Software Tools - Abe McCallum
August 24, 2014

The Tools I Use Daily

As product developers there are lots of different tools we can use to build products. Since I am often asked how I get my job done, here is a list of tools I use to get the job done.

Project Management/SCRUM: Asana
Asana is a great product for managing projects and keeping everyone on point. As a manager and doer, I like it because assignments can be documented easily, priorities set, and it keeps conversations all in one place.

Prototyping: Axure
I am a big fan of Axure. It is one of the more advanced and full featured prototyping tools. When you really know how to use Axure, it can do a lot of amazing things to show the full functionality of an application that you are designing, whether that is for desktop or mobile. Further the ability to write “notes” on every object allows me to almost write full functional specs without Word so that engineers don’t have to sift through lengthy documents.

Docs, Spreadsheets, and Presentations: Microsoft Office
Office 365 is an awesome product. If you use Excel, PowerPoint, and Word seriously, then I don’t see anything else as a viable replacement. With Office in the cloud, it makes collaborating on documents across the company much more effective.

Design Feedback & Version Management: Pixelapse
Pixelapse is a great tool for working with designers. It allows me to see all the designs in one place, annotate the little details, and manage all the different versions that come up during the design phase.

Gantt Chart: SmartSheet.com
Until Asana builds a Gantt chart in their product and enable tasks to have dependencies that cause tasks to shift together (when dates are missed), I still have to rely on the trusty Gantt chart to see how we are doing with projects that are planned out over a long period of time. For this I turn to smartsheet.com, they have built a simple and easy to use project management solution that gives me the Gantt chart features that I rely on to see how we are tracking with our projects.

Data Backup: OneDrive & Box
For personal use, OneDrive is an excellent product. It couples very nicely with Office 365. When it comes to work collaboration and since not everyone is an Office fan. Box.com has an excellent platform. Version management is great when we have several people working on one document. From an admin perspective, they make it very easy to manage users, identify what is/isn’t shared out and control your account as a whole.

About Abe McCallum

My name is Abe McCallum, and I am a Product Architect. I have spent my career pursuing one passionate objective: Create the best products that customers love & enrich their lives. See my work: http://abemccallum.com

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