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Welcome James,

Here’s Issue #4. If you missed last week’s issue or just joined, you have access to the entire archive here. Happy reading!

The Must-have List of Apps for Designers 

My home setup. 

Hope you’re having a great week! I have a small announcement to make. I have decided to turn my weekly newsletter to a fortnightly one. Why? I really don’t want to be rushing my newsletters just to meet deadlines. I hope the extra week wait makes you want the next edition even more ;) So without further ado.. 

Why is there never enough time in a day? There are 1,440 minutes in a day but we still seem to struggle to tick off our to-do-lists. The role of the designer has evolved over the years and our responsibilities have increased. But there are still only 1,440 minutes in a day. How do we make the most of our time? How do we become more efficient? How do we become more productive? 

Automate the tedious and repetitive tasks.

Since I’m freelancing fulltime I’m always looking for new apps and tools to help me make the most of my time. Over the years I’ve developed a nifty suite of apps that I think are a must have for all designers. If I’m missing any, please share with me on Twitter @mizko, I’ll be sure to credit you :)
 

Design Tools

  • Window Resizer
    • A free Chrome extension that lets you easily resize your browser to popular screen sizes. Great for responsive design inspiration.
       
  • Awesome Color Picker
    • Grab any colour’s HEX code within the browser.
       
  • Awesome Screenshot
    • My favourite screenshot Chrome extension at the moment. However keep an eye out, my friend and I are launching something that’s going to be a huge improvement. 
       
  • Icon8
    • Need a quick source for icons? Since I discovered Icon8 I haven’t returned to any icon site in months. It’s such a life saviour, drag and drop straight into Sketch. 
       
  • WhatFont?
    • Have you noticed that you’ve been using the same fonts for multiple projects? WhatFont is a Chrome extension that identifies any font you want. 
       
  • InvisionApp
    • I’m sure you’ve heard about InvisionApp before. It’s definitely worth the investment. Clients love a click through experience of their prototype. 
       
  • TypeAnything
    • I’ve found this web app quite handy. Quickly preview your typography styling in the browser. 
       
  • MockupsJar
    • Too lazy to mask your designs in Photoshop? MockupsJar will do you wonders.

Inspiration

  • Panda
    • I spend 15 minutes every morning reading about the latest design and tech news with this beautiful Chrome extension.
       
  • Behance App
    • Behance is loaded with a ton of great inspiration. 
       
  • Design Hunt
    • Design Hunt is a fairly new iOS app which provides daily design inspiration. Highly recommended. 
       
  • Product Hunt
    • The Product Hunt app is a great place for new ideas about products. I'm blown away by how many new products are submitted every day. 
       

Effieciency

  • Yoink
    • A great app that simplifies drag and dropping on Mac. 
       
  • ClipMenu
    • Neat app that helps you easily manage all your clipboard items. 
       
  • F.lux
    • Makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.
       
  • Zeplin
    • Improve the design handover process to developers. Zeplin makes a developer's life easier by providing all styles and measurements. 
       
  • Tweetdeck
    • Twitter is such a great source of inspiration and news for designers. I manage my daily use with Tweetdeck.
       
  • Spotify
    • Music always helps me focus and be more productive. A premium Spotify membership has never let me down. Definitely worth the investment. 
       

Management

  • Todoist
    • I’ve got Todoist installed on my iPhone, Macbook and iMac. Simple, cloud based and can easily add and mark items as done. 
       
  • Dropbox
    • I’m sure you’ve heard of Dropbox. Definitely my favourite method for managing all my files. 
       
  • Trello
    • Trello is such a great app to manage small to medium sized projects. I tend to manage my columns with “To do, In Progress, Awaiting Feedback and Completed”.
       
  • Freshbooks
    • Hate managing your finance? Freshbooks is definitely worth the $19.95 a month. It has saved me so much time when it comes to end of financial year. A simple click and I have all the figures ready. 
       
  • Mailchimp
    • Dread the process of setting up and sending newsletters? Mailchimp is definitely my preferred email management tool. It does wonders. 

That’s it! I hope there are a few new apps that you can try integrate into your processes this week. If you have any great apps that you think are worth mentioning, please reach me on @mizko. I might even feature you and your recommendation in the next edition :)

I'd love to hear your thoughts and responses on this week's topic. Reach me on Twitter @mizko!

Have a terrific week!

Yours truly,
Michael Wong
PS. Did you enjoy this weeks edition? If so, it would mean the world to me if you shared it with your friends and colleagues. 
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