1) Camera (smartphone)
Photography inspires design in many ways. Most great digital design is surrounded with great photography. The color, perspective and subject in a photo helps generate ideas for all types of design. Smartphone cameras have come a long way, so take photos and play around with different apps to edit your photos. Instagram and Flickr are two of my favorite apps with millions of users to follow and gain inspiration from. Adobe Color is also a great app that helps identify and capture color using your phone’s camera. This is a photo I took in Downtown Denver over the weekend and uploaded to Flicker.
2) Music (headphones)
Some of the toughest days I’ve ever had in my career, are the ones where my headphones were absent. If your workplace allows it, listen to music all day while you work. Check out subscription services such as Spotify to mix up your music variety. Each day is different, so change up your music selections to keep it fresh, fun and upbeat. Here is a Spotify playlist that my friends and I created for a ski trip.
3) Pen or Pencil, and Paper
“Studies show that sketching and doodling improve our comprehension — and our creative thinking.” source Whether you like to draw or take notes, a pen and pad of paper goes a long way. A pen and paper allow you to take quick notes or start sketching during a call with a client or a team meeting. Just make sure you have a way of organizing your tasks into your tasklist so that you can track your progress. I personally like to use the website and app Evernote – often times I’ll take handwritten notes during a meeting, and upload a photo of my notes to Evernote for reference.
4) Computer (and back it up!)
Probably the most obvious item on the list, but also the most important. Regularly backup your files – either on an external hard drive, or cloud storage. My college computer hard drive crashed and I had to rewrite a paper I had spent several hours on – lesson learned. Even a new machine can have hard drive issues, so make sure you have your work stored and protected, you never know when you’ll need to dig up old files.
5) PANTONE book
A Pantone color book goes a long way when deciding which colors will go together, and print nicely, when working with new designs. Having this in your bag or office drawer, will come in handy.
What tools would you add to the list? What inspires you?