Today, as we sit with friends and family around the dinner table trying our best to imitate Norman Rockwell’s “Freedom From Want” (but instead feeling more like the “Cathy” comic series) we remember the tools that make our lives a little bit easier. The Bop Design office listed the top five apps – mobile, desktop, or web – that streamline productivity and improve our lives inside and outside the office.
Evernote (desktop and mobile)
Creative Director Kara and Project Manager Emily are organizational extraordinaires. Balancing more than 40 clients annually, some with multiple project contracts, means a daily workday of follow-ups, deadlines, and reminders. Kara utilizes Evernote’s simple to-do lists, which allow her to create one-off tasks pertinent to the client’s goals. Emily stays abreast of deadlines 24/7 thanks to Evernote’s quick synchronization between computer and smartphone, meaning she never misses a client question or assignment.
Adobe Kuler (web)
Sometimes clients come to our design team with an established brand color palette. Sometimes they come in with their CEO’s blazer and ask us to match it. This is when Kuler comes in handy. A simple color wheel tool to help brainstorm and take the guesswork out of “what RGB combination got that shade of yellow?” Bop Designers Dani and Jared also appreciate the “Create from Image” option, allowing them to upload existing client logos and designs to auto-generate the color code.
Internally and externally, we deal with a lot of document sharing. Everyone has their formatting preferences, but Bop Design is at the mercy of databases such as Salesforce, WordPress, and MailChimp. As we upload text into these programs, TextWrangler helps shorten an hour-long formatting project down to minutes. Easy search and replace, un-corrupting damaged Word files, and removing annoying paragraph spacing are just some of the ways TextWrangler brings a sigh of relief.
Indeed (mobile and web)
While we’re all extremely satisfied working at Bop Design, our most recent hire, Content Manager Caroline, loves this job searching app for its straightforward Craigslist-style approach. It collects posts across multiple other job hosting sites and compiles them into an easily scan-able list. Indeed also lets you save job keywords and narrow it to location, so users can return to the app regularly and not have to re-input search terms.
Think Dirty (mobile)
Get your head out of the gutter! This app is a favorite among the females in the office (which makes up more than half of our staff – girl power!). It’s a great example of an app that solves a niche problem: understanding the components that go into your beauty products. Shoppers can scan products in the store to receive a list of ingredients that make up the item. Plus it’s beautifully designed – which always encourages us to press the download button.
The above apps are “newer” to the market (or at least to our devices), but we can’t stress the importance of some older apps have stood the test of time.
Honorable mentions include:
- Hootsuite – if social media is a marketing strategy for your business, Hootsuite is hands down the best free tool to manage all your social platforms.
- WordPress – props to WordPress for easy blog and webpage updating with the use of tablet devices.
- Foodily – you didn’t think we wouldn’t go all Thanksgiving Day without talking food, did you? Foodily is an attractively designed recipe app with more than two million curated recipes to peruse and save.
While we applaud these apps for making our day-to-day easier, we are looking forward to unplugging for a day and following our parent’s “No technology at the dinner table” rule.