As a graphic designer and small business owner, sometimes you feel like you are a jack of all trades and it can become very overwhelming very quickly. Having the right tools in place can a long way towards streamlining processes and running a successful business.
Here are some helpful apps and websites that I use every day to help me run my creative business.
*01. DUBSADO - dubsado.com
If you're going to invest in one thing for you business, let this be it! Dubsado has been an incredible project management tool for my business. It allows you to organise every aspect of your projects from contracts, emails and invoices through to to-do lists, notes and workflows. You can automate responses completely streamlining your process, as well as organise everything in one place to easily refer back to any aspect of a project. It automatically adds projects to your calendar so you can visually see project timelines, as well as adding in important meetings and catch ups. One of the best features is that it allows you to trial it for free for the first three projects, which means you get to use all of the features at your own pace before investing. In my opinion, it's worth every dollar.
01. PLANOLY - planoly.com
My go-to when curating my content for the gram and Pinterest. It allows me to easily plan out my feed, group all my hashtags in categories and easily add them to my posts, schedule and auto-post (including auto-posting hashtags into my first comment) my content, just to name a few. Their free version allows you to use most of the features and is a great way to test the app before you commit.
02. BOLD TEXT - lingojam.com
Have you noticed everyone using bold text on Instagram recently? Well it's nowhere near as complicated as you might think. I use Lingo Jam's online generator, but there are plenty of websites out there that do the same thing. You simply type your text into the box, it shoots the alternate text options out and you just copy and paste. Simple as that!
03. GIF TO VIDEO - convertio.co
Every wondered how people are able to post GIF's to Instagram? Once you've created your GIF in Photoshop simply upload it to Convertio and it will convert it to an MP4 ready for Instagram. I love Convertio because it's completely free, quick and it won't leave a watermark on your video.
03. HASHTAG RESEARCH - displaypurposes.com
This one was a game changer for me. It's a very powerful tool to help you research the top hashtags for your posts and begin to curate a list of tags that work best for you.
01. UNSPLASH - unsplash.com
My go-to website for all things photography. It is an endless source of beautiful imagery from real photographers that can help bring your project to life or add a little extra to your online content. All the photos are free as long as you attribute correctly and are relatively high in resolution making them great for client proposals or digital use.
02. STOCKSY - stocksy.com
Sometimes, you just need something that's a little more high-end or tailored to that certain project. Stocksy provides beautiful, high quality images and videos created specifically for creatives, by other creatives. It's paid, but it's so worth the investment.
03. PEXELS - pexels.com
Similar to Unsplash, Pexels is another royalty free stock site producing beautiful, high end images. Between the two websites I can usually find the perfect image for the project I'm working on.
03. PINTEREST - pinterest.com
Might be an obvious one, but it is invaluable. I build a lot of my mood boards using images pulled from Pinterest and am constantly looking through here for design (and life) inspiration. When used correctly, it's also a great marketing tool for your business.
*01. CREATIVE MARKET - creativemarket.com
Almost anything you need a mock up for Creative Market will have. It's an ever evolving thread of beautifully designed, fully editable mock ups that will elevate your designs.
*02. MOYO STUDIO - moyo-studio.com
Before discovering MOYO Studio I was spending hours trying to create mock ups myself through Photoshop and let me tell you, they certainly never looked anywhere near as beautiful as MOYO's do. For years I've been using their mock ups in client presentations, for social media content and throughout my website and the effect its had on my business is phenomenal. They offer loads of free images and Photoshop mock ups, as well as an ever growing collection of paid options.
Mock up from MOYO Studio
03. REBECCA BERRINGTON - rebeccaberrington.com
A recent discovery of mine, but one I am so delighted I found. Housing a range of some of the most beautiful mock ups in the beauty/cosmetics/skincare realm, they're sure to elevate your brand and are very hard to beat in terms of value for money.
04. MOCK UP WORLD - mockupworld.co
A great source of free (or very affordable) mockups. Great for client presentations, displaying work in your portfolio or creating interesting content for your Instagram or website.
01. CREATIVE MARKET - creativemarket.com
My first point of call for fonts. I use Creative Market more than any other font website as it has the biggest range of on-trend fonts. I am constantly discovering new typefaces to use personally and professionally. They're all paid fonts, but they're so affordable and worth every dollar.
02. DA FONT - dafont.com
With millions of different fonts to choose from you’re sure to find a font that suits your project. All fonts are free for personal use and majority are available for commercial use via a small online donation.
03. MY FONTS - myfonts.com
Another great source of paid fonts. It's easy to navigate and has a great tool that allows you to type specific words in (for example the brand name you're working with) so you can see how it looks in that typeface before committing to buying it.
04. ADOBE FONTS - fonts.adobe.com
My favourite source of free fonts. If you have an Adobe account (which you will if you have Adobe CC installed) then you have access to millions of fonts through Adobe Fonts. Simply jump on the website, activate the font you're wanting to use and then watch it magically appear in your font library when you open your programs.
If you have any other websites that are useful resources, I'd love to know them.
Simple leave them in the comments below.
* Affiliate Partner
This is an affiliate link. I am very conscious when deciding who I partner with and would only ever recommend a product if I have used and believe in the service they are offering.
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