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Wednesday, 10 December 2014 16:00

4 Great *Free* Resources For Designers and Creatives

There are lots of free apps and web tools out there that cater to creatives. Some of them are absolutely great. Others are total duds. To save you some time (and frustration) I have put together a short list of great tools we use. Give them all a try and hopefully some (or all of them) give you a leg up in your next project.

  • Niice - Mood boards to help spark your creativity
  • Wave - Free accounting and payroll software for small businesses
  • Unsplash - Royalty-free high-quality photographs
  • Invision - Preview your UX/UI designs as live websites or mobile apps

Niice

In a recent post about mood boards I mentioned a new creative-minded search engine called Niice. Niice was created primarily with making mood boards in mind, but you shouldn't let that restrict your usage of this amazing--and fun--online tool.

Essentially, Niice combs through Designspiration, Behance and other creative sites finding interesting designs, graphics, images, logos and more. You can easily "like" any image you find in the searches, saving them to your mood board collection. You can have multiple mood boards going at once letting you work on multiple projects simultaneously.

There is also an extension you can add onto your Google Chrome web browser that lets you save any image to a mood board from anywhere on the internet. It is completely free to create an account with niice and you can make up to 5 different mood boards with your free account.

Visit Niice.com for more details.


Wave

WaveAppsWave is a great invoicing, payroll and accounting tool for any creative who is just starting out or simply working on a budged. A great free alternative to a premium service like Harvest, in Wave you can create invoices (both one time and reoccurring), accept payments, manage your bookkeeping and pay employees.

All sheets and forms are fully brand-able so you can stick your logo on everything you send out, maintaining that "professional" look despite operating on a budged. You can accept all major credit cards through Wave, and there even is a section to manage your personal finance.

Seriously, once you start using Wave, you won't have to look for anything else. Wave is completely free to sign up for, and they also have a mobile app that you can download onto your smart phone as well.

Checkout waveapps.com to get started using Wave today.

 

Unsplash

UnsplashOne of the many brainchild projects from Montreal-based creative group Crew, Unsplash is an impressive roll of high-quality photographs all available for royalty-free, commercial use. It would almost be an insult to compare Unsplash to other stock image site. Every photo on the site is absolutely stunning and none were taken in a studio.

As a basic photo website Unsplash would be complete in itself, but the fact that you can download and use as many of the photos as you would like however you may choose to makes this one of my go-to resources.

No need to sign up or create an account, all photos can be found at unsplash.com.

 

Invision

Invision AppIf you have ever worked in a team with other designers or creatives, you know how hard it can be to communicate back and forth and collaborate with you team when you aren't always in the same room together. Mixing the client into the equation further complicates the equation, and waiting for their feedback can turn an otherwise straightforward project into a lengthy process.

Enter Invision, a web based website wire-framing service. Invision lets you upload your in progress or completed photoshop files and link them together creating for all intents and purposes a functioning prototype of your site. Different team members can post notes and comments, and certain people can be assigned different tasks. Invision also stores all messages and correspondence between team members, so no more searching through your inbox for an email you received from the client 2 weeks before.

Invision app lets you work on one project at a time completely free, and also offers a very affordable starter package to work on multiple projects simultaneously.

To get started with Invision app check out invisionapp.com

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Erik Rosner

Content Strategist

Erik brings a unique talent for writing to our team, using his creative skills in creating and curating content to encourage user engagement in our client's brands and ours. 

Find me on: Team Page | LinkedIn | Google+

 

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