In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we wanted to celebrate the products we love. Here are just a few that made our list sourcing from our remote team, in their own words –

Future of Education, Udemy:

Mostly in classrooms, whether young, teenager or an adult; people find themselves distracted and not able to focus on the topic that’s being taught that specific moment for many different reasons. In this futuristic educative application meant for teenagers and adults; user is capable of choosing what to learn and when to learn for ridiculously low prices with help of ease of access towards millions of people over the world. Due to ease of access also applying towards instructors; instructors are able to produce content for almost any topic; science, programming, social skills, language, art, lifestyle and many more which gives the users immense experience in this recreational learning methods.

Yiğit Sözer, Front End React Developer

The Game Changer, Canva:

I was frustrated using expensive, feature-heavy programs to design simple social or email graphics. These programs were built for far more technical design and illustration so creating what I needed was just full of extra steps and made a simple task cumbersome. When I was recommended Canva I fell in love with it. It was very easy and simple to use, it was very quick to go from an idea to publishing it on social media. When I have favourite designs I can simply copy them and tweak so I can have a cohesive appearance across my activities. All in all, it saved a lot of time and effort to get what I needed, and it saved money. I love that Canva has a free offering that covers 95% of what a social media marketer could want (I didn’t upgrade to a paid version for quite some time, the free version was perfect). It makes it a lot easier to recommend it to others knowing that core features aren’t hidden behind a paywall and that they won’t have to register credit card details to be able to trial a product.

Jessica Ford, Head of Marketing and Sales

Brewing up a Storm, PHPStorm

PHPStorm is a cross-platform, smart IDE for PHP developed by JetBrains. I have been using it for 4 years as an indispensable part of my work environment. It makes me feel coding is fun. The most beautiful thing is, PHPStorm understands your code. Because it has the most advanced autosuggestions feature which only shows you the options that depend upon a particular context you are working in. It has a very powerful refactoring facility which lets you rename a particular entity in the entire project by showing you the appropriate usages. One-click code formatting and customization makes your code look pretty and presentable. It provides automatic PHPDocs creation which is like a lifesaver for developers. It provides an ability to connect with any kind of databases, which are local or from any other host, with more advanced GUI as compared to other database clients available in the market. Excessive sturdy plugins are available to extend the functionality. And the most admirable feature is its integration with VCS like Git. It provides a beautiful view to compare files and is more advanced than any other available git clients. I absolutely love using PHPStorm and couldn’t think of anything better

Gaurav Deshpande, Backend Developer

Awesome Plus Notepad++ – The Working Peasant’s Tool

A lot of work goes into bulky, complex, highly-hyped products.
But in a filesize/utility ratio, it is hard to beat the first piece of software I install every time I reinstall my operating system (right after installing a proper browser to search for it) – Notepad++

I am a sysAdmin/DBA so often I need to write a lot of similar commands, and I can edit them rather quickly. (This text itself is being written on notepad+ )

It is a quick, light tool, which is important for speed, has a bunch of plugins, has tabs, let’s you uppercase stuff with just highlighting and CTRL+SHIFT+U, vertically select blocks of lines to add or remove text with just holding ALT and dragging the cursor down … just awesome…

João Pinela, Senior DBA and Data Consultant

Old Putty Faithful

What would you say if a told you that a 1MB program, that was launched over 20 years ago, is STILL not at version 1, and it is probably the most used software of its type by IT professionals on Windows?

Well, this is Putty, a very small, quick, simple, but efficient and useful program for connecting a Windows client to a *nix server (for example). Used by sysadmins, dbas, developers, network and storage administrators, and so many other professionals and non-professionals. With its simple interface (maybe too simple, because, by default right-click pastes which has made me to inadvertently cause a SERIOUS problem once (ONLY once)) it makes working on servers (and so on) simple and quick (There are some upgrades like mtputty for multi-tab, and putty connection manager, but I like to move my windows around as I please, and colour their background as my artistic side feels).

João Pinela, Senior DBA and Data Consultant

A Whimsical kind of love

I love Whimsical. It’s such a useful, good-looking, evolving product. I love when people behind products put the necessary thought into it. There are a gazillion small details on great products that you just don’t notice but that make them so nice and fun to use. Want an example? If you accidentally move out of the working area on Whimsical an incredibly useful “focus” button shows up avoiding frantic left or right scrolls. Simple. Effective. Beautifully implemented. Small details matter.

Whimsical is one of the tools that we use daily and completely transformed the way strategists and designers at ColorElephant work. Before you used to have hard-to-use wireframing tools that made it a hard, long tedious process to get ideas out. Be it through wireframes or through flowcharts and mindmaps we are now able to communicate — internally and externally — visually at a speed we’ve never been able before, dramatically increasing our productivity and the quality of the products we build.

Oh, did I mention the people behind Whimsical are also bootstrapping it? The kind of committed relationship we love around here, too 🙂

Ricardo Sousa, Co-Founder and CEO

In no way was this post sponsored, we just wanted to celebrate products we love. There are many great products we didn’t include for the sake of brevity. If you think your product should have made the list, get in touch. We are always happy to try new products and shout-out any applications that are a pleasure to use.

And, a final heartfelt thank you to everyone involved in making the products we listed so great.

Jessica Ford

Jessica Ford

Head of Sales and Marketing at ColorElephant. I've had a long career in marketing in sales, with large corporates, small startups and agencies. You'll find me to be an advocate of transparent and honourable marketing practices. We build a community, we act with integrity, and above all else we are human.

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