At tonight’s Refresh Detroit meeting, we had an excellent time talking about and sharing our favorite tools and applications. While we didn’t have big attendance at the meeting, our discussion lasted almost two hours.
We took time to demo several applications and shared our experiences on how the applications improved our workflow. I know I have a few more tools to add to my work toolbox.
Here’s a list of some of the applications we discussed:
- Evernote: free note taking application that seamlessly synchronizes your notes on the web, desktop, and mobile. It’s easy to take notes, scan images, capture screenshots with the browser Web Clipper, and share notes with others (premium version only). Not sure what to do with all those business cards you collect at events and conferences? Scan them with your phone, add to Evernote with a note. Evernote uses OCR (optical character recognition) to scan the text in the business card so you can easily search at a later time.
- EchoSign: online electronic signature application built into the free Adobe Reader application. If you’ve ever had to send hard copy contracts back and forth via post, or scan PDF signature pages, this application is for you. Sign your contracts and other documents in minutes with EchoSign. The Federal E-SIGN Act makes online electronic signatures equivalent to a written signature
- Trello: online project management application that organizes your work into boards. The interface is all visual, updates in real time, and you can easily drag and drop tasks, lists and archive weekly work.
- Cleo: Cleo (Compact Library Extension Organizer) is a Firefox add-on that allows you to combine themes and extensions into one package. You can easily share your favorite extensions by creating a package. Or install the package in a new Firefox profile.
- Axure: Desktop application used to create wireframes, mockups and interactive prototypes. Though the cost might be beyond the freelancer, Axure is the tool of choice for many large organizations and corporations.
- Balsamiq and Mockingbird: Online wireframe and mockup applications. Many web developers and user experience professionals have moved from traditional desktop applications to online applications for ease of use and cost.
Thanks to Washtenaw Community College for hosting our meeting.