Tools we use daily

We know that new tools pop up every day but thought it might be helpful to share some thoughts on the tools that have stuck around in our studio for roughly the past 3 years.  This list stretches from the creative app we use to the communication tools that keep our remote working team connected. 

Sketch

95% of our design work for digital platforms gets done on Sketch. It is really zippy and totally geared to UI and UX design. It has an array of great features like asset exports and the use of symbols that really streamlines the design process.

FEATURES we love:

  • Very quick and zippy
  • Very affordable 
  • Asset exports
  • Symbols
  • Amazing presets
  • 100% geared towards UI/UX design

InvisionApp

InvisionApp calls itself a digital product design platform. It is an amazing tool for prototyping, project presentation, collaboration and asset handovers. 

On the platform we mainly make use of their Prototype, Boards and Freehand tools. We have also recently started using their DSM (Design System Manager) which looks like it might become invaluable in future.  

Craft is their app that can be used to sync to your Invision prototype directly from your Sketch file. At the same time the assets are exported and then available for developers to use. 

We have been using Invision for more than 5 years and the product constantly keeps growing and improving. They have a great free package if you just want to try it out. 

Features we love:

  • Live updates to prototypes through Craft.
  • Powerful prototyping functionality.
  • Boards for great project presentation, especially for branding. 
  • Amazing feedback functionality. Best way to communicate feedback with clients that we have found.

Monday

After using Trello for a few years we had a look at the new kid on the block in project management and found that Monday checked all the boxes for us. Using Monday meant that we could combine at least 4-6 tools that we were jumping around on into one space. It is extremely customizable and has amazing reporting capabilities which really helped us get some great insight into our business and clients. 

Features we love:

  • Time tracking
  • Automations
  • Dashboards
  • Multiple Views (Tables, Calendar, Kanban etc)

Slack

We use Slack for real-time chat between all our team members. We do our daily updates, group discussions and all private chats on Slack. It has some great integrations from apps like Monday and Calendar. 

Features we love:

  • File uploads
  • Pinning messages to channels
  • Private and Public channels
  •  

Adobe Suite

For all our print, motion and audio needs we use the Adobe Suite of apps. Illustrator is used mainly for vector graphics and illustrations, Premier and After Effects for all things video and Audacity for any audio edits we need to do. The Adobe apps have always been very feature rich and powerful and have become very “digital design” friendly over the past few years.

Google Hangouts

For any video calls we use Hangouts. It is free, gets the job done and it is easy to share links in chats or calendar invites. 

Atom

Atom is a great, smart code editor that we use on all of our coding projects. It has a range of great shortcuts and functions like autocomplete, multiple panes and file system browser that take out a lot of the drudge. You are able to install packages to customise the editor and find the best fit for your coding practice.  

Codekit

We use Codekit as a compiler which allows us to use cool languages like Sass and Slim which speeds up and neatens coding tremendously.  It is super easy to get setup on it and works like a charm. It also comes packed with great “get started” options like spinning up a Foundation project.

Features we love:

  • Easy to use
  • Live reload apps
  • Minifying
  • Debugging

In ending

Tools and apps are meant to support the creative process and take as much frustration out of admin and chores. We hope that this list helps you pick the tools to boost your productivity and make work more fun! 

Get in touch with your creative wing