Tool We Use In 2020

19 January 2020

As a remote team since day one, we use many tools to stay connected within the team and with clients. Here’re some of our favorite tools that we will be using every day in 2020. Note that we’re continually experimenting with new tools and services, this list might change in time, but we’ll make sure to keep you posted.

Last updated on Mar 17. Read the Chinese version on Matters.

📣 Communication

Slack

The central hub of our daily communications since 2013. It’s connected to Figma projects, Zoom meetings, Notion docs, GitHub webhooks, and a ton of Slack bots to make our job easier. We also invite our clients to join Slack via Shared Channel if they happen to use Slack as well.

Zoom

The best tool for online meetings, period.

Loom

Loom is not only a coincidence by name but also happens to be the most elegant solution for asynchronous communication. Let’s just say we’re obsessed with making tutorial videos internally.

Standuply

We installed the Standuply bot in Slack to automate standup meetings and weekly reviews.

Notion *

We use Notion as our document center and collaborative todo list, sometimes. We gave up the idea of using a centralized todo app a long time ago since we all have different preferences and paces. We also use Notion for expense tracking and social media publishing queue.

Spark

We love Spark for Teams. We can write emails together, and discuss emails without get stuck in reply-all hell. My favorite feature is Templates, which saved me so much time.

G Suite

We use Gmail and Sheets. We export CSVs from Timemator and upload them to Sheets then send along with invoices.

WeChat Work

We recently integrated WeChat Work to our deal pipeline and added it to our Contact page.

🎨 Design

Figma

Our primary design tool. We used to have Sketch, Abstract, and Zeplin, but it was messy and expensive. Now everything is in one place instead of all over the place. We do use AI occasionally for brand identity work.

Drama

Currently, Drama is our favorite tool for creating sophisticated interactions and animations. Although most of the time, we use Prototype in Figma. Before Drama, we have been using Origami, Flinto, and Principle for years.

Whimsical

The best tool for creating wireframes and flowcharts.

Fontstand

We’re all huge font nerds, and we use Fontstand to try out fonts for each new project.

Dropmark *

We started using Dropmark when there weren’t many choices around for board collecting. Now, the market is crowded, but we stuck to it mostly because we forget to unsubscribe every year…

Paste (Paused)

We’re big fan of presentations, the best way to sell a design is to present it beautifully. Can’t wait to get our hands on Pitch and give it a spin.

🕹 Management

Octopus

Octopus is so much more than a visual sitemap builder. It makes so much sense to track the progress of web projects when you can see the whole picture.

Basecamp

We have been paid customers of Basecamp for years, but it’s really slow to use in China and lacks Chinese support. As I mentioned, now we invite our clients to Slack. We still use Basecamp or Tower occasionally if the project requires a lot of sending deliverables and documents back and forth.

Harpoon

We use Harpoon to send estimates and invoices. But we ditched its time tracking because the mac app lacks features and updates. Instead, we use Timemator for much more accurate tracking.

GitHub

We mainly use GitHub for our website and collaborate with other developers.

Dropbox

The good ol’ box. We use it to share legitimately paid fonts, and most importantly, store contracts.

🛠 Miscellaneous

CowTransfer

The best service in class to transfer large files.

Smallpdf

All-in-one PDF tools, for those who can’t afford Acrobat. 😂

Revue *

If you’re a subscriber of Dine News, you probably have seen Revue.

Smallchat

Smallchat is connected straight to one of our Slack channels, so visitors to our website can talk to us directly without leaving the page.

Gauges

Simple and easy to understand analytics service.

Fast.io

We build our website using Jekyll and test it internally with Fast.io. It’s super fast and a pleasure to use.

💸 Expense

Approximately $3000 per year.

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