Tools help you to work faster and smarter, making your life and work a little more delightful. It’s one of the reasons I enjoy being a web designer. I get to use amazing tools that help get things done.
Since I get asked a lot, I’ve put together a list of tools I’ve personally used myself which have saved me time and frustration.
By the way, some of these are referral or affiliate links which means you get special discounts or premium features for free while I get a small reward.
Hover – Hover makes domain name registration and domain management easy, includes domain privacy (a must have for me) at no additional cost, and has great customer service. All my domain names are now registered with Hover. This link gets you $2 off your first purchase.
NOTE: I highly recommend keeping your domain name registration and website hosting with separate companies. Why? You can easily lose your domain name if your web hosting service and domain name expire on the same date. For example, suppose you have your domain name registered with your web hosting provider and forget to renew your web hosting service.
Also, if you decide to change your website hosting in the future, you won’t have to go through the trouble of transferring your domain name. This will save you time and additional cost in the long run.
Evernote – The #1 notetaking app. It’s simple and powerful. It’s like your second brain on all your devices. This link gets you 1 FREE month of premium which means you can access your notebooks offline, search inside PDFs, and more.
LastPass – Organize your logins, generate strong passwords, fill forms with 1 click, and easily share logins with your web designer and team members who also use LastPass. This link gets you 1 FREE month of premium which gets you extra multi-factor authentication options.
Calendly – If you would like to send a custom booking link for different situations, take a look at this simple and beautiful scheduling app. Integrates with Google Calendar. Free and paid plans available.
Skitch – A free and easy way to take screenshots of your computer screen. Features drag-and-drop export, works well with Evernote or by itself.
Snagit – If you like Jing but need more features, check out Snagit. If you need to create some simple graphics but don’t want to dive into a heavy-duty image editor, Snagit is a good option.
Join.me and Appear.in – Free screen sharing, online meetings and team collaboration are all fast and easy. Meeting attendees no longer have to install an app just to meet with you. All they have to do is click a link and they can join the meeting hassle-free.
Trello – A free, flexible, and visual way to organize a project with anyone. The board/card idea is so simple that everyone gets it instantly.
Xmind – Plan and brainstorm online with the most popular mind mapping software free mind mapping tool. Available as free and premium on desktop, mobile, and cloud.
File Sharing and Syncing
Dropbox – Easily sync your files across multiple computers and share with your team. Sign up for a free account with this link and get 500 MB of bonus space.
Getting Into the Zone
Coffitivity – Re-create the sensation of being in a coffee shop to boost your creativity, focus, and productivity. Great for those working from a home office.
Stock Imagery and Media
Freepik – Free vector art, illustrations, icons, PSD and photos to use in your projects with attribution.
ScanSnap Scanner – This scanner is just right for the desktop. It’s small enough to take it with you and big enough that you can scan multiple sheets at a time. This is the scanner I use and recommend.
Scanner Pro (iOS) – When I need to “scan” a paper document on the go, Scanner Pro makes it fast and easy with it’s live and auto edge detection – I rarely need to manually adjust the edges. It also cleans up the scan to make it as readable as possible and enables you to easily share to other apps.
G Suite – Send professional email from your business web address (email@example.com) using Google’s email system. It’s an industry standard and makes collaborating with others easy with access. It’s not just email, you’ll have access to their line of Google apps including calendar, hangouts, docs, spreadsheets, sheets, forms, slides, and more. Starts at just $5/user/month. If you’re interested, email me for a 20% coupon off your first year.
MailChimp – This is the email newsletter service I use and I’ve found their user interface to be clean and friendly. Start with a free plan if you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers. If you have more subscribers or want the premium features, you can upgrade to a paid account. This link will get you $30 in Monkey Rewards if and when you upgrade to a paid account.
Vistaprint – Just starting out, Vistaprint offers business cards, marketing materials, and more. Order with this link and you’ll get $20 off an order of $40 or more.
Moo – Ready for something different? Design and print customized business cards with a different image on each card. Use this link to get a 10% discount on your first order.
Wave Invoicing – Wave’s invoice tools make it easy to bill your clients and get paid. Lots of great features, with no limits on how many customers or invoices. The invoicing web app is free and you just pay the standard credit card processing fee for each card transaction.
HelloSign – Get your contracts signed fast with HelloSign. Your clients can sign off on the agreements you send them from anywhere, at anytime, on any device. HelloSign is compliant with all major eSignature laws and is free for the first 3 documents each month.