A designer does what he/she is best in not because of her tools, but because of her/his thoughts, ideas and passion! Then why do we need tools, you ask! Because, these tools bring those thoughts and ideas to life.

In the past few years, we’ve seen a lot of tools pop up on the web. From wireframing to prototyping, from task management to simple to-do lists, it’s become difficult to decide on a specific tool that would make your life easier. I love playing with different tools but settled down to a favorite few, and below is the list of utility (design + productivity) tools that I can’t live without:

Sketch

Sketch

Sketch is a true UI/UX design app. I first tried Sketch (mac only) when it was released sometime in 2012. Since then, there has been no looking back. Moving away from Photoshop was a little tough at first, but considering the powerful features of Sketch, I didn’t take time to make the transition completely.

Coda

Coda

Before moving into UI/UX designing, I was a front-end developer spending days and nights coding in HTML/CSS/JS and Coda was my go to tool. I still use it for my personal coding work (maintaining my website/blog).

Evernote

Evernote

I don’t feel there’s any tool out there that can do what Evernote can do. Take notes, write lengthy articles/material, capture images from anywhere, collaborate with others or a team, do presentations, and use in any/all devices you have.

Trello

Trello

This is a great tool to manage projects for a remote team. I’ve been using this tool to manage projects with non-profit organizations. I can create checklist of items, share designs, etc., and the entire organizations stays in the loop.

Pixelapse

Pixelapse

There aren’t any version control tools for designers. With the closing of LayerVault, I didn’t know what to do until I came across Pixelapse. The best feature that I like is it supports Sketch files besides Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.

Wunderlist

Wunderlist

My go to tool for personal daily to-do management. I could very well be using Trello for something like this, but Wunderlist is simple, quick and easy to use. Thanks to the mac app, adding a quick task is just a click!

Letterspace

Letterspace

A simple note-taking application. I mostly use it to write down my thoughts and ideas for blogging. I really like the hashtag feature of the app which helps to organize and index the notes automatically.

Slack

Slack

Last, but not least, Slack! Being a freelancer is tough we all know as mostly we are working in silos, no social interaction whatsoever. Thanks to slack, I’ve found a great community of UI/UX Designers that I can interact with, share, get critique on my work, etc.

Tools soon to be added to my list

There are some other tools that I have been testing out in my free time and below are the two that can soon be added to my list.

Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo

Definitely a great Photoshop alternative for people like us who just don’t want to get in the grips of subscription based model of using a tool.

Principle

Principle for Mac

As a UX Architect, it’s very important to know how a web/app should behave or interact. And that’s what I’ve been dabbling with recently. Principal for mac is a great tool to bring your ideas to life by adding animation and interaction to them.