New Platforms All Designers Should Know

Designers and developers have a lot of roles to fill, which is why website building tools, startup resources and project management apps prove valuable. With these resources in hand, design professionals of all stages can keep on target with their projects while being led with useful inspiration.

In this post, we’ve included some of our latest and favorite platforms that all designers should be familiar with. Best of all, most of them can be downloaded for free!

Let’s dig in!

New Platforms to Love  

Blog Owl

When you first start blogging, it’s easy to come up with ideas of things to write about. As time wears on, it becomes more difficult. Blog Owl will send you ideas and suggestions directly to your inbox every three days, keeping your blog fresh and current. Also included in the email is a list of curated blog links that you can draw inspiration from.

Freeter

It’s awesome when you have a lot of projects to work on, as it means you’re doing something right. But it also gets more complicated to keep things straight. Freeter makes it easier to work on multiple projects at a single time, and it comes packed with endless features. You can set up a dashboard, structure your workflows and organize to-do lists.

The Security Checklist

As a developer, it’s crucial that your sites are as secure as possible. To ensure that you’re not missing anything, The Security Checklist is a good tool to have in your back pocket. Run through the comprehensive list to verify the security of your sites.

Onesheet CRM

Onesheet CRM is a customer relationship management program that is simple and easy to use. It’s intended for small businesses and works with Google Sheets to track leads and sales effectively. Sign up for free in under a minute and start organizing leads and closing more sales!

Website Downloader

By now you already know that you can learn a thing or two from your competitors. Website Downloader takes a page from that book. With this tool, you can download the source code of any website. By studying other people’s code, you can get a better understanding of how to develop your own sites and apps.

BitBlox

There are a lot of website building and hosting services out there, but we really like BitBlox. It features a drag-and-drop website builder, and no coding skills are necessary. This makes it a great tool for beginners, and the results are beautiful. Browse through the themes to get an idea of what your new site can look like.

99 Deductions

Working as a freelancer certainly has its advantages, but it’s not always ideal when tax time rolls around. Thanks to 99 Deductions, tax time is made simpler. The tool breaks down deductions that you may qualify for based on the nature of your work. Some of the deductions include:

  • Tuition and training expenses

  • Conventions, seminars and trade shows attendance

  • Software and online service subscriptions

  • Membership and union dues tax deductions

  • Commissions paid to employees, contractors, etc.

Chat UI Design Kit

Need to speed up your UI/UX workflow in Sketch? Chat UI Design Kit features 36+ layouts to streamline communications. Each layout is thoughtfully designed and in line with the latest trends. If you don’t have Sketch, you can get the layouts in PDF, EPS and PNG file formats.

Pluck

Pluck lets you find people that are tweeting about a specific topic. You can then focus on these individuals and send them timely, relevant emails. According to Pluck, their custom email lists result in open rates of 76% and click rates up to 19%. With different plans available, you can get anywhere from 100 to 2,000 emails per month.

EME

EME is a markdown editor that includes editor and preview panes. The effortless tool grants you much flexibility, as you can write in markdown and read in HTML, plus take advantage of Night Owl and Focus Mode. Night Owl is perfect for designers who work at night, while Focus Mode gets rid of distractions so that you can focus solely on the paragraph you’re writing.

How Much to Make a Logo

This tool is self-explanatory, but it’s fun to use and gives you an estimate in under a minute. By clicking on the “Get Started” box, you are asked a series of questions, such as whether you’re making a wordmark or symbol, if it will be flat or 3D and the types of features you already in have in place (i.e., color scheme, brand guidelines, etc.). How Much to Make a Logo then calculates a rough estimate of what it should cost you to create a logo based on the information. It’s a great tool for budgeting, and it even keeps tracking of your total on the upper right hand corner.

Product Pages

Product Pages has a simple purpose: to bring you the most beautiful product pages on the web. Use them to fuel creativity for your own designs so that you can present your products in the best way possible. You can also use Product Pages to build your own storefront - and all content will be migrated for free.

Startupvalue

If you want to put a value on your startup, you can with this easy-to-use tool. Start by answering a few questions about your vision, such as the type of startup you are, how quickly you intend to make revenue and other basic information (i.e., location of your business, type of currency, etc.). You will then be provided with an estimated valuation. For more information on valuations, click on Valuations Explained on the upper right-hand corner.

Form Bucket

Need form handling and automation for static sites? Form Bucket is your go-to tool. Paste the endpoints into your HTML and get a backend for handling and automating form submissions. You can also redirect form submitters to any URL and send real-time notifications to yourself when new submissions come in. The tool comes with a price of $7/month for unlimited buckets and submissions. Cancel anytime and no credit card required. We definitely recommend taking advantage of the 14-day free trial.

Here at SEMGeeks, we love bringing developers and designers awesome tools, apps and resources that can be used to make their jobs easier! We hope that you’ll find some of these platforms to be great additions to the organization and management of your own projects.

 
About the Author: Nicole Krosnowski

Nicole is a Designer at SEMGeeks. She is a Jersey girl who loves to “go down the shore” and spend her time at the beach. Nicole is a creative thinker, fueled by iced coffee and innovation. She loves to stay up to date with the latest trends in fashion and technology and uses this as design inspiration. With experience in web design, digital design and advertising, she approaches each project with a designer’s careful eye and a marketer’s strategic thought process.

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