If you are a freelancer or self-employed professional, you are probably always on the lookout for tools that can make life easier. There’s just not enough time to get all your work done and then follow up with paperwork.
17hats, a new cloud software tool, takes a lot of the work out of that paperwork. It integrates contracts, invoices, questionnaires, e-mail, to-do lists, time tracking, bookkeeping, calendars and more into a single login. Here’s a look at the tool, some of the key features, pricing and information on how to try it out.January 13th, 2015 Posted in Business
They’re on hundreds of websites, in advertisements, and fill the airwaves – fictional characters that help you relate to a brand or company. These personas are representations of the type of people who use products or services, and are designed to relate to potential users or buyers.
A persona is more than just a face in the design. It is a well-planned and thought-out part of the design process. Designers have to think about the persona during all aspects of a project so that the personality matches the brand and design. From copy and how the persona “talks” to color, typeface choices and other design elements, creating a persona can be an important part of design projects.December 1st, 2014 Posted in Business, Inspiration
While every project is unique, every project also has a set of things and processes that are always part of your workflow. That’s where having a good design checklist comes in. This guide can help you manage projects and workflow, delegate tasks among team members and ensure that everything is complete before a design project is handed over. A good design checklist can help keep you from going astray during a project.
You may need several types of checklists in your toolkit: project design (print or digital), planning, execution, and printing and delivery. These lists can have overlap or not and can serve as starting points for you to create a checklist tailored to your design work.October 29th, 2014 Posted in Business
As a designer, you likely have a closet of finished projects and another equally massive digital file. What do you keep? And what do you do with all that stuff?
The answer is not easy but there are plenty of available tools that can help you manage your design files. Good work practices, multiple filing options and a little bit of keep and toss mentality can go a long way. Here, we are looking at a handful of tools that can help you collect, manage and store your design files.September 24th, 2014 Posted in Business
If you have a website – and chances are that you manage several – you know and understand the importance of good analytics. Understanding the numbers and use of your site by visitors is key to creating, designing and developing a site that will keep visitors coming back and clicking around.
But with so many analytics options out there, how do you know what to choose? Sometimes the answer goes beyond the basic information you can get from Google Analytics. Today, we are taking a look at one of these services – Ptengine – and how it can work for you.September 22nd, 2014 Posted in Business
We all have them – design projects we’d like to take back. Some of them you can attribute to a bad design brief or youth; others you just want to hide forever. The good news is that you can often avoid design mistakes; the bad news is that every designer will fall in at least one of these traps at some point in his or her career.
But part of the key to avoiding designer mishaps is knowing what they are, so you can be aware if you feel yourself slipping into one of these bad habits.August 26th, 2014 Posted in Business, Graphics, Inspiration
Many professions have codes of ethics, a common set of guiding principles that help you make fair decisions. Codes often protect both the worker and client from poor business practices.
Designers working in a team or individual environment should be working with a code of ethics. Many designers might even follow multiple codes – one set by an employer, one set by professional organizations and one that is a more personal set of rules and guidelines. One thing is certain: Every designer needs a code of ethics.August 5th, 2014 Posted in Business
It took a while for me to get started, really started, as a freelancer. And I won’t lie; it was not always easy. There are so many obstacles on the path to becoming a freelancer. Whether you are writing, designing or taking photos, the key is not to let doubt sink in. If you want to be successful you have to put your mind to it.
Today, we’re going to look at some of the obstacles freelancers often face in their working life, along with various tips and suggestions for overcoming each one.July 28th, 2014 Posted in Business
Working from home can be one of the greatest perks of doing freelance work. It can also lead to the most distractions and enable procrastination. (How many times have you taken the dog for a walk when a project deadline looms?)
You can create a more conducive home workspace that actually encourages you to get things done. Working from home can be an easy, and enjoyable, part of your freelance life if you set yourself up to be productive, happy and avoid home place distractions. Here are 10 ways you can help yourself when it comes to working from home.June 9th, 2014 Posted in Business
A great About Us page can make — or even break — your website. For many businesses this can be one of the most visited pages on your website and is a chance for visitors to learn about you and your products.
About Us pages need to be written in clear and simple language and should not be put together as an afterthought. Just like any other page on your site, develop a plan for what message this page should communicate and work from there. Most great About Us pages contain many common elements. Here are 10 things your About Us page needs to include (in no particular order!)May 26th, 2014 Posted in Business