Some of the services I use to make life easier

Short list of the services and tools I use to get stuff done in my professional life.

Dark image of a table from above with a spotlight illuminating leatherworking tools and materials.

This is going to be a list more as a historical snapshot for 20 years later me. And maybe you, in the present, whenever you happen to read it, can take away something.

The context is that I work full time at an enterprise, and I have my own limited company in the UK that I use for the occasional projects. I’m going to exclude all the things that I have through the enterprise, because those are specific, and also I’m bound by my contract to reveal them 😉.

Let’s begin!

Business and administrative

Because I have a limited company, that comes with a bunch of legal requirements that I, as its owner and its director, need to take care of. Producing yearly accounts, confirmation statements, paying taxes, doing self assessments for my personal tax reasons. HMRC has a fairly comprehensive guide, and even though their customer service is being bashed in the news, they’ve been super helpful with me every time I had a chat with them. However that’s not something I want to deal with, so I have two linked things to help me: Freeagent, and the accounting firm, Maslins, that I use.

Freeagent allows me to import all my bank statements in real time, deal with invoicing, explain transactions, and generally keep on top of where my money goes.

Maslins has been amazing from the day I moved to them from my initial accountants: there is no question they haven’t answered fully, they always reply, there’s not a lot of boilerplate, and they’re the most professional people I’ve had the pleasure to deal with. If you happen to be a kind of person / company that they take on, I highly highly recommend them. During the 9 years they’ve been taking care of my stuff, I only ever had a single phone conversation, and I only met them in person once, and even that was because I happened to be in their neighbourhood. Everything happens over email. If you mention my name when you reach out, we both may or may not get a discount. I don’t know whether they still do referrals. It’s nice, not required, but also appreciated.

For business insurance I use With Jack Insurance. Ashley’s been amazing, though I think lately she’s hired some more staff to help her with the work. Every time I need to renew the insurance, I get a reminder, and the steps I need to take are super clear. They customize the insurance for the purpose, equipment, and work I do, and I do get access to some legal templates as well.

Emails, at least the business emails, are still on Google apps. I’ve wanted to move away from Google, however it’s incredibly convenient, and I’m not ready to give up that convenience.

Banking happens mostly at Monzo. I have a Wise account, in case I need to receive international payments, and a Revolut account, which I used for the same purposes, except I stopped using Revolut. I’ve not closed that one yet in case it becomes useful in the future. It doesn’t cost me anything.

Domains, hosting, coding

For domains I use iwantmyname as the registrar. They’re a New Zealand based company, super no frills, no upsells, no annoying marketing deal communication, and WHOIS privacy on by default. I get an email before a domain of mine is about to be renewed, then I get a thank you email when it did renew, and that’s about the extent of contact I have from them.

For some of the domains I have, I use Cloudflare as a CDN and name server. Mostly because it’s easy to create SSL certificate for domains that I use for tiny project work, and creating redirect subdomains for some others. You probably heard of Cloudflare.

Most of the projects I do for myself are hosted on Digital Ocean in the London zone.

For Laravel specific work, I have a Forge account, and a Nova licence.

Code editing happens within Jetbrains IDEs: PhpStorm, Goland, RustRover, and DataGrip with the occasional VSCode sprinkled in. I do not use vim, and I do not have an interest in learning how to use vim. 😂

This blog is on Ghost(pro) on an absolutely ancient grandfathered account tier. I will keep this tier as long as I can, though that means I miss out on some nice features, like sending out emails from the same address as the blog itself. You may have noticed the emails are coming from instead of


I keep in touch with folks via Slack, Discord, and WhatsApp groups. Wider community is via Mastodon or Bluesky. I no longer use Twitter. Everything else is personal, and will not be listed here. 🙂

And that’s about it. There are some others like unsplash for sourcing the images I use on most blog posts, or squoosh for resizing and converting them to webp, or GitHub to host my code, but I didn’t want to dedicate anything more to them.

Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash