5 Awesome tools to improve your web design project management
As a web designer, your projects are your life. That’s why web design project management is something which is not just a nice-to-have.
It’s not just a must, it’s what can make or break a project. Heck, if you’re not doing web design project mangement well, you’re at the risk of all of your income going to the dogs.
With that in mind, we’ve selected our preferred web design projectmanagement tools to set you up for success from the start.
1. Generate professional looking Quotations in seconds
If you want to keep your web design business alive, you need to make sure you keep a healthy pipeline of work. You’ll always be on the lookout for projects, so you know you’re covered for the next few months.
For this reason, one of the things you’ll be doing very often is pitching for new web design projects.
Now, if you really want to make a great first impression, your Quotation document must be absolutely top-notch. Of course, it also shouldn’t take your hours designing and prettifying each quote you issue.
That’s why our first tool on the web design project management list is the Quotation tool which we’ve written
Why has this tool been such a runaway success?
- It’s FREE! Whether you send one or one million quotes, you don’t have to pay a cent.
- It generates an AWESOME looking quotation – our fantastic designers have created a very professional template for the quotations. But the great thing is this. You’re still able to give it your own touch by adding your own logo, and you own (brand) accent color. You’ve got it all really
- You get the quotation, in PDF, ready to send by email – since you’re most likely to forward this quotation to your client by email, we send the quotation, in PDF form, directly to your email. Your job? Just forward it to your client.
- It’s DEAD simple – quotations may tend to get complex. If you’re working with Excel or Word to generate your quotation, things might get somewhat hectic, complicated and messy. Our quotation simply asks you to fill in an hourly rate and hours for several items, does all the calculations and you’re good to go.
- It’s FREE – did we mention that you don’t need to pay anything? 😉
2. BeeWits – Web Design Project Management (not just for web designers – for everyone who needs a simple project management tool)
As a web designer, working freelance or in a small agency, you might not feel much of the need of a project management tool. If you’ve worked with some of the Project Management tools, you’ll also feel pretty much overwhelmed with the complexity of what they have to offer.
Why? Because these are mostly meant for complex industrial projects. They are meant for full-time Project Managers.
They are not meant for creatives and web designers, whose love is creating awesome stuff, not managing complex projects.
But wait – there’s an alternative!
BeeWits is designed with the web designer, creative, or digital agency in mind. We are a web designers, working in an agency ourselves, so we wanted to create a tool for people like us.
We wanted to create a web design project management tool which kept is simple for us and doesn’t get in the way.
And that’s why we took the plunge and created BeeWits.
4 ways how BeeWits can improve your web design project management
Here’s how BeeWits can help your web design projects.
- Organize a (web) design project. In minutes.
When you’ve got a lot of things on your mind and need to create a project from scratch, you need something which helps you along the way. That’s what project task templates are for. A bunch of ready-made tasks, ready for you to pick and mix for this project. That way, you don’t have to create the same tasks each and every time you create a new project. That way you can take your website checklist and monitor the progress right within the web design project management software
2. ALWAYS know what’s next.
We all get very busy. Meetings, colleagues, phone calls, IMs, things get very hectic sometimes. With BeeWits, all your to-dos are visible at a glance, so you’ll know exactly what’s been done and what’s left to do. All conversations and assigned tasks will happen in one place, so everything is actionable and transparent.
3. You, your clients, your teams. All in SYNC.
Awesome web projects need awesome teams – but keeping everyone in the loop can be a bit of headache. Emails going to and fro can get long, lose focus, get missed, people forget to Reply-all or to include other people. BeeWits has re-imagined the web project management scenario, keeping everyone from web designers and developers to agencies and clients in sync. Just tag the appropriate users and they’ll know they need to be involved in a particular task.
4. BeeWits takes the pain out of planning and managing
We are creatives. We don’t like “planning” and “managing”. We enjoy creating. But without planning tasks start slipping. Projects don’t get completed. Clients are not pleased. Bosses are upset. Bills are not paid.
With BeeWits you can manage, whilst the tool will not get in the way.
3. Invoicely – free powerful invoicing platform
So far, we’ve discussed various aspects of web design project management. We first started with quoting for a project, then on to the actual project management of the web design project using BeeWits.
Once you’ve completed your project using BeeWits, you’ll want to get paid 🙂
That’s where invocing comes in play and where our next suggested project management tool is a perfect fit. Invoicely is an invoicing platform which has developed with the small business in mind. If you are a freelancer, it’s actually free, whilst if you aren’t, prices are very affordable.
