As a designer and general lover of software and technology, I am always looking for new ways to make my life easier. When it comes to design and blogging, its no different. Lately, I have noticed that all these great programs can be resource hogs. They take up so much space and some of them I may only use three or four times a year. With that in mind, I am always on the look out for web applications that will do the same thing or better than what desktop apps can do.
Over the last year, I have found many great web apps and I use some of them everyday or whenever I can. So today, I wanted to share with some of the best web apps for web designers and developers. Some of these great web apps can be used in almost any profession, the rest can be used by anyone who needs a little extra help in the design area.
Dropbox is an easy to use tool for backing up your files, videos, and music. You can get 2gb for free but if you need more you can always purchase more space. Right now, I only use the 2gb and its mostly storing important documents that I need to access when I am away from my computers. But I always use it to sync those same files across 4 computers. Image Source: Dropbox
SpiderScribe is a brainstorming tool that helps you in your design process by using mind mapping. With SpiderScribe, it uses mind mapping to organize your ideas and connecting them to things such as your notes, files, and events.
Subtle Patterns is a collection of high quality patterns you can use for background and they are free. I have found several great patterns and have plans for several others in future projects.
CSS3 Click Chart is a cheat sheet that lists some of the most popular CSS3 properties with a description of each property, example, and the syntax (code) to add it to your project.
Evernote is a great tool for capturing everything at any moment. If you take a lot of notes, surfing the web and you want safe a site link and write a little about it you can. You can take pictures of labels, whiteboard notes or anything else, you can save it there. Then Evernote makes it easy for you to find it and access from any device.
Profitably is an online tool for planning and measures your profits.
Mint is a free alternative to Quicken. Its an online version and it will pull all your financial accounts and put them in one place so you can see everything. This another tool that isn’t a web design tool, but it’s a great alternative for tracking finances, If you aren’t tracking your personal and business money, you could be in for a surprise.
Manifested then gives you a custom cache manifest file as a starting point for upgrading your website to support offline functionality.”
Colorpilgrim is tool for creating color palettes. What makes this site different from the others site like it is that you have more than one way to create color palettes. You can use the ColorClipper bookmarklet to select colors from websites and you can even upload images so you can find the right color palette for the project. If you are interested what other other color palette tools that are available, check out the article I wrote about color palettes and what the bests ones are.
Repl.it creates an online test environment so you can test different programming languages. You get a fully functional emulator and code editor.
FormBakery is a web tool that cuts down on the time-consuming part of creating forms. Simply drag and drop the elements into the form. I do find the options are limited. But at least it builds the basic form for you. Once you export the code, you can go back and add whatever you need to complete the form.
With WuFoo you can create forms, invitations and surveys. Wufoo provides more options, but it does cost to use those features. There is a free option.
If you have a Google Profile, then you have access to Google Docs. Google Docs is a place to store your documents, read them, edit theme, and create new ones. You do not even need a word processor or spreadsheet programs. Google provides a stripped down online version for you. This tool comes in handy for me because, every time someone sends me a document and I open it, it saves it. So if I ever misplace the file, I have saved in my Google Docs.
Timeslot makes it easy to add items to your schedule. It will automatically create start and end times for each entry, so when a change is needed, everything that needs to update, will.
QwickVu is an easy way for web designers share their mock-ups with the clients With QwickVu, you can eliminate those endless mock-up emails to and from clients that can take days to move to the next step in the project.
Draftest – “The goal at this stage is to create a list of inspirations that are thematically related to the design project. Such a list should include examples of various styles and techniques in order to allow the customers to choose from them, rate and comment the projects they like the most. The draftest summary allows designers to quickly understand customers’ expectations.”
Viual.ly is a new site for sharing infographics it even has tools to create your own infographic (available soon). In the labs you can enter your Twitter name and it will create an infographic based on your Twitter habits.
Hootsuite is a social media dashboard that integrates several different social networks and is always adding more features. Hootsuite runs over the web and has smartphone apps. Even though this isn’t really a designer tool, it is an important tool for networking, find new resources, and building your brand. If you aren’t using social media to market your brand, then you are loosing out.
“Fulcrum is an agile project management tool. It provides a real time overview of your project plan (product backlog), instantly adjusting the project plan based upon your team’s prior performance.”