Tools: My 5 favorite tools for everyday design & business

Whenever I am starting a new project, personal or business, I have a set of tools I find myself going back to over and over again. 

Here are five faves that I go to time and time again when executing marketing projects: 

1. Pinterest - While this could easily become a time-suck for many perusing DYI projects or recipes, it is my favorite spot to find creative inspiration, tips and tricks and resources. I use it all the time to get the creative juices flowing when starting new projects or when I am stuck and need some fresh thinking.  There are helpful tutorials, visual inspiration and awesome advice from other designers and marketers.  

2. Mailchimp - Every good business needs a concise branded email marketing platform. Mailchimp makes managing lists easier than ever. After I have created the perfect design template, I can show clients how to manage their own campaigns and lists. However, many clients want to be hands-off. That's where number 3 comes in. 

3. Campaign Monitor -  I understand that some clients don't want to manage their own email marketing and prefer to leave to the experts (that's me!) This is when I turn to campaign monitor. I can manage all the back-end moving parts of an email campaign and design , and the client can simply login in and review the results. No getting their hands dirty here!  Both email campaign tools are wonderful, one is more for the "do-it-yourself-er", and the other is better for the "the-less-on-my-plate-the-better!"

4. Google Webmaster Tools - The second I take on a new website client, I set them up with Google Websmaster tools. If they are already have their current site on webmaster tools, I head over and start analyzing their traffic. This helps when making decisions about the pages naming, layout, navigation and so much more!

5. Survey Monkey - You wont know, unless you ask. Right?  I've been using SurveyMonkey for years for everything from event follow up, customer service or industry surveys. Its intuitive, easy to use and exporting your collected data into usable reports is quick and easy. It's also easy for me to set up for clients who want data, but don't want to mess with the hassle of creating the survey. Once an account is created, we can easily distribute and collect vital data for clients. 

These are just a few of my most trusted and used tools for marketing projects. As technology grows, my list gets bigger...however I always find myself utilizing the above 5 on a regular basis.