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Apps

Handy metaphor­i­cal ham­mers for your project nails.

When you’ve got stuff to man­age, you need the right project man­age­ment app to get things done. Here are some of our favourites.

Getting things done


Cage

Some­times you just need a sim­ple project man­age­ment tool for com­mu­ni­cat­ing with clients, get­ting feed­back, and assign­ing a few todos. As big fans of the orig­i­nal Base­camp, Cage is a breath of fresh air. If you’ve been a big Base­camp fol­low­er, but aren’t not down with the weird­ness of Base­camp 3, give Cage a try.

Notion

It’s real­ly dif­fi­cult to cat­e­go­rize Notion. It’s flex­i­ble enough to use as a word proces­sor, com­pa­ny wiki, todo man­ag­er, project man­age­ment tool, or as we use at Loud­er Than Ten, all of the above. It has become the nucle­us of our company.

Teux Deux

Teux Deux is a sim­ple and fun-to-use per­son­al to do man­ag­er. It takes the place of those gigan­tic desk cal­en­dars we used in the 90s and we love it. Com­plete or move tasks on your dai­ly list, and if you miss them, see how they float to the next day of your week.

Trello

Trel­lo is prob­a­bly the most pop­u­lar kan­ban board, and for good rea­son. It’s free (or cheap), it inte­grates with every­thing, and it’s sim­ple enough for any­one to under­stand. We use it to train our apprentices.

Operations


Runn

One of the best ways to tie your projects to the finan­cial health of your agency.

Communication


Slack

Slack is the best inter­nal com­mu­ni­ca­tion tool we’ve ever used. We live in Slack.

Zoom

Great when you need a more robust video chat appli­ca­tion. Packed with use­ful fea­tures like auto-record­ing, inter­ac­tive white­boards, and screen shar­ing. We use it for our own appren­tice­ship ses­sions. The biggest draw­back is that it requires all par­tic­i­pants down­load an app, so avoid with clients if you can.

Getting feedback


Figma

We most­ly design in the brows­er, but when we’re pro­to­typ­ing new con­cepts and ideas, some­times a graph­ics edi­tor is the best tool for the job. Our favourite tool hap­pens to be Fig­ma. It’s col­lab­o­ra­tive, cross-plat­form, has great pro­to­typ­ing, shar­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tools built right in.

InVision

Our favourite tool for mock-up-based pro­to­typ­ing and design feed­back. The new Boards and Kan­ban fea­tures make it even more use­ful for design collaboration.

Typeform

The most beau­ti­ful sur­vey app in the land. Our top choice.

Getting paid


Cushion app

Cush­ion is sim­ple and addic­tive fore­cast­ing app designed specif­i­cal­ly for free­lancers. We use it dai­ly to track our own sales pipeline, project load, over­all finan­cial goals. It’s cur­rent­ly in beta, but already worth the price of admission.

Harvest

If you wan­na track time, check out your actu­als vs antic­i­pat­ed bud­gets, or esti­mate poten­tial over­ages, Har­vest does that pret­ty well. One of the more func­tion­al time track­ing plus invoic­ing tools out there.

Invoiced

When we stopped track­ing hours, we also lost our invoic­ing tool. To avoid hav­ing to use Xero’s weak built-in invoic­es, we searched high and low for a sol­id ser­vice that only does this one thing and does it well. When we dis­cov­ered Invoiced, it was a breath of fresh air. Han­dles one-time pay­ments, sub­scrip­tions, and syncs flaw­less­ly with Xero.

Stripe

Stripe is our go-to ser­vice for pay­ment pro­cess­ing. The rates are rea­son­able and set­up is easy. It inte­grates with almost all our favourite ser­vices, includ­ing pay­ments for this site.

Writing


750 Words

Noth­ing clears the mind more than get­ting it out on paper (or your key­board). We use 750words to help make our morn­ing pages fun and addictive.

Content Auditor

Ever have to audit the con­tent on your clien­t’s old crusty web­site (yes of course you do)? You need Con­tent Audi­tor. This amaz­ing tool will not only crawl a site and cat­a­logue all the con­tent, it will hunt for bro­ken links, ana­lyze the read­ing lev­el, and cre­ate a pro­file of the num­ber of pages, nav­i­ga­tion lev­els, and more.

Draft

A sim­ple mark­down edi­tor with fan­tas­tic edit­ing and col­lab­o­ra­tion tools. We use Draft for our web­site copy and cre­ative writ­ing. Exports into HTML, has pre­view and com­ment­ing modes. Pre­vents clients from repeat­ed­ly ask­ing about those aster­isks where the copy should just be bold’

Asset management


Dropbox

Drop­box is great for teams that share a lot of resources and col­lab­o­rate. If you don’t have to rely heav­i­ly on Google, this is our pick for its speedy sync­ing, reli­a­bil­i­ty, and low­er per­for­mance footprint.

Google Drive

Google. Can’t escape your excel­lent file stor­age ubiq­ui­ty. Great for shar­ing files that would nor­mal­ly be stuck in PDF attach­ment form. If you rely heav­i­ly on Google’s ecosys­tem, the desk­top sync­ing does a decent job, but it’s a per­for­mance hog and slight­ly bug­gi­er than Dropbox.

Lingo

We were skep­ti­cal about this lit­tle app until we bit the bul­let and import­ed all of our illus­tra­tions and logo assets and got the team on board. Now we’re huge fans. It’s nev­er been eas­i­er to build slide decks, riff on illus­tra­tions, and share brand assets. The pric­ing lev­els needs some work, but over­all a great tool.

Team Password

Team Pass­word is our favourite way to share pass­words with clients and team mem­bers. Its group fea­tures make it easy to secure­ly share pass­words with the right peo­ple even as your teams change.

Scheduling


Fantastical

Fan­tas­ti­cal inte­grates with Apple Cal­en­dar and makes enter­ing events and todos faster and easier.

Resource Guru

A handy app if you’re man­ag­ing human and non-human resources and need to track them dai­ly. Does­n’t sup­port mul­ti­ple project view quite yet.

TeamGantt

One of the best apps we’ve used for get­ting instant vis­i­bil­i­ty on resources and sched­ul­ing. Unlike many oth­er gantt apps, has the abil­i­ty to add depen­den­cies and view indi­vid­ual workloads.

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