Tools I LOVE, every day

Valentine’s Day is all about sharing the love—so today, I want to tell you about the tools and resources that I personally adore. Without them, I’d be lost! As you know, I’m excited to pay it forward, so I hope one of my favorite resources will sweeten your days, too. (And, I’m not even going to use my affiliate links!)

Tools I use every single day that rock my world (and why they’re awesome):

Teuxdeux

teuxdeuxI live and breathe TeuxDeux. I keep my lists, organize my projects, and schedule everything! It’s great because it shows me Monday-Friday, I can move stuff around, and it lets me check-off the things I’ve done (which is so darn satisfying). It also keeps track of my “someday” tasks – no date needed! If I want to do some prioritizing away from the computer, TeuxDeux travels everywhere I go on my iPhone. Designed by Swiss Miss, it’s fun, easy to use, and the blog is great.

FreshBooks

freshbooksI fell in love with FreshBooks in 2008—and I would pay twice as much as I do for this wonderful service. It’s by far the easiest way to manage invoicing, reporting, time-tracking, estimates and expenses. My bank account is even hooked up so my expenses get automatically imported. Piece of cake! I run reports in two seconds, and if I have questions, they respond almost instantly. To add projects and time-tracking on the fly, I use the (FreshBooks compatible) ChronoMate app.

MailChimp

mailchimpIdeal for newsletters, MailChimp integrates nicely with WordPress and Freshbooks—and has a cute little chimp that makes me happy.  Oh yeah, it also prevents you from making the number one newsletter mistake. That’s a biggie! Another bonus—it’s 100% free to use if you have under 2,000 subscribers.

WordPress

wordpressBest. Content. Management. System. Ever. Period. Why is it so fabulous? Let me count the ways. WordPress has a huge community behind it, they are constantly updating to stay current and secure, it’s free and it’s limitless. I love it as a designer, and my clients love easily updating their content and testimonials (more about those goodies coming soon). And speaking of wonderful WordPress, I must share these plugins I can’t live without:

  • Gravity Forms – for everything form-related.
  • BackupBuddy – to painlessly backup your site.
  • Jetpack – to supercharge your site with awesome features like social media sharing.
  • Akismet – to prevent spam coming in through blog comments and forms.
  • Yoast – to keep up with search engine optimization.

Adobe Creative Cloud

adobe-creative-cloudIf you’re a creative, you’re probably using Adobe Creative Suite. But are you using the Creative Cloud? If not, it’s a must! It is one of my biggest headache preventers. Pay a monthly fee and you’ll always have the latest, industry-leading version of the software, you’ll never have to worry about not being able to open files, AND you’ll get a free plan with TypeKit, which is an online font management service (this means free access to majorly cool looking fonts)! It’s a no brainer, love bugs.

And now to the geeky stuff:

  • Sublime Text 2 – The magical place where I translate design into code.
  • MAMP – So I can develop sites locally without being connected to the internet.
  • BrowserStack – For testing websites in every browser, device and system you can think of.

As you can see, the things I love have something in common: They make my job easier! Can I make your job easier? Let’s talk about how.

About Jill Anderson

Hi, I’m Jill, a WordPress web designer/developer who partners with talented designers, copywriters, and agencies on their websites, and their client’s sites. I’m passionate about crafting beautiful and innovative WordPress websites focused on clear positioning and positive user experiences.

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7 thoughts on “Tools I LOVE, every day

  1. Nice list, I’ve used all of these at one point or another. Have you ever tried todoist.com for your to do lists and tasks? I’ve tried pretty much every to do list/productivity site under the sun, and todoist is the only one I’ve ever upgraded to the premium version.

  2. I use evernote instead of TeuxDeux, never heard of that, may have to check it out. I’m always on the look out for new tools. I want to switch to Freshbooks badly, it seems so much easier than Quickbooks and so many creatives use it. I just can’t figure out how to record owners draws. How do you record paying yourself so it doesn’t look like an expense?

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