Vim is my daily driver for text editing. I keep my plugin list curated to only what I use on a regular basis. In this post I’m going to go over each plugin currently in my plug file, write a sentence about it, and determine whether is stays or goes.

Vim Plug

First on the list is Vim Plug. It is the minimalist plugin manager. I know Vim 8 included a built in plugin manager but Vim Plug works great for me and it’s staying.

Hybrid Theme

I don’t currently use this theme but it’s one I often fall back on. It’s a keeper

Zenburn Theme

I installed this to try (I’m a sucker for themes) and I use it sometimes. It can stay for now.

Tomorrow Theme

This is probably my favorite theme of all time. I use it everywhere and it’s my current default (the hybrid theme above uses the same palette). Tomorrow Forever.

Delimit Mate

I honestly had to look this one up. I couldn’t remember what it does but it auto closes paired keys (like [({"') so I use it everyday. I didn’t know I needed you but now I remember.

Vim Polyglot

Vim Polyglot adds tons of file type specific syntax highlighting rules that make it pointless to include each individually. However, this plugin has caused me so much grief (strange file type specific “features”) but it also adds so much I can’t get rid of it.


I use ctrlp.vim as a fuzzy file finder. It works pretty well but I recently discovered fzf which is faster and I can now use more recent versions of vim.Ctrlp.vim is probably on it’s way out.


Supertab is a very simple completion plugin. It has served me well but I have been considering some other auto complete plugins. It can stay for now but it’s time may be limited.

Enhanced JavaScript Syntax for Vim

I should remove this one in favor of the vim polyglot plugin.

Vim Jinja2 Syntax

This one may also be replaced by whatever comes with vim polyglot.

Vim Vue Syntax

This plugin is actually included with vim polyglot so it is redundant.

Vim jsx pretty

In case you are wondering I added vim polyglot after I noticed I was collecting all these language specific plugins…It’s about time I did an audit.

Vim CSS Color

Fancy plugin that highlights color hex strings. Keeper

Vim Fugitive Blame

Vim Fugitive is helpful for most things git but the GBlame command does not include the git commit message. This plugin shows that in the command box which is convenient.


I include Syntastic but don’t have it enabled by default. It’s useful but my current work codebase is a little bit of a disaster and syntastic makes me sad.


I switched to signify from vim-gitgutter a while back and never went back. Both plugins are great but signify works fine for me.


You may be asking why I have NERDTree and ctrlp/fzf. Sometimes it’s nice to navigate the directory structure and sometimes I just want to open the file. Both have custom leader shortcuts for convenience.


It’s a powerful plugin for showing all the variables functions and class structures. I keep Tagbar around because it’s nice when I have it setup. Recently I have been having trouble using it with JavaScript or PHP.

Tagbar PHP Ctags

I do a lot of PHP development at the moment. I haven’t taken time to figure out why it doesn’t work though.

Vim Matchup

This plugin is currently commented because I use the matchit macro included with vim. However, I may enable this one again.


Tim Pope’s fugitive.vim. It’s a git wrapper that makes using git with vim even more awesome.


This is another convenience plugin but it helps keep me from nesting code blocks too deep. I use the ¦ character for display.

Vim Json

Another plugin included with vim polyglot. Another one bites the dust!


Vim has a really powerful undo system but it’s really difficult to use. UndoTree helps to visualize this system and makes it simpler to use. Highly recommended.

Vim Airline

The status bar enhancer not the Russian Airline. I can’t live without this plugin. It’s very lightweight and I can also enable the buffer list at the top of the window. I don’t know how people use vim without a plugin like this.

Vim Airline Themes

Vim Airline themes for customization. I prefer the Tomorrow-Night theme.


My plugin list is pretty trim. I prefer to learn how to do things using vanilla vim commands but plugins are what make vim even more powerful. Here is a screenshot of my current setup with all the bells and whistles active.

Screenshot of my vim setup
(left pane is NERDTree, center is the current buffer, right is Tagbar, bottom is ctrlp.vim, vim airline buffer list across the top)