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

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

Total Spaces

This app makes your mission control awesome!

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

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

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

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 I immediately fell in love with Rightfont. Here’s why:

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

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

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

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.


I would love to know which programs help you kick ass! Comment below or share with us on twitter!