Take a peak inside my toolbox. This is the software that I use everyday, as a Designerpreneur.
Adobe Creative Suite
Definitely the most important bundle of tools I have. I first started using Photoshop in 2000 and haven’t looked back. Plus, with the ‘Creative Cloud’ offering, you can pay a fixed monthly price and get access to everything. Cost is variable, but starts around $50/m. (Details)
When I first started coding I used Dreamweaver. It was great because as a graphic designer I couldn’t code by hand and this helped me get into the game. After a few years I finally learned to code by hand and was introduced to Coda. That was in 2007 so eight years later I’m still a big fan. Price is around $100 per license. (Details)
Codekit was a real game changer for me. It’s not for writing code - but it does a bunch of really awesome things while you’re coding. Like compile Sass or Less, auto-refresh browsers, and install components with Bower. Their tagline is “It’s like steroids for web developers”, and I agree. Price is around $30/per license. (Details)
This is my secret weapon (and the software I develop at my agency). It's a cloud-based content management system (CMS) that powers this website and all the sites I build for my clients. It streamlines building websites because it has all the features built-in – e-commerce, SEO, memberships, etc. Contact me about pricing. (Details)
I’ve been a customer of Freshbooks for at least 8 years. I can invoice my clients (single or recurring billing), collect payments via credit card or PayPal, even send send snail mail directly from the software. There is also time tracking built in so you can log hours against projects. The other thing about this company is that they’re just really nice people to deal with. Their support is pleasant and always helpful. Monthly subscriptions start around $10/m and go up depending on number of clients. (Details)
4. Project Management
A ton of options have popped up in the past few years to manage projects online. I’m a huge fan of Basecamp. It’s not the cheapest solution on the market but it works so well that I don’t think I could ever change. Subscriptions start around $20/m and go up based on number of active projects. (Details)
When I’m in design mode, music is a must have to get the juices flowing. For years I used Grooveshark but since it shut down, I am now a happy subscriber to Spotify. Monthly subscription is $10 and well worth it. (Details)
Wait… there’s more.
This list is simply the ‘must-have’ software I used daily in my design business - but it’s not everything. I’m also a daily user of Google Docs, Dropbox and a few others.
Are you using something in your business that makes life easier? I'd love to hear your feedback. Post your thoughts in the comments below.