When you think of software needed to run a design business, the most obvious suspects often come up. The software needed to actually do the work, like vector design, desktop publishing, text editors, are no doubt important to the business. But there are other apps that are just as important, but more often overlooked because they may not be as interesting to talk about.
I decided that I wanted to take some time to outline some software tools I use every day for my business outside of the various design tools. These are tools that I just couldn't run the business without.
None of these apps are sponsoring the post, and there will never be sponsorships of any kind on Designsbyhall.me.
This is one of the more boring entries. While I do use Field Notes most of the time, I do keep many notes digitally. I've tried many note-taking solutions like SimpleNote and Evernote, but I keep coming back to the stock Notes app on my iPhone and Mac. I generally use this to keep track of project goals, and to save important emails. I also use it in my daily life to keep track of various things.
Clear is a to-do list app that is very similar to the default Reminders app that comes on the iPhone, but I just prefer the user interface. I use Clear to keep track of tasks I need to complete, organized in lists. I generally have a list for each client, and within that list I have everything I need to do for that client. I also keep a running list of topic ideas for blog posts and podcasts.
Without a calendar I would be lost. While I use the default Calendar app on my Mac, I swear by Fantastical on my iPhone. The way it handles natural language is so intuitive. I can type "Skype meeting with client Bob next Monday at 3pm", and it knows exactly what to do. I also prefer the way it displays events over the default iPhone Calendar app.
On both the Mac and iPhone I use the official Mail app. I've played around with other apps in this space, but they all seem to have bells and whistles that aren't really compatible with my workflow. I prefer to have a more basic program rather than one I'm constantly fighting against.
I don't tend to give my phone number out to clients. I prefer email correspondance when possible because it provides a written record. If I do need to talk with a client real-time however, I use Skype. It fairly universal, and I haven't run into any issues where a client was unable or unwilling to use it. I'm not a fan of the software at all, but it's a vital piece of my business.