Let’s just go through a few of the benefits.
- It’s free for freelancers, and very affordable for small teams. We love it when we find great tools which don’t cost an arm and a leg. Freelancers who are still getting started can use the free version, whilst there are various plans starting from just $9.99
- Simple invoicing. One thing we absolutely love to hate are these accounting packages with all their bells and whistles which are intended for people who are versed in accounting. As a freelancer or a small team, you need complex management tools. You just need to invoice, simply.
- Track time, expenses and issue itemized invoices. When working on web design projects, most times you’ll find that it is easier to explain a bill when you split it into multiple line items. For example, your developers, your copywriters and your photographers charge very different prices. You’ll want to explain this to your client via an itemized invoice.
4. Create Beautiful Prototypes and Mockups with Pixate
As web designers and creatives, you’ll know that nothing can communicate concepts better than illustrations. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.
When it comes to explain how a website will look and feel – nothing is more important than creating a beautiful mockup. Really and truly, it will make the difference between a client who is anxious and untrusting, to one which is already onboard and happy with the results before they actually see the end-product.
This is of course where mockups and prototyping have such a huge postive effect on your relationship with your client.
That’s why our next item of the list of things to improve your web design project management is the prototyping tool Pixate.
Now, saying that this tool is awesome is a gross understatement. Let’s just say that the tool is so great, that the whole company was bought by Google, lock, stock and barrel.
How prototyping can earn your client over
- Create beautiful mockups with high-fidelity. We’ve seen all sorts of prototyping and mockup tools and we’ve used quite a few good ones. The difference with Pixate is that mockups coming out of Pixate look and feel like the real thing. First of all, each mockup can work on the device you plan to demo it on, whether that’s a desktop or a smart phone. You can actually integrate your own designs into your mockups
- Sell your vision. Quickly. With little effort. Sometimes, when a client comes with a project, you feel like your brain is bursting with ideas. You can already see the final product. But your client can’t see the same thing. And that’s where you need to sell your vision. Pixate is their to help you quickly, with little effort, sell your vision to your client.
- It’s Free. Don’t you reall enjoy it when you find a golden nugget of a tool, which comes for the price of $0?
The one thing which might be a drawback is that since the acquisition of Pixate by Google, we haven’t seen much movement. This is unfortunate. In all likelihood the team has been swallowed up into other projects, which would be a shame. We hope we’ll see something greater than Pixate coming out of Google.
On to our final web design project management tool.
5. Keep your web design projects codebases safe and organized with GitHub
This might be a bit of a surprise when we’re speaking about web design project management. But wait, let’s explain our reasoning.
Picture this. During design and development of a project, all of the codebase of your project are nicely structured and well-organized. You have no problems, everything is in sync, and if you want the latest version, you know where to look.
As soon as the project launches, you start getting simple requests from the client. Add a snippet of code here. Add a Facebook pixel there. Add a HotJar tracking code. Slowly slowly, the live version of the website and the versions in your safe are diverging.
And then one day, when you need to do a major change, you’re going to have to try to remember all the changes you did, where the changes were done, which changes you might have missed. And then apply them to the version that you have. And hope that you haven’t missed anything!
That’s why a tool like GitHub is crucial for your projects. You need to make sure that every little change that you make is actually saved to your versioning software. (Incidentally, your BeeWits projects would be a great way to remember all of the small changes you’ve made to a project).
Github and more specifically the Git version control system is unparalled when it comes to managing project codes. It is better than alternatives such as Subversion and has a relatively easy installation process.
Of course, as we discussed, updates to projects should be created as branches. Branches are very simple to create in GitHub and there is no risk of accidentally losing your previous work.
Their (free) tools are also great. The following are part of the GitHub suite, a user wiki, Q&A support, push requests, and free webpage hosting for any documentation files which are part of your web desig project. The network is of course a huge community, teeming with developers which are bound to be really helpful when necessary.
What are the web design project management tools you cannot live without?
This has been a bit of our take on the web design project mangement part of our job. There are of course hundreds of other tools but of course we’ve chosen what we believe are the essentials tool for web designers.
If you’ve got any other suggestions, we’d love to hear about them. Since comments are likely to get flagged as SPAM if they contain links, it would probably be better if you would just write the name in plain text. We’ll then find and have a look at it ourselves.