Posted on

My absolute FAVS! Apps, softwares, websites, devices, & design resources I use daily


Heyyyy guys, welcome back to my blog 🌟 How are you all doing?

Today I’ll post the official list of the design working tools I can’t live without! I literally use all of these every. single. day. for my work, usually many times a day actually πŸ’•

I thought I’d make this list to help new designers or design enthusiasts to understand how my creative process works and the actual tools I use to get my work done. To put that all together in one post is probably more helpful than writing about the individually, I guess..

Gif by Sasha Katz

So I’ll be brief about each one of them, since the goal is more to sum up my design tools than to describe them in details. I’ll also add, at the end of the list, a few tools and habits I’m willing to try soon, and I’d love to hear what you guys think about them, in case you’ve already included them in your daily activities!

Hopefully this will become a tradition here on the blog, and every december I’ll list my 10 current design favs πŸ˜‡πŸ’–πŸŒŸ

And just a heads up, this post is not sponsored by anything or anyone. These are, in fact, my fav design tools:

πŸ’‘1. Design software: Adobe Photoshop

I’ve been using Photoshop since 2004, when I fisrt started working as a designer. I’ve never come across any software that comes close to it. For specific jobs, like creating logos or designs that require the use of vectors, I’d surely go with Adobe Illustrator. Anything else, Photoshop is my guy.

Learn Photoshop with this book!

πŸ’‘2. CMS: WordPress

I’ve started developing websites back in 2011, and although my first little adventures with html were on Tumblr, I quickly learned about the wonders of WordPress. Soonafter that, developing websites, blogs and online stores using WP as a content manage system became my main source of income. It’s also the CMS I use on my own website.

πŸ’‘3. Social media / Free marketing tool / Main inspiration source: Pinterest

Oh my sweet, beautiful, magical Pinterest. No other website on the world wide web will ever have anything on you. 90% of my website traffic comes from Pinterest, many of my latest clients found me on Pinterest and all the inspiration I need to create comes from that never ending fountain of aesthetic manifestations and beauty πŸ˜­β€πŸ’Ž

πŸ’‘4. Photo editing app: VSCO. I’ve been asking myself lately if I still (and exclusively) use VSCO to edit my pics on my phone because it is that great, or if I’m just used to it. Or maybe it’s all the hype? I mean, it became and adjective, for crying out loud! Hahaha! VSCO girls subject aside, It is still my fav app for editing the color, contrast, sharpness and for filters. And to be fair, I have been using it for years now, looong before the hype haha!

πŸ’‘5. Photo editing app: Meitu. I talk and post about Meitu so much! It’s one of those things you fall in love with in an emotional level, not just rational? You guys know what I mean? But it has so many cool features, so there are real reasons to love it. Also, they’re always coming up with new aesthetic edit tools, and I love that!

Here’s the post I made showing how to add glitter to your photo with Meitu!

πŸ’‘6. Computer: Mac Book Pro. I’ve worked with mac computers most of my working life. But I have actually had the experience of working with Windows as well, for many years actually, so I’ve had the chance to compare. The claim that Macs are better for designers is not unfounded. It’s just way better for what we do.

πŸ’‘7. Phone: Iphone 8 plus. After many years holding on to my tiny little iPhone 4SE (lol), this year in January I’ve finally switched to a phone I can use as a work device. I absolutely love it. Everything about it helps me so much, I can’t even explain. Unbelievable camera, screen, speed, functions, AHH! I just love it. I’ve never loved a phone before, until I got this one. I constantly have nightmares where someone is breaking or stealing it from me hahaha!

πŸ’‘8. Paper notebook: Caderno Inteligente. This AWESOME notebook is not only super pretty, but it has all the caracteristics I’ve always dreamed of in a notebook. The sheets are removable, you can mix sheet styles, the notebook can be folded entirely so it’s not to big on the desk, it comes in my favorite shade of pink… There’s so much more, but I promissed to be brief haha! I love my Caderno Inteligente!

πŸ’‘9. Free stock image website: Unsplash. Wow, I spent so much time on Unplash this year, you guys! Hahaha! There’s not a project I worked on that hasn’t involved me searching for the perfect “white background image” or, “cool guy”, “business team”, “fashion trend” or simply “hands” hahahaha! Last month I’ve finally created my own profile and uploaded a couple pics myself, if you wanna check them out!

πŸ’‘10: Organization tool: Everything Google. Yep, good old Google is still my go to life/business organization tool. Basically I use G Suite for my professional emails, Backup and sync (Google Drive) to backup and share files, Google docs for a looot of things, including my finances, and so on. It’s so good to have everything integrated, and connected to Chrome, Analytics, Adsense and Youtube as well.

Plans for the future…

βž•…Get a Wacom tablet again. I used to have one and it and it was EVERYTHING! Especially for digital illustrations, but I loved it for everything, honestly. I still can’t believe it took me so long to get a new one. But it will be my Christmmas gift to myself.

βž•…Post more often Instagram Stories. I am completely aware of “how important it is” πŸ™„. But man, it’s hard for me. I have to seriously follow a daily routine where I make myself post something everyday on Stories or else I just forget it exists!

βž•…Start experimenting with Adobe XD. I feel like a dinossaur for still using Photoshop to create website layouts for my clients. I’m actually embarassed to even share that here, but maybe it’ll help me get out of my comfort zone and finally ~open up to the new~… πŸ˜©πŸ˜©πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

βž•…Give Facetune another chance. It’s not that I don’t like it. I just stopped paying for the pro version, and then Meitu happened. But I know Facetune is better and has more advanced tools. And it’s not an expensive app. So I’ll get it and try for a month or two..

Well, I guess this is it!

Please let me know if you have any suggestions of tools you can’t live without as a designer, or if you have differente opinions about my favs! πŸ˜‡

See you guys again soon…



Lu Amaral

Aesthete: One having or affecting sensitivity to the beautiful especially in art - That's me! πŸ’• Graphic, digital and web design are my livelihood and my favorite hobby. That's how lucky I am.

Quick question: What's your favourite aesthetic?
11008 votes · 21866 answers