How to Use Little Known Command Line Tools to Boost Your Productivity

Are you tired of feeling overwhelmed by the endless list of tasks that seem to pile up every single day? Do you want to find a way to streamline your productivity and tackle your to-do list like a boss?

If your answer is yes, then you've come to the right place! In this article, we'll be discussing how you can use little known command line tools to boost your productivity and get your work done faster and more efficiently than ever before.

Let's get started!

What are Command Line Tools?

Before we dive into the specifics of how to use little known command line tools, let's first define what they are.

In simple terms, command line tools are programs that are designed to be run from a terminal or command prompt. They allow you to perform a variety of tasks, from file management to network troubleshooting to system administration, all through a simple text-based interface.

While it may seem daunting at first, learning to use command line tools can actually be incredibly beneficial for your productivity. Not only can they streamline your workflow, but they also allow you to automate repetitive tasks and save time on manual labor.

Now that we have a basic understanding of what command line tools are, let's take a look at some little known tools that can help boost your productivity.

1. FZF

FZF (pronounced "fuzzy") is a command line tool that allows you to easily filter through lists and directories. Whether you're searching for a file or a directory, FZF makes the process quick and painless.

One of the biggest benefits of FZF is its "fuzzy" search capabilities. This means that you don't have to worry about typing the exact name of the file or directory you're looking for. Instead, you can simply type in a few letters or keywords and FZF will find the closest match.

But that's not all! FZF also allows you to perform batch operations on your search results. For example, you can select multiple files or directories and open them all at once, without having to type in the command multiple times.

Overall, FZF is an incredibly useful tool for anyone who frequently works with directories and files on the command line.

2. Tmux

Tmux is a terminal multiplexer that allows you to run multiple terminal sessions within a single window. This means that you can have multiple tabs or panes open, each running its own command or process.

Using Tmux can be incredibly helpful for anyone who needs to keep multiple tasks running at once. For example, if you're a developer who needs to run a local server, a test suite, and a database shell all at once, Tmux allows you to do so without cluttering up your screen or losing track of what's running.

Another great feature of Tmux is its ability to detach and reattach sessions. This means that you can close your terminal window or even log out of your machine, and your Tmux sessions will still be running in the background. When you're ready to pick up where you left off, you can simply reattach to your Tmux session and continue working as if nothing happened.

Overall, Tmux is a must-have tool for anyone who needs to juggle multiple tasks on the command line.

3. Ack

Do you ever find yourself digging through code looking for a specific keyword or function? If so, Ack is the tool for you.

Ack is a command line tool that allows you to search through files for specific keywords or regular expressions. One of the biggest benefits of Ack is its speed. Unlike other search tools, Ack is specifically designed to be fast and efficient, even when searching through large codebases.

Another great feature of Ack is its ability to ignore certain files or directories. This means that you can focus your search on the files that are most relevant to your task, without getting bogged down by irrelevant files or directories.

Overall, Ack is an essential tool for anyone who needs to search through code on the command line.

4. ShellCheck

If you're like most people, you probably spend a lot of time working with shell scripts. And while shell scripts can be incredibly powerful, they can also be incredibly frustrating when they don't work as expected.

That's where ShellCheck comes in. ShellCheck is a command line tool that checks your shell scripts for common errors and pitfalls, such as syntax errors, quoting issues, and more.

In addition to checking for errors, ShellCheck also provides helpful suggestions for improving your scripts. This means that not only can it help you catch and fix errors, but it can also help you write better, cleaner, and more efficient scripts in the first place.

Overall, ShellCheck is a must-have tool for anyone who works with shell scripts on a regular basis.

5. htop

htop is a command line tool that provides an interactive process viewer. If you've ever used the "top" command to monitor system activity, you'll know that it can be difficult to make sense of all the information that's presented.

That's where htop comes in. htop provides a clear and well-organized view of your system activity, allowing you to easily monitor CPU usage, memory usage, and other important metrics.

But that's not all! htop also allows you to perform a variety of actions on your processes directly from within the tool. For example, you can kill or renice processes, change individual process priorities, and more.

Overall, htop is an essential tool for anyone who needs to monitor system activity on the command line.


In conclusion, learning to use little known command line tools can be an incredibly effective way to boost your productivity and get more done in less time. Whether you're searching through directories, running multiple tasks, or debugging shell scripts, the tools we've discussed in this article can help streamline your workflow and make your workday more efficient.

So why not give them a try? Who knows, you might just discover a new favorite tool that revolutionizes the way you work.

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