Developers September 21, 2020

What are the best free tools you use?

George Xanthopoulos @gexos

To start off, some of my favs include Linux, Chrome, VS Code, GIMP, InkScape, Figma, Libra Office, Postman, pwsafe, ShareX and others.

  1. 6

    Although I am always a fan of supporting the developers if you like a tool, I am thankful for tools which offer a free tier to try it out and see if it fits your workflow.

    My absolute favorite free tool is Workflowy - I use it for quick notes, writing, project and task management. It is lightweight, minimal, feature-rich, and cross-platform. It is my creative hub where almost every single project gets started.

    Other free tools I like to use are:

    • Figma - mainly for product design, but Figma is also handy when it comes down to create some quick graphics for marekting purposes

    • Firefox - I am a big privacy advocate, so Firefox is my go-to browser

    • Todoist - Although I also use Workflowy as a kind of task manager, it is great to have a purely todo-list app like Todoist, their free tier has all the functions I need - maybe reminders would be the only reason to upgrade

    • Basecamp - Basecamp Personal is limited in functions compared to the paid version, but it is free forever, and in my opinion it is the perfect fit for individuals or smaller teams.

    If you are interested in creativity and productivity-boosting tools and resources, you can check out my weekly digest Creativerly where I write exactly about that, creativity and productivity-boosting tools and resources, combined with useful insights, articles, and learnings from the fields of design and tech.

    1. 4

      I can highly recommend https://creativerly.xyz
      And +1 for Figma

      Why do you prefer Workflowy > Notion? I've never tried it!

      1. 3

        Thank you so much @tobiaslins 🤩

        Well, Notion can be a little bit overwhelming sometimes, I still use it, but for very specific use-cases. Notion is more like a database for me, where I keep track of my books, series/films, financial stuff like subscriptions, but I also use it for my personal knowledge base where I store specific articles, tutorials/guides, resources, courses etc.

        Workflowy is just incredibly fast because it is so lightweight. I am just a big fan of outliner apps because I do not have to worry where to put certain notes, I just create a new bullet by simply start writing. Nevertheless, it gives me also the possibility to create a certain kind of structure and hierarchy if I would like to do so. So I created a kind of dashboard on my Workflowy homepage which consists of eight bullets. From there on I can dive deep into every single bullet or just collapse them and start writing. I love it.

    2. 2

      I tried to move from Chrome to Firefox, but I have a lot of problems specifically with video calls and share screen.

      1. 1

        What exact problems are you facing while using Firefox for video calls or sharing a screen?

        1. 3

          some sites are using some weird chrome only APIs or DRMs, I have the same issue as well. But I just use chrome when a site not working in firefox.

          My main browser is firefox, it works great and I want to support mozilla's philosophy. I donate to Mozilla and wikipedia annually and also subscribe pocket premium.

          1. 1

            I can confirm that some site especially web apps are simply not working within Firefox. Also, now and then I come across some weird displaying issues regarding sign up forms on different websites.

            But just as you mentioned, it is not that of a big deal to switch to another browser for a couple of minutes, when some sites do not work within Firefox.

        2. 1

          Some colleagues who still using Firefox, have the same problems when share screen and the image from his screen doesn't appear to the other people, it's a very weird behavior.

  2. 5

    Tawk.to for live chat + customer support

    I can't believe it's free.

    1. 4

      Yes same here..awesome chat tool

      1. 1

        This post is very enlightening and educational on how Tawk.to became the #1 live chat software in terms of market share: https://www.tawk.to/why-free/.

  3. 4

    Loom.

    Also recently used Figma and that was great.

    1. 1

      I find that the browser extension never encodes my videos :-(

      1. 1

        Interesting, I use linux and it works usually least supported os

    2. 1

      Loom MacOS app just never signs in. Any idea about that?

  4. 3

    Notion, Netlify (not a tool exactly but their support on free tier is amazing), sendinblue, 11ty.

    1. 1

      Netlify has become my main host lately, I don't have a need for a paid plan right now but if I ever do, it's a no brainer for me.

      Notion is something I fall in and out of love with. I recently started trying Airtable instead to see if one of them can become the winner.

