SensibleSideButtons

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These are the tools that I use everyday to write code and do fun stuff on theinternet. This is not necessarily an endorsement of these tools, but this iswhat works well for me.

I made an open-source macOS utility called SensibleSideButtons that turns the side buttons on any generic mouse into universal navigation buttons. The application runs in your menu bar so you don't have to install any extra drivers. My approach is to bind the buttons to virtual left and right three-finger swipe gestures, which offers several benefits over the usual approach of binding the. SensibleSideButtons; Spectacle; Fantastical 2 (to put my gcal in the bar the calendar that slides out from the side) A place to for me to post stuff (mostly) about software development.

🖥 Hardware

  • 🖥 Desktop:Mac mini (M1, 2020)
  • 💻 Laptop (Semi-retired):MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015)
  • 🖱 Mouse:Anker Ergonomic Vertical USB Wired Mouse
  • ⌨ Keyboard:Kinesis Freestyle Pro (withCherry MX Red switches)
  • 🎧 Headphones:
    • Sennheiser HD 598 CS -For use while working, and on airplanes. Very comfortable, great soundquality. For me, these are the best balance between sound quality andcomfort that I’ve found in an over-the-ear headphone. Unfortunately,they’re a bit hard to find these days.
    • Airpods Pro - For use whileon-the-go, running, or doing work around the house. Superb noisecanceling.
  • 🖊 Pens
  • 📓 Notebooks:
    • Daily Todos, Brainstorming, Ephemera:Leuchtturm1917 A6 Hardcover Dotted Notebook
    • Longer term notes:Leuchtturm1917 A5 Hardcover Dotted Notebook

👨‍💻 Development

  • VSCode - VSCode is my go-to editor. I’mnot a power user of it, but I think it has one of the better ecosystems ofeditor plugins of current GUI-based editors.
    • Boxy Theme Kit -Boxy Solarized Dark is my VSCode theme of choice.
    • JSON Tools -Useful for pretty-formatting JSON.
    • Paste URL -A simple extension for pasting URLs into Markdown documents.Automatically pulls the link’s title, and formats it as [title](url).
    • Auto Close Tag -Automatically adds closing HTML tags.
  • vim - I’m using vim more and more these days. Still a novice, but I’mbecoming more comfortable with it.
    • You can find my vim config here.I’ve also been keeping notes on my vim learnings.
  • SourceTree - This is a bit controversial,but I like having a GUI client for git. Not for everything (most in-depthgit operations will still require dropping down into the CLI), butSourceTree allows me to minimize the number of common git mistakes that getmade. Seeing graphically staged changes is a big deal for me, and SourceTreeallows you to stage specific lines of a file much easier than the git CLI.

⌨ Terminal

SensibleSideButtons
  • iTerm2 - Much more customizable thanTerminal.app. Has better theming support, and a bunch of other functionalitythat I don’t really use.
    • Source Code Pro LightFont - Super readable, and I like the aesthetic.
    • I use either the builtin Solarized Dark color scheme, or SolarizedDark High Contrast (found here).
  • oh-my-zsh - I’m not a hardcoreZSH user, but oh-my-zsh is really awesome. This shell gives you tons ofproductivity wins: git status in the prompt, super great auto-completion andhistory searching. Seriously, it’s worth a try. I was skeptical of leavingbash, but it’s really been worth the switch.
    • agnostertheme - Agnoster is a great theme for zsh. I’ve been told it’s a ‘newb’theme by a more experienced user of zsh, but I really like it. It’s abit flashy, but that’s what makes it fun.
  • fzf - “fzf” is a fast fuzzy file finder.Works great in vim, on the CLI, and for searching shell history.
  • zoxide - zoxide is super useful forjumping between frequently used directories. Integrates well with “fzf”.
    • See also, the original “z”
  • lazygit - A powerful gitterminal UI for when I’m feeling lazy.

📱 Services/Apps

  • Instapaper - My “read later” service ofchoice. It’s simple, it works well, and it has text-to-speech support, so Ican listen to articles on-the-go.
  • Tailscale - “Zero config VPN.” Makes it trivial tosetup a personal VPN between various networks. I use it to connect to myhome network when on-the-go.
  • Overcast - My favorite podcast player.
  • Pedometer++ - A perfect pedometer app. It’ssimple, never breaks, and isn’t bloated. I’ve been using this since Iditched my Fitbit. Works great with the Apple Watch.
  • Libby - A slick app for renting ebooks andaudiobooks from our local library.
    • Here’s what I’ve been reading.
  • BookPlayer - An open sourceaudiobook player for iOS.
  • Buffer - A service for scheduling Tweets.Helpful when I want to use Twitter in “write-only mode”.
  • Artvee - Public domain scans of classical artwork.Useful for blog post headings.

