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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.