As a freelance graphic designer, you love the freedom of working from home. Instead of spending part of your day battling traffic and attending endless meetings, you can focus your energy on creating eye-catching visuals from your home office.
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But in order to be as productive and successful as possible as a freelancer, it’s important to have some tools at your disposal. Check out the following essentials every freelance graphic designer needs:
1. Microsoft Surface Studio
Described as “a canvas for your ideas,” the Microsoft Surface Studio is the Holy Grail of computers for freelance graphic designers. You can use it either upright in desktop mode to edit a project or easily lay it flat in studio mode to illustrate your ideas. Use tools like the Surface Pen, Surface Dial and Windows Ink to visualize and sketch as you would on paper.
The Surface Pen fits in your hand like a regular pen, and it even features a working eraser. And the computer’s 28-inch PixelSense display provides you with a large canvas for your projects. From editing photos to designing a magazine ad, the super-thin and easy-to-use Surface Studio can handle it. But that’s not all you should be thinking about.
To safeguard your investment and ensure your hard work isn’t compromised or lost, consider a professional backup and security system from a company like Mozy. In fact, the company’s MozyPro program offers worry-free, cloud-data protection, allowing you to schedule backups daily, weekly or monthly — it’s totally up to you.
Additionally, you can set up MozyPro to run cloud backups continuously throughout the work day, offering you better peace of mind while you spend hours working on a big graphic design project. As a bonus, if you want to work on your project away from your home office, you can save it to a Mozy Sync folder, which automatically syncs to all of your devices. This will allow you to work on your tablet at a coffee shop or meet up with a client to review your newest ideas on your laptop.
2. Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe’s Creative Cloud is another must-have tool for freelance graphic designers, as it provides you with a full arsenal of Adobe desktop and mobile apps, including Photoshop, Adobe XD and more. If you’re new to the world of Adobe, the Creative Cloud is equipped with tons of tutorials, so you can start using the assortment of tools right away.
The Creative Cloud also includes a variety of templates for Photoshop and Illustrator, so you can easily create posters, ads and other graphics your clients are sure to love. Thanks to Adobe’s mobile apps, you can also work wherever you choose on a variety of devices.
For example, start a project on your tablet, add to it on your smartphone while you wait in line for coffee and finish it on your desktop computer when you return home. Additionally, if your project requires images, videos or other graphics, Adobe Stock comes with a slew of options.
3. FreshBooks Accounting Software
Once you’ve finished a project and are ready to submit an invoice to your client, adopting an accounting software program like FreshBooks can make the process quick and easy. The user-friendly software program allows you to spend less time billing and more time focusing on your creative work. Furthermore, the cloud-based invoicing program can be accessed from any of your devices and let’s you follow up with clients if something looks amiss.