AmberCouch 2014 Apps, Tools and Resources

I’ve seen a few list of apps and tools that web designer and freelancers use to get their stuff done. We are always trying to find better and more efficient ways to create work and get paid for it. So here is the low down on the stuff we will be using in 2014 to build websites and manage projects.

Project Management and Sharing


At AmberCouch everything starts in Trello, it’s a great project management tool based on the t-card system. When starting a new job or bit of work we add a card and give it a description, add a to-do list for the job and we can then assign who is going to be working on the job.

Google Drive and Docs

Having all our document shared across all are devices is fantastic. We can share documents with our clients and they can edit copy and as soon as it’s done we can easily see all the changes.

Version Control and Deployment

I started version controlling everything about 6 months ago and as soon as I got my head around Git I realised how invaluable it is and it’s all ready been a valuable time saver.

Smart Git

I do use the command line sometimes but Smart Git is what use day to day. I no my IDE does git but Smart Git just seem clean an inviting and “fun”.

Git Hub, Bit Bucket and Beanstalk

Of course I started using Git Hub because it has a fantastic community and it is free as long as you want your code being open source. Nearly all our client work needs to be private so finding Bit Buck was great because they give away free private repositories. Beanstalk is not free but that fact that you can deploy your Git commits to multiple servers is now an invaluable part of my workflow and well worth the small fee.

Editors and IDEs


There is one piece of software that I could not be without on day to day basis and that’s NetBeans. Its a bit bloaty and I don’t use half the stuff that NetBeans has to offer but having great code completion, flexible syntax highlighting and code analysis is enough to make it my go to code editor. It’s also completely free which is always a bonus.

Sublime Text

If I just need to edit some code in a file that in not part of a project I’ll usually use Sublime Text. It’s great when I’m tutoring young people and I just want to get them coding as soon as possible. I haven’t dug into it much but it’s obviously a really powerful editor.


Solar accounts

Book keeping is probably the least fun job we have to do most days. But using Solar Accounts means we don’t have to spend that long doing it and anything can be made better if you use the right tool. Solar accounts takes the pain and headache out of accounting.

Other Essentials

Most of the other software we use is all pretty obvious. We use Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. I use Linux Mint which is pretty cool. For graphics and visual stuff we still use Adobe, Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign are all pretty essential. For emails I use Thunderbird, Gmail and Mac Mail on the iMac. Of course the most ubiquitous applications that is nearly continuously open on my desktop is the browser and it is pretty much a fifty fifty split between Chrome and Firefox.


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