Website design is a tricky and tasking trade that requires laser focus and motivation. Employees must keep up with different complex processes, beat deadlines, and deal with unexpected complications.
If you run a web design business, you must wear multiple hats to succeed. For example, a freelance designer deals with clients, handles and executes various projects, reviews prices, and keeps up with new trends.
Sometimes, the challenges of building and maintaining websites may overwhelm you. However, you can keep up, reduce your stress levels, and increase your output with the right tools. You can also turn to digital apps to keep you organized and manage your workers.
This article will cover the best productivity tools for web designers. Let’s begin.
Web designers require exceptional time management skills because most projects have fixed deadlines. Thankfully, using a time tracker helps with the burden of managing different time-related work activities.
A time tracker will help you allocate resources, manage time, and beat your deadlines more efficiently. They primarily calculate billable hours to help you pay staff or bill clients correctly. However, they also help you understand your work rate, efficiency, and overall productivity levels.
A time tracking app for freelancers monitors how long it takes to execute specific tasks, allowing you to identify what to keep on doing and areas of improvement. Some tools will help you know apps and websites to avoid as they record your time on each platform. You can also use your time tracker to schedule shifts and monitor a project’s progress.
Best time tracking apps for freelancers and web designers:
A time tracker and productivity app focused on ethical monitoring. It records screenshots and 10-second videos but blurs them to keep screen contents private. It also reports on how long you spend on apps and websites to help you identify distractions.
2. Toggl Track
Toggl Track allows you to start tracking with a click of a button. It also has other innovative features like billable rates calculation and the ability to export timesheets.
Harvest incorporates features like integration with other apps and invoice generation.
Timecamp is a time tracking app for freelancers and organizations. Its iOS, Android, and desktop applications mean the platform can be accessed anywhere.
Project Management Tools
Web design involves dealing with multi-layered and complicated projects and tasks. Deploying and maintaining client websites while remaining profitable is no easy feat. As a result, you need a project management tool to help you organize and plan tasks, allocate resources, and monitor project progress.
These tools allow you to track individual projects, identify where you lack resources, help you understand your team’s capacity, and manage your delivery timeline. They also help you know how to distribute workload, prevent burnout, and measure efficiency.
Best Project Management Tools for Web Designers
With Basecamp, you can perform quick tasks like assigning jobs to workers and setting due dates. The tool also allows you to collaborate with files from platforms like Google Drive, communicate project updates, and perform check-ins.
Asana allows you to set project plans and visualize them on a calendar view or Gantt chart timeline. It also allows you to customize workflows, track project tasks, collaborate with team members, and redistribute tasks to manage workload.
Web designers can benefit from Wrike’s proofing, project templates, and Kanban boards. In addition, the tool’s interface is intuitive and allows you to plan projects without fuss.
Trello is a lightweight tool for small to medium web design businesses. It’s also great for freelancers. It allows you to see all your projects and their status on a single page, and the lightweight calendar provides an overview of project deadlines. In addition, you can use the “Power Ups” offers if you want more features.
Web Design Utilities
Web designing has gone beyond writing code to build a website’s frontend. You can now create complete websites without writing a single line of code. While experienced web developers like to take control, it doesn’t always have to be the case.
For example, if you’re building simple websites, you can use web utilities to make life easier. Tasks like picking hex codes, testing out website resolution, and generating site background gradients can be done with the click of a button.
So, let’s show you some great apps that can make work easier.
9. Resolution Test
This web extension lets you test out your newly designed page or website on different resolutions. This way, you can see how your website performs in high and low resolutions. The tool has 13 default resolution sets prepared using the Google browser size project.
10. Instant Eyedropper
This small desktop program allows you to pick the hex code of any color or gradient that catches your eye. It sits in the taskbar once your computer starts. To use it, click on its icon and hover your mouse pointer over any color on your screen to grab it.
If you’re not using Sketch, you’re missing out on a lot. The vector-based interface and prototype building tool is the go-to resource for many web designers. You have access to thousands of WordPress plugins, themes, and web templates. You’ll also have access to millions of web design and creative assets.
Marvel is another application that allows you to refine an interface how you want, produce quick ideas, and build prototypes. After creating pages, you can simulate them through a prototype. It also allows you to test your features and insert designs into your project workflow.
According to a University of California, Irvine study, it takes up to 23 minutes and 15 seconds to resume work after an interruption. That’s a lot of time to skip work, especially when building a website and working with a timeline.
As it turns out, you need the Internet for work, but it’s also a hotbed of distractions. Entertainment and social media platforms employ the greatest psychological and behavioral experts to implement algorithms that get us to spend more time on their sites. As a result, even the most disciplined professionals can get sidetracked.
So, using a digital tool doesn’t make you less disciplined. Instead, it helps you get used to doing without those websites when you work.
There are different focus apps that you can use. They include:
Freedom allows you to block distractions across different devices. This way, once you block Facebook on your phone, you can’t access it on your computer.
Serene lets you create a blocklist and periods for deep focus. The app will remind you when it’s time to buckle down and get work done.
15. Cold Turkey Blocker
Allows you to set block lists with a schedule. For example, you can block distracting websites and apps during workdays and work applications like Zoom during weekends.
16. LeechBlock NG
A free browser extension that helps you block distracting websites. It allows you to create block times and exceptions. For example, you can allow yourself 30 minutes of Facebook time each day.
Use a Habit Tracker
Habit trackers are designed to help us track and focus on our goals, build better and more productive habits, and boost motivation. Some of them gamify productivity by giving you rewards for accomplishing specific tasks.
Some habit trackers’ competitive and challenging nature are extra incentives to keep you focused and committed to working.
Here are some of the best habit trackers:
A simple tracker that shows you a list of daily habits and allows you to strike each off once completed.
Allows you to set up time-based streak goals and challenges to keep you motivated. You can also choose to do a particular task recurrently. For example, you can decide to check work progress and collaborate with teammates for 15 minutes each day.
Gives you access to lifestyle coaches to help guide and motivate you if you need extra help.
Habatica’s gamification theme is a source of motivation for many users. You get to build stats for a game character by completing habits. You should probably use other habit trackers if you don’t do well with role playing games (RPGs). However, you can give the game a go and see if it’s the right fit.
The productivity apps we covered will help you work smarter, avoid distractions, manage your tasks, and build better habits. Of course, you should also take other measures to maintain motivation like communicating with colleagues, taking breaks, and only accepting projects you can handle.