Anyone who knows me knows I love a great productivity tool. I’m usually spending my time watching videos on new software while I wait for my photoshop batching or video renders. Once or twice it’s bitten me in the butt when I’ve forgotten to cancel before a tool I’m using charges me. But to me, it’s all worth it. Everyone’s needs are unique and I encourage you to take time and find the right tools that fit your flow.
Running a design studio in 2019 means you need Adobe CC, there was an era where you could get pass on alternative programs (Quark Express, Sony Vega Etc), but I’ve found that collaborating and working with national brands requires me to use the popular tools for seamless integration. Luckily for me, I attended an Adobe Certified Learning Centre and thoroughly enjoy the whole suite and it’s ability to make my life easier with Dynamic Link. Dynamic Link allows you to use “instances” of an asset through all their programs, so when you edit one it will edit all linked assets. With different plans for different types of creatives, Adobe CC is almost a no brainer.
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Front end editors are super powerful and make me sometimes wonder if today’s designer will even remember what it was like having to write pages and pages of CSS. You use to need a great theme with just the right features to make your WordPress workflow easier. Now front-end builders likes of Oxygen or Elementor do the work for you and sit on any theme you have installed. A common trend among front end page builders is the constant feature updates, which keeps them far ahead in the web design game. After messing with few, Elementor is by far the most feature-rich and frequently updated.
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When I started my last “normal” job, Asana had just come out and my then Team Lead had just jumped on board. I fell in love immediately. As someone who came from Basecamp, Asana was a breath of beautiful air. They factor two thing that to me changed the game. 1 The visual creatives. If you care about how things look, this is a great tool to see all your hundreds of tasks neat and balanced with leading and kerning. 2 How one actually does things day to day. Their “My Task” section was exactly how I completed work daily, encouraging me to use to select items to do today, verse tomorrow or sometime in the future. Nailing the project management tool you use is probably the most important of all. No matter how talented or in-demand you are, if you’re not organized it will affect your bottom line.
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I’ve been using Drip for almost 2 years now, with no plans on changing. I moved to Drip from Mail Chimp and is become a significate change to my business. It was built for marketers and now more specifically eCommerce. I now manage email marketing for clients and couldn’t imagine doing the advance triggering and workflows with mail chimp. If you plan on growing, Drip can give you the headspace to do so.
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As a designer jumping in as a business owner I had a lot to learn about sales funnels. A LOT. After reading and seeing many examples and snooping with my browser “Show Source Code” I could tell who the major players were. Unfortunately, a lot of them all looked the same. The only one designed really well as Lead Pages, but for someone like me just starting out, I found the price too high. Thrive Lead, is not perfect, but they make it easy for those starting out with its vast learning section. Now I can customize so no one knows its a plugin on my site and still have all the features.
Check out Thrive Leads