What is it: A free music player app available on all major devices
Why it’s a must-have: Listening to music while I get my design work done has helped me to stay focused, energized and inspired. I listened to the free version of Spotify but now, because I wanted to be able to listen to my music offline, I switched to the premium version and haven’t looked back! The subscription is free for the first 30 days and then $9.99/month.
What is it: Photo editing software. Also used to created digital graphics for the web and mobile devices.
Why it’s a must-have: Photoshop is a staple software used for many web designers to create web design mockups. If you’re intent is to create raster or bitmap images for viewing on the web, Photoshop is your go-to software.
What is it: A WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) code editor.
Why it’s a must-have: Dreamweaver has come a long way since it’s inception. Dreamweaver is such a great tool to use when you want to easily code up a website. It now has some pretty cool features such as built-in Bootstrap for improved website responsiveness, batch exporting from PSD’s, updated starter templates and so much more. There are a ton of amazing code editors out there, but if you have the whole CC suite, it would be wise to make use of the new and improved Dreamweaver CC.
What is it: Graphic design software. Creates vector art and illustration.
Why it’s a must-have: Unlike Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator allows you to create smooth vector artwork and design. That means, you can zoom into your art as close as possible without it turning into a pixelated mess. Great for print design, illustration and web design (i.e. logo’s, graphics).
What is it:Desktop publishing software. Used for page and layout design.
Why it’s a must-have: If you’ve ever want to make your own ebook or printed book, design a flyer or even publish a magazine, this is your go-to software. InDesign acts as the link between Photoshop and Illustrator. InDesign helps to bring together photo’s and graphics to make books, magazines, ebooks, PDF’s and more.
What is it: An awesome web browser.
Why it’s a must-have: Google’s Chrome is an awesome web browser. There are so many cool extensions available at the Chrome web store. Chrome is also great for web designers because it supports certain features in coding languages such as CSS3 and HTML5 that some other browser’s don’t.
What is it: Productivity app for mac computers.
Why it’s a must-have: You can control your mac using hotkeys and keywords to quickly access programs, run commands, search for files and so much more.
What is it: App that allows you to blocks distracting website.
Why it’s a must-have: If you’re easily distracted or waste way too much time social media sites, blogs or (if you’re anything like me, YouTube videos) you can block them all with this app. It’s also great for students trying to study or get an assignment done without any distraction.
What is it: A community for designers and artists to share their work.
Why it’s a must-have: Behance is a great place to connect with other folks in the creative industry locally and globally. It’s easy to get inspired by some really talented artists and designers while also sharing your own work and getting some decent exposure. The images uploaded to this site are high-quality. Behance is a great site to make your online portfolio without spending a ton of money.
What is it: A network where users visual share their interests by posting images or videos to boards. It’s basically the online version of a pin-board.
Why it’s a must-have: For a quick dose of inspiration, Pinterest has got you covered. I use Pinterest all the time when I want to find cool free graphics, new blogs and so much more. If you don’t have a Pinterest, I highly recommend getting one.