Looking for effective tools for your business? Choosing the ideal tools for business is constantly a process.
There’s a bunch of questions to be dealt with. Does this tool add quality to your business?
Is it cost effective?
Do you have to invest to gain what you need?
And you still have to assume pros and cons and to foresee its productivity effects. After all, just because you choose a remarkable tool and everyone is using it, does not mean you will find it suitable too.
It is rather fine to change business tools over the time.
Research, testing and again testing is necessary for the process of picking the right tool.
But once when you find it, it undoubtedly needs to help you scale up your business. Otherwise, you’ll end up completely snowed under the numerous tasks without any progress.
If you are creating software development company, you have to single out different tools to create, test and deploy products suited to the client’s needs, but your team also.
Therefore, these effective tools that can cut out duplicated process, increase productivity, and easily integrate with tools that we already use.
From devs to designers and content writers, we chose these 41 tools for collaboration and cooperation among team members, sharing important files and information, and for creating designs, copies, and code:
#1 Effective tools for communication and collaboration
Our entire communication with clients is on Skype. Simply, straightforward and efficient.
Our teams manage several projects at the same time, so we use Skype groups for discussing each one, in order to provide efficiency in dealing with tasks.
We also use Skype for informal communication (READ: mostly for chatting or sharing funny links).
To find proper collaborative tool is the same as finding a useful team member.
Choosing Redmine for that role was mostly because of its smoothness and accessible design with fairly enough functionalities that one SCRUM team need.
It gives you the choice of updating the daily tasks and tracking the development stages in a project.
Marko Marović, project manager: From my point of view, Redmine’s numerous options assist our planning efforts (e.g. Gantt chart), while its customizable features give us more freedom in our organizational efforts for specific projects. Furthermore, the community behind Redmine is working on a constant upgrade of the tool. New modules are created (such as Kanban or Agile modules), and of course frequently updated and upgraded, which is great.
Except for Skype and Redmine, there is Gmail for updating the tasks or comments from the clients. Oldie but goodie Gmail still works and can adapt to business every single trend.
We also use Gmail for updating the clients and our coworkers about important dates, notices and other important occasions.
For screenshots and sharing important facts, we use Linux Screenshot app or Nimbus extension for Chrome. Nimbus has options for the screen and video shots which makes it easier for our content creators to collaborate with designers and developers. We use Nimbus for sharing bugs screenshots and other detected problems.
#2 Designing tools
Unique, attractive user-friendly designs are our main goals whatever we make.
The designing process needs to be smooth and in cooperation with other team members, which sometimes can be challenging.
To keep the inspiration going at the same time require patience and assets to reproduce all the front pages, icons, blurbs, boxes and other parts of websites.
We can say that Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are matchless. These tools give enough choices for us to create amazing parts of every project.
Danka Djurić, designer: “PS is, of course, fundamental to every designer. You can be true magician even with good old Photoshop. I used it for my daily tasks. “
Besides web design, we have some social media profiles to keep eye on also.
Canva really offers you enough material to create outstanding and effective banners or cover photos. It is easy to use and has the option of sharing real-time work with other content team members.
#3 Writing tools for businesses
Even though we are the type of web design agency, writing is equally loved and cherish in our team. A fine web writing seeks more useful tool same as software designing and programming.
Besides social networks, websites and other software solutions, we provide copywriting services.
Depending on how many services clients prefer, we give propose on how to start writing the copy.
If the client desires SEO, our research starts with SEMRush. This tool allows you to find an adequate keyword, or to see how some words are ranked on Google from country to country.
Before we implement the copy, mock-up websites can be amazingly useful. For instance, Bubl us gives you to draw all parts of the website like a mind map. The result is the clearer idea of where to put adequate copy.
The easiest way to check possible writing mistakes is with help of Google Docs. Go for this Chrome extension if you want to edit some content quickly.
Similar and also pretty convenient for content creating are Google sheets.
We need it to create a publishing calendar, publishing statistic or any other planning regarding content creation (examples, published links, drafts etc).
Google drive is the most valuable tool because you don’t have to install it, you can do editing from your smartphone and lot is saved without extra clicks.
#4 Marketing tools for business (we suggest these to startups)
That leaves us with marketing. Unavoidably and extremely necessary part of every company. After dev teams of course.
We definitely have serious strategies on how to rank our companies website on Google and social networks.
Frequently, our content team has a lot of research to go on, and that draws a significant amount of time. Fortunately, sharing apps come with more than one advantage.
For sharing and publishing our blog posts, important links or visuals we use Buffer. It is a practical tool which gives you options for creating post drafts, scheduling and sharing post on various social networks.
For tracking metrics, we use several effective tools. It implies that everything starts with Google Analytics. GA can show you whole picture and serve you to form the smart strategy.
