Improving your productivity means
increasing the value of your time
Today, the proliferation of machines that save us from repetitive and monotonous tasks is noticeable. Many professional fields are supported and assisted by robots or calculation software, saving time for employees in different fields. We offer you our list of handy advices how to do designer’s run-of-the-mill tasks in other way improving your productivity.
1. Limit non-productive time
Some are not at ease on the hourly rate. It’s quite understandable, we do not all have the same mode of operation. However, you may be amazed by the time lost in useless or minimal actions. The solution? Track your time! Start by timing your daily tasks for a few days. Thus, you will have a clear and precise idea of time-consuming activities. After that, you will have the opportunity to organize your time and optimize it to the maximum.
2. Delegate some of the tasks
Knowing that you can delegate some of your tasks to a third party or another company will help you better manage time. In this aim, the collaboration will help you. If it may seem simple, putting it into practice is not easy. It is necessary to juggle the loss of control and the maintenance of the responsibilities, sometimes the good management of the egos. Nevertheless, it is worth it! Overall, it is the possibility to chuck the ideas and designs around, even to find some inspiration. In addition, new age technologies allow you to do this without any effort.
3. Generators for client proposal
After having acquired a good knowledge of your client, you should get down to writing your value proposition. It will only make sense for your customer, and for your design service and product. If you are not on the business side of being a designer, it will be difficult to make it by yourself. And here comes special tools which will put your services in the customer’s shoes, identify what is their use and will generate both tangible and intangible gains. These are not the least important thing in decision making. Moreover, these services will save you time and nerves.
4. Invoice software
Using billing software is not mandatory, but there are many benefits to this approach. In addition, billing is infinitely simpler with real free or paid software. Therefore, you will be sure that you will get your money for the work done. It is then a question of choosing the right one, which besides being easy to use, will simplify the work as a designer and optimize your costs. Billing software makes it easy and secure to edit issue and store all your invoices.
5. Design tools
There is a lot of work to do while creating a company’s design: brochures, presentations, logos, and other stuff. In general, much time goes on creating each element of a graphics and/or typographical representation whose function is to identify visually a company, a brand, a product, an association or any organization. You can try to save your time and energy using different design tools. For example, an online service Logaster can generate you a logotype in a few minutes. Plus, you can customize its changing colors, fonts, layout, icons etc. Also, the service provides a Social Media brand kit for popular social networks as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn.
6. Color Chart
A color chart is a handy tool, but it can be scary when you are new to it. However, it’s a very useful thing, especially when you work with more than one brand. A color chart is very practical for memorizing the mixtures that can be made from the colors available. Moreover, realizing a project makes discover mixtures that even famous designers did not suspect. Of course, you can use a style guide, but it is time-consuming, unnecessary and old-fashioned. With color swatches, you will be able to quickly combine two or three colors, for example, testing the most surprising harmonies and mixes, this is the best way to pin the colors up.
A specific texture, color tone or brightness level – all these things they call actions. Every designer often use these sequences in his work. From project to project, you store your actions to save a few minutes every time they become necessary, don’t you? Nevertheless, even doing this, you are not able to find quickly what you need, especially if there are already hundreds of sequences you used. In this purpose, special software, for example. Photoshop, should be disposed of.
8. Keyboard shortcuts
How many keyboard shortcuts do you know and use on a daily basis? Be honest! Four or maybe five? It’s a good start. However, learning to use keyboard shortcuts is one of the easiest and most effective ways to increase the speed with which a computer is used. It’s a very important element for graphic designers as most of their work is on the computer in special programs and editors. It takes a bit of memory, but it can lead to very big results for productivity. Alternatively, if your thing is text snippets that repeat, consider a tool like TextExpander or any another convenient for you.
9. File management
When you pilot a project, you may have to deal with many problems. One of them is an infinity of documents you need to store and to share. The best way to combat it is to use a file management tool. It is often extremely versatile and thought to help you to organize all aspects of your projects. Remember that it is better to prefer simple software to any plugins; their ergonomics being precisely will allow you to gain in efficiency. You can use both popular file managers, like Google Drive or Dropbox, and neglected ones as ES File Explorer or Elliot Alderson.
Prototype early rather than later. It is an integral part of the design phase. At the beginning of the project, when neither the clients nor you have precise ideas in mind. Also during the project, to quickly propose other ideas or share a solution. Software, as Mock plus or Fliud UI and lots of others, allows you to validate your design choices quickly with developers, project managers, and most importantly, target users. A good prototype is simply the best way to share, communicate and get quick feedback on your design ideas.
So, one and the most important rule on saving time and energy is to find another simpler way to do something. This can be attributed to the most diverse areas of designer’s work: from prototyping design to share it with the customer.