We’ve talked quite a bit about project management and workflows around here at CSS-Tricks, not because it’s the core of what we do as designers and developers, but because we all play a role in it as part of a team and because it impacts the quality of our work at the end of the day.
That’s why having a good system in place is such a benefit both to us and to teams as a whole. Where can you find a system like that? You might want to start by looking at monday.com. Yes, it’s a project management tool but it actually goes way beyond that. Where some other platforms out there stop at task lists, calendars, and milestones, monday.com does those plus team collaboration.
If you’ve ever felt out of the loop on a project, had a surprise change in scope, or even been curious what other folks on your team have been up to, that’s where monday.com really shines. It’s people-centric, giving you and others insight into activity across an entire project through news feeds, messaging, shared assets, clearly defined user roles, among any other things. It’s what a healthy, transparent, and collaborative team environment looks like.
We’ve only scratched the surface here, but lucky for you, there’s a free 14-day trial to check out everything that monday.com has to offer. Go for it!
I’ve been into the idea of JAMstack lately. In fact, it was at the inaugural JAMstack_conf that I gave a talked called The All-Powerful Font-End Developer. My overall point there was that there are all these services that we can leverage as front-end developers to build complete websites without needing much help from other disciplines — if any at all.
Sometimes, the services we reach for these days are modern and fancy, like a real-time database solution with authentication capabilities. And sometimes those services help process forms. Speaking of which, a big thanks to Wufoo for so successfully being there for us front-end developers for so many years. Wufoo was one of my first tastes of being a powerful front-end developer. I can build and design a complex form super fast on Wufoo and integrate it onto any site in minutes. I’ve done it literally hundreds of times, including here on CSS-Tricks.
Another thing that I love about building Wufoo forms is that they travel so well. I use them all the time on my WordPress sites because I can copy and paste the embed code right onto any page. But say I moved that site off of traditional WordPress and onto something more JAMstacky (maybe even a static site that hits the WordPress API, whatevs). I could still simply embed my Wufoo form. A Wufoo form can literally be put on any type of site, which is awesome since you lose no data and don’t change the experience at all when making a big move.
And, just in case you didn’t know, Wufoo has robust read and write APIs, so Wufoo really can come with you wherever you go.
Front-end development relies on organization and solid communication. Whether you’re part of a team that builds large-scale sites or you’re flying solo with a handful of quality clients, there are many pieces and steps to get a project from start to finish. And that’s not just limited to the development phase of a project, either. Think about sales proposals, estimates, sign-offs, and approvals among many other things. There’s a lot that goes into even what we might consider a routine web project.
Think of monday.com as a universal team management tool. It’s the part of a project stack that keeps the people on your team connected so that, no matter what, everyone is in the loop and on the same wavelength during the lifecycle of a project. You probably already know how invaluable that level of connectedness is because it promotes both happy team members and happy clients. Everyone wins!
Sure, monday.com can help define milestones and tasks like other project management platforms. That’s a given. Where monday.com really shines, though, is the level of transparency it offers to stakeholders and developers alike, while encouraging complete team participation in a way that’s actually fun. Yes, fun. That’s something you don’t always think about when project management comes to mind, right?
So, forget the whiteboards, conference rooms, and confusing email chains. monday.com embraces and promotes a collaborative workspace that’s ideal for in-house and remote teams alike, ensuring that tasks are completed, time is tracked, communication is streamlined and that deadlines are ultimately met. We’re talking about a full suite of features that includes:
Clear visualizations of a project’s milestones
Tasks that are easy to create and assign
Centralized files that are easy for anyone (or the right people) to access
Tons of integrations, including Slack Google Calendar, Dropbox, Trello, Jira and many, many more
A news feed that helps anyone get quickly caught up with a project’s activity
Detailed charts and reports that are handy for project managers and stakeholders
Time tracking that’s easy and non-invasive
Tools to help communicate with clients inside of the project
Easy access to the platform, whether from a web browser or mobile and desktop apps
Let’s say you were going to design the easiest way to deploy a static site you can possibly imagine. If I was tasked with that, I’d say, well, it would deploy whenever I push to my master branch, and I’d tell it what command to run to build my site. Or maybe it has its own CLI where I can kick stuff out with as I choose. Or, you know what, maybe it’s so accommodating, I could drag and drop a folder onto it somehow and it would just deploy.
