10 Free Productivity Tools for Busy Web Professionals

Jun 10 2011 by Leo Widrich | 36 Comments

As a web designer or web developer, focusing on your core work responsibility — producing websites — is tough enough of a job. So, I want to share with you a list of free tools to help you in various aspects of your work so that you can spend more time designing and less time on the other necessary things you need to deal with as a web professional.

1. Bounce

Bounce

Bounce is both a fun and useful way to optimize and analyze websites. The tool allows you to share web page screenshots. The web app takes a screenshot of the web page after you enter its URL. You can then click and drag on the screenshot to make notes.

I found that by sharing screen grabs and notes through Bounce, I’m able to get helpful feedback on my designs. The built-in sharing functionality lets you seamlessly post your shots on Twitter and Facebook.

2. MindMeister

MindMeister

Brainstorming new ideas for projects could be limited by the capabilities of the tool you use. With MindMeister, an excellent mind-mapping tool, you have great options for composing and drawing out your thoughts, supporting your creative habits through its intuitive interface.

I particularly enjoy the collaboration feature that allows team members to easily contribute and help shape brainstorming sessions.

3. Simplenote

Simplenote

Stop littering your computer monitor with Post-it notes. Simplenote is an app that’s straightforward and simple, allowing you to jot down your thoughts and ideas and share them from any internet-enabled device. Because it’s an open platform, Simplenote boasts an incredible amount of other tools that support Simplenote syncing, which makes working with it even more useful.

4. Woorank

Woorank

How well is your site doing? Woorank helps you answer that question. It’s a super handy tool, giving you a comprehensive score of any website you want to learn about. But there’s much more to the simple score. Get insights into Alexa ranking, an SEO analysis and a list of competitor sites, as well as loading times and usability scores.

With just one click, you can get the full reports of competitor sites and see how you can improve. It can also help you perform design research on competing sites as well as learn about traffic trends in the niche.

5. ResizeMyBrowser

ResizeMyBrowser

It can often be a big hassle to know how your web design is viewed on various monitors and browsers. ResizeMyBrowser provides you with common preset dimensions for popular default browser sizes, such as 1440×900 (MacBook Pro, 15”) and 480x800px (Google Nexus One smartphone).

6. Ge.tt

Ge.tt

This is one of the simplest ways to share files online that I’ve found. You arrive at the site, upload your files, and whilst the files are uploading, you can already share the link. Additionally, you get interesting stats about your files such as the number of people that’s seen your shared files.

From sharing files with your clients to presenting mock-ups in your social network, this file-sharing tool can help increase your productivity.

7. Coolendar

Coolendar

Coolendar is a very efficient way to create to-do lists. It automatically syncs with your favorite calendars (e.g. Google Calender, iCal and Outlook). The stunning part is the hassle-free syntax you can use. No more time setting and fiddling with scheduling. Write one line such as "tomorrow 5pm wireframe for Mrs. Client’s site due" and it automatically sets the task for you.

Integrate it with Google Talk and get a reminder for a new item on your to-do list via a chat message. Brilliant.

8. Smartr

Smartr

Smartr is an incredibly handy iPhone app that pulls in tweets and status updates of your followers and friends and then turns them into a newsfeed with little thumbnail previews. The algorithm of the app gives you only the most useful content. Some tweeting and social-sharing capabilities are present so you can easily retweet, mark as a favorite or save to read for later.

9. Buffer

Buffer

(Full disclosure: I’m the co-founder of Buffer.) Buffer is a tool that allows you to throw tweets into your Buffer from any web page. These tweets will then be posted for you, well spaced out over the day. It streamlines your tweets so you can better focus on your work.

10. FontStruct

FontStruct

FontStruct is a simple way for you to design your own custom fonts. The tool offers you a great array of different geometrical shapes you can use to create your fonts. After designing your font, you can generate high quality TrueType fonts that you can use with any Mac or Windows application, such as Photoshop.

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About the Author

Leo Widrich is a Social Media enthusiast with an extra large addiction to Twitter. As Co-Founder of Buffer, he blogs at the Buffer blog every week to help their users make the most of their service. Say "Hi!" on Twitter @leowid.

36 Comments

Wendy Cockcroft

June 10th, 2011

Thanks for this, Leo. I knew about Woorank, and discovered that after you use it, the link to your website comes up in the search results.

Of the others, I’m not sure which I’ll find the most useful, but Resize My Browser looks like the winner so far. I like Bounce because it seems it may be faster than firing up my graphics editor or using the Print Screen option. Simple Notes may well take over from iGoogle for storing info.

For file sharing, I use Google and Box.net, but I’ll have a look at those other programs to see what they can do.

Thanks again for the post.

Henk

June 10th, 2011

Coolendar vs Wunderlist.

which one is the best?

Clarke

June 10th, 2011

The link on Fontstruct is misspelled. It leads to some scammy marketing page!

