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Peep into a freelancer’s kitty!

I found lots of amazing tools in there!

Now that you jumped into my blog, I assume you’re a freelancer. I begin with saying “Hats off” to you, here’s why:

My team was working with a freelance designer a couple of weeks back on a design project. Soon we got into talking a lot (the designer was again as or maybe more talkative than me — And….. I love such people! 😉) And I got a discover a lot about a freelancer’s life..

And here’s how I want to put it — Freelancing might look extremely blissful from the outside. Choosing from an array of projects, getting diverse opportunities, picking only the fun projects, flexible working hours and everything that an in-house designer has dreamt off. But as a freelancer, YOU and only you know that there’s a lot that happens under the hood to keep the momentum going.

It’s challenging. Ya, it is!

A freelance designer’s work isn’t dedicated to just designing. There are 10 other things to be managed — paperwork and admin — writing proposals, drawing up contracts, sending invoices, writing down tasks and managing your workflow. The situation becomes worse when your tools aren’ just crafted for your needs.

To alleviate the situation, there are some amazing tools in the market. This list is crafted taking into consideration what your fellow freelancers use. Hoping that this list will reduce the turns of your collar roaster ride.

The list :

Fonts

  1. Google fonts

Google Fonts make it quicker and easier for everyone to use web fonts, including professional designers and developers. All of the fonts are Open Source, which mean you can use them in every way you want, privately or commercially — in print, on your computer, or in your websites. You can even customise them for your own use, or collaborate with the original designer to improve them.

2. Font Squirrel

With a wide range of fonts ranging from sans serif to calligraphic, this tool allows browsers to filter fonts through a number of options, including those best used for e-books, applications and desktop. It also groups them by formats such as retro, contemporary, distressed, all caps and more. In total Font Squirrel offers more than 264 unique fonts.

Images

As a freelancer, who blithely turns to Google search in their quest for images and inadvertently use a stock photo that belongs to a stock photo agency — there’s a real danger.. Few of them are notorious and send threatening letters to small business owners and bloggers.. 🙁 But, these are few that you can freely use!

  1. Freepik

Freepik calls itself the “leading search engine of free vector designs”. Created to help you find free vector art, illustrations, icons, PSD and photos for use in your designs, Freepik produces hundreds of free vectors daily — which can be downloaded in AI, EPS and SVG format — and has over one million free vectors and photos on offer.

2. Unsplash

A project from the fine folks over at Crew, Unsplash’s beautifully uncluttered interface is all about the photography. Search or scroll through gorgeous images and “like” or download the ones you want. If you want a set of new images in your inbox every week, subscribe to their mailing list.

3. Death to Stock

The name is a bit tongue-in-cheek since, of course, Death to Stock trades in stock photos. Their noble intention is to disrupt the stock industry and provide beautiful photos that you haven’t seen before, because everyone can now recognise a cheesy stock photo a mile and a fake handshake away.

In exchange for providing your email, you can sign up to receive a weekly set of free photos in your inbox. I’ve received few such sets in my inbox and I absolutely love them.

Icons

  1. Noun Project

Noun Project is well known as one of the best places to get icons for any of your projects. The clear and striking site makes for fascinating viewing. You can scroll down through thousands of visual interpretations, all in black and white and simple line or solid images. You can also find collections by prolific contributors whose work The Noun Projects love, along with profiles of those designers.

Why is it so good —

  • Over 150,000 icons
  • SVG, PNG formats
  • Great search and discovery tools
  • CC Creative License with premium options

2. Flat Icon

FlatIcon offers over 90,000 vector icons for you to download for your next design project. Freelancers find this really helpful.

Why it’s good:

  • Over 90,000 icons
  • SVG, EPS, PSD, and PNG formats
  • Icon Fonts
  • Adobe Extension for CC suite
  • Linkshare license with premium options

Colours

  1. Coolors

I find this website really addictive!

It lets you generate an infinite number of colour palettes by tapping your keyboard like a button on a slot machine. With each tap, a new palette appears on your screen, split into five hue-filled windows. If you haven’t tried it yet, you HAVE to try it!

2. Material Colors

It is a collection of all material colours. It come from Google’s Material Design Guidelines. The most striking thing about the website is that it toggles to RGB from HEX! That’s a relief, isn’t it? 😛

Now that all your resources are in place, let’s get to the next steps

Oh, were you expecting separate lists for each of these categories?

But why?? You already have so much to take take care off, I didn’t want to add to that the hustle between tools, experimenting to find the right combination etc…

CanvasFlip (Honestly, I find it very helpful for freelancers)

Freelancers across the globe are using this single tool for multiple work in their workflow — and I believe — you too should give it a try to make your workflow a breeze.

Here’s the entire workflow —

How it makes life easier for freelancers?

  1. It’s easy and quick to create prototypes. Need I say more? 😛
  2. There’s absolutely nothing better than presenting designs as a prototype. You will agree, I’m sure.
  3. Collaboration with clients made easy. Staying aligned to the vision of the client from day 1 is always better than shocks! True?
  4. All feedback from clients in one place. Long emails and whatsapp threads are annoying..
  5. A/B test your designs and be convinced that they are user friendly. That’s more important than convincing the audience.
  6. Back your designs with UX proof
  7. Handing off designs is soooooo easy with measurements, assets and codes automatically punched out!

Final Words

Hope these tools help you reconstruct your workflow more efficiently. Do leave your comments below if you have better tools on your desk!


Peep into a freelancer’s kitty! was originally published in Prototyping: From UX to Front End on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.