Because we own a startup, we like to notice if we are moving in the desired direction with content creation.
We use Twuffer and Hootsuite for sharing tweets. Both tools have a free version and fairly enough features that we can use and expect results.
For Instagram metrics, we run Simply Measured, Instagram analytics and Union Metrics. With this tools, you can keep up with a performance that your post has.
You can also keep track of your audience and how they behave, in order to create publishing calendar later more easily. However, for more useful data you need to require premium versions.
For our email marketing and sending a newsletter, we use MailChimp, a valuable tool if you don’t want to worry about ending up in spam or being blacklisted.
#5 Testing tools
What makes a fine QA engineer?
Eye of an eagle, intuition and a few Chrome extensions.
Firebug Lite for live debugging, editing and monitoring websites is the tool that is fundamental to our creating process. It is free and open source browser that hands over the rich visual representation when it comes to HTML elements. Of course Firebug lite can catch bugs both in Mozilla and Chrome.
CSS viewer is adequate for checking bugs in a written code. Comes with simplicity in using; with one click you can test any element on the current page, and capture enough details regarding font size, letter – spacing, color pixels, and backgrounds.
Nataša Jovičić, QA: CSS viewer is my particular choice. I go for this software because it provides me enough options and details to reveal bugs in time.
PerfectPixel can be accessible for the entire software development team, from testers to designers. This will help you find a pixel on a wanted element as an installed Chrome extension.
PerfectPixel allows developers to put a semi-transparent image overlay over a top of the developed HTML and perform per pixel comparison between them.
If you seek perfection in your work, you might not always find it. It is for you to try.
Hopefully, there is always another helpful app. That is why our QA’s also have Dimensions tool in their toolbar. It is particularly handy if you want to check improperly implemented dimension of every element.
Font face Ninja can be handy for checking proper usage of type and font sizes.
For automatic testing of websites, we have a help of Behat. It is the tool for an open source Behavior-Driven Development framework for PHP. We use this tool when we want to check software before delivery.
The Color Picker is a suitable tool when you want to transfer the desired color to the wanted layout. In there you can find a code for every programming language.
Our QAs also use Page ruler, a Chrome extension that lets you draw out a ruler to any page, displaying the width, height, and position of it.
#6 Tools for Developers
The vital part of every coding company – software development. Our devs are repeatedly in searching for updates, trends and innovative approaches.
Once they find what they need, coding becomes even more smooth.
Here are their top picks:
From the experience, PHPStorm has demonstrated the finest performance for coding. Why? It provides the strongest code integration, refactoring, on-the-fly error prevention, and more.
For code testing framework we use PHPUnit.
Ivan Mladenović, software developer: From my point of view, effective code writing goes hand in hand with appropriate code environment. Therefore, I suggest adopting the PHPStorm for accomplishing that balance.
We host our code on GitLab and apply it to track changes.
SVN comes with the same purpose. On the other hand, with Bash Shell Scripting we write scripts that we later deploy directly to the server.
For deploying any language into a source we use Capistrano. It is written in Ruby language and we run it as an open source tool for running scripts on multiple servers.
Its main use is deploying web applications.
Capistrano automates the process of making a new version of an application available on more than one web servers, including supporting tasks such as changing databases.
RabbitMQ is the most widely deployed open source message broker. It is lightweight and easy to deploy on-premise and in the cloud.
We use RabbitMQ because it supports multiple messaging protocols, and runs on many operating systems and cloud environments, providing a wide range of developer tools for most popular languages.
For code problems and researching we use Elasticsearch. Elasticsearch analytics engine is capable of solving a growing number of use cases. It also stores your data, so you can discover the expected and uncover the unexpected.
Some of our developers are using the Docker. It is the tool that serves as a platform to develop safer apps more easily than to ensure tamper-proof transit of all app components and run apps securely on the industry’s most secure container.
Of course, in order to secure functionalities on apps, we run codes on Vagrant – the virtual machine used for simulations of a written code on different operating systems. Vagrant has proved to be a simple but powerful, and our workflow on it is smooth and efficient.
Vladimir Mladenović, Software developer: When we look for operative tools for business, we try to list those with a good reputation in IT community, user-friendly and with intelligible documentation.
When we have to deal with larger files, videos, and photos we use the Amazon Web service as file storage. It’s the practical tool that can collect, store and analyze data – regardless of format–all on a massive scale.
It can store a huge amount of data from anywhere which is useful when it comes to software development, building mobile apps and websites.
Keep in mind that you can always find and test another app, but you will hardly give up from old ones. It doesn’t matter if you don’t follow the current trends in using apps, it is more important to maintain and secure your goals and team satisfaction.
Share with us your best effective tools for business in comments :)