Prasant Naidu

June 10th, 2011

Leo Cooleandar and Smarter excites me to know more :) rest i know how cool is buffer. buddy u just rock with ur app lists.very cool :)

Scott Sawyer

June 10th, 2011

nice list. going to give Woorank a try. i like Evernote for easy note taking. the ability to email notes to your evernote account is a life saver. Dropbox (like they need a plug:) for file sharing.

thanks!

Strixy

June 10th, 2011

Wow! That’s one heck of an awesome list!

May I add one? This one from Google will let you type in a URL and then it will show you what can be seen by what percentage of users by various screen sizes for that URL.

http://browsersize.googlelabs.com/

Sam37

June 10th, 2011

Very good Tools.

Ps : There’s a mistake in your “fontStruct” link

Erin

June 10th, 2011

I would add the SpiderScribe.net mind mapping app to the list.

Beglinger

June 10th, 2011

Thanks for listing Bounce out. Never heard of it before.

Meg

June 10th, 2011

Great post! I’m definitelly going to check these out! Oh, btw the link to FontStruct is missing the first T and thus isn’t working ;)

Hds

June 10th, 2011

Thanks for this list, there were some I didn’t know – Bounce is really great.

WebDeveloper

June 10th, 2011

I think fonstruct.com was hacked, there a lot of spam and another content.

Romeo

June 10th, 2011

Its a wonderful collection of sites . I pretty find it useful .
Thanks for sharing . keep up the Great Job

Matt

June 11th, 2011

Thank you for the tools! Very helpful.

Charo

June 11th, 2011

Hi, love your article on bussssy people on the go-just forwarded this article to friends Send me your thought on how I can improve our website using your incredible tools, just added u as my new tweet tweet friend…

Young

June 11th, 2011

Great article – the link for Fontstruct is misspelled (missing the 1st T) and it goes to what looks like a spam site. Please fix.

Bounce looks like an amazing tool but it’s failing to load a couple URLs for me. Do you know what breaks it?

Jacob Gube

June 12th, 2011

Thanks @Young! I’ve updated it.

GadgetsBoy

June 12th, 2011

Great tools, i’m going to tweet this

sanji

June 12th, 2011

Nice list! I didn’t know about woorank and mindmapping, thanks for these!

S.K. (Insfired)

June 12th, 2011

I know Evernote has been around for a while and may not be as “hip” as the tools you featured here but it’s (the way I use it) one of the most awesome productivity tools I’ve ever used!

David Haw

June 12th, 2011

Thats an awesome list :) thanks for that.

Digital Bunch

June 12th, 2011

Bounce tool is very helpful for me to create full page screen shot and editing.

Thanks for the other tools :)

Justin

June 13th, 2011

Interesting list of apps, some I haven’t heard of.

Has anyone used Bounce? How good is it? Seems like something I could use.

Derek

June 14th, 2011

Awesome list. What I like most is that it isn’t the same generic programs everyone uses – these are new! I absolutely love SimpleNote. It’s one of the best apps I’ve ever used.

Mangesh

June 14th, 2011

Great collection, thanks for sharing. I would love to try my hand so on “Fontstruct”, looks interesting.

Vladimir

June 15th, 2011

Thank you for providing this list of tools :)

Rachel

June 20th, 2011

Thank you for putting all these cool tools in one page! I particularly love WooRank and Buffer:)

Paul

June 28th, 2011

I love buffer, it helped me get more followers that aren’t active at the same time as I am.
and coolendar looks…cool :)

Chandra

June 30th, 2011

Your article was really helpful and I have learnt a lot.

triplebytes

July 3rd, 2011

I like Woorank. Never knew how useful these tools are until now. Thanks for posting!

epierce

August 2nd, 2011

Resize my browser is really cool. Much easier than going into your preferences to test things. I’ve been using Dropbox to share files but will test out Ge.tt too. Thanks!

On another productivity note, one of my clients, FranklinCovey Training and Consulting, is launching their newest productivity solution, The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity, in 175 cities worldwide. Learn more about this FREE event at bit.ly/5_choices

Walter

August 9th, 2011

I like these tools. Yesterday I’ve found another one. Click.to!

Raj Mehta

September 9th, 2011

Well i liked the woo rank tool and other tools are also helpful :)

Ken

November 22nd, 2011

Nice tools, I hadn’t see WooRank before. It has some great advice when you’re trying to boost your sites SEO ranking.

Kristof

November 28th, 2011

Cool list, but I think the title is not quite the right…

or do you think a busy web professional has time making his own fonts ;P

Orkan

August 29th, 2012

Thanks for this valuable list of tools. Recently I have started to use Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.com) instead of Buffer. For me it’s a better choice. I also tried to organize my work with Coolendar, but it wasn’t much more effective than a paper calendar. Now, I’m using KanbanTool (www.kanbantool.com) – online tasks board. I’m really positive about this application.

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