Top 5 plugins for IntelliJ to boost your workflow

IntelliJ is one of the most popular Java IDEs right now. It comes with a rich set of features on its own, but you can make even more of it by using plugins. And what is even more exciting, the same plugins will work in any IDE by Jetbrains: WebStorm, PyCharm, Android Studio, etc. In this post, I will list top 5 plugins for IntelliJ (any other Jetbrains IDE) that had helped me boost my productivity.

How to install plugins?

To install plugins in IntellliJ IDEA, go to File -> Settings:

screenshot of intellij idea highlighting settings entry under file menu

In the settings window, select Plugins from the left menu and plugin marketplace will open:

screenshot of plugin marketplace in intellij idea

Here you can search for plugins and install them. Note that you will have to restart IDEA to apply plugin changes. Here is my list of top 5 plugins for Intellij IDEA:

1. Force Shortcuts

screenshot of the force shortcuts plugin in the marketplace

This plugin will teach you all the essential shortcuts in IDEA in a matter of days. It does so by not allowing running actions that have a shortcut with a mouse. It will display a popup with the shortcut, forcing you to do press. While it sounds draconian, I found it really beneficial for productivity as I can now do everything while keeping my hands on the keyboard.

2. Material Theme UI

screenshot of the material theme ui plugin in the marketplace

While not really a plugin, Material Theme UI gives your IDE a refreshing look, trying to follow Google Material Design guidelines. Default IDEA theme can be a little depressing and you can try this plugin to spice things up. It comes with 15 predefined presets with dark and light versions. It also lets you create your custom preset, giving you an insane level of customizability.

3. Rainbow Brackets

screenshot of the rainbow brackets plugin in the marketplace

A simple yet very powerful plugin. It color-codes your opening and closing brackets in matching colors:

screenshot of color matching brackets in the editor

Now you do not have to carefully match the brackets yourself when trying to figure out what went wrong in some complex piece of code.

4. BashSupport

screenshot of the bash support plugin in the marketplace

I think you can figure out what this plugin does. It adds support for bash scripting language, which is very popular among Linux developers. You will enjoy syntax highlighting, autocompletion as well as static analysis of bash scripts with the help of this plugin.

5. WakaTime

Wakatime is an online service that tracks the time you spend writing code. It will give you detailed statistics, grouped by language, IDE and projects. I can provide valuable insight into how well you manage your time and how much work do you actually do during a regular workday. To use this plugin, you first have to register on Wakatime.

Bonus: Nyan Progress Bar

screenshot of the nyan progress bar plugin in the marketplace

I am just going to leave this here:

screenshot of the progress bar featuring nyan cat

Thank you for reading! I hope you will find these plugins useful. If you use any other plugins and they make your life easier, please share them in the comments!

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