Working in a creative workspace is the same as any process driven service industry that uses tools and apps to help deliver the best service and processes. Our favourite eight that help us to be creative and organised are:
Adobe Creative Cloud
A must have set of apps for the designer, if its online or offline… you are going to struggle without a full understanding of the key programs within the suite like Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. This is a paid service and its the staple of a designers outgoings. The Creative Cloud doesn’t just stop there though as there are over 20 apps for you to download and have a play with. Depending on your passion, the opportunities for learning are endless from the fantastic Portfolio for a simple online presence to Dreamweaver for something a bit more technical, video production from Rush to Premiere Pro, Animation with Animate and Character Animator, Motion graphics with the fabulous After Effects thorough to Dimension and Aero for 3D and augmented reality experiences.
Add on the cloud based Font library access and there are thousands, as well as Stock Photography and Behance and a huge support community, the creativeness of Adobe Creative Cloud is only limited to your imagination.
We love Google Workspace and we are resellers of this brilliant IMAP cloud based solution, using the email as an umbrella for our domain website, their calendar system, the Drive is awesome with each user in your business account having 30GB worth of Drive cloud space. You can manage databases, documents, pdf and images in a shared cloud based, secure environment available on your desktop, laptop and mobile devices. You can Chat, Meet and use the new Currents, Googles update to the old and outdated Google+ its brilliant for £6 per user per month.
Our favourite Cloud Based Project Collaboration Tool and we have used a few, the cost against the level of functionality is so impressive, managing Projects, Estimates, Invoicing, Clients and People, each individual users workload and timesheets for all if you need that. The reporting is brilliant and you can really dig down into your teams work and workload. Brilliant integration is also available from integrating Stripe, PayPal Checkout, QuickBooks, Xero and Slack amongst others.
We found this CRM through a friend after trying a few, we love the interface and the fact that the team there are on the ball with their ticketing system in the times we have needed them. As you would expect the Contacts Tab is full of links and fields for you to get the most information about that person. The system allows for automation which Ill come to in a second. There is a great calendar systems and the heart of the cloud based solution for us in the Leads and Sales area, with a great interactive are to track the timeline of the sale. We use a 4 step pipeline and works a treat for us. The elements that we also love in the system are the add ons, the cherry on top, integrated Email Campaigns and just as good an interface as the leading MailChimp, SMS Campaigns are just fantastic as well as Surveys. Integration to Buffer is also a really great addition to help you to manage that Social Media activity to your leads. Again, reporting is brilliant and so is the support options within the solution.
Life during Covid 19 has changed the way we all work and Slack has become the chat app of choice between the team, its just so simple and yet can be as complicated as you want it to be. We have Direct messages between the team but we also love the Channels, #philfriday is a request channel for Friday Spotify action and #opportunities is one for anyone to add in a website/thought/idea that gives the team here an opportunity. Interface is brilliant and work on all platforms and devices…
Carrying on from the change of business life with and we assume after Covid 19, Zoom has become a massive part of ALL our lives, Lockdown saw us all on a Family Quiz and a work quiz guessing (well hopefully knowing) the elements of typography. Again setting up a Zoom Meeting is so easy, the free version has 40 minutes before you are looking at the system kicking you out… £15 sees the upgrade with no time limits and if, like us, it has become a huge part of the ‘new’ business life, its a great investment to keep the face to face interaction with clients and friends old and new.
We have always loved Evernote, we have used it for over 5 years now, its such a great way to organise ALL your thoughts. Integration is easy and you get 2 devices in the free version the costs for the paid subscription are literally pounds with the upgrade from free to Premium being £44.95 and that’s £3.75 per month. Just like all the other cool things that we use in our daily work lives, organisation in Evernote is brilliant and the option to add shortcuts to Notes can be a godsend with 5 years work in there…. we do have clear out as well though… we also like that it has a text based chat system within it as well…
Lastly our Music Streaming service of choice is the magnificent Spotify, again its integration to all your devices, your own library and playlist are just awesome, the ability in the paid version to also share your playlist for others to listen too is a great feature and we look out for a few the other way, the fantastic team at The Survey Initiative have a great Playlist of their staff Favourite Songs for their Christmas Party… There are so many options for you and the algorithms checking what we listen to help us to build more playlists… and *Phil Friday…
This is what keeps the Creative Fabrik projects and business moving forward as a team. Have you got any programs or apps that you use or might suggest we change in our list? Lets us know and if you fancy a quick chat, we would love to hear from you
*We have talked about Phil Friday… who or what do you think this is?