8 Tools to Improve Your Workflow as a Designer

    Here are my personal top 8 tools to improve design workflows in several ways. I’m sure you know some of them already, but maybe you find some new ones here as well.

    Pixelapse: Versioning for Graphic Files

    Pixelapse Website

    Basically Pixelapse is Github for Designers. So a tool that gives you versioning, backup and collaborative features specialized for graphic files. It comes as a web app and works with all of the common Adobe Giants (Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, Indesign, Flash) as well as SketchApp.

    Check out Pixelapse!

    Trello: Digital Kanban to Get Shit Done!

    Trello Website

    Kanban was my personal revelation when it comes to getting things done. Trello is the perfect tool for digital Kanban - in other words to organize your work and keep track of status and progress of tasks. The basic Version is free and provides all the functionality to start your own Kanban / Kaizen Workflow.

    Check out Trello!

    TinyPNG: Photoshop Plugin for PNG Compression

    Tiny PNG Photoshop Plugin Website

    Graphics easily become size intense. For websites, mail attachments, or whenever the “size matters”, lossless image compression is what you want! TinyPNG offers a web-app that easily compresses PNG images for you with a simple drag and drop interface. They also provide a Photoshop Plugin available for $40 that enables you to export losslessly compressed PNGs right out of Photoshop on Mac and Windows.

    Check out TinyPNG!

    Slicy: Batch Export Photoshop Layers

    Slicy Website

    Slicy is a nice little Helper that you can simply drag PSD Files on. It is capable of exporting different layers of a file into different formats. It will never replace a common export but can become handy for some specific tasks. Just add the file extension to the layer name and Slicy will take care of the rest. Becomes very handy when you need to export a lot of layers in same or different formats.

    Check out Slicy!

    Behance: Designer-Facebook á la Adobe

    Behance Website

    Behance is a social network that focuses on designers. You can upload projects or work in progress to gather feedback, gain reputation or even be hired for jobs. It is a good solution to get in touch and inspired by and with other designers. You can also build up and share your portfolio through the Web App as through native Apps for iOS. The service is free but an Adobe ID Account is required.

    Check out Behance!

    Pinterest: Moodboards in Minutes

    Pinterest Website

    Pinterest is a great tool to quickly gather and organize visual input. For me it is the best tool to create fast moodboards or inspirational collages and sort them by topics of projects. Just give it a try!

    Check out Pinterest

    Skala: Instant Mobile Preview

    Skala Website

    With Skala Preview you can get realtime previews from Photoshop (CS5+) directly onto your device (as long as all devices are conneted to the same Wifi). Ideal if you are working on visuals or UI design for apps. It works on both iOS and Android.


    Prepo: Retina Image and Icon Conversion

    Prepo Website

    Speaking of App development and styling: Prepo 2 is a Mac app that will help you to convert app icons and @2x retina images, easily and pixel perfect. No more manual scaling - it will save you a few minutes each time.

    Check out Prepo2!