As a productivity-conscious lazy person, I am always on the look-out for apps that save me time, or reduce mental / physical stress. As a result, I have amassed a set of incredibly useful productivity tools over the past few years, some of these design productivity apps I will be sharing with you today.
I work in a rather noisy office where there is always some meeting going on. I end up wasting more time and energy in simply trying to stay focused than actually getting things done. I’ve tried listening to different kinds of music, I’ve tried colored noises, but that is equally distracting. I recently found the perfect solution: Noizio.
Available as a free app, Noizio is an ambient sound generator which allows you to play a mix of natural sounds like those from smooth sea waves, a bright sunny day, persistent rain, a raging thunderstorm or – my favorite – a crackling fireplace with a hint of freezing winter winds. It genuinely calms my nerves and helps me focus on my work; and since I am wearing headphones to be enjoy being enveloped by these soundscapes, colleagues tend to bother me less, too.
Full disclosure: I work at Jumpshare.
Jumpshare can improve your productivity by taking complete care of one important aspect of everyday work: file sharing. You can drag & drop any file to instantly get a shareable link to post on Slack, or send via email – no need to wait for upload completion, or think about nuanced sharing permissions.
Using the Jumpshare hotkey (?D ), Sketch or Photoshop enthusiasts can share their designs instantly. On top of that, you can quickly share screenshots (with annotations), compose notes (text, code or Markdown), and record screen and voice clips. What’s more: over 200 file formats can be viewed online in the browser, so your clients and friends can see your file without installing another app.
From low-fidelity mockups to high-fidelity prototypes, team communication, and documentation, the average designer uses several complex apps every single day. The key to mastering these apps is in using keyboard shortcuts to design/collaborate/deliver faster. Using a keyboard shortcut instead of your mouse for regularly used functions not only saves time, but it is generally more comfortable since you don’t have to shift between your mouse and keyboard. It has long-term benefits to both your productivity and general health.
CheatSheet assists you in quickly learning new keyboard shortcuts. You just need to press and hold ? (Command) button to see a list of all the available shortcuts in the current app. It is objectively better than having a separate shortcuts cheat-sheet PDF on your desktop, or searching shortcuts online and later forgetting to use them.
OS X comes with a built-in colors panel, but it is only accessible through other apps. Menubar Colors keeps a dedicated icon in the OS X menubar, so you can quickly access the panel at any time to find the perfect color, pick out the HEX / RGB values of a color from another place, and more. Designers who make heavy use of color will find it invaluable to their toolkit.
So far, I’ve discussed apps that mostly just save you time and cognitive load. Your physical health is just as important to ensure you remain productive as you grow older.
I easily sit for more than 10-12 hours everyday as a result of having both a traditional day job, and being the manager at a Windows blog. This lifestyle – common among IT professionals – revolves entirely around staying put in front of a computer for several hours at a time.
It’s a well-researched fact: sitting at our desks all day is killing us faster than smoking cigarettes. We can make standing desks, but even standing all day has negative effects on our body! The only way to ensure to healthy body in the long term, and hence a productive mind, is to take regular, moving breaks where you move away from the desk to take a brief walk, or perform light exercise.
Stand reminds you to stand up and get away from your computer at a regular interval of your choice. Ever since I’ve been using and following through on its reminders, I feel less tired after a regular day’s work, my back hurts less, and I have enough energy to spend quality time with my family. You decide your own price to download Stand, so it can technically be used for free. Strongly recommended!