How to set up your MacBook to maximize developer productivity?

Discover how to set up your MacBook for optimal developer productivity with our comprehensive guide. Explore essential tools like Homebrew, Notion, and Visual Studio Code, along with valuable tips on Finder settings and time tracking. Maximize your coding efficiency and streamline your workflow on macOS with expert insights and recommended configurations.

Category: How To

If you're a Mac user engaged in software development, you're likely aware of the importance of efficient tools and settings to enhance your productivity. In this article, I'll share some of the tools I frequently use, along with a few Mac OS settings that contribute to my productivity. Most of these tools are either free or offer free versions with valuable features.

General Productivity Tools:

1. Homebrew:

Homebrew is still a powerful package manager that simplifies the installation of various apps and tools. It now supports the installation of Apple Silicon (M1, M2) applications. Commands like brew install make software installation a breeze. Some essentials I use include Git, Python, Palumi, and Google Cloud SDK.


2. Notion:

Notion remains an all-encompassing workspace for organizing tasks, schedules, documentation, and collaboration. Many teams still utilize Notion extensively for managing production schedules, content ideas, standard operations, and more.

macbook notion app

3. Bitwarden:

Secure your passwords and sensitive notes with a password manager like Bitwarden. It not only ensures the safety of your data but also facilitates secure sharing of environment variables among developers.


4. Rectangle:

For efficient window management, Rectangle comes in handy. This free tool, installed via Homebrew, allows easy resizing and positioning of windows.

Rectangle app

5. Rocket Typist:

Simplify your typing with Rocket Typist, a free text replacement tool. It helps save time by allowing you to create and use text snippets with abbreviations.

Rocket typist

Developer-Specific Tools:

1. iTerm 2:

Enhance your terminal experience with iTerm 2, a feature-rich replacement for the default Mac terminal. It offers hotkey features for quick access and better window management.

iTerm 2

2. Oh My Zsh:

Customize your terminal further with Oh My Zsh, providing themes, plugins, and improved shell functionality. It integrates well with iTerm 2, adding features like Git repository information to your prompt.

Oh My Zsh

3. Fig:

Fig is an autocomplete tool that assists in navigating directories and executing commands. It suggests completions as you type, making command-line interactions more efficient.


4. DevToys:

DevToys is still a versatile tool for developers, offering converters, encoders, generators, and more. It aids in various tasks like JSON to YAML conversion, URL encoding/decoding, and QR code generation.


5. VS Code with Extensions:

Visual Studio Code (VS Code) continues to serve as my primary development environment. Extensions like Thug, GitHub Pull Requests, and Markdown Extended enhance functionality, while Vim emulation provides efficient navigation.

Visual Studio Code

6. Toggl Track:

Consider using Toggl Track, a time-logging application, to gain insights into your work habits. It helps identify where you spend the most time, aiding in productivity optimization.

Toggl Track

Bonus: Finder Settings:

Optimize your Finder application for a better user experience:

  • Customize the toolbar for quick access to essential functions.
  • Set the default Finder window location to a folder relevant to your work.
  • Tailor the sidebar to display only essential items like Airdrop, Downloads, and iCloud.
  • Adjust search settings to search within the current folder for faster and more focused results.

By incorporating these tools and settings into your Mac development environment, you can streamline your workflow and boost overall productivity. Whether you're a seasoned developer or just starting, exploring these options can significantly enhance your coding experience on a Mac.