I remember when Rebecca wrote about A Baseline for Front-End Developers:
I think we’re seeing the emphasis shift from valuing trivia to valuing tools.
I know that Paul places a similar emphasis on the value of front-end development tools. Personally, I’ve always been lax with keeping up to date with start-of-the-art tools. I’ve been working on the web long enough to see yesterday’s cutting-edge tools stagnate or fall out of favour.
Still, I should really do more to keep up. There are a few design tools cropping up that I should really investigate.
LayerVault and Pixelapse both offer git-style version control for Photoshop, Fireworks, and Illustrator files. Sounds useful.
Then there are the tools that I think could be really useful for making HTML prototypes: Easel is browser-based, while Hammer and Mixture are OS X apps. They’ve all got enough time-saving shortcuts to make them worth investigating further. I wouldn’t use them for production code, but like I said, handy for prototyping.