16 Tools That Are Invaluable to Us
New Year, new list post. We love talking about the tools we use to create all the amazing websites, mobile apps and designs. But, those tool are really just the tip of the ice-burg when it comes to a typical day at Mindshare. Here’s a list of the tools we use to oil the werks and keep things running smooth.
Atom has become our go-to code editor. It offers extendability that enables each of our developers to create an environment suited to their code writing style, yet stays simple enough that bells and whistles don’t get in the way of work.
Android Studio (https://developer.android.com/studio)
Android Studios is required if you’re going to make apps for android devices. It has down sides, but it’s a required tool.
Xcode 11 (https://developer.apple.com/xcode/)
Xcode is the portal for developing on Apple devices. Just like Android Studios, this is a required app, and one you dive in, it makes app management, upkeep, and deployment a breeze.
Monday is a simple, intuitive task management platform built for designers and developers. This tool helps us to stay on track no matter what we’re working on. Typically we’re working on 10-15 projects at a time, this tools ensures nothing falls through the cracks.
Google Drive (https://drive.google.com/)
Google drive is one of the most comprehensive file sharing platforms there is. We use this tool to manage client projects, share documents, create shared folders and assets, as well as a central location for any one of our business documents. If an employee needs our stock contract, it’s there. How about some stock images, in the drive. How about those resources a client email to use 3 months go? Those are in the drive.
Dropbox is very similar to google drive, and to be honest I wish we could use only one. However, many of our clients often share assets via dropbox. So, we use this tool to feed it all into Google drive. (yeah, just stick your dropbox folder inside google drive.. it works wonders.)
We manage over 150 websites and mobile applications and each of those has a unique set of passwords associated with registration accounts, 3rd party integrations, hosting, etc. LastPass makes the management of those passwords secure and easy. In fact, we don’t ever need to see the password itself. Each one can be 32 characters long and completely unique. Security, productivity, easy… this one’s a favorite.
Adobe XD (https://www.adobe.com/products/xd.html)
Adobe XD is Adobe’s platform for creating app prototypes and mockups. With this tool we can create clickable, navigable prototypes in fractions of the time it would normally take to create them. Plus, it gives us the ability to share those designs, present those designs, and collaborate on those designs. It’s a incredibly fast and easy took for getting the design and layout conversation started.
We use Twilio to route phone calls and accept incoming text messages to our office phone. It’s incredibly useful when the team is spread out and not working from the office. It also provide some pretty great analytics and spam filtering. Plus, we get to use cool robot voices.
Google Analytics (https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/analytics/)
Google Analytics has been the gold standard in web and mobile analytics for forever. It’s free, it’s powerful, it’s (relatively) easy to use. This service get’s launched with all our websites and mobile apps.
NewRelic is a web platform monitoring service that showcases easy metrics. We use it to ensure our servers and the apps hosted on those servers are happy and zippy.
Mailgun in a developer friendly SMTP service for sending, receiving and tracking email. We incorporate this service into all of our websites and mobile applications to ensure proper delivery and logging of email traffic. It’s become an invaluable resources when it comes to tracking down why email is not getting delivered to a certain account.
Accounting and Business Management
Truth be told, I hate accounting and bill collecting. I dislike invoicing and would rather something/someone else do it for me. Wave takes the headache out it. We switched from Quickbooks awhile back and couldn’t be happier. At first we worried that lacking functionality was going to create problems, but it turned out simplicity was what we needed. It’s a fantastic platform that, honestly, get’s us paid quicker.
Google Drive (https://drive.google.com/)
Yeah, it’s on this list twice, and for good reason. All our contracts, signed documents, and business resources are at our fingertips, anywhere in the world. Plus it’s nice and secure, so that’s good.
Pingdom Tools (https://tools.pingdom.com/)
This website offers some amazing insights into website speed. We always run a few tests here to squash the slowness out of websites.
Google’s Mobile Friendly Test (https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly)
Google is the gatekeeper to the web. So, it’s important we play nice with their algorithms. A mobile friendly website is one of the most important factors when it comes to search traffic. This little tools ensures that what we launch is mobile friendly.