It's time to stop being a busy fool

Are web designers/developers prone to becoming busy fools?

The thought crossed my mind as I chatted to a friend about some upcoming projects. We always seem to be so busy, but busy not actually getting things done.

Whether we are spending time trying to learn/keep up with new technologies, or time trying to develop processes into our workflow there seems to be an endless list of things just sapping the time away. Then there is being driven down on costs and being too nice and doing things for free/cheap, suddenly you are spending an evening working on something you are not even going to get paid for!

Things are definitely more complicated in the world of building websites than it used to be. On top of the nicely formatted html/css and images, we should really be using a css pre processor, and our Javascript framework of choice. Next comes image optimisation, minimising scripts and oh don't forget the site needs to work in multiple devices and across various browsers...

Here I come to save the day! Enter GRUNTJS

For a change one of those new technologies that I needed to get round to looking at has actually turned out to be a real time saver, and to make it even better it was easy to get to grips with and build into my working practices. I heard about GruntJS by chance thanks to the Sass newsletter (check it out), I know it has actually been around for a while and there are other tools like Gulp but it was next to look at on my "yet another thing to learn" list.

GruntJS is a task automater, so with a little set up at the beginning of a project you can set up SCSS compiling, image optimisation and script minification. It can even be set up to ftp on save too though you would only want to do this to a development environment!

You will need to know your way around a Javascript function and be comfortable using command line in order to set it up and set Grunt watching when you work on a project but once set up it is a simple as saying "grunt watch" from the directory your project is in.

There is a great article by Chris Coyier which will take you through the process and once you are done you will find loads of plugins to do even more for you!

The added bonus of using this method is you can really focus on crafting your Sass, breaking it into various partials works so well now you don't have to go back to your main scss and compile it. Now I just need to decide what to use all this freed up time for!

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Sush Kelly
Digital Director, Imaginate

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