Productivity Apps I Use Daily – Weekly – Monthly

productivity Apps for Web Design

Daily 

  • Things
    Great little app for organising your ‘todos’. Simple interface & very easy to use. Available for Apple only with dedicated Mac, iPhone & iPad apps…..each for a fee, all 3 will cost you over €50. You can sync you iPhone and iPad apps with your desktop app but only if they are on the same Wifi network. Cloud syncing has been promised for a while now but hasn’t been rolled out yet. If your tired of waiting, on a PC or dont want to part with your hard earned cash they have a look at Wunderlist. Its available on Mac, iPhone & iPad just like Things but also has a PC app too. It is available online too for when you are not on any of your own devices. Oh, it has cloud syncing too so all your devices are up to date wherever you are. And here’s the best bit…its completely free. Ok, its is lacking some features from things & doesn’t look or feel as nice (although it does look good) but its worth a try if your new to to-lists.
  • SmartCVS
    Version control software which backups all my files on a central server. It also keeps copies of each version of a file thats checked in so you can roll back to any previous version you like.
  • Adobe Bridge
    Part of the Adobe ‘Suite’, this nice little piece of software links or is the ‘bridge’ between Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Fireworks, Illustrator etc. Its organises files & resources neatly with a preview thumbnail for easy viewing. I’m surprised how few web designers actually use this tool.
  • Dreamweaver
    Dreamweaver is still the industry standard tool for web designers (the one they love to hate) even though it is by far the most expensive. There are a lot of other great coding apps out there for under €100 like Coda but I like use Dreamweaver because it it comes bundled with Photoshop etc in Adobes suites. It also works well & integrates with Adobes other apps & you can open files, launch other Adobe apps & sometimes edit files from other areas of the suite. The built in FTP client is a little clunky but works & saves time switching over & back to your FTP client. That said, if it wasn’t part of a suite, I wouldn’t buy it.
  • Photoshop / Fireworks / Illustrator
    I would use one of these daily & probably in that order. Photoshop is the de-facto tool for designing websites & has been for a long time. Its pretty powerful but can be slow & cumbersome. Fireworks on the other hand was built specifically for web design. Its very fast & can be picked up easily enough if you are familiar with Photoshop. I’ve been using it a bit more recently & find it easier for designing larger sites like online stores or sites which will have a lot of client reviews. This is due to the ‘symbols’ which are reusable resources that once edited change each instance throughout the whole file. I see myself using Fireworks a lot more in the future. I would only use Illustrator occasionally to play with vectors & as i’m familiar with Photoshops path tool its only when I really have to.
  • Firefox / Chrome
    Given the choice I would use Google Chrome all the time. Its extremely fast & I love the single bar for search & entering url’s. However I use Firebug to debug code & just see whats going on under the hood. Firebug’s just not the same on Chrome so I use Firefox for coding & Chrome for browsing.

Weekly 

  • Evernote
    Simple tool for creating & organising notes. Desktop, iPhone & iPad apps along with an online version (PC & Android too). Cloud syncing between all devices like Wunderlist. Oh, and free too.
  • Desktop Task Timer
    Simple tool for recording time spent on tasks & projects. Only available on Mac & unfortunately not free anymore. You can can enter your hourly rate & it’ll spit out the grand total at the end of the day, ready for billing.
  • Dropbox
    Free service which is basically 2Gb free cloud storage. Available on Mac, Windows, linux & various mobile devices. Syncs across all devices. You can also drop files into a public folder where you can send links to share them with friends / colleagues.
  • Cyberduck
    Simple FTP client for Mac & PC. Free from the website but not free from the Mac App Store.
  • Instapaper
    Dont have time to read that article or blog post now? Want to read it later? Then Instapaper is the service for you. It saves the url & a stripped down copy (minus the styling & advertising) for you to read later via a saved ‘Read Later’ bookmark. You can simply save page with one click. Ok, you could just book mark the page but Instapaper saves a copy with just the text & images to be read later via an iPad or iPhone app even when offline.
  • ActiveCollab / Coolab / Activecollab Timer
    A project management tool very similar to Basecamp. The main diference is that its self hosted with a one off fee instead of basecamps subscription model. You can even exoprt / import all your projects from Basecamp into it. The billing add on module is pretty powerful too. It has a desktop timer app for Mac & PC to automatically update your timesheets & Coolab (3rd party iPhone app) allows you to carry out some basic tasks.

Monthly 

  • Mindnode
    Easy to use mindmapping software which is great for creating a simple sitemap or brainstorming.
  • iPlotz
    Create clickable wireframes, mockups & prototypes very similar to Balsamiq.

10 Top Bookmarks on my iPhone

Here’s a few links to the most used bookmarks on my iphone. Some are specifically optimised for the iphone like Facebook while others are simply wap sites or designed for PDA’s & smart phones. Although the iPhone’s Safari browser can display full websites I still prefer the mobile sites as they load a little quicker and fit nicely within the screen.

In no particular order:

RTE Mobile
m.rte.ie

BBC Mobile
www.bbc.co.uk/mobile

Wapedia
www.wapedia.mobi

Facebook
iphone.facebook.com

eBay
iphone.ebay.com

Entertainment.ie
m.entertainment.ie

Yahoo Ireland Mobile
ie.m.yahoo.com

Netvibes
m.netvibes.com

Google Mobile
www.google.com/m

Digg Mobile
m.digg.com

There you have it!
Some of these website have free apps available from iTunes that you can use. I may list my favourites here soon!

myAnalytics iPhone App

myAnalytics

There’s a new Google Analytics App for the iPhone available on iTunes from yesterday. Its keenly priced at €1.59 and displays a graph of visits and other dashboard metrics. It has support for all the websites in your account or all attached to your particular email address. Set up is pretty simple. After installation go to Settings -> myAnalytics on your iPhone and add in your Google Analytics account email address, password and choose your date range (year, month, fortnight, week, day) and your done.

The only down side I can see so far is that it seems to download all the information from Google before displaying the data. As i’ve about 40 profiles in my account, this takes alot of time. The ability to choose which account you want to view before downloading the data would help speed up the app alot.

Version 1.1 is already in development and promises to contain graphs for all the basic dashboard site usage metrics. Sounds good but i’d much rather see data for other metrics like content, traffic sources and keywords.

More info can be found at www.iphone-analytics.de and you can go directly to myAnalytics in iTunes

myAnalytics

myAnalytics