12 Tools And Sites I Use To Run My Web-Design Business
Running your own business can be quite a challenge sometimes! But fortunately for us there are some cool folks out there who create tools and sites to help get things done better and faster. I’m often asked what tools and sites I use and why, so here it is! Note that many of the tools on this list are for the Mac.
I started using Event Box just a couple months ago and have to say it’s great! In fact it’s more than great! You see, I’m online quite a bit for work and I read a ton of RSS feeds, well Event Box helps me keep track of those feeds and also check on Twitter, Facebook and Flickr. Definitely a great tool that helps me be more productive and up to date with what’s going on in the design community!
Well, this one is a no-brainer, I don’t think Adobe needs any introduction. I use mostly FireWorks, Photoshop and Illustrator. Oh and yes I think FireWorks is a bit under-rated, I use it all the time and it does what I need and more. Most of what I do is web-related, and FW and PS will usually do the trick! :)
A lot of the sites I build run on WordPress. Why? Cause I think it’s a very flexible platform and the support you get from the community is awesome! I don’t see WordPress as a ‘blogging only’ platform, it’s so much more than that!
Simply put, Text Wrangler is my favorite text editor! I use it to write markup, css, etc… as well as a regular text editor (though I’ll sometimes use Text Edit)
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere. – What Is Evernote
Need I say more? Definitely one cool tool I use quite often!
Whether I need an image to insert in a blog post or I need something like an icon or a specific image for a website, I often turn to iStockPhoto! The images are reasonably priced and they sometimes offer extended licenses, which is nice.
Flickr is great not only for finding images for blog posts and articles (kinda like iStockPhoto, except many images are free to use – just make sure you check the Creative Commons license before using them) but also for networking with designers and photographers. I have a pro account and it’s worth every penny!
Launch Bar is a great alternative to the famous QuickSilver. I know many Mac users swear by QuickSilver, but for some reason I’m sticking to Launch Bar. Maybe it’s cause I like the (very simple) interface better.
When you design websites you need to be able to check your coded designs in different browsers (ah IE6!). Of course you can run BootCamp on OS X and install Windows, but you need to reboot when you want to go on Windows. Nah! I prefer using Parallels and run Windows ‘inside’ OS X. What a time-saver!
Pixel Mator is a really nice alternative to Photoshop! Of course you can do more with Photoshop than you can with Pixel Mator, but why fire up PS when all you wanna do is resize/crop or tweak an image real quick? And there’s a huge price difference between the two :)
MAMP is one kick-ass piece of software! When I left for a 1 month tour with my band in September 08, I knew internet access would be limited and I needed something to run MySQL, PHP and Apache locally. MAMP Pro is a must-have tool if you need a local developing environment.
Freshbooks is what I use to track my time and send invoices to my clients. They make it real easy to keep track of everything related to invoicing. I’ve been using them for a almost a year and will definitely keep using them for a long time! Also, the iPhone/iPod touch app rocks!
Your Turn To Talk
So there you have it, my list of the tools and sites I use the most! Now I guess it’s your turn! Mind sharing your favorite tools with the rest of us? What do you use for invoicing, development, design, etc…? See ya in the comments! :)