It’s almost shocking how useful Netlify is. I recommend giving it a try, it might be just that empowering tool you need to build that next project you have in mind. 🤔
My favorite way to think about Jetpack is that it’s a WordPress plugin that brings a whole heap of features to your site. I’ve documented the features that we use here on CSS-Tricks, which isn’t even all of them (yet).
Some of Jetpack features are essentially connecting it to the powers of WordPress.com. For example, of course, WordPress.com has some amazing way to optimize and serve images. They can build a service that millions of sites on WordPress.com can benefit from, which really benefits everyone, including them, because optimized images reduce bandwidth costs. Then Jetpack steps in and can offer that same power to you on your self-hosted WordPress site. Here’s a video I did showing how that works.
Other features are things like real-time backups of your site to VaultPress, which is incredibly important to me knowing I have every bit of this site backed up and under my control.
Because your site now lives within your WordPress.com dashboard, you get features there. I quite like the analytics dashboards, which seem more accessible to me than trying to poke around Google Analytics.
Another one I really like is the ability to manage WordPress plugins from there. I’m happing doing that in the admin of my own site as well, but from here, I can tell certain plugins to auto-update, which just saves me the minor hassle of doing it myself.
I just read a nicely put together story about WooCommerce over on the CodeinWP blog. WooCommerce started life as WooThemes, sort of a “premium themes” business started by just a couple of fellas who had never even met in person. Two years and a few employees later they launch WooCommerce, and 2 years after that it hits a million downloads. A major success story, to be sure, but a collaborative and remote-work based one that wasn’t exactly overnight. Another 2 years and Automattic picks them up and the WooThemes part is spun down.
Now we’re 3-4 years into WooCommerce being an Automattic project and it’s looking at nearly 60 million downloads, 4 million of which are active. A number they are saying is about 30% of all eCommerce on the web. Daaaaang. I’ve used WooCommerce a number of times and it always does a great job for me.
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You know how valuable project management is for teams of any size. Whether you’re a small shop or full-blown agency, your clients and projects depend on tracked deliverables, solid communication, and a clear breakdown of the work that’s needed.
You may have a love/hate relationship with whatever project management platform you’re using or have used in the past. It’s common for a platform to be missing that one feature you really need that would make the tool so much better and your work that much easier. But you can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and ditch project management altogether, right?
What separates monday.com from any other project management tool is the way it humanizes your team and connects each person to the project, rather than treating folks like resources. It sets up a workflow that encourages collaboration and transparency so that no one is left out of the process, every one has a voice, and each person is truly contributing to the big picture and greater good of a project.
Speaking of collaboration and transparency, you can upload your project files directly into monday.com so everyone has easy access to the assets they need to get work done. And, if you’re already using other services like Slack, Google Calendar, Dropbox, Microsoft Excel, Trello, and Jira, there are clean shortcuts to integrate them right in without hassle. Imagine that — one place for everything!
Oh, and you can use monday.com for client-facing exchanges. That means all your messages are consolidated into a single place so that nothing slips through the cracks. No more digging for some lost email or using Reply All on an email chain. It’s all right there so you, your team and your clients are all on the same page.
There’s a whole lot more monday.com can do, from task lists and timelines to news feeds and financial reporting, but the real proof comes in using it yourself. Try monday.com for free with no risk and zero commitment. You’ll be glad you did.
When you need to add icons to your interface, the whole process can really suck. “Should I use all these default bootstrap icons? Maybe I’ll just use the same Google Material icons for the hundredth time?”
Some important yet often overlooked things to consider when choosing an icon set includes, the size of the icons, style, consistency, and quantity. It’s frustrating to find icons that only cover half of the use cases you need.
We constantly felt this frustration too and decided to do something about it. This ultimately led to creating Streamline icon set.
Now in version 3.0, Streamline contains a whopping 30,000 icons in three distinct weights, similar to a font family. There are tons of options to pick the perfect icon for any interface you’re working with, whether it’s a big web application, documentation, or a marketing site.
“I own several icon sets but the one that I return to over and over is the copious Streamline pack, which almost always seems to have just the pictogram I need when I dig into its catalog.”
If you’re an IconJar user, you can also search for icons by name and drag and drop them into your project folder. We’re currently under development on this functionality for our web viewer too.
