The Tools We Use

Here’s a look at various tools we use and how we use them.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Creative Cloud is a suite of powerful tools that we use to generate all kinds of content as part of our work.


We use Compete to help with analyze web traffic for all of our products including our own Smart Chicago Collaborative website. The graphic above is the site traffic for the last thirteen months.


At Smart Chicago, we end up generating a ton of content, meeting notes, graphics, and other miscellaneous things. We’re also a very collaborative organization which means that we have to be able to share content seamless and in real time. To accomplish this, we use Dropbox.


We have bought advertising on Facebook in order to drive traffic to our website and our Civic User Testing site.


We use Github extensively to host all of our open source repositories. We also use the issues function to help with project management. You can take a look at all of our projects here.


We buy our domain names from GoDaddy. All Smart Chicago domains are owned by the Chicago Community Trust.


The Smart Chicago Collaborative has limited space on an Amazon Web Services account and a Heroku account for developers to host projects that make lives better in Chicago through technology. We also use AWS to host all of our own projects as well.


We use Mailchimp to send out our email campaigns for the CivicUser Testing Group.  We’ve integrated the program that manages the CUTgroup into Mailchimp and Wufoo in order to facilitate recruitment and scheduling of civic user testers.


We use Meetup to manage the OpenGov Chicago and Illinois OpenTech meetup groups. We like because it helps us communicate quickly with our membership without any fuss.

Mobile Citizen

The amazingly small pocket modem from MobileCitizen

We use Mobile Citizen’s devices to provide us with a 4G internet connection when we’re travelling to different sites around the city.


We use Wufoo forms extensively to collect information from our users across all products. Wufoo’s API makes it extremely useful to integrate into our products.


Zapier is an app integration service that we use with a number of our products.