If you interact with people in different countries like I do, you know how difficult it is to coordinate a meeting when the parties are in different timezones. Available from the App Store for about $5, World Clock gives you a visual representation of what time of day it is for your co-workers and clients around the world.
Helpful Resources for Web Designers
When it comes to web design, the applications and services you use play an essential part in your productivity and results. Check out my list of 42 greatly useful tools and resources for web designers and front-end developers below.
Full disclosure: some of the links in this list are affiliate links, which means I may receive a couple of bucks off of your purchase (no additional cost to you) if you happen to click the link and buy a product or service I truly recommend. In other words, my next Starbucks drink could be from you – thank you!
Pexels is a website that helps designers, bloggers and everyone who is looking for an image to find great photos that you can use everywhere for free. All photos on Pexels are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means you can use them at no cost for any personal and/or commercial purpose.
Just like on Pexels, all photos published on Unsplash are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero license which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes. You can even create multiple collections to group photos you like. Check Unsplash out, there are fabulous pics there!
Placeholder.com is a free online placeholder service that allows you to insert dummy images during web development. What I like about Placeholder.com is that it is very flexible: you can easily change things like image dimensions, background color, text color, image format. You can even add custom text if necessary.
Subtle Patterns is a great resource for web designers in need of seamless texture patterns, free to use. You can choose among 400+ patterns and each of them is tileable so you can use it as a background image for your web project. I like very much that you are able to easily preview any pattern you selected with just one click.
Coolors is is an online designer tool that allows you to easily combine colors and generate beautiful color palettes. Just press the spacebar to get a fresh new 5-colors palette. Click on the lock icon to keep the colors you like and repeat the process until you have the perfect colors combination that match your needs.
Font Pair is an online designer tool that suggests good pairings of fonts found in the Google Fonts library. You can filter font pairings based on general font classifications like: Sans-Serif/Serif ; Sans-Serif/Sans-Serif ; Cursive/Sans-Serif ; Cursive/Serif ; Serif/Serif. Definitely a great source of inspiration for font lovers!
Typeform is a SaaS (software as a service) company that specializes in online form building. It makes it easy to build and share any type of online forms and surveys thanks to their simple drag and drop interface. Typeform is free but you can subscribe to their Pro plans if you expect more than 100 responses per month.
Adobe Creative Cloud is a SaaS (software as a service) offering from Adobe that gives users access to a collection of software for graphic design, video editing, web development, photography, and cloud services. I personally subscribed to the Photography plan which includes Lightroom CC and Photoshop CC.
Feedly is my go-to news aggregator to stay up-to-date on topics I want to follow. Just add the URLs of the blogs or websites you like and Feedly will automatically find the matching RSS feeds. You can use it on various web browsers and mobile devices running iOS and Android, and it is also available as a cloud-based service.
Skitch is an app that gives you all the tools you need to visually communicate ideas, share feedback and collaborate with clients. Use an existing image or capture a screenshot, then write on it, draw on it, annotate it any way you like, and save it to your Evernote account so that it is available everywhere Evernote is.
Yoast SEO is freemium WordPress plugin I install on every site. It incorporates everything from a snippet editor and real time page analysis functionality that helps clients optimize their pages content, images titles, meta descriptions and more to XML sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between. It’s a must-have!
FusionInvoice is a self-hosted invoicing system for freelancers and small businesses. I’ve been using it for several years and it had helped my web development business look more professional. I also really like the simplistic dashboard that just shows what you really want to see at a glance.
Running your own URL shortener is fun, geeky and useful: you own your data and don’t depend on third party services. It’s also a great way to add branding to your short URLs instead of using the same public URL shortener everyone uses. I recommend you install and set up YOURLS which is hosted on GitHub and free to use.
Dropshare for Mac is a menu bar app that enables you to upload files, screenshots and even directories to your own server like Amazon S3, Rackspace, Google Drive, etc. One thing I really like about it is that you can set up a custom URL shortener for your upload URLs. This is very helpful when sharing links on social media.
Trello is a cross-platform and freemium collaboration tool that organizes your team projects into boards and cards. In one glance, you know what’s being worked on, who’s working on what, and where something is in a process. I use Trello to list and manage all the tasks I need to accomplish on each web client project.
Using Dropbox on your Mac or PC is just like using any other folder on your hard drive, except the files you drag into your Dropbox folder automatically sync online and to any other computers or mobile devices linked to your account. I am a Dropbox Pro plan subscriber and I use it to store up to 1 TB of data and share files with clients.
Evernote is a cross-platform, freemium app designed for note taking, organizing, and archiving. It allows you to create a note which can be a piece of formatted text, a full webpage or webpage excerpt, an image, a voice memo, or a handwritten note. I use Evernote mostly to store research for both personal and professional projects.