Posts categorized as: Resources

Critical Resources to Help Designers Get Organized

by Steven Snell

November 24, 2009 in Resources

One of the most important aspects of running a freelance business is getting and staying organized. Most freelancers wear so many different hats and have such a wide variety of responsibilities that organization will be one of the critical factors in determining what percentage of working time can be dedicated to income-generating activities.

Organization is key to achieving optimal productivity and efficiency, which of course are important for any freelancer who wants to earn a living without working ridiculous hours. In the life and work of a freelance designer there are many different aspects that must be well organized. In this article we’ll take a look at a number of different ways that freelancers need to be organized, and I’ll point out some helpful resources along the way.

Inspiration Organization:

Designers rely on inspiration to help them achieve the best possible results with their work. This includes online inspiration from other websites through web design galleries or design blogs, and it includes a wide variety of offline sources, such as nature, magazines, newspapers, brochures, photographs, and the list could go on. With the amount of inspiration that is available, particularly online inspiration it can be easy to experience “inspiration overload.”

Avoiding inspiration overload requires some organization, plus the willingness to limit your sources of inspiration to those that are really helpful and productive for you. For offline inspiration, I wrote a post at Vandelay Design about using a notebook to compile and organize your sources of inspiration. I have found this to be very helpful for keeping track of things that I like and having them readily available when they’re needed.

Evernote
Evernote is a great resource that will allow you to organize your inspiration by grabbing screenshots by using tags and/or notebooks.

Evernote

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30+ Podcasts for Web Designers, Developers and Freelancers

by Steven Snell

November 23, 2009 in Resources

Most designers and developers follow at least a few blogs from the design industry, but podcasts and video podcasts offer even more opportunities for learning and for staying up-to-date in the industry. In this post we’ll feature more than 30 podcasts and video podcasts that are excellent resources for designers, developers and freelancers.

Boagworld
A popular weekly podcast from Paul Boag that covers a variety of topics relevant to designers and developers.

Boagworld

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15 ThunderBird Addons for Better Organization and Efficiency

by Steven Snell

November 17, 2009 in Resources

Mozilla’s Thunderbird is a popular email application that is used by many freelancers and designers. Like Firefox, one of the great things about Thunderbird is the ability to extend it with a wide range of add-ons that are available. In this post we’ll highlight 15 that are likely to be appreciated by designers and developers who are looking to improve their efficiency.

QuickFolders

Keeping your inbox organized can be a major challenge when you’re getting tons of email every day, but it’s important for making the most efficient use of your time and for staying on top of things. QuickFolders allows you to set tabs for your most important folders, making it quicker and easier to manage.

This extension adds an extra toolbar to Thunderbird. When you drag a mail folder to it, you get a (rename-able) shortcut to that mail folder. This supports full drag and drop, like the corresponding folder in the folder tree – You can drag messages on it to move/copy them to the folder, and access the bookmarked folders through keyboard shortcuts. This is handy when you have a large tree of folders for clients or projects, but use only a few of them at the same time.

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