With the pace of technology today, the walls that minded us as creatives are opening. Gone are the days of being tied to your computer at your office or cubicle. Many freelancers enjoy the flexibility and freedom associated with their lifestyle. That still doesn’t mean that we can’t ignore our client needs and deadlines. From coffee shops to airports, technology offers us the power to create great work for our clients virtually anywhere.
When I want to get out of the house, coffee shops or bookstores can be my secondary headquarters. To produce great work on the go, there are five tools I require to help me create awesome work and thrive as a creative.
These are in no specific order or importance, but these tools have helped me get projects done on time, no matter where I am.
Being mobile, I need a laptop that can keep with my pace. I’ve always been a fan of Apple, but other companies like HP, are coming out with great devices that support the creative lifestyle. My laptop has all the applications I need to produce the work for my clients. There would be no way I could have finished deadline projects without the use of my laptop in hand.
2. Sketchbook and Pen
I’m still a little old school, I love jotting notes and creating sketches for logos and layouts to give me initial ideas for various concepts. Personally, I have over 30 sketchbooks that I have collected. everything from personal sketches, to character ideas, to sketches of client logos. Unfiltered information and ideas that I could perhaps come back to for future projects.
3. External Hard drive
This is extremely important for me as a creative. Having all my files on a small device allows me to work anywhere, when I’m not necessarily at my home office. There are all kinds of devices to choose from that suits your needs. The ones I carry hold around 319 GB of storage, which allows me to carry many of my digital files. This is also used as a backup of my files from my main computer as well.
There are all kinds of online storage companies out there, but for me, I’m a Dropbox fan. Having Dropbox on my phone and laptop allows me to sync files, email attachments to clients and printers, from the comfort of my office or the local Starbucks. Dropbox is free for a 5 GB account. If you want a paid version with more online storage, it starts at 9.99. I see it as a great investment for any creative on the go. Dropbox has saved me numerous times on deadline project, and recommend it to any creative or entrepreneur.
The advancements of smartphones from the early 2000’s have transformed this device into a mini computer. Capable of running programs, editing files, doing video meetings, etc. As a creative, I’m always needing to take pics of images or scanning sketches to redraw and clean up as finished logos or creating shirt graphics. Having a scanning app such as CamScanner that I use, gives you the capacity to scan images, receipts, invoice. Also with CamScanner it connects to Dropbox so I can upload any images to my appropriate Dropbox folder. If I’m requiring quick stock images to use, for mockups on a product, many of the new models of smartphones have a great camera device to allow you create great images or video to use for content.
These are the 5 tools I consistently use to help me produce great work for clients and keep them happy while I’m away from the home office. I know there are other useful tools I may have not mentioned. Please comment below what tools do you use as a creative when you are doing remote/virtual work?
Quantal Langford is the Founder/Graphic Designer of Langfordesign, focusing on brand identity and development for sports, non-profit organizations and entrepreneurs. He is also the Founder of Just Heart Apparel an fitness/inspirational lifestyle clothing brand. He also has a weekly podcast on iTunes called Rise to Inspire, giving weekly insights and inspiration for creatives, entrepreneurs, and athletes. For more information go to www.langfordesign.com