Tools of the Trade - OpenLampTech Behind the Scenes
Find out which tools from physical devices, to software, apps, and services I use to bring you the OpenLampTech newsletter and publication each and every week.
I use several different tools to create, operate, and publish the OpenLampTech newsletter and publication.
For the most part, they are all free or low-cost.
I try to keep it as simple as possible and as mobile as possible.
Let's see which ones I'm currently using.
Every day Refind picks 7 links from around the web for you, tailored to your interests. Loved by 50k+ curious minds.
Disclosure: Many links in this article are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, should you make a purchase by clicking through one of them, I will receive a commission.
Laptop - Toshiba Satellite: I've had this laptop for a while now. I bought it in 2016 and then ditched it for no particular reason, using a Lenovo ThinkPad as my daily driver for years. I pulled the Satellite back out about a year or so ago when the ThinkPad went belly up, installed the latest Linux Mint on it, and haven’t looked back. Solid as a skillet handle.
Phone - Samsung Galaxy S22. I'm an Android and Samsung guy through and through. I don't doubt that Apple makes good products, it's just I've never had one. The only iPhone I ever had around 2011 must've been built on a Friday because it was garbage.
Tablet - Lenovo Tab M10. This is my favorite physical device and the one I do the most reading on. I watch many YouTube videos and tutorials on it as well. The 10" screen size is perfect for me.
How are they used?
I normally search for, find, and read most if not all of the content I curate on either my phone or tablet. I finalize any drafts I've typed on the mobile devices and schedule everything to publish using the laptop.
Apps and Programs
Grammarly - None of you would read my horrible writing if I didn’t have this epic piece of software.
Feedly - I use the Feedly app on my phone and tablet, monitoring feeds on MySQL, SQL, Linux, WordPress, PHP, CodeIgniter, Ghost, and much more.
Twitter - I try and use Twitter to its fullest but know I don’t. I mainly search out particular hashtags there and read what pops up for the latest material on them. When you can find them, useful and interesting threads are great features of Twitter as well.
Medium - I’ve been writing and republishing my Digital Owl’s Prose developer blog content to Medium since 2018. I am not getting rich by any means on Medium. However, my content winds up covering the yearly costs of my membership so I am more than happy about that. I find a ton of articles on Medium that I curate and share in the Friday OpenLampTech newsletter edition. I highly recommend investing in a Medium membership. You can even use my referral link and help support the OpenLampTech publication.
Google Docs - Every draft I write for every piece of content usually starts out as a Google Doc. Google Docs just work and are available across all of my devices (phone, tablet, laptop). A no-brainer for me. Synced too 👋👍
Google Sheets - I have a massive Google spreadsheet of articles that I want to read and share, in addition to those I've shared in the past. I capture the published date, category, title, and href link information for each article.
Evernote - I’ve got notebooks and lists of lists of lists in my Evernote. I’m sure there are better products out there but I’ve been using it so long that I’m sticking with it for the long haul (for now at least).
Google Alerts - One of the simplest ways to keep up with a specific topic or multiple topics. I use Google Alerts for several topics I am interested in covering or curious about.
Canva - I use the free version to create featured images and blog/newsletter visual content. Canva enables a non-designer like me, to make something halfway presentable. (Some inspirational ‘Thank You’ cards created with Canva are in this Etsy Shop.)
Probably no surprise here, but I'm using Linux as my personal daily driver. And have for years.
I started using Linux in the early 2010s and was fascinated with all the Gentoo, Arch Linux, and Slackware custom distro installs - and did them all at one point or another.
These days, time is limited (Isn't everyone's?) and I just want something simple that works with minimal configuration needed.
Hence, Linux Mint for me.
I like the Xfce desktop and am currently running Linux Mint 20 Ulyana LTS.
MySQL Workbench - I work with MySQL a lot in my day job, for programming blog posts and tutorials, and in learning/focus/study sessions. I enjoy the MySQL Workbench experience and it is free.
SQL Developer - I mostly use SQL Developer in my day job for Oracle database interaction but wanted to mention it here too because I test a lot of concepts in Oracle SQL and then port them over to MySQL for learning, studying, and content topics/ideas.
Sublime Text - I love Sublime Text. There are so many packages you can install for language-specific code snippets and syntax highlighting/linting. And, it isn’t that bloated. Plus, it has the best Vim keybindings I’ve found in an IDE or text editor.
DevKinsta - DevKinsta is awesome for local WordPress development (something I am still trying to learn). I do like installing certain plugins and then trying to study and understand the code as a learning experience.
Email Service Provider (ESP)
To no surprise here either but I'm using Substack.
Mainly because it is dead simple to use and it just works.
Plus, I do like the Substack community and read a number of Substack publications on different topics myself.
I don't want any 'tech mind cramps and headaches' with my ESP. I have plenty of headaches with software in my day job and my side-hustle programming and coding gigs.
Just let me write and publish my emails and newsletters, hassle and pain-free.
Substack does just that.
I use ConverKit for another side project niche site I operate and while I do like it, Substack still beats it in simplicity (in my opinion).
If someone shared this newsletter with you and you are not yet subscribed, please use the Subscribe button below and join:
Receive a free copy of my eBook, “10 MySQL Tips For Everyone” when you subscribe to the weekly OpenLampTech newsletter!
What tools do you use in your newsletter and/or blog operations? I’d love to know. Tell me all about them in the comments.
Thank you for reading. I hope you have a great rest of your week.
Visit my developer blog, Digital Owl’s Prose, where I write regularly on CodeIgniter, PHP, WordPress, and SQL.
Want to support this newsletter and my work? Drop some spare change in my Tip Jar.💰
Disclosure: Some of the services and product links in this email are affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, should you make a purchase by clicking through one of them, I will receive a commission.
I operate 2 niche WordPress websites and 1 CodeIgniter application, all proudly hosted on Hostinger. I couldn’t be happier with their product and support. Plus, they offer free SSLs.