Top 10 Productivity Tools for Designers

Because tools were created to help you.

If you follow me on Twitter you have probably noticed¬†I’m an app and workflow junky. I’m always on the lookout for good¬†software¬†that can help streamline my work and simplify my life.

If a software takes me 30 min to learn and setup, cost me a few bucks but saves me 2 minutes a day I get a full return on investment in a few days. Totally worth the few bucks at the app store.

Here are my top 10 Macbook Pro productivity tools I use for every day to design, manage projects and life.

Total Finder

Total_FInder

This app bulks up your Finder with extremely handy functionalities, here are my top highlights:

  • Visor functionality – This simply allows to have a sticky finder that pops up and down with your favorite shortcut¬†(mine is¬†‚Ćė+‚Ćė) No more floating windows all over the place!
  • Files Cut & Paste – You can cut & paste files with the¬†default¬†‚Ćė+X shortcut.
  • Enhanced color labeling¬†– Because the simple dots¬†just don’t cut it.

Total Spaces

Total_Spaces

This app makes your mission control awesome!

Alfred App

Alfred_App

This is like Spotlight on steroids that¬†ate kryptonite and then got bit by a genetically modified spider. It’s the best. Here is why:

Copy’m Paste

Copy'm_Paste

After trying EVERY single clipboard app out there this has been the one that helps me the most and is great addition designers toolkit because mainly for two reasons:

  • ¬†Clipboard¬†History¬†–¬†This app keeps track of all my clipping, even Photoshop and Illustrator clippings!
  • Text Formatting¬†– I can easily paste text as plane text, or even convert it in¬†uppercase / lowercase / titlecase

This app is also very promising but as of now it does not offer a visual preview for Illustrator / Photoshop clippings.

Sip

Sip

This is simply a color picker app, I tried countless and this is the best out there. I use it for just one thing:

RightFont

Rightfont

After dumping in the trash $200/y on¬†Suitcase Fusion, a program I would hate even if it was free, I looked for alternatives and immediately fell in love with Rightfont. Here’s why:

Annotate

Annotate

This is the app I use to do this kind of¬†screenshots¬†that¬†you’ll see a lot in this post.

  • Allows me to give feedback¬†efficiently, more clearly and FASTER.
  • It pairs well with Tapes, a simple to use screencast sharing app (sometimes a 30 sec screencast prevents 10 annotated screenshots)

Trello

Trello

A visual project management tool that kept all our project on track for the past 3 years!

  • Simple to use and helps tracking progress via boards
  • Projects are assigned to team members and progress is visible to everyone on the team
  • Trello¬†is web based only service but I use Tab for Trello¬†a lightweight mac app¬†to quickly open the boards anywhere I am.

Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe_Creative_Cloud

Photoshop and illustrator more specifically. Why not Sketch you ask? No, I’m racist,¬†it’s just that I’m f*ing efficient and fast in Photoshop.¬†I know it inside out and even¬†after a 2 weeks Sketch forced trial I found myself still going back to Photoshop a LOT¬†so why be mediocre at¬†two programs when I can master¬†one?

Skype

Skype

Yes, I do not use Slack. No, I’m not a dork. The thing is that I hate having too many programs open at once and I found myself being messaged on: Messages, Skype, gChat and Slack at once so I decided to unify everything under the tool that was the most used and with the most functionalities.

Everyone has a Skype account ¬†and it offers messaging, video conferencing, file sharing,¬†screen sharing and phone calls??? Come on, let’s give Microsoft some credit here, it’s a good program.

We used Google Hangout¬†for a bit but constantly has problems with wrong links being sent, logging in and out of accounts, connection problems and everything has to be done via browser… not for me.

 

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I would love to know which programs help you kick ass! Share with us on twitter! 

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