I’m constantly thinking about how to improve process and productivity. Some people daydream about travel, food or hobbies – I’m all about finding the latest tool or hack that can help my team and me get the best results. My inner child seems to be a meticulous, detail-oriented mini-producer who loves to get her geek on.
While the stages of project design may not differ so much from project to project, your approach to each stage, and the order they follow in (hello, agile methodologies that work to an iterative cycle) will need to be tailored per client, per project. Some projects may have similar starting points, and similar roadmaps, but like a good cheese, every project will have its own distinct flavour and texture.
At Pretty Neat, we have a lot of systems in place to ensure we meet task priorities, roadmaps and project goals, which we wouldn’t be able to adhere to without the following useful tools. I’ve come to rely on these to help me have the memory of an elephant, and the sorting capabilities of a code-breaker.
Here are five tools that have help us build great projects. The added benefit is that our clients have come to appreciate these tools too, making the process of collaboration an easy and fun experience ✌️
An easy to use communication tool that allows you to collaborate internally with team members and externally with clients. Slack is more than just a space to chat and discuss your project; you can share files, create private or public workspaces and integrate over 1500 other apps – that’s quite a few! I’m also here for the custom emoji’s too 🙋
Download it for your mobile if you want to continue your productivity wherever you are in the world 📱
A project management tool that helps to organise your workflow, roadmap, thoughts, ideas – if there’s something that needs planning, Trello can help you organise the clutter! We love it for its ease of use, drag and drop features, and visual board style. You can integrate this with your Slack conversations too. Check out these inspiration boards from Trello here, I wasn’t kidding about organising your life!
Also a project management tool that allows you to create, organise, and track multiple projects, team members and timelines. We find it great for organising multiple projects with different teams with varying deadlines. Being able to go deep into projects with sub tasks, priorities and conversations or keeping it top level is great too ✔️
Have you ever wanted to integrate two great apps, have them talk to each other and then automate repetitive tasks for you? That’s where Zapier comes in! Zapier will connect your apps, allow you set to up trigger actions and automate your workflow. For instance, we have zaps set up in Slack that will turn starred messages into new Asana tasks – zing! 🖖 Complex triggers can also be set up, allowing you to automate processes that would usually cost a lot in developing custom code.
I came across this image editing tool created by Evernote almost 5 years ago, and it’s still one of my go-tos when I need to communicate quickly in a visual way. You can set up keyboard shortcuts to screenshot and activate Skitch, then markup to your heart’s content. Just don’t go overboard with the pins 📌
This is no way a definitive list, if you have any questions on the small sample I’ve talked about today, get in touch! I’m always on the lookout for new platforms, tools and tips that can lead to better project design. If you have something to recommend, please do let me know 👩💻