I think, especially with technology, it is interesting the tools that we use to help get the job done. There are tools that we use just for project management and business management and there are tools we use for development and design. It’s always interesting to compile a list of the tools we use as it is ever changing. One year a certain product is killing it, then the next another company comes around and does it even better.
So here is a compiled list of the tools we use to help us design and develop.
- Google Apps
We’ll start with Google Apps because it really is our communication hub. From Gmail to Google Drive to Google Calendar, we use them all. The most value we get out of Google Apps is Gmail and Drive. Gmail has been a great email client as long as we’ve used it and it makes it very simple for us to share and maintain communication. Drive has been our Microsoft Office — we don’t even own a copy of Microsoft Office anymore, haven’t for years.
For a small business or sole proprietor this has been the way to go for accounting, time tracking and invoicing. Yes there is a monthly fee, but since we started using Freshbooks, the services has more than made up for that fee.
We used Basecamp a number of years ago for project management then the app just kind of sat stagnant and was not keeping up with our needs. But the new Basecamp is awesome. We only recently tried using it again and it has been a godsend for maintaining projects and clients. It really provides a solid structure to work within, but also gives you flexiblity.
Much like Google Apps, we wouldn’t be doing any of this if it weren’t for Apple — consistently solid machines.
- Adobe Creative Cloud
In the last year we switched to Adobe Creative Cloud. All that really means is that you have access to cloud storage and get software updates as they become available. It can be expensive with a monthly cost of $29+ but well worth having all the tools at our dispense.
- Slick Plan
For more complicated websites, this has been our go to for IA (information architecture). A clean simple tool that is very easy to navigate and organize layer upon layer of content.
Prior to any development or design we create wireframes. This tool allows us to create, share and actually have the end user click through the different pages.
Bitbucket is a revision control system that we utilize for most web sites. It makes it easy to have a backup and version control as well as allowing others to collaborate.
We don’t just use MailChimp for email for our clients, but for Mackey it is our go to. The interface is intuitive and very easy to use, as well as simple to design and create email campaigns.
Trello can be used to basically organize anything. It is great for ideation and can even be used for project management. We find it a good tool though primarily for concept and ideation and use Basecamp for the heavy lifting of project management.