Web designers are always on the lookout for tools to help them be more productive. If you’re freelancing or a part of a small web design team, having a productive workflow allows you to get more work done and so you can make that extra money or have some much-needed time off. I’ve gathered ten of the best tools for increasing your productivity and improving your workflow. Let me know if you use any of these tools or have any other favorites by leaving a message in the comment section below.
Things is simply one of the best to-do apps on the marketplace. A simple interface allows you to keep up with what needs to be done and by when. And unlike many of the other to-do apps, Things looks fantastic! The design alone makes it worth the purchase. This is a Mac only app (sorry PC fans) and there’s a great iPhone app to help you keep your lists on the go.
2. Remember The Milk
If you don’t have the money but still want a great to-do app, Remember The Milk offers a free service to help manage your to-do list. Easy to use and can be accessed from anywhere with Internet access. There’s also iPhone and Android apps for it so another plus there.
3. Google Docs
If you’re not using Google Apps for your design business, you should start immediately. Besides the great email and calendaring programs, Google Docs allows you to create, manage, and update documents, spreadsheets and more online for free. This is even better for a small team who can modify documents and keep projects up-to-date from anywhere.
4. Little Snapper
Need a great tool for capturing and organizing inspiration you find online? Use Little Snapper to capture and tag bits of inspiration and build a full database of textures, layouts, graphics and ideas. Mac only.
Similar to Little Snapper, Evernote is a catch-all system for organizing all your stuff. Use it for jotting down quick notes or keeping some content in a place where you know you have it all. The best part about it is the amazing search functionality that searches everything (even text found within images). Paid and free versions available.
Project management is key for efficient productivity. The fine folks at 37signals created the mother of all project management apps when they created Basecamp. While it may not have every feature under the sun, it does what it needs to do–manage projects–and does it better than any other app out there. Paid and free versions available.
Another awesome project management tool, Subernova adds time-keeping and invoicing to a feature-rich framework perfect for freelance designers in need of a client system. Plans cost $14.99 per month (or $149.99 for a year) and there’s a free 30-day trial.
Ronin is a simple and stylish time tracking and invoicing app with freelancers and designers in mind. Several plans for every design team.
RescueTime is a web-based time management and analytics tool for knowledge workers who want to be more efficient and productive. It tracks your time and can even block distracting websites. Free and Paid Plans available.
Xmarks seamlessly syncs all of your bookmarks and favorites across browsers and computers. Use it to keep track of your inspiring websites, resources, and fantastic articles (like this one) that you need to save for later.