Tools of My Trade To Automate My Life

I’m an adopter of anything I can get to help me simplify my workflow and synergise my life on multiple devices. I’ve tried and tested many apps, so here I share the 10 tools I couldn’t live without, and why and how I use them*.

* THIS IS NOT AN AD. I’m not influencing enough to have any commission or kickback from these apps, these are literally based on what I use on a daily basis, and guess what, they are all free to use 🙂

Jump Straight to:

Productivity

Trello

Kind of like a to-do list, but so much more. I use this to track the process of my projects, get an overview of my workflow, drop content ideas across all of my platforms, and it syncs with my calendar. There are so many free templates that others have shared so you can see the creative ways people use it.

Toggl

As I have multiple projects going on at once for different clients, it’s crucial I time keep. It’s simple to use you create a new project which you can assign to a client, then press play when you start working, then pause when you stop.

Grammarly

Any bit of text I publish I run through Grammarly. It gives you grammatical improvements and synonym suggestions, and you can set the tone based on formality, audience and intent. Not only does it have a really clean interface, but it also gives inline corrections directly in your website browser. Useful for when you are doing edits on websites such as WordPress and LinkedIn.

Evernote

A slightly more feature-rich note-taking app than the usual ones. You can categorise your notes by ‘notebook’, particularly handy when you’ve got client notes and personal notes all in one place. There is a mobile app so you can add and edit on the go.

Design & Research

Sketch

After many years using photoshop, when I switched to Sketch I never looked back. It has a clean interface specifically created for digital designers. When you implement symbols and libraries to your workflow, it radically improves the agility of your projects.

Pinterest

Researching and mood boarding. Great for doing visual research and getting inspiration when I’m working on projects.

File Sharing & Presenting

Google Mail

I’ve set up my domain email address to run through Google Mail. I like all the smart features as it gives you suggestions on replies based on the content of an email, it reminds you to follow up if you’ve not heard back after several days and takes care of inbox overload as it automatically puts promotional emails in a separate tab.

Google Drive

A good one for sharing and storing documents in a safe environment. There is an iPhone app, so if I am not in front of my laptop, and a client requests a document, I can easily access and send it.

InVision

I use this for sharing designs with clients and developers. It’s basic in terms of prototyping, but you can drop in hyperlinks to other pages. It syncs with photoshop and sketch, and clients can feedback directly on the screens. You can choose a device when creating a new prototype which is useful when presenting responsive designs.

Keynote

I use this to animate creative designs when presenting to clients and developers (something that you can’t do on InVision).

Bonus App

Spotify

As a one-time house party DJ turned part-time office Spotify DJ I couldn’t talk about apps and not mention this. Yes, it’s great for creating playlists based on random themes (I’ve done a few), it also builds playlists for you based on songs or genres you regularly listen to, BAM, tons of music you like non stop with no effort.


Thank you for taking the time to read this article and I hope you have found it useful. I’d love to hear your thoughts and how you use these or other apps in your workflow!

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