Earlier, we had made a post outlining some apps and tools that we use as a team to maintain the work order. We had asked the design community on Instagram about their choice of tools. We received a lot of well-known answers, but a few people gave us some unique suggestions, which we ended up adding on our daily drivers. So, here’s a list of revised tools:
This one has remained the same as we didn’t want to download any extra software for video calls. Sorry, Zoom (we heard you’re stealing some data from LinkedIn. Not cool!).
This is an exciting one! If you are a product designer, UX designer, or product manager, you will love this one. (Huge shout out to @desircle for introducing us to Notion). We landed on Notion.so, signed up, and created the workspace in a flash. Whether you want to go KAHN-BAN like Trello, or you want to begin documenting specs for a project, Notion has it all. It comes loaded with templates for a variety of scenarios, so you can get started ASAP!
Microsoft Word (Online)
Everyone is happy using Google Docs. But there are better things to come! We stumbled on to Microsoft Word which comes bundled with Office 365. With the all-new Microsoft Editor integrated into Word, we found it does a better job than Google Docs in improving our writing. Still in an early stage, it's experience is not as smooth as Grammarly, but we have hopes.
OneDrive is the primary reason that we got ourselves Office 365. The storage solution has improved significantly and now also supports Mac machines seamlessly. Just download what you need and leave the rest on the cloud. You can still view the cloud files, but they never eat up the extra space on your local hard drive. Also, at the price of 6 Months of Dropbox, you end up gaining access to apps like Word and PowerPoint.
Adobe XD and Figma (Our Design Tools)
We use Adobe XD, hands-down because of its sheer performance. We've had to branch out to Figma because of client demands and, to an extent, its popularity. Even after our experiences with numerous other design tools, XD has managed to keep us coming back for more! But yes, the competition is fierce. (Fun Fact: All our logos, social media posts, banners, email signatures, etc. have been made in XD.)
Toggl has remained our favorite time-tracking tool for the last 3 years. The app focuses purely on time-tracking and doesn't stray from it. And so we have never felt the need to explore any other app. It provides accurate monthly reports that can be downloaded in various doc formats. Do you have a better replacement that you use? Drop us a message on Instagram.
With a new Gmail interface, Google gave three of its tools a generous space in its right-sidebar. Calendar (we use this as well, so a quick shout-out), Keep, and Tasks. It is quite convenient to record tasks on the right-sidebar interface, which can be followed later using the Google tasks app. There’s no separate website up for it yet like tasks.google.com, and honestly, we don’t see the need either. Our mailbox is always open – write to us for design queries, lockdown-rants, or to find out about our favorite breakfast place.
Telegram is fast and fun! The addition of quick, short video messages, animated stickers, and folders to organize the chats are some of its features that we adore! Our team has been on Telegram (TG, we like to call it) since day 1. We never lose an opportunity to bring more people to it. It’s a perfect solution for small teams, at the same time is secure and swift.
That’s all folks! We believe these tools could be a complete solution to start and run an online design business.
Apart from these, there are a few big names that we use occasionally, either for our or due to client requests. Special mention to:
2. Google Calendar
4. MS Teams
7. Lucid Chart – Simple flow diagram.
What other apps/tools are we missing? Write to us with your suggestions.