All Articles

Digital Life Stack

Updated: 04/14/2015

The general list for the Generalist Unfortunately, this is in no way shape or form a complete list since I haven’t been able to touch every single piece of technology. This list is specific to my personal experience. It is divided into four parts: Developer Tools, Design, Productivity, and Lifestyle.

Developer Tools


  • Sublime Text

    • The swiss army of text editors in my opinion. There is a great community backing around Sublime. There are also endless plugins that make it feel like unicorns and rainbows all the way. I make all kinds of amazing magic when I use Sublime.
  • Atom

    • It was to me all the hype a few years back, I have yet to mess around with it, but worth a mention as it has huge potential
  • IntelliJ

    • Full-fledged IDE that many corporations used and will only continue to grow. Never found a use-case to actually use it even though I have a license for it :p Android recently moved to IntelliJ from Eclipse so there’s that for food for thought.
  • Eclipse

    • Open Source! Amazing when it works, but sometimes will get pretty wonky. I’m personally not a fan. Lacks the polish of paid IDEs like IntelliJ.
  • Xcode

    • You are using this if you are a true Mac dev. I don’t have anything bad to say about Xcode, but I would not use it for regular projects, only iOS or Mac development.
  • Visual Studio

    • Honestly, hands down the best IDE I have ever used. Super intuitive and fast. It never broke down regardless of all the kitchen sinks I threw at it. It does everything you ask of it plus more. I used this when developing Visual Basic and Visual C# programs back two years ago. I only expect it to be better nowadays. I cannot praise Visual Studio enough. Download yourself a copy like now.

Cloud Hosting:

  • Heroku

    • Helps you focus on building the product, not dealing with spinning up machines and such to get your awesome code into the wild wild web. Works by deploying your packages like you do with Git. Super intuitive and would highly recommend you give them a try. My go-to tool when prototyping designs and systems for the Web. Can get a pricey as your product/business starts to grow.
  • DigitialOcean

    • Cheap hosting which gives you access to a server. They abstract away the underlying complexities of infrastructure. Bare metal system, but awesome for just frills-free hosting if you know what you are doing.
    • There are others like Linode and Engine Yard, but I’ve been sticking to Digital Ocean.
    • Would highly recommend pairing this with Dokku to get Heroku-like deployment environment on the cheap.
  • AWS

    • They are the powerhouse of the cloud! They power the biggest systems in the world including Netflix, Netflix relies on them! That’s amazing. Give them a try.
    • There is also Microsoft Azure, Google Compute, and a few more here, but IMO AWS is the household name.


  • Namecheap

    • No frills cheap domains. They also are a staunch support of Net Neutrality. +1 in my book.

Version Control:

  • Github

    • Defacto standard for version control
    • Everyone is moving to them for version control hosting, just ask Microsoft or Apple
  • Bitbucket

    • Amazing for private repos

Knowledge Forums:

  • Stack Overflow

    • Defacto way to get answers for all you coding problems
    • If you are a developer, you’ve been here.
  • Quora

    • A Very good community who rally around quality answers.


  • iTerm2

    • I like this a lot better than the default terminal OSX gives due to their multi-pane option. It’s free, switch now.
  • Postman

    • Great when you are working on REST calls regardless of your development platform.

Web Templates:

  • HTML5 UP
  • Templated - Free templates that are just super solid and modern.
  • ThemeForest - Free/Paid templates - Only downside of ThemeForest is that they make you deposit credit in the form of $20, $30, $40, … which to me is a load of BS and quite scammy IMO
  • Bootstrap

    • Hands down the most popular HTML, CSS, and Javascript framework. Build websites at uber speeds.
  • Bootswatch

    • Lays on top on Bootstrap for different themes.


  • Dribbble - UX Stuff for inspiration.
  • Behance - More general for creatives and not specific to UX.

Stock Images:


  • Fiverr

    • Have yet to try, but looks very promising in delivering cheaply priced good quality work, not specific just to logos.
  • Withoomph

    • If your boss called you and required you to have a logo in the next 15 minutes or your fired.


  • Sketch

    • Not a designer, but I pretend to be (fake it until you make it). Sketch helps me cover my tracks and makes me feel like a designer with its super intuitive tooling and its philosophy for designing for the modern software world.
  • Skala View

    • It is extremely nice to get a physical feel of how mockups look on devices and such and this provides an easy transfer between Sketch designs to having it actually on devices.


  • OneNote

    • I honestly prefer this compared to Evernote since it’s a lot more lightweight and simple. It is a lot more free-formed, exactly how note-taking should be. I don’t feel like I am confided into a box of how to take notes when using OneNote. OneNote conforms to the style YOU want to take notes. Plus Microsoft has been on its A-Game when Satya Nadella got bumped to CEO.
    • Evernote was too heavyweight for me. Also a note taking app should serve as a natural extension to the way you naturally take notes, it shouldn’t force you into a constrained environment to take notes. Everytime I used Evernote, I felt I was taking notes in a boxed environment and there was ONE way to take notes and that was considered the only CORRECT way.
  • Trello - Keeps a team in sync with its easy to use idea of Cards.
  • Strict-Workflow

    • Implements Pomodoro that is 25 minutes of work + 5 minutes of break.
  • Lastpass - Secure online password storage. - It has a few quirks that I wish were sorted out, but they are the leader right now in this space.
  • 1Password - Haven’t used it, but looks very promising.
  • Flux

    • Do yourself and get yourself this. Be good to your eyes. I’m a night-owl coder and that bright light does your body no good and your sleep cycle no good. Flux makes sure your screen’s lighting is in tune with proper light settings

Cloud Storage:

  • Google Drive

    • Standard. Very good for collaboration and integrates well with Google Docs, Sheets, and …
  • Dropbox

    • Used to use this. Been off of this for some time, but still a solid solution!
  • Box

    • Same, but used more for corporations.
  • Hive

    • Heard good things, never had a use case to try it out.


  • Ghostery - What I used for this blog.
  • Wordpress - Focused on less technical savvy crowds. Super popular and does the job so I really don’t have anything to bash them on. Maybe I could bash them because they use PHP?


  • Pandora

    • Great for when your in a certain mood and want songs in that certain mood. Also TIL, Pandora has comedy stations!
  • Spotify

    • Great for listening to albums and specific songs
  • Rdio

    • Great for listening to albums and specific songs. I don’t use this anymore (because Spotify), but their web UI is absolutely stunning and gorgeous
  • 8tracks

  • Google Music

    • I use this when on the go and want to listen to my library of songs on my computer, but don’t necessarily have them on my phone
  • Songza

    • Great for wanting to listen to music with certain themes such as “Relaxing”
  • Streamus

    • Integrates with Google Chrome and lets you listen to Youtube without the Video


  • ArsTechnica - Standard Tech blog with a lean towards the technical side.
  • The Verge - Standard Tech blog with a slight lean towards the consumer side (if compared to ArsTechnica)
  • Wired - They have great in-depth tech articles.
  • TechCrunch

    • Startup News! Startup News! Startup News!
  • HackerNews

    • Great community with in depth knowledge into specific things developers would understand.
  • Reddit

    • General browsing for when you are bored .
  • Medium

    • Where everyone can blog and tell their stories. Of very high quality.

I have a lot more tools I used specific to the tech stack I am using. I’ll consider a part II if this post was helpful!

I’m @steventsooo on Twitter. I would love to hear what you think!

Published 14 Apr 2015