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Collaborative Tools used at Atomic Smash

Words by Colin GoodmanOctober 21, 2016

This post just gives you a run down on some of the tools we use at Atomic Smash, to keep our work on track and produce work of the highest quality. I will mention tools regarding time management, team chat and project management so lets get down to it.

Slack Logo

Slack

Slack is a team messaging app which has proven to be very successful. We have recently moved from a different messaging app named Hipchat, the main reason behind the move to Slack, was it seemed that Slack integrated into more external applications than Hipchat plus it supports giphy which helps a slow day in the office. Slack is a good messaging application, the clean and minimal UI is easy for anyone to use and get accustomed to but don’t be fooled by the minimal look and feel of it as it has lots to offer. A quick run down on what Slack has in its arsenal:

  • direct messaging
  • channels (inc private)
  • drag and drop and share your files
  • integration into various external applications including Dropbox, twitter etc
  • Slack mobile app
Trello Logo on a blue background

Trello

Trello is aimed at managing projects in a board like format, you can add various cards and lists to keep all phases of a project up to date. We use Trello for all our projects and find it a massive part of our process when starting any kind of project. We initially plan a project with our clients then compile all the notes into Trello, once in Trello we invite our clients to the relevant board so they can oversee all phases of the project. When the planning is complete we then detail the development status of the project in Trello and use it to keep track of what work has been complete and tested ready for the client to see.

If you have not already used Trello we would highly recommend giving it a test run on a few projects to see if it improves your productivity as we find it being an invaluable tool. The best thing about Trello is how easy it is to get going, its not difficult to understand or to get to grips with and we’re pretty sure it will help your management in some way or another.

Invision Logo

Invision

This tool aims to be a leading prototyping and workflow tool, with Invision you can upload prototypes of designs and collaborate over them with clients. At Atomic Smash we put all our wireframes and designs of every project up on Invision to allow the client to interact with them by being able to leave various types of notes, this is extremely helpful as some design elements can be missed during the wireframing stage so being able to pick up on these issues by noting them in Invision is really beneficial.

A few other reasons why we use Invision are it displays your wireframes/designs in a good UI and in a browser like environment, so the client gets a good look and feel of actually how the design would look within a browser. Invision also keeps a version history of all the designs you have uploaded to it so you can see how the designs have evolved over the course of the project.

Tracking Time

Tracking Time

We have tried various time keeping tools but Tracking Time was the best option, as we felt it offered the best tools for us to document our time and keep our productivity up. It boasts an app for mobile and can integrate into other various apps such as Slack, also quite recently it added a Google Chrome extension making it easier for you to start documenting your time.

Tracking Time works by you setting up projects and within them setting up tasks. You can set up as many tasks as you wish which gives you total control on how you want to break the project down, you can document your time on the fly or enter it at the end of the day. When setting up projects you can set deadlines and budgets to keep track of them during the timeline of the project. Its a very powerful tool and can display very interesting information over the course of a project so if you’re looking for testing out a new time tracking app then this is defiantly worth considering.

Well there you have it, above are our most used and recommended collaborative tools. If you have used any or want to sing the praises of other relevant tools then please leave a comment and lets hear it.

Profile picture of Colin Goodman

Colin Goodman

Colin works very closely with David and Jenny on the front end development aspects within projects. He has an exceptional eye for detail and is constantly looking at new ways to code websites with the latest technologies available.

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