Despite thoughts of a freelancer or designer conjuring images of coffee shops, MacBooks and funky office spaces our businesses still need to work like finely oiled machines.
So, because a listicle of five is for wimps, here are the top six technologies that have helped me grow my business and become the greatest graphic designer in all of Hertfordshire…they also help to keep me sane in this mad world we work in, well that and coffee, but that’s another blog!!!
1. Adobe Creative Cloud
Having signed up a fairly impressive 6 million customers since it launched 3 ½ years ago, I am not the only designer to wax lyrically about the pros of this innovation. However, that certainly won’t deter me from adding my own two pennies worth. Offering a full range of creative tools, the Adobe Creative Cloud includes 28 desktop products and 10 mobile apps, and even allows its users to design offline. Somewhat predictably I use InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop, however there really is something for everyone to curb all those creative cravings.
2. Adobe Colour CC
A fantastic tool, I turn to the Adobe Colour CC when I’m a little stuck for inspiration and all the colours seem to blur into one messy smudge. Doing what it says on the tin, Adobe Colour CC offers the full spectrum of colours, and helps me define a new brand identity and image far more clearly.
3. Free Agent
Not only does the name of this app evoke a level of glamour, but Free Agent is a massive help to this humble designer. Using some impressive technology it provides an exceptionally easy method of keeping track of your accounts, sending invoices and even includes an automatic feed to your business bank account - a pretty helpful tool.
The designers are currently running an enticing offer. If you (as one of my loyal readers) sign up today, we both get a 10% discount just click on http://fre.ag/38v2x30s or use referral code 38v2x30s.
4. Capsule CRM
For those who don’t know, a CRM is an invaluable tool for any business. Helping you monitor and maintain relationships it can enhance your sales and marketing efforts. Easy to navigate and equipped with all the necessary trimmings Capsule CRM is where I store my business contacts, track my opportunities and perhaps, most importantly, create those to-do lists that offer such a great deal of satisfaction.
I’m not sure what my life looked like before Toggl, but it has certainly been a rich addition to my working day. Allowing me to track the number of hours I work, the smart people at Toggl then convert these into apparently “sexy” reports. Now, whilst I question the use of the word sexy, these reports are still mightily useful. Ensuring my client relationships are open and honest, they help enhance my business and build on my reputation.
Zapier is one of those exceptionally cool start-ups, that after four years in the business already has something of a cult following. Cleverly, the folks of Zapier allow you to integrate your apps, giving them the opportunity to talk to each other. Allowing you to do clever things like copy emails to Evernote or extract email addresses from PayPal to Mailchimp it makes technology that much more useful. And for all those laborious tasks you find yourself doing continuously, it now offers multi-step Zaps to bring some form of workflow, potentially saving you hours over the year.
Do you use any other technologies? I’d love to hear from you.
Feel free to drop me a line or give me a call on +44 (0) 20 8088 2153.