Being organized is not something creative types are necessarily known for. However, in managing your freelance design business, it’s a must. In fact, with the exception of one or two, every successful freelancer I know (design or otherwise) has this one thing in common. Organization. Of course there are a lot of different ways to organize your projects, clients, potentials, leads, invoices, etc. And none of them is the definitive, “correct way.” However, I’ve found that having a few select tools can go a long way in making the process a lot easier and even enjoyable. So I’ve rounded up a short, but what I hope is a very helpful, list of tools for managing your freelance design business.
Open source applications and tools are a great alternative for web designers on a budget. Many open source tools have comparable features to the expensive applications, and are also free. This makes it possible possible for a web designer to have all the tools and applications needed to complete everyday tasks without even spending a cent.
Since typography is one of the most challenging and important aspects of web design, it’s important to have useful tools that can make things easier. Here’s a list of tools that will be a big help in making your typography beautiful, and you won’t even have to leave your browser.
If you’re unfamiliar with Adobe AIR, it’s a cross-operating system platform that allows developers to use HTML, Ajax, and Flash to build desktop applications. In the past couple of years AIR has gained a lot of popularity, and there’s been a lot of great applications created, including some that are very useful to web designers.
Web designers are often website owners. If you fall into this category, you have probably already realized the importance of knowing and understanding who is coming to your site and what they are doing while they’re there. Whether you are running a blog or an e-commerce site, this information is vital. That’s why it’s key to have a good set of tools providing you with website analytics.
“Once you use it, you won’t know how you ever survived without it” is a well worn cliche, applied over the years to every new technological development or advancement in gadgetry made available to the masses. The mobile phone, the electric toothbrush, ceramic hair straighteners – every important discovery of the technological era has been tarred with this overused tagline.
Whether you are designing a clean corporate website or a grunge portfolio site, color is going to play a major role in how the design is perceived by the audience. That’s why it’s important to get the colors right upfront. There are plenty of tools out there made especially for this, but like anything else some are better than others. Here are 10 color tools that I think are exceptionally useful.