A work-from-anywhere diva is only as good as her toolkit.
So the first thing you do when you start building your business and developing promotional material? Develop a toolkit. The best possible toolkit you can get your hands on. Search out new programs and try new tools until you find the stuff that fits best. Then get rid of stuff. Then add new stuff (ad infinitum). Try everything, weed out the stuff that doesn’t 100% add to your workflow. I can’t tell you the number of project management tools that I’ve tried (for 1 week) through the years.
My toolkit has been building since I started freelancing in 2009, but it’s always changing – always improving. I know there’s so much for me to explore (especially when it comes to launching webinars and producing video resources). But for now, this is where I’m at.
Every freelancer and entrepreneurial go-getter has their own toolkit. It’s what we use to create – it’s the environment we curate in our home offices, and the templates and programs that let us put our unique spin on the world of design, or consulting, or education, or whatever.
My own toolkit starts with my physical workspace and extends into my digital realm, where the quality of my designs depend on using the best fonts, programs, graphics, and templates.
Here are the exact tools that amp up my productivity every day:
My Physical Workspace:
- Kneeling chair instead of a standard chair (if you have a habit of crossing your legs, this will SAVE your back!
- Standing desk topper from Varidesk
- Small Wacom Tablet
- 24″ monitor (if you’re looking to splurge a bit…)
Keeping things organized…
- Trello for task management
- Freshbooks for accounting
- Dropbox for file storage (Here’s a review of Dropbox and alternative options)
- Google Drive for sharing documents & outlines
- Evernote for personal notes & brainstorming
For Collecting Resources…
- Design Cuts font & graphics packs
- Creative Market for fonts, patterns, and templates
- Adobe Stock for photos & vectors
- Google Webfonts for beautiful free fonts for web use
- Dafont for free handwritten and script fonts (best for Photoshop graphics and print collateral)
- I recommend Canva for beginners, but when you’re ready to step it up a notch, try these pro tools
- Pages for creating PDF resources ($20 on the Mac app store)
- Adobe Photoshop for creating graphic & web mockups ($49/month for access to all the Adobe programs – more pricing & comparison info in this fabulous article here)
- Adobe Illustrator for crafting logos and icons
- Acrobat Pro for creating interactive PDF documents ($14/month without an Adobe subscription)
So which programs amp up YOUR productivity? There’s so much out there…