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Friday, January 3, 2020

Top 3 for the day

Top 3 for the day

Fresh Resources for Web Designers and Developers (January 2020)

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 07:43 AM PST

We are now officially starting a new decade, and with that also we’ve also brought you a handful of new resources for our web developers. In this round of the series we have quite a lot of applications and tools for Windows users. For example, we have a Launcher app similar to Alfred in macOS, a beautiful modern text editor with Markdown and diff features, and a utility tools to improve Windows for power users.

So without further ado, let’s check them out.


A utility package that provides more convenience for developers when developing with Laravel. It allows to generate components such as a Model, Controller, Event, Routes, and Blade Template in just a single line of command. It’s a great time saver.

White Blueprint text on a blue background


A collection of utilities developed by Microsoft itself which will improve Windows user experience. It adds so called “FancyZone” that allows you to manage complex window layouts and position. It will also add so called “PowerRename” which allows you to rename file in the Window UI in a batch. It is currently in active development so expect more advanced features to come.

PowerToys can be installed through “Choco”, the package manager for Windows, with this command choco install powertoys.

PowerToys logo on a gray background


If you’ve just switched from macOS to Windows, you might’ve missed a utility program like Spotlight or Alfred which makes navigating your computer faster and helps streamlining repetitive workflows. In Windows, you can use this program called Wox. It allows you to search everything from files, folders, applications, UWP, and search in Google. You can install the add-ons to extend its capability.

Input search and search result on Wox application

NVM Windows

The nvm CLI (Command Line Interface) allows you to manage, install, and switch multiple Node.js versions easily in your computer. The nvm CLI only works in Linux and macOS platform. If you’d like to install it in Windows, this is the CLI, you’ll need to install instead.

NVM runs on Windows Commander application


A terminal emulator and system monitor that looks like the one in sci-fi movie. It’ll make you three times cooler!

Dark interface with a clock, virutal folders and keyboard


A macOS application to manage Github notifications and activities. With this app, you can review relevant informations multiple repositories before opening the notification such as the comment, issue/pull request status, release description, etc.

List of github notifications on a dark background


An app for Windows to capture a screen session and screenshots. It comes with all the necessities to create proper screencast, such as the ability to capture regions or particular screens, capture mouse and keystores, and capture webcam. Did I mention that you can get it for free?

Captura application runs on Windows

Spicetify CLI

A handy CLI to customize your Spotify desktop app. With this, you can change the whole UI colors, inject your own CSS, as well as enable or disable certain features.

Custom Spotifify desktop application UI in white and orange color


A beautiful text editor for Windows with modern features. It has built-in Markdown support with the preview, built-in tab UI, diff feature so you can compare changes, and a CLI for power users so you’re able to launch the app from the command line or PowerShell with notepads command.

The Notedpads application with dark UI runs on Windows


An GUI application to manage Let’s Encrypt certificate for Windows/IIS server. It allows to request, install and renew free SSL certificates.

Certify UI in white and green color


A desktop application for comparing file difference for Windows. It allows you to view what’s changed between from a file, compare them with one or two other files simulataniously and merge the changes. Not only text files, you can also compare image, and the whole directories including the sub-directories. It’s free.

WinMerge application comapring two files


An NPM desktop application to manage NPM dependencies. You can install, uninstall, and update of these dependencies with clicks. If you’re more comfortable working with a GUI (Graphic User Interface) rather the NPM CLI, this is the app you can install. It’s works closs-platform, in Windows, macOS and Linux.

Luna application run on Windows showing a list of NPM package

WP JS Plugin Starter

A plugin starter to create WordPress plugin with modern setup and practices. The project already includes a pre-configured setup to create a Gutenberg Block. Developed by Riad Benguella who, at the moment of the writing, is one of the key developers in Gutenberg project.

WP JS Plugin Starter Github repository

CSS Houdini

In this video, Una Kravets presents the future of CSS with so called CSS Houdini which will completely change the way we write CSS. Una Kravets provides a couple of cool examples on CSS Houdini capability in this presentation. Check it out!

Speaker presenting CSS Houdini presentation


Nebular is a sturdy frameworks and design system for Angular. As commonly with with a framwework, it contains components like the buttons, tabs, menu, layouts, inputs, etc. On top of these components, it also provides Authentication components such as one to use Login, and Logout page.

Ilustration of Nebular application in


Not sure what to name your variable, use Codelf. It’s kind of search-engine except it will specifically search GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab and find you real example of variable naming.

A search input on white background.

Puppeteer Recorder

A Chrome extension to record your browser interaction and turn it into a Puppeteer script. It’s a time saver to to setup an End-to-end testing with Puppeteer.

Puppeteer Recorder UI

Browser Extension Boilerplate

A pre-configured setup to build a cross-browser browser extension. You can write the code once and deploy it to Firefox, Chrome, and Opera.

Example of browser extension UI on Chrome, Firefox, and Opera


Altair is GraphQL client where you can perform requet to GraphQL server and see the output from returned. You can install it as a browser extension or install it as an desktop app in Windows, macOS and Linux.

