The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris: Ever since its release, the idea of shaving down the 9 to 5 workday by maximizing time and productivity has fascinated us. The appeal of its freedom, the promise of its efficiency and the benefits of improved productivity — that is what we chase. If we never come remotely close, it still gives us hope about creating the ultimate work scenario, especially for a web design agency.

So now, to embrace this philosophy of work smarter, not harder, let’s talk about steps you can take today. Whether a one-person startup or a full-service digital agency like FIREANT STUDIO, we’ve created a list of our favorite tech tools that help us maintain order, maximize efficiency, and keep projects moving down the pipeline in 40 hours or less.


1. Slack – Over the last two years, Slack, the office collaborator and communications tool by Slack Technologies, has exploded on the tech scene and beyond. Its ease of use, cool interface (design points!) and legion of fans has turned this seemingly simple instant messenger into a must-have not only for our web design studio, but also for companies across the nation. With project-specific group conversations, a main forum for gif sharing and other office hijinks, Slack keeps us organized and connected whether in office or working remotely.

2. Basecamp – The quintessential project management tool for web development and design firms, Basecamp primarily serves as the go-between on client collaboration. In addition, its time tracking tool and seamless ability to record project notes, store assets, and highlight relevant communications via project message boards, makes Basecamp a business-critical tool for any web development agency. At FIREANT, we rely on Basecamp to keep our project phases on track, on time and on budget.

3. Google Drive – Although this may be an obvious choice, a nod to Google’s Drive is obligatory. Our interactive agency runs smoother and more efficiently because of Drive’s assistance. It’s great for less tech-savvy clients that would rather avoid Basecamp altogether, it’s incredible for  quick editing sessions amongst team members, and the productivity potentials are limitless when paired with Google’s full lineup. Google Drive has its shortcomings, this is true, however as a trailblazer of technology, we can’t imagine a day of web development without old faithful.

4. Bugherd – The ideal bug tracking tool, Bugherd allows us to assign browser issues and any other web development QA snags to a specific team member, with screenshots and detailed documentation. Bugs are then pulled from queue and moved down the line until resolved. It tracks the bug’s phase throughout the resolution process and archives the issue once it has been completed. This tool is an essential for any web design firm or interactive agency, large or small.

5. Trello – Last on our list is Trello, the comprehensive to-do list of project managers, web developers, founders, and digital marketers for FIREANT. This handy tool allows us to track project assignments, personal or group milestones, ongoing tasks, and daily priorities. An added bonus is that it displays everyone’s list of to-dos, which often leads to even more collaboration on projects as we race together towards deadlines.



What are some tools your digital design agency or startup can’t live without? We would love to hear from you. The greatest thing about this list is the relatively low to no cost of these tools, typically the smaller the work group, the lower the plan. Even as an established full-service interactive agency, it’s still nice to catch a deal as we reach for that 4-Hour Workweek.