  5. 2

    Really nice set of resources. This is my list:

    GitHub
    Zoho email
    VSCode
    Sublime Text
    Calendly
    Trello
    Inskape
    GIMP
    Zappier
    Canva
    Boosted
    Loop Habit Tracker
    Shotcut
    Evernote
    Mendeley
    Google Sheets

  6. 2

    Let's see what is open on my Mac/Chrome:

    ** Development **

    • Github
    • VS Code
    • Hyper (command terminal)
    • React & Node.js
    • Postman
    • Firebase (mostly free, mostly)

    ** Social **

    • Ayrshare (my app, but I use to do all my sharing)
    • Mailchimp
    • Mailgun

    ** Productivity **

    • Google Suite (Docs, Sheets, Meet)
    • Trello - the desktop version
    • Slack & Telegram

    ** Design **

    • Figma
    • squoosh.app (Google's image compression)
  7. 2

    Firefox
    Figma
    Notion
    WorkonaHQ
    Toggl
    Figma

  8. 2

    Figma
    Gitbook
    Netlify
    Porkbun
    Github
    Colorsandfonts.com ( is mine and I use it )
    Hoverify...
    One page shot./ site shot

    1. 1

      Colorsandfonts.com Thanks for sharing this, great service

      1. 1

        Super! Glad it helps. Will start soon an overhaul...

        It gets a yearly redesign and more features

  9. 2

    Discord.

    For years, my college friends and I suffered through a Google Hangout chat. But Google started launching chat app after chat app, and my friends and I wanted something more stable. Two of my friends couldn't shut up about Discord. We gave it a shot. And it's amazing. It's slack with top-tier voice chat support instead of top-tier video support. It made our weekly gaming sessions so much easier.

  10. 2

    I use the There app many, many times per day when communicating with my remote team, so I know immediately when they are likely to be available - https://there.pm/

    The other one that gets frequent use is Notion.

  11. 2

    Asana, Milanote, Zoom, Slack, Discord

  12. 2

    Firefox
    LiceCap
    cmder
    git

  13. 2

    Some of Mine
    LastPass
    GitLab
    Figma

  14. 1
    • Daylio (Mood tracking & analytics, habit tracking)
    • Canva, Photopea (In search for a PhotoShop alternative)
    • Wunderlist (before it was acquired)
    • Notion
    • GoodReads (Book review and tracking)
    • Strava (Fitness tracking)
  15. 1

    Github, Linux, Docker, VSCode, Netlify

  16. 1

    My favourites are VS Code and Vagrant + Virtualbox.

  17. 1

    Something I have found to solve a long standing problem is https://raindrop.io/ which gives me my bookmarks everywhere on every platform.
    After trying so many solutions over the years, this one continues to work for me.

  18. 1

    Notion is the best! I use it for all my note taking and organization. Also a big fan of todoist for a quick and easy checklist.

  19. 1

    Libre office
    Typora - markdown notes
    Quire - project mgm

  20. 1

    No love for Google Sheets?

    I use it a ton....

  21. 1

    I have been using -
    RoamResearch
    TikTik
    Pocket
    LinkNRun

    1. 1

      Roam is free? or it was?

      1. 1

        Probably its free for me, because I have been using it for a while now.

  22. 1

    Hi all! We recently launched the beta version of Tally, an easy way to create forms for free. Feel free to try it out, and let us know what you think!

    https://tally.so

    Marie @ Tally.so

  23. 1
  24. 1

    I generally pay or donate for all free tools but these are ones I like most

    Inkscape
    getPaint.net

    VisualStudioCode
    Netbeans
    Skype

    Webapps
    Zoho.com
    Netlify
    Crisp.chat
    And Firebase

  25. 1
  26. 1

    VS Code
    Figma
    Loom
    Github
    Netlify
    Spotify
    Stack Overflow

  27. 1

    Im also a big fan of Figma and Chrome.

    • Asana - Currently on a free pro trial but will drop to the free tier EOM
    • Heroku - Currently on paid tier but if I was doing less I could stay on the free level for personal stuff
    • Github - Kinda forget that this is a service sometimes cause it's such a staple but awesome and free.
    • Pycharm love working with pycharm for my python/django stack

    I've ended up in the paid tiers for most of the other services for my platform for car enthusiasts but my run rate is still relatively low. AWS will probably be the big kicker once (if, lol) traffic increases.

  28. 1

    Canva is awesome for great looking graphics. We even have used it for sales decks in the past.

    Wave is great for accounting and invoicing all-in-one.

    Meetingbird is a cool free calendly alternative

  29. 1

    I find the free tiers of the following tools pretty awesome :

    Github
    Zoho Suite
    Freshdesk Suite
    Netlify
    Heroku
    Canva
    Postman

    and

    Loop Habit Tracker (A completely free (no-ads) open source habit tracker for android )

  30. 1
    • Emacs
    • Alacritty
    • Chrome
    • Figma
    • Spotify
  31. 1

    Definitely Wistia!

    Their video hosting platform is amazing for lead generation and I get a lot of insight on how long people have been watching the video on my home page plus whether they click on the CTAs and where they spend most of their time.

    Love it, you get three videos for free.

    1. 1

      Also Ahrefs has made their projects feature available for free starting from today and I love it. There's so much value in their tools SEO/content-wise.

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