you have to do everything by yourself. Multiple manual tasks can hinder one's productivity. There are a lot of tools out there to automate or simplify those tedious tasks. I have been using some of them to organize my projects and blog posts. Here is a list of tools which I loved using and their worthy alternatives.
When you get lot of ideas for side project or blog post, you will end up noting your thoughts on multiple places. Which usually messes things up and you’ll forget the actual plan you had. Trello helps to organize all of them in Kanban boards so that you can easily put your ideas together, manage progress and completion. It allows integrations with apps like Google Calendar, Github, etc. I have separate boards for my Blog Posts, Side Project Ideas and things I need to learn so that I decide what to prioritize and give myself deadlines.
Alternatives: Airtable, Asana
Visual Studio Code
I don’t think I need to explain what VS Code is, given that it is now one of the most used and powerful text editors. I’ll just list down few of the extensions I use.
This extension enables you to place comment bookmarks like TODO, REVIEW, FIXME in your code. Which enables you or your team to identify and organize tasks to be done and flag code for review or bug fix.
Turbo Console Log
console.log variable almost a hundred times a day. This extension saves me from typing console.log every time I debug my code. With a custom keymap, I just need to select a variable and press
ctrl+alt+L to add a console.log of that variable in the next line.
This helps in formatting your code automatically and prettier configurations can be set on a project level so that the whole team’s code will follow the same formatting.
This extension colorizes the indentation in front of your text alternating four different colors on each step. This is helpful when writing code in programming languages whose syntax largely depend on indentation like python.
Alternatives: Atom, Sublime Text, JetBrains’ IDEs
This is a small tool I have been using from many years to create animated GIFs from short screen recordings. Once recorded, it immediately uploads recording to their server and generates the URL that can be shared. It lets downloading the recording as video or GIF which can be embedded in any website.
Even though handling git through CLI is not that difficult, for beginners the process can be little confusing. Sourcetree provides very simple to use GUI for git which is helpful for beginners. It supports multiple Git/Mercurial accounts/repositories all in one place for better development experience and productivity.
Alternatives: Github for Desktop, GitKraken
Netlify allows to deploy and launch static web pages in a few clicks. It can directly take code and build command from any git repository and create a randomly generated site along with SSL saving us from worrying about setting up CI/CD pipelines. Its other awesome features include Netlify Forms, Serverless Functions, and Analytics.
Alternatives: Zeit, Github Actions
Sharing code or demo of a small POC or project with the remote teams can be difficult when you have WebPack/babel setups for frameworks like Angular/React/Vue projects. CodeSandbox is a fully-fledged tool that helps to code in the browser with presets for most of the famous web frameworks, also share and collaborate with others in no time.
Alternatives: CodePen, JSFiddle, Glitch