Everyone has their trade. Everyone needs their tools.
I'm one of those arty-farty media types that calls themselves a creative.
These are my tools – and as with everything on this website, I don’t get paid, accept things for free, or use referral links to earn a commission on anything on this domain. Everything here is an honest recommendation, mentioned because I love their product(s) and think you would get some value from them also.
Adobe Creative Cloud
Ask any creative what software is imperative to their work and Adobe Creative Cloud will be top of their list, period. There’s not much worth quibbling about here – everyone uses these tools and for good reason: they’re brilliant. I predominantly use Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.
Avid Pro Tools
Pro Tools is an advanced, industry standard audio editing software. If you're proficient in Pro Tools you're probably proficient in anything. Pro Tools is what I trained with throughout my Radio Production degree and what I continue to use almost six years later. I edit my podcast and lots of audio for a range of people using it!
Standard Notes is a multi-platform, end-to-end encrypted, zero-knowledge, cloud-hosted note taking app. If you’re confused by what half of those things mean, read my 2019 post titled ‘Encryption, security, privacy' at /security. Standard Notes is my digital notebook — a bit like Evernote, Bear, or OneNote — but nobody other than me can read it. As well as day-to-day thoughts, it’s also where I keep track of budgets and invoicing for freelance clients, and where I keep my personal journal. It's also where I wrote this blog post before sharing it via the next item on this list...
Ghost is the open-source Content Management System (CMS) developed and maintained by the not-for-profit, can’t-be-sold Ghost Foundation. It’s what this website is entirely powered by. They host it for just $36 a month. It's a powerful alternative to Wordpress without the bloatware, plugins, or godforsaken PHP.
I’ve used many podcast providers in my time but Podcast.co beat the rest. They don't offer some of the more powerful features that enterprise giants like Omny Studio have – things like dynamic ad insertion – but Podcast.co does do everything a personal podcaster needs, with fantastic support staff and a gorgeous interface to boot.
File management tools
Dropshare is an unsung hero. I use Dropshare to share files among friends and freelance clients. It's the final link (quite literally) in getting my paid-for creations to the people who need to see them. It’s a great replacement for WeTransfer (hosted on platforms you control) with support for custom URLs, personal landing pages, and simple security features.
CloudMounter is a great app for using cloud based services as if they were external hard drives. I use it for Dropbox, Backblaze B2, and Google Drive. It's great for managing client assets and for saving back-ups of your work to the cloud.
On the subject of back-ups, you better have some. Backblaze is a one-click solution for entire computer backups. It indiscriminately uploads everything from your machine to the cloud with support for one-year version history and more. It's a good belt-and-braces approach to keeping your files safe. I use Backblaze B2, their low-cost cloud archive option, to keep and store files I'm finished with.
Time and project management tools
Yeah, Apple's default email client. I just want something to send and read messages and Mail is that thing. Stop overthinking email.
Actions and Timepage
I've used nearly every to-do list app there is and Actions, built by Moleskine Studio, is the best. Timepage is their calendar app. I use both to track my time and manage both personal and work projects. Vitally, they work seamlessly with each other and I can access Actions on my desktop.
What are your tools?
The processes behind the work people do sometimes fascinates me more than the work itself. Tell me what tools you use – or tools that you think I might like – by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by tweeting me – I'm @admstnr.