This was originally intended to be a collection of free image resources. But since I can’t ever let a little thing be a little thing… it’s a big thing. Use this list to find free fonts, icons and templates. I’ve also included my favorite tools to organize projects. streamline processes, and stay on task. Enjoy.
Unsplash has a wide selection of images, and they manage steer away from the mundane, posed look that a lot of stock photos have. They have filters that allow you to choose landscape, portrait or square images. Narrowing results by color helps you find images that match your branding.
The variety on Pexels is awesome, and they feature a wonderful diversity of models and couples in refreshing scenes. There is not one single button-down, collared shirt on the entire site. There are lots of tattoos, long beards and nose rings. Pexels has a unique Discover feature that lets you browse curated collections.
Continuing the refreshingly different theme, newcomer Black Illustrations has hand-drawn vectors of black and brown people. About damn time, too. And some of the packages are totally free.
Pixabay offers a good selection of stock photos and videos, and they excel in the sheer magnitude of breathtaking landscapes and scenic vistas. They also have a nice selection of high-end interiors.
Freepik has a good, searchable collection of icons, patterns, and templates that you can have customized. They are a great resource for vectors (images that often look like hand drawings, and maintain their crisp definition when scaled up or down).
Burst by Shopify and is a great resource for e-commerce businesses. Most of the photos were taken in-house and are focused around specific business niches.
It can be a slog hunting thru the thousands of images available on the sites above. Paid membership sites like Hautestock, Pixistock and Ivory Mix have collections grouped by aesthetic and visual style, which can make your hunt a lot easier. They’ll also send you free photos when you sign up for their email lists.
Constant Contact is a long-standing fave for its smart email editor, which makes it easy to customize and design great-looking emails that stand out on every device.
MailChimp is a long-standing industry darling. It works just fine, but as your email list grows, you’ll need to understand this: They offer a free plan for the first 2,000 subscribers. If a person signs up to 3 of your lists, that one person counts as 3 subscribers.
Dubsado is a business management solution designed to cut out the busywork. Build relationships, schedule appointments, and create workflows to streamline your projects from start to finish. I use it for proposals, contracts, invoicing, time tracking and expenses.
The HubSpot CRM platform has all the tools and integrations you need for marketing, sales, content management, and customer service. Each product in the platform is powerful alone, but the real magic happens when you use them together. HubSpot is for agencies what Dubsado is for freelancers.
HoneyBook helps you manage projects, book clients, send invoices and get paid. Offers less customization than Dubsado, and has an easier learning curve because of it.
17Hats aims its offerings to solopreneurs, encouraging them to get rid of the sticky notes and get organized. The least customizable of them all (and the least pretty, not gonna lie) this one is great at bookkeeping and is the easiest to use.
Task Management and Workflow
ClickUp – The best task management tool out there. Better than Trello, Asana, Monday, and Basecamp (I’ve used them all). Even better? It’s free forever.
Toggl Track is an excellent time tracking tool for freelancers and small teams who like to keep things simple. It offers all the basic features you need to track time. Whle it does not have a lot of fancy features, it is easy to use. With the click of a button, you’ll be able to begin tracking new time entries or continuing a previous task.
Trello is a visually appealing Kanban-style collaboration tool that lets you organize tasks in an intuitive way. The fact that Trello is so pretty and colorful is, admittedly, a big draw for me. Trello + Toggl Track served me well for about 18 months, when I switched to ClickUp.
Asana is harder to get up and running, precisely because it is more powerful — particularly when it comes to delegating tasks and managing multiple projects.
Monday and Basecamp are true project management tools that fit the needs of agencies and small-to-midsize companies. You can try them free for a few weeks to see if they work for you.
Tools to Keep Your Business Safe
The Contract Shop provides contract templates and all the legal paperwork you need to run your creative business well. If you don’t need ongoing or complex assistance, your could save a bundle here.
LastPass is a hyper-secure password and credit card vault. Their Chrome and Firefox extensions will automatically fill in any of your passwords for you.
PassCamp is another password manager specifically built for teams, that protects the privacy and safety of your company’s data.
Creative Market has millions of ready-to-use products. You can download logos, fancy fonts and templates that you can customize – all created by professional graphic designers.
With Typeform, you can create really beautiful forms for capturing emails (lead generation), surveys for client feedback, or doing your own market research.
Loom does video recording of your screen or camera, with an option for you to be in the recording or not. Great for videos where you want to demo or teach. It’s free and easy to learn.
WhatTheFont and FontSquirrel are font identification software. When you see a font online that you simply must have, these tools will tell you what it is.
Canva has a huge inventory of graphical elements that you can pull together to create flyers, brochures, social media ads, checklists and printable PDFs.