The 6 tools that keep my design and marketing business running
In this day in age, technology is something we really can’t live with out. I’ve reaped the rewards by using some of the following tools that keep my business running smoothly. Check them out below!
I've talked about Pinterest before in my design process blog. It's my favorite app for collecting inspiration and also getting to know a client's style before a new project begins. While I use Pinterest to create mood boards, I also use to inspire myself. It’s a great place to get my creative juices flowing and I can see what some of my favorite people and publications are up to. A few of my faves are @dominomag, @designlovefest and @theeverygirl.
Where would I be with out Evernote? Last year I made a promise to myself to get more organized and declutter. I started using Evernote to replace random word docs I saved with notes and scratched the hand scribbled unorganized notes.
"Evernote is a cross-platform, freemium app designed for note taking, organizing, and archiving. ... The app allows users to create a "note" which can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, a photograph, a voice memo, or a handwritten "ink" note. Notes can also have file attachments."
Evernote allows you to schedule reminders, clips emails, tag notes and more. I keep running checklist's of all my client’s and my personal projects. When a client emails a request with lots of info and attached documents, I simply click to save it Evernote and review the project when I am ready. No more digging through emails or trying to remember what a client asked. Game changer!
This app saves you serious time! IFTTT allows you to do more with the apps and services you love. IFTTT (IF THIS THAN THAT) allows your apps to talk each other and create what are called "applets". Some of my favorite applets are used to connect my social media platforms. Here are some examples
SPEAKING OF DROPBOX - I run my business on this platform/app. I have thousands of client files that I keep stored in dropbox. Dropbox can be accessed via web or you can selectively sync files you use frequently to your computer. I can sleep at night knowing if my computer dies, my files are safe in the cloud. Peace of mind, people! Not only is it helpful to know my files are backed up, but I can send hyperlinks to large files to anyone at anytime. I remember the days of “zipping files” and uploading to FTP sites. We’ve come a long way!
5. Adobe CC
This almost goes without saying, but as a designer I can’t live with out Adobe CC. I create all my mood boards and brand designs in Adobe Illustrator. I also use Illustrator for creating wireframes for web projects. I use InDesign frequently to create booklets, documents, flyers, interactive forms and more. Whenever you see a well designed PDF, likely it was made in InDesign. I use Photoshop for everything from retouching photographs to changing images for web resolution for quick load times online. And finally, Adobe Acrobat. Acrobat is a must have for my business.
So I just started using Planoly to manage my instagram feed. I used to avoid worrying about my posts, but now I really know the value of a well planned feed. Planoly let’s me view my grid before I publish and schedule out posts ahead of time. I’ve been using it for LMC for a while and am incorporating it into my client’s marketing plans. It’s helpful - And free depending on what you need it for.
These are just a few of the tools I use on a daily basis. Of course, there are many others I use but these really make a difference.
Not only are they helpful for a designer, but they can help organize and automate many other businesses. I encourage you to check them out!