Today, I’ll introduce you to some tools that I like a lot and that have improved my productivity and efficiency in both my job and my day to day computer use. I ordered them with the ones that I like the most first but I suggest you to try them all to see if some are of more use to you than me in your particular context.
Disclaimer : I have not been paid in any way to endorse these products. Some of them are free and, for those that cost money, I personally think that their price is right for the functionalities they provides. I have bought all these tools with my own personal money. Also, all of these tools have a free evaluation version so you can try them out and see for yourself if they are worth the cost for your situation.
DevExpress Productivity Tools :
CodeRush and Refactor! are my best picks so far. They are both really easy to use, have a fast learning curve and integrates seamlessly with Visual Studio (all versions except for the express editions).
CodeRush is a template based code generation tool that speeds up the development process by providing a lot of useful and easy templates. There are templates for properties, methods, classes, NUnit in both VB.NET and C#. There are also navigation tools, selection tools and a lot of others interesting utilities.
Both of these tools are totally extensible via the DXCore free plug-in. In fact, CodeRush and Refactor! are really just a load of DXCore templates (and by “a load”, I mean that there are over a thousand individual templates that you can use). And if there is something in particular that you want to automate, the sky’s the limit with this tool. I will post some of my favorites customizations in the near future.
You can see these tools in actions on the DevExpress Web site here. If you never tried these tools, I suggest strongly that you give CodeRush and Refactor! a try. Trust me, it will be worth it.
Here’s a convenient Download Link (Evaluation version)
Slickrun is a free utility that replaces the over used Windows+R key combination, the quick launch tool-bar and the start menu. This little tool can hook-up and “override” the Win+R key to give you a simple command line that can be used to start any program. With features like Magic Words and auto-completion this became rapidly (for me at least) the standard way to start any piece of software that I use more than once a week. It even have the option to track your mouse position and appear right besides it so you don’t even have to move your eyes to the bottom left corner of the screen to see what you are typing.
This tool have the notion of “Magic Words”. These words are just aliases to executables where you can specify startup command line parameters. For example, C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\OUTLOOK.EXE becomes “mail”. Doubled with auto-completion, starting a program became almost instantaneous.
That’s it for today, I’ll write some follow-ups to this article with more tools and utilities that made my life and my work so much easier.