Tools I use to run my creative business

I always joke my office is “Where the Magic Happens,” but this so-called magic (AKA graphic design) doesn’t happen with an actual magic wand. Shocking., I know.

It takes some real life apps, tools, and other fun things.  Let me share with you what I use.

Disclosure: There are some Affiliate Links listed on this page, but these are all tools or products I use on a regular basis. I highly recommend the products I’ve chosen as affiliates to support my online business and believed they might help you too. *Affiliate links are where I earn a small commission if you purchase through the provided link, all at no expense to you.

If you have a small business check out these helpful links:


Adobe Creative Suite

This is my bread and butter. There is not one project I work on where I don’t use some Adobe app or software. They have lots of packages, and once you learn it, you won’t look back. I’ve been a graphic designer since the late-1990s and have been using it almost this whole time. The monthly plan is great to keep your software up to date and bug-free!

Get Illustrator as part of a Creative Cloud single-app plan for just US$19.99/mo


Vista Print

Vista Print is a great way to get things printed. Cards, tags, signage, banners. They run great specials too if you get on their mailing list. Here is my latest card design. Can you see the paper?? It’s a shiny pearl. LOVE IT!


Mailer Lite

Every online business needs a mailing list. Let me say that again. Every business needs a mailing list! I use this for both my websites. It’s free for a certain number of emails. So far it’s worked great. I love how simple it is to build my brand into the emails with just a few clicks. Not to mention the sign-up forms. (BTW. Did you get my free branding worksheet? If not, sign up here!) See how cool the sign-up forms are?


Creative Market for Small Business

Creative Market

If you love fonts as I do, you will want to check out Creative Market. I have added them here mostly because I shop here often for my blog and my graphic design job. Or sometimes I simply just browse the site when I need some inspiration. Love everything about this site. Easy to use. Easy to install the items. And easy to get lost on there for hours, so be careful!

 


WordPress Themes from Creative Market

If you need a great theme check out: Oleander. I used this on my DIY site We Can Make That. Check it out if you want to see it in action. I taught myself how to use WordPress with this site. And if you love to craft, you will probably LOVE the site. This theme allows for Ads and a Shop — both are key elements for online success.


 

Website Domain from Go Daddy

I have 2 websites through Go Daddy, and I love their customer support. You can also get an email address with your domain. I love this too!


Good Lighting makes ALL the Difference!

I use this rechargeable light, and some evenings I’ll use a lamp too. This can help make the difference from amateur lighting to professional. As you grow, you might want to invest in a larger one, but I love this one for now! It clips on my computer, iPad and iPhone. I love that’s its rechargable and has 3 light settings. great for pictures and perfect for Facebook Lives!