Tools that help me do my job

November 28, 2010

New to Web Design and looking for ways to be more efficient? I work with a small Web firm, and these are the main tools that I use in my job.

Evernote icon with page curlEvernote

Hands down, my most prized “web possession” is my collection of notes & scripts.  In this career, its impossible to remember EVERYTHING.  Once I find something I like, I store the script (or webpage) somewhere to reference again later. Now I USE to use dropbox (see below) to store a folder of all my scripts.  But once I started getting a couple hundred of them, I quickly got to the point where I couldn’t find anything!  Either I forgot what I named the file, or I just plain forgot that I had stuff already referenced, and would re-write the note again.

Enter Evernote.

Now my notes are stored in a database, and synced across any computer that I have Evernote installed on.  Each note can be tagged with keywords, searched, sorted by categories, have embedded pictures, and can even attach scripts to the note (that was the selling point for me). I’ve also taken to keeping all my “project  notes and to-do lists” within here as well.  I have to juggle between so many projects, that it’s easy to forget where I last left off.

This program is free, unless you want the advanced features, which is $5/month or $45/year.

Dropbox

Dropbox iconDropbox is a fantastic tool for syncing all my current projects on other machines (since I work on 4 different computers!). Basically Dropbox is a collection of folders.  Whenever you add anything to them, or edit them, they are uploaded onto the Dropbox server. Any computer that you install your Dropbox on, will then sync to show the new files.  Pretty nifty! You can get 2gb of online space for free, and 250mb of space added for every friend you get to join (up to 8gb).  Pay plans are also available if you need more space.

Firebug (Firefox extension)

I don’t know how the hell I ever use to troubleshoot code, before this extension came along (this extension didn’t exist when I was in school).  Firebug shows you in a popup window all the html on your page, and all the CSS that corresponds with it.  Not only can you see what styles are affecting what, but you can also change them as well and see the results in your browser.  Such a time saver! IE8, chrome and safari have a “inspect element” built into their browsers… but I don’t find them nearly as easy to work with.

Filezilla/Notepad++

filezilla My preferred FTP program and HTML editor. You won’t catch me using Dreamweaver at my desk, I just need something accesses a server and color codes my syntax.

Photoshop

This is the only part of the Adobe suite that I use on a consistent basis. Photoshop featherWhen I receive website designs from designers, Photoshop is what is generally used. You can pretty much consider it the “Industry standard”. NOTE: No you don’t need Photoshop to get started in Web Design, there are plenty of free image editors that would work for creating design mockups (like gimp, paint.net).  But if you are serious about your profession, start saving your pennys for Photoshop.

One Response to Tools that help me do my job

  1. Neida Etier says:

    What’s Happening i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I have found It absolutely helpful and it has helped me out loads. I hope to contribute & help other users like its helped me. Good job.

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