Working as a freelance designer offers lots of benefits, but it also means you have to do everything yourself. This includes finding the resources and tools that will help you serve your clients better. We've put together this list of the top 10 design resources for freelance designers to make this job a bit easier.
Your designs will be severely restricted if you use the small number that are available to you as standard. You can trawl around the Internet trying to find something suitable for each job, or you can just add Google Web Fonts to your library.
Part of the design process involves periodically sending mockups and snapshots of your work so that your client can see your progress, and give their approval when needed. Mail'ette makes this easy.
Dribbble is a place where you can showcase your latest and best work, and also browse the work of other great designers for ideas and inspiration.
Behance is an alternative that is similar to Dribbble. It gives you an opportunity to showcase your work as a designer, plus it also features a job board that you can browse to find new clients.
Slicy makes the job of slicing up Photoshop files super easy. Instead of doing it manually, you simply name your layers and let Slicy break up the file.
Basecamp is a project management and communication tool that is ideal if you are working with a larger team that may be comprised of other designers, website developers, etc. It is also helpful when you are working on large and complex projects. It makes collaboration more efficient by keeping everything in one place.
If you want a collaboration tool that is more specifically aimed at designers, Cage is the solution. It has all the communication features you would expect in a collaboration tool, but it also places a significant emphasis on tools that help you to submit mockups, get approvals, carry out revisions, and get feedback.
As a designer, you know how difficult it is sometimes to communicate visual ideas or instructions using words. Skitch is a solution offered by Evernote. With Skitch, you use images for this communication instead of emails, and your ideas are expressed with arrows and shapes instead of words.
Creating website and app wireframes is easy with Balsamiq. Not only does it help you create the wireframe, it also has collaboration tools that allow you to work with your client or others in real time.
The final item on our list is more of a tool than a resource, but it is essential for all freelance designers. If you don't accurately keep track of the time you spend working on a job, you will invariably end up working for a rate lower than what you are worth. Toggl is a quick and easy way to track your time.
All of these resources will make you more efficient as a freelance designer. Enjoy designing!