Altari user interface in dark and green color.

Notifier for Github

Another useful Chrome extension for developers. This extension improves the Github Notification system. It’ll show the number of notification you have loading website and forward it to the browser Push Notification. A handy extension for developer who manage multiple repository in the browser.

Chrome browser with the Notifier for Github extension showing 1 notification in blue color

The post Fresh Resources for Web Designers and Developers (January 2020) appeared first on Hongkiat.

How to Harness Your Inner Creativity For Freelancers

Posted: 02 Jan 2020 05:11 AM PST

"I’d love to do creative work! But how do you think of all these crazy things?" It seems that creativity is magic, a mystical process, the secrets to which the mundane struggle to comprehend. So many want to be writers; so few actually want to write.

When asked “where do you get your ideas?”, science fiction author Harlan Ellison – sweet-tempered darling that he is – would tell people that there’s this idea factory in New Jersey. He pays a subscriber’s fee and they send him a fresh six-pack every two weeks. To which he always morosely adds, you’d be surprised how many people ask him for the address of the idea factory…

Let’s be clear about this. Most creators themselves don’t exactly understand their own creative process. You have to be a little bit crazy and a little bit mystic. This won’t turn you into an exciting idea machine from nothing. But if you have been visited by the imp of creativity more than once, here’s how to put out the milk and cookies to ensure that it comes back and makes itself at home.

The Spock / Joker rule

Use the two different kinds of creativity for two different purposes – the two kinds of creativity being Practical (Mr. Spock) and Fantastic (The Joker).

Practical creativity is what you use to do engineering, programming, interface design, and any place you’ll be applying technical knowledge. Fantastic creativity is when you’re inventing entertainment. The best time for Practical Creativity is just about mid-morning, after your first cup of coffee (or whatever starts your engine).

The best time for Fantastic creativity is the opposite of this time: when you’re not quite as fresh, somewhat tired, not at the top of your game. Maybe even after one drink.

Split Creativity

Why is this? Because your logical mind gets in the way of the silly playtime that you need to be creative. You can’t come up with the cartoon character Spongebob Squarepants at 10 AM. Your inner Mr. Spock will frown, "A talking sponge? How illogical!"


But at 2AM when you’re scrabbling for ideas for a cartoon character, your brain is loose and plastic, so it can make illogical connections more easily. "A talking sponge?", shrieks your inner Joker, "That’s hilarious! Let’s make his house a pineapple."

Subtract 10% from your IQ

Oh, no, you had to compromise your artistic principles just to appeal to the common masses! Whatever shall you do? Cash your paycheck and use it to finance your highbrow art in another market, that’s what.

Really, the experience will show that to make an idea popular, you need to dumb it down. This is why the most famous song by any rock band is also the easiest one to hum. This is why the "Twilight" books fly off the shelves while headier fare gets shipped back to the publisher.

subtract-10-from-your IQ

It’s why reality shows with ludicrous concepts are on your TV right now instead of quantum physics lectures. Dream all the dreams you want, but if you’re going to make a living at this, then live in the world around you.

Be a squirrel

You can’t control when inspiration strikes, but you can save an idea until its time comes. That’s what squirrels do – store away nuts when there’s plenty of them, and dig them up later when they’re scarce. Have files and notepads handy at all times – jot down any idea that comes to you at any time. You’ll find a use for it later.

Another thing squirrels do is move around a lot. Have you ever sat at your desk trying to have an idea only to come up dry? Now have you heard people remark about how readily ideas come to them in the shower? The reason has nothing to do with the shower.

The reason is that when you shower, you have quiet time to think without much distraction, and you’re standing up and moving around. An active body activates the mind. Need an idea? Take a long walk. It’s sometimes that simple!

Throw a lot away

"Before you can grow one acre of wheat, be prepared to shovel one ton of manure."

You can pick almost any artist whose work you admire, and be assured that what you’re seeing is about 10%, at the maximum, of their output. That’s right, even geniuses are wrong 90% of the time. That’s how you produce brilliant ideas: Make it your goal to instead produce ten brilliant ideas, then throw away the nine that don’t work.


Dig trenches, then build cathedrals

There’s a false impression out there that creative work is some kind of exalted pursuit where you bask on your throne in an ivory tower, showered in rose petals by your hovering muses. Actually, creative work has a lot more in common with digging ditches.

When it comes down to it, there’s too much fixation on ideas. What makes the difference is the execution. That part requires passion for what you’re doing and the confidence that when your vision is realized, it will become the cathedral you were seeking all along.

dig-trenches-build cathedrals

So don’t just dream the ideas, make them work. Don’t procrastinate, don’t daydream the project away. Ideas are worthless, if you don’t make them happen.

Editor’s note: This post is written by Peter Brittain for Peter is a director of Slinky Web Design.

The post How to Harness Your Inner Creativity For Freelancers appeared first on Hongkiat.

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