🖥 Self-Hosted Services

  • Miniflux - An excellent minimalist RSS reader.
    • Here’s a curated list of blogs I subscribe to.
  • Node-RED - Automation platform, similar to IFTTT.Has a large community plugin ecosystem.
  • Podsync - Tool for creating Podcast Feeds(RSS) from a Youtube channel. Useful for listening to tech talks on-the-go.
Is sensiblesidebuttons safe

☑️ Productivity

SensibleSideButtons
  • Todoist - Todoist is my favorite todo application.It suits my needs very well: it’s cross platform, has an open API, supportscomplex repeated tasks (i.e. “repeat every third Sunday of the month”), andhas a pleasing design aesthetic. I pay for Todoist premium, and it’s one ofthe few services that I feel delighted to give them my money.
  • Drafts - I use Drafts as a medium-persistencynotes app (similar to iOS’s default Notes.app). It syncs consistentlybetween my Mac and iPhone, supports Markdown formatting, and has a ton ofpower-user features like tagging, scripting, filters, customizable toolpalettes, and Shortcuts integration.
  • Obsidian - Personal knowledge management tool, with[[wikilink]] support.
    • I wrote more about my usage of Obsidianhere.
  • AnyList - My app-of-choice for making grocerylists. It keeps a history of items you’ve purchased in the past, supportslist sharing, and has power-user features like associating items with aparticular store.

🌐 Chrome Extensions

SensibleSideButtonsSensibleSideButtons
  • Vimium - Vim keybindings for navigation andscrolling in Chrome.
  • TamperMonkey - User scripts for Chrome.
  • DarkReader - Automatic dark mode for allwebsites. (Works ~pretty well)
  • Distill Web Monitor -A useful extension for getting notified when a webpage changes.
  • Strict Workflow -A pomodoro timer that has the added benefit of blocking distracting siteswhile you’re in “work mode”
  • Privacy Badger -Blocks tracking cookies and embeds. Created by theEFF.
  • Copy as Markdown -Simple utility to copy links as [markdown](links).
  • Redirector -Personal URL redirections.
  • Picture-in-Picture -PiP mode for Chrome (works for Youtube!)

🛠 Utilities

  • Rectangle - A great window resizing/tilingutility app for macOS.
    • (RIP Spectacle)
  • SwiftBar (PreviouslyBitbar) - A super flexible menubar toolfor macOS that allows you to turn any script into a menubar program.
    • I maintain a repo ofpersonal plugins.
  • grip - Grip allows you to preview Githubmarkdown really easily. It’s a simple command line tool, works reliably, andspeeds up the process of writing Github READMEs.
  • f.lux - Eye strain can be a real headache. I’vefound that “screen-yellowing” after sunset cuts down on the worst of eyestrain. I don’t use f.lux so much anymore - I’ve found that Night Shift isjust as good, and is supported natively on macOS. I still do use f.lux onWindows and Linux.
  • codemod - Straight-forward tool forperforming large-scale find-and-replace refactors on code.
    • fastmod - A rewrite ofcodemod in Rust that’s much faster. Great for very large codebases!

Is Sensiblesidebuttons Safe

Single Serving Websites

  • Kill the Newsletter! - Convertsemail newsletters to RSS feeds.
  • rewind.website (a.k.a. “Cast Rewinder”) - Allowsyou to listen to podcasts “from the beginning” by rehosting an RSS feed thatemits olds episodes on a schedule.
  • PolitePol - Creates RSS feeds from websitesthat don’t publish feeds.

💽 Databases

Sensiblesidebuttons Review

  • Sequel Pro - Sequel Pro is a great GUIinterface for MySQL. It allows you to create and modify tables, querytables, edit and create rows, everything you’d need to bootstrap a databasesetup. Two thumbs up. 👍👍
  • Postico - Postico is pretty much atfeature-parity with Sequal Pro, but for PostgreSQL.

Sensiblesidebuttons Macos

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Sensible Side Buttons

(Updated January 28, 2021)