We love our studio, we really do, but sometimes a change in location and atmosphere can keep the ideas fresh and the attitudes positive. A few months ago we sat down and talked about how we could make our office more accessible.
Over the past 3 years, we’ve relied on a static/standard setup that looked like this:
- Mac Mini with Snow Leopard Server to house all files and source code
- Individual Dropbox accounts to share a handful of files
- Backblaze for offsite backups
Any work that needed to be done outside of the office had to be copied to our local computers or downloaded via ftp and replaced upon return to the office. As you would expect, there were issues with files not updated on the server and local files not matching live sites.
With the addition of another designer and developer to the workflow, we started thinking of ways to make our entire setup more mobile and conducive to collaboration, no matter where we were.
Here’s what our new setup looks like:
- Dropbox for teams provides the cloud storage and syncing for our main design files, fonts, etc.
- The Mac-Mini is the primary storage account for our Dropbox for teams
- When we are in the office, we work directly from the mini to reduce over the air lag
- If we’re out of the office, in Tahiti for 2 months for example, we choose the folders we need to share from the Dropbox web interface and start working
- Shared files are automatically updated to our Mac-Mini server and anyone else sharing that folder
- For our website source, we now create local Git repositories and push updates to Beanstalk
- Beanstalk acts as our central repository in the sky and allows us to see commits made by the entire team as well as pull the most recent versions no matter where they were made
- We have a development server set up for each site we work on, and, once code is stable, deployments are pushed via Beanstalk to avoid forgotten files or versioning issues
- For communication, we use a Campfire to share thoughts, commit logs and amazing animated gifs
So far so good with the new setup. We’ve enjoyed working from home, the porch, the coffee shop and beyond.
Let us know if you have any other ideas to make our setup more seamless or if you have questions about how something works. Here’s to Freedom!