What are your favorite terminal apps or scripts, to use for productivity?

Shawn McElroy on August 16, 2018

There are many productivity apps these days. Todo lists, notes, kanban boards, etc. But what are some productivity based apps or scripts you like to use in the terminal. Anything that wholly runs in the terminal or uses some api to help.

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I really like bat. It's cat, but with syntax highlighting and also shows line numbers, git changes, and all that jazz.


I use it as a drop-in replacement for cat with the following options:

alias cat='bat --paging=never --style=plain'

It's really powerful!


I love all these Rust replacements for core *nix tools. exa instead of ls, ripgrep instead of grep, bat instead of cat.


oh this tool is neat. I was using mdcat for this but i really like this one.


Wow! I have already replaced grep with ripgreg thanks to @dmfay mentioning it. I just tried bat and it's cool as well, thanks! Rust for the win I guess :D


If you're on a Mac, there's also an Alfred integration.



Wow! That is awesome! Terminal tools make me so happy :D


Some of my favorites:

  • z: Tracks your most used directories, based on 'frecency' and makes it easy to jump to them.
  • exa: a Rust replacement for ls, including nice colors, git status etc
  • ripgrep: Super fast grep replacement written in Rust.
  • fzf: a command-line fuzzy finder that nicely integrates into many tools, see e.g. my post.

these are some of my favorite tools. z is just so darn useful.


For things like what you're doing with z I just use ctrl-r and pull what I want from my shell history.


I guess you don't know what I'm doing with z then ¯\(ツ)

To clarify: Being able to type z followed by a couple of letters, then hitting TAB and getting z to autocomplete on the correct directory based on a combination of frequency and recency is IMHO more convenient than the CTRL-R approach.


Well, I don't know if I would call it a productivity app, but I set up a bash script that runs every day at 17:30 and creates a system notification to remind me to go home.


I wrote a couple PowerShell scripts for work that speed up processing Product Photos.

  1. Fetches and downloads specific images from the Clarks website. All I have to do is tell the script how the file name should start (sometimes 261___, sometimes Clarks__, depending on who's building the products) and then I just throw in the 5 digit SKU numbers till I'm done.

    I've looked into doing this for other brands too, but Clarks is the only one so far that has consistent image storage and naming conventions that makes it scriptable.

  2. I have to upload files into anywhere from 1 - 3 different FTP locations. This script asks which to upload to, takes all the images in the "Fixed" folder and uploads them to the different locations.


Those apps are for managers productivity. I mean that the managers should handle the extra tickets and priority, handle everything else around us so we can focus on development. At least for the teams where I worked, the bottleneck were the devs, so the managers acted as a filtering funnel for us.

We, as devs need tools to that take the load from us. Last one I found was bash-it. Other is docker to install local dependencies like databases and admins.

Most of the others are embeded in the intelliJ IDE's.


A couple of my favorites that haven't been mentioned:

  • thefuck: corrects your previous console command
  • googler: search google from the terminal

My 2 cents here. SparrowHub - I used it in my daily scripting. No need to write script from the scratch every time when I need it. Just write it once and upload to SparrowHub (:


github.com/dinedal/textql query your csv with SQL-syntax
github.com/tomnomnom/gron gron makes JSON greppable
github.com/jonas/tig git spelled backwards ;) to manage git repos

Otherwise, I am a big fan of orgmode.org/ which is the reason I took a glimpse at emacs.


when (check your package manager too)


Hi! I maintain SparrowHub - repository of useful scripts. I use these scripts in my daily work.

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