Our Team Shares: Top 3 Apps We Can't Live Without
We thought you might want to go behind the scenes with us a little and find out what our individual secret apps-we-can't-live-without are. Each member of our team has a slightly different specialization, so we're able to share a bit across several disciplines what works best for us.
This also gives us a chance to introduce ourselves a bit to you.
Roy, Principal & managing director
Roy, our Head Honcho, founder of Custom Fit Online and analytics geek (said with the greatest respect) needs tools that help him analyze data and communicate with his team and our clients:
Snagit is a screenshot program that captures video display and audio output. I use it every single day that I work. Creating screenshots, marking them up with text, arrows, and imagery to share with my team member and clients.
I love building custom dashboards in Google Analytics that put key performance indicators in on one page for easy access. This allows me to see what is working and wasn't isn't in one easy-to-digest spot.
Screaming Frog analyzes the SEO components of a website in minutes. It indexes a website and comes back with all sort of data such as "duplicate content", missing page titles, broken links, etc.
Robert, development director
Robert, our Webmaster, expresses his geekiness through backend coding and optimization of our clients' websites. Robert's favourite apps help him do that in an unhyped, old school way that gets the job done quickly:
A traditional notepad application on steroids. We old school hand coders love editors that do the work for us. Syntax highlighting and syntax folding, multi-document through tabs and more. Just a ton of fun!
Google's no-charge web service by Google for webmasters. It allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites. It also helps identify areas of your site that need some SEO TLC.
Ben, Design Director
Ben oversees the front-end development and design work going through Custom Fit Online, from research through process to deployment. He geeks out with apps that help him collect ideas, communicate and share with clients and, of course, make things.
Evernote is a note-taking service that claims to help you "remember everything"… and it is spot on. The app works best when you put your whole life in it and make everything searchable. Evernote has become one of the tools I use on a daily basis, and have come to rely heavily on for my organizational needs.
(Ben also wrote about Evernote in Why I Love Evernote (And How I Use It).
Dropbox lets me have my files with me at all time. I can load up any of my computers or devices and have everything. It is great for backups and has saved me more times than I can count. Sharing files to peers, clients, and friends is made extremely easy, especially if they too have a Dropbox account.
Coda is the epitome of text editors. It offers a ton of features that I simply can't do without anymore while coding, such as text expansion, dynamic placeholders, FTP, Git, and Source control, and extreme customizability when it comes to the UI.
Wendy, Content Strategist
And then there is me, Wendy, content strategist and developer. I thought long and hard about what apps I use on a daily basis that help me in my work. I love a good app, and in fact use or have used all the apps listed above (except for Coda, which is new to me -- I have always loved and used Komodo Edit)
I often just write directly into the CMS and often code HTML as I go. But when I need to save a draft (always a good idea) or check a word count, I just drop the text into Google Docs and off I go. It saves automatically, and is very friendly to use. In a pinch, I have also used Google Drawing to do minor photo editing. It's free, it's easy to use and it's ubiquitous.
I'll be honest. I haven't actually used Self Control yet, but my son swears by it for helping to stay focused. I have watched him use it, and love it for its combination simplicity and deviousness. You choose either a "whitelist" (sites you can use) or "blacklist" (sites you can't use) and then set your timer. During that time period, Self Control will honour your choices...even if you try to uninstall it. Brutal but effective.
I almost feel like I am cheating, but truthfully, content development without Google would be a very different job. Doable, yes, and I am old enough to know (I often like to bring out the very true fact that I was in attendance at the W.R.I.T.E. Conference in 1994 in Vancouver when Mosiac was unveiled. Go google it, I'll wait.) You could do content development without Google, but I certainly wouldn't want to. From using it as my dictionary to searching for go-to sites (such as denshi jisho) to researching, I am thankful for Google and use it more than any other "app" out there.
So there you have it. Hopefully you've got a few new apps to try, or a better appreciation for apps you forgot you can't live without. Let us know your favourite can't-live-without apps -- we'd love to hear what you use! Leave a comment down below or you can let us know over on Facebook or Twitter.