For us, this time of year is always one of our busiest, deadlines seem to get tighter and time just seems to run away. Time is precious so it’s important to have a selection of tools that you can turn to to make things run that little bit smoother whether that be project planning, file storage or accountancy it’s all really important to the day to day running of your design business. Take a look below to see our 6 favourite tools that make our daily lives as designers easier and best of all they are all totally free to use.


For those of you that don’t know Trello is a free task management tool it’s super easy to use and allows you to manage your work load across a series of ‘boards’. As a mini team of two, it’s sometimes really hard to keep on top of the progress of a job we can’t imagine what it must be like for a big team. Trello allows you to keep collaborative work boards with as little as two people all the way up to hundreds.

We have several boards for different types of clients filled with job cards that can be moved from one list to another, for us each list represents a different stage of our design process allowing both of us to see see the status of a job at a glance. Each card can hold as much or as little information as you wish including a due date, description, check list and attachments. Great for keeping on top of small jobs and full-scale projects, sign up here to get started.

If you plan to use Trello we highly recommend Paws for Trello an app produced by a 3rd party developer, allowing you to use Trello on your desktop as well as offline. The app can be purchased here for just £2.99


The whole world now seems to revolve around cloud storage and to be fair it’s not a bad idea, files are accessible from anywhere plus they’re always backed up. We have tried a couple of cloud storage solutions over the last couple of years but we always come back to Dropbox. It’s reliable, secure and although not the cheapest it’s still competitively priced. We are currently on a 1TB package which is masses of storage for us as designers we haven’t even reached a quarter of its capacity.

DropBox also allows you to share files with clients which can be super handy when working on large files or trying to share images and video clips. Clients can be invited to collaborate on a folder allowing both parties to upload, view and edit folders or just invited to view and download the files. Sign up here to get a free account.


If you’re not signed up to something like DropBox, WeTransfer is a great solution for sharing large or multiple files. Files up to 2GB can be shared for free just using your email address and the clients. Files are stored for up to 30 days allowing time for recipients to download them.

If you want to share massive files WeTransfer offers a paid plus package allowing you to share up to 20GB as well as other customisable options. Get sharing for free here.


Social media is a massive part of running a business but with jam packed days of client work and meetings it’s sometimes hard to find the time to post on one social media channel let alone all of them. Luckily Buffer is here to save the day, allowing you to schedule post for all your social media channels at once. We used to use HootSuite but found it over complicated and clunky, Buffer keeps things simple and allows you to save hours of valuable time. Turbo boost your social media and sign up for a free account here.

Apple Notes

This is actually a really simple one but is probably one of our most used daily tools, Apple notes says what it does on the tin. At its most basic it’s note taking software nothing fancy, no word processing just words on a page. But to us it’s so much more, being massive Apple geeks we have every product going meaning our notes sync from device to device meaning we are never without access. A list can be started on our phones on the way into work expanded on our MacBooks when we reach the office and finally completed on an iPad at home. Notes can also be shared allowing collaboration on projects and list. Honestly, if you’re an Apple user you have no excuse start using notes today and get as organised as we are.


We’re designers, not accountants so anything that makes keeping our books easier is more than welcome on this list. We started using Wave when we first started, it’s not one of the most popular accountancy tools but we have found it to be just as good. And the best thing about it is it’s totally free! Wave allows you to create and send estimates and invoices as well as track payments and manages your accounts. Although our accountant had never heard of Wave they found it as easy to navigate as we did. We would highly recommend it for small business with simple accounts, sign up for a free account here.

If you enjoyed reading about our favourite tools why not check out our designer daily carry blog here.