My favourite project tools

12th of July 2020

Tools are such a hot topic in the industry, we all have our favourites and we have probably all tried to force some of our colleagues to use them. Sometimes that works and sometimes they just tell you to stop talking about it. I'd like to talk about three of my favourite tools I use as a digital product designer.

Notion

The first one was a given since I use this tool to write my blogposts but Notion has quickly become one of my absolute favourite tools. Not only do I use it to keep track of work and individual projects but I actually use it to structure basically anything. For work I use a page to display all my ongoing projects and once I finish one it moves into the "archive" folder. Most of my projects open with a kanban board to track progress and each item on the board has an individual page I use mostly for notes and feedback. Notion is also the place where I keep all my meeting transcripts and small to-do lists for projects.

As I said I also use it to structure basically my whole life so next to a work folder I also have a personal folder. In my personal folder I keep stuff like travel plans, gift ideas, social media hashtags and all the posts I publish on my portfolio.

Try notion: https://www.notion.so/

Figma

I've had a love-hate relationship with Figma at first, I was a huge fan of Sketch and it's plugin ecosystem and was a bit reluctant to try it out. But then again I also didn't want to try Sketch at first because I was so used to designing in Photoshop (wow remember those days?). Anyways once Figma launched their plugin ecosystem and multiple friends of mine made the switch I decided to give it a go and build a full project in Figma.

I actually started enjoying the tool from here on and with the new plugin ecosystem and auto-layout I quickly built new projects. Eventually I started using it for a client-project but ran into some issues with exporting to Zeplin (which is what we use to handoff every project to clients) which forced me to move back to Sketch when working for clients.

Now post-covid-19 I'm happy to say Figma has fixed their Zeplin integration and because of remote working we switched from Sketch to Figma for client-projects and we have been loving it so far. Being able to "follow" each other has been a game-changer for us. In meetings my colleagues can share exactly what they are seeing and it's easier to understand what they are talking about. Also working in the same file and not having to manage versions anymore has been a big relief for us.

Try Figma: https://www.figma.com/

Webflow

It would be weird if this one didn't make the list as this is probably my favourite tool out of the list; Webflow. I have talked about this one before and I'm planning a bigger post based around Webflow but I'll talk about it in a nutshell. Webflow has been a great tool for me as it took away all the hassle of building a website and maintaining a code "stack". I get to focus on the visual part of building a website and I can make it exactly as I designed it in Figma. When using other "builder" tools (yes I'm using quotation marks because I don't consider Webflow to be a builder so much) I just feel like you are always so limited to pre-defined blocks & layouts whereas with Webflow you start from a blank canvas and you have the ultimate freedom. I guess I enjoy this ultimate freedom as someone with a background in web development but I do get why people are sometimes a little scared to use it. The learning-curve is pretty steep but the tutorials online are probably the best I have ever seen.

Try Webflow: https://webflow.com/

Reflection

Tools are very much a come-and-go, right now this is what I use but maybe in a year I will have three totally new favourite tools. I highly doubt they will all change but I guess you never know. Now that you have made it here; what are your favourite tools? What do you think I should check out sometime? You can reach out through the contact form or through my social media accounts, I'd love to hear about them!