Every Streamline Icon pack comes with the following file types: .svg, .iconjar, .sketch, .fig, .ai, .pdf, .png, .xd.
So now matter how you like to work with icons, you have the file types you need.
“Streamline 3.0 is one of the most versatile and detailed icon packs I’ve ever used. The structure and hierarchy make it super easy to work with. This is an amazing product. Bravo, Vincent.”
—Stephanie Walter, UX & UI Designer
The SVG versions of Streamline is already dev-ready with proper viewbox tags in place and currentColor set as the color properties for all strokes and fills. You can pop in Streamline using your favorite SVG technique and start changing the color of the icons with CSS right out of the gate.
Every weight—light, regular, and bold—was designed with a very consistent style to give you tons of consistency within your interface.
The classic Streamline style with bits of detail here and there. Designed with 1px stroke on a 24px grid. The Light icons are great for interfaces that need lots of fun personality. They also work well scaled up to 48px as small illustrations.
A new minimal and geometric style. Designed with a 1.5px stroke on a 24px grid. These are perfect to use on clean and modern web interfaces.
A new solid style akin to the latest iOS guidelines. Designed with fills and a 2px stroke on a 24px grid. The bold style gives a little more punch for an iOS style interface.
Put Streamline to work for you
There are two different package types available—Essential and Ultimate.
Essential contains 14 categories all related to interfaces and web design, whereas the Ultimate pack contains all 53 categories, including things like Pets, Weather, Finance, Outdoors, Transportation, and so much more.
This platform is perfect for teams sized at 2-to-200 — and gives every employee the same level of transparency.
Every project management tool seeks to do the same instrumental thing: keep teams connected, on task and on deadline to get major initiatives done. But the market is getting pretty crowded, and for good reason — no platform seems to have gotten the right feel for what people need to see, and how that information should be displayed so that it’s both actionable/relevant and contextualized.
That’s why monday.com is worth a shot. The platform is based off a simple, but powerful idea: that as humans, we like to feel like we’re contributing to part of a greater/effort good — an idea that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle as we focus on the details of getting stuff done. So projects are put onto a task board (think of it like a digital whiteboard), where everyone can have the same level of visibility into anyone else who’s contributing a set of tasks. That transparency breaks down the silos between teams that cause communication errors and costly project mistakes — and it’s a beautiful, simple way to connect people to the processes that drive forward big business initiatives.
Whether you’re part of a tech-forward team or not, monday.com is a welcome relief to cumbersome Excel files, messy (physical) whiteboards, or meetings that waste time when actual work could be completed. The scalable, intuitive structure can effectively work for a team of two, or an international team of 2,000+ — and a beautiful, color-coded board lays out tasks you can cleanly see and tag for various stages of completion. That way, employees can see exactly what needs to be done (and who needs to do it), while managers can optimize their time re-allocating resources as necessary to optimize processes. It’s a win-win.
monday.com also allows teams to communicate within the platform, cutting down on the amount of laborious sifting through various email threads to figure out a workflow. Messages can be sent inside of tasks — so all the communication is contextualized before meeting resolution or seeking it. The platform also supports uploads, so documents and videos can be added to facilitate more collaboration, and integration with other productivity apps. So if your team is already using tools like Slack, Google Calendar, Dropbox, Microsoft Excel, Trello, and Jira, there’s specific, clean shortcuts to integrate the information from those platforms into monday.com. And even beyond team communication and management, you can use monday.com for client-facing exchanges, so all your messages are consolidated into a single place.
The platform recently raised $50M in funding, and received nods from the likes of Forbes, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, and more for its ability to empower international teams to do better work together. Best of all, unlike other team management software, which can be pricey and time-intensive to scope, test and run, you can try monday.com today — for free.
What can this app do?
Creating and managing a project’s milestones
Creating and assigning tasks
Attaching files to any project’s table projects on the go.
Using mobile applications to manage projects
Communicating with your team members
Updating team using the news feed
Keeping clients in the loop
Organizing the organization into teams
Creating detailed project charts and reports
Tracking the time your team members spend on tasks
Managing a project’s financials
Website as well as a desktop app for Mac and Windows
monday.com to make every user feel empowered and part of something bigger than their own individual tasks, and as a result, to boost collective productivity and transparency.