Development teams have no shortage of stress. If you’re a developer, you likely have deadlines constantly looming over you while you also struggle to make changes and updates to existing software.
But there are only so many hours in the workday, and you probably have to spend some of those hours attending meetings, answering emails, and collaborating with fellow team members. With all of that going on, it’s important to make sure you’re as efficient as possible when you do have time to get some work done.
With the right tools, you can make the most of the time you have. You’ll check items off your to-do list each day and make sure you stay on track. Some of these tools are useful for all professionals, but we’ll discuss how they’ll help you specifically as a writer. Here are some of our favorite productivity apps for developers.
To-Do List Apps
As a developer, you probably have a long list of tasks to complete each day. To-do list apps can help you organize it all to make sure everything gets done. If you work as part of a team, you can even sync up your to-do lists to track group progress. Here are some to-do list apps to consider.
If ever there was a to-do list app designed for developers, Habitica is it. Habitica gamifies productivity, giving you in-app rewards for checking tasks off your list. You can battle monsters with other users and earn real-life rewards that you choose, such as watching TV or reading a book. Subscriptions start at $4.99 a month, or you can sign up for a group plan for $9 a month plus $3 per member.
TickTick is a standard task-list app, but what stands out about it is its flexibility. You can choose from five different calendar views and access it on more than 10 different platforms. That makes it great for a team of developers who want to sync their lists while still retaining their individual preferences. The basic version of TickTick is free.
Developers looking for a simple, streamlined task app should take a look at Any.do. You can view your to-dos in list or calendar view and sync across all your devices. The app lets you set time-based reminders, as with most to-do apps, but you can also get reminders based on location. The basic version is free, but you’ll need the premium version, starting at $2.99 a month, to get location-based reminders.
Communication and Collaboration
Even if you’re a solo developer, you still work with others. The right collaboration tools can help you stay in touch with project managers, stakeholders, and others throughout the day, whether you’re at home or in the office. These communication tools are ideal for development projects.
Track meeting notes, make announcements, and interact with your team in Confluence’s workspace. This solution is best for project managers and development team managers who need a way to push updates and documents to your team. You can get most of Confluence’s features for free for up to 10 users.
ProofHub is a cloud-based project management software that serves as a centralized system for managers, teams, and clients to collaborate on web development projects and assign tasks. It assists project managers in planning, collaborating, organising, and delivering projects on time. Working with ProofHub has a lot of benefits for high-performing engineering teams. ProofHub streamlines short- and long-term goals for teams, assists teams with allocating on-site and off-site tasks, creating schedules, communicating with clients and stakeholders, working with outbound design specialists, estimating and negotiating project costs, and much more.
Development teams have long relied on Scrum boards to manage projects. GitScrum is an online Scrum board that lets team members view tasks, delegate, post progress updates, and much more. Subscriptions start at $9.99 per month.
- Code Climate
For testing and workflow planning, Code Climate is a must-have tool for developers. You can track code progress and view statuses to know whether to push an update or wait. Code Climate is open source, so you can get it for free for up to four users.
There are plenty of chat platforms out there, but Heyspace meets the unique needs of developers. Tag team members, reply directly to messages, and launch video calls directly within the app. There’s a free version for up to five users.
Customizability sets Notion apart from other collaboration apps. You can set it up to work the way your teams do, with customizable workspaces for sharing documents, managing projects, and listing your resources. Individuals can get the app for free, with team pricing starting at $4 a month.
Code Development and Monitoring
When it comes down to it, the most important thing you do each day is code. Whether you’re working with a team or flying solo, here are some apps that can save you time and help you stay on top of everything.
App development can be lonely work. CodePen makes it social, giving you a space to share code and get inspiration from other designers and developers. CodePen is free, but if you want to use the platform to host files and store projects, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid plan.
If you’ve been in the programming field a while, you’ve probably heard of GitHub. GitLab is a similar product, but it’s open source, serving as a free repository for hosting code and collaborating with others. You can use it to get feedback and collaborate with team members or other developers.
Managing all your code can be complicated, and that’s where Atomist can help. You can store all your repositories in one place and regularly scan for security vulnerabilities. You’ll find similar capabilities in GitHub, but you can try Atomist for free. You’ll need to contact Atomist for pricing, as they don’t make the information available publicly.
Once your applications are live, keeping up with outages and security issues is your next big challenge. Bugsnag does the heavy lifting for you, monitoring your applications in real time and alerting you to issues affecting stability. The Lite version is free, but most businesses will need to upgrade to a paid plan, starting at $59 a month.
If you work as a developer, sooner or later, you’ll likely be asked for an accounting of your time. Project managers sometimes need this information to log timelines, and as a result, some team leaders ask for it. Independent contractors may have to track time for billing purposes. But even if nobody requires you to document your activities, time-tracking software can help you identify time-zappers. The below apps will run in the background, showing you how you’re spending your time each day.
Timely is designed to track your activities throughout the day, logging time and tracking budgets while you work. The software captures the time you’re spending in each app each day, then applies that information to your timesheet to ensure your billing is accurate. You can use it individually, with pricing starting at $15 per month, or sign up your entire team for a monthly fee of $30 and up.
If you’re looking for a free time-tracking solution, check out Clockify. This app tracks your time, breaking it down by project to help you easily separate your work for different clients or departments. You can pull reports that show how time is being spent each month, whether you’re using it for a team or individually.
If your goal is to boost your own productivity, RescueTime might be the app for you. RescueTime runs in the background, analyzing your activities and making suggestions for improvements. You can also use a built-in feature called FocusTime to block distracting sites and help you get some work done. Plans start at $6.50 per month, but you can try it out for free for two weeks.
Planning and Brainstorming
Often, projects kick off with a solid brainstorming session, but your team might also brainstorm to work through problems and plan next steps. At one time, developers gathered in a room and used a whiteboard, but technology now lets you brainstorm as a group from wherever you are. Here are some great whiteboard tools that can help you, whether your colleagues are down the hall or scattered across the world.
Mind-mapping is a popular tool for following your natural train of thought to a resolution. MindMeister guides you through the process of creating useful maps and sharing them with others. You can create up to three mind maps for free, after which, plans start at $4.99 a month.
Infinity is a project management tool that includes brainstorming templates to help your team work together to plan and come up with solutions. A one-time payment of $149 gives you lifetime access to all the templates.
Another mind-mapping tool is Bubble.us, a completely browser-based solution for visualizing your ideas. Share the link to collaborate with others and enter presentation mode with just one click. You can create up to three mind maps for free, with paid plans starting at $4.91 a month.
Pulling It All Together
The more apps you have, the harder it can be to organize everything. Shift makes it easy to pull all of the above apps together in one handy dashboard. You can create shortcuts to all the apps you use every day, including Google and Microsoft apps, and move between them without having to log in and out. To check out all the apps Shift supports, click here.