For a web designer, optimizing productivity means finding a workflow that allows you to spend more time on the design work itself. But in order to focus on building great websites and graphics, you need the right resources at your fingertips. Here are five of the best to provide you with the creative and organizational tools you need to get the most from your working hours.
Organize Your Visual Inspiration with a Lightbox
With a ShutterstockLightbox you can file images and vector designs for each project you’re working on, keeping visual aids organized and easily accessible. Lightboxes can also be used to share images, so when you’re brain storming ideas, branding and rebranding or working to achieve the right visual tone, you can send clients links to your Lightbox, giving them early insight into your creative approach and facilitating in-depth dialogue between designer and client.
Promote Creative Collaboration
When it comes to running a tight design ship, effective communication and teamwork are key. Without honing these skills, you can be sure that you won’t be using your creative powers to their full potential, because you’ll be losing valuable design time to communication issues. But when it comes to improving collaboration – both within teams and across teams – there is no one-size-fits-all solution. To find the best way forward, take the time to assess existing strengths and weaknesses. Take a look at this collaboration guide to diagnose your team’s communication pitfalls.
Get Instant Feedback on Your Work
With any creative activity, there comes a time where you are no longer the best judge of your work. Websites require thorough technical testing and feedback on aesthetics and functionality in order to get them into the best possible shape. That’s where Bounce comes in. Bounce allows you to share annotated screenshots of your site with a community of experts and enthusiasts, which is great if you want a general sense of how your design is received. Great, too, if you want answers to more specific queries, as long as you make them clear in your screenshot notes.
Promote Effective Time Management
Organize and prioritize a range of different to-do-lists, with user-friendly app, Things. List your design projects, categorize work tasks, update and check your schedule and give yourself helpful electronic reminders, all through this small-but-powerful tool. And when you download Things Cloud you can share your to-do-lists across Mac, iPhone, iPad, etc.
If your mind or your mouse tend to wander on the job, then Rescue Time is for you. It can monitor the way you use your computer and the internet, spots the least efficient aspects of your working day, and provides advice on how to enhance productivity. There are also settings to allow you to account for each block of time spent away from your desk. A must-have for time-conscious design professionals.