Our Blog

3 must-have productivity tools for graphic designers 

tools for graphic designers
By James Rose, Last Updated July 3, 2024

Whether you're a seasoned professional or are just starting your graphic design career, having the right graphic design tools at your disposal can make all the difference in how well you work, how much time you get to carve out for creative spurts, and how well you can delight your clients. 

The top graphic design blogs will tell you all about the most innovative graphic design software out there today, but we’re not here to tell you all about the wonders of Adobe Creative Cloud or Adobe Illustrator and how they can help you create stunning designs. We’re about to discuss the tools that are going to make your day-to-day life much easier! 

Read on to discover the nifty digital tools you need to save plenty of time, get past annoying bottlenecks, and get much more efficient with your workday as a graphic designer. 

Tools for graphic designers

Types of graphic design tools for productivity 

1. Data collection tools 

Once you land a new client, you need to do your due diligence on project discovery. If you don’t think ahead on ways to make this process go smoothly, you can end up being really disorganized. 

What does your client onboarding process look like right now? Do you:

  • Spend way too much time in long meetings figuring out project requirements?
  • Send one too many emails back and forth trying to get your questions answered?
  • Lose important information in different email threads?
  • Experience long delays getting the assets you need from clients to get started? 

All of these common struggles for graphic designers can be mitigated when you use a dedicated data collection tool.

Our recommendation: Content Snare

We obviously had to toot our own horn here, but we built Content Snare to help graphic designers like you set themselves up for success right from the start of a new project.

Here are a few things you can do with the tool:

1. Send clients questionnaires in seconds
Content Snare has you covered with ready-to-go graphic design questionnaire templates. Just pick the one that fits your project – whether it's for a web design, logo design, or just getting to know your client’s preferences. Tweak the questions if you want, then send it off. Content Snare will ping your clients to fill out your questionnaire via email.

Content Snare graphic design templates

2. Gather project assets all in one place
Content Snare helps you collect all the assets you might need from a client (like their logo files, or brand guidelines) and store it in one centralized location. This spares you from having to search for the correct files in email threads. 

Content Snare project management

3. Collaborate more effectively
Instead of juggling multiple conversations and dealing with unclear directions or wrong files from clients, Content Snare simplifies things. With its approve/reject/comment features right in the dashboard, you can respond to information as it comes in. That way, you can keep moving forward on your projects without the chaos of emails, calls, or meetings.

Content Snare approve and reject feature

4. Get what you need on time
With Content Snare’s automated reminders, you can set a deadline for clients to send over their stuff, and it'll shoot them several reminders. No more constantly bugging them or chasing after info – let the system handle it while you focus on the fun stuff!

Content Snare automated reminders

Streamline your graphic design projects with Content Snare

Content Snare makes it easier than ever for graphic designers to collect project-related information. Instead of getting stuck in unnecessary emails, you and your team can get back to doing what you do best — actual graphic design work.

Start your free trial

2. Time-tracking tools 

Working in a design agency or even as a freelancer graphic designer means you probably spend your days juggling multiple different priorities. When it comes to tracking your time, how well are you doing it right now? Do you:

  • Scribble down messy notes in a notepad on how long things took you?
  • Make very rough estimates (and feel a little guilty about over-billing your client)?
  • Add up hours manually in an embarrassing-looking makeshift spreadsheet?
  • Wait for your colleagues to mention something and piggyback on their project estimates? 

Time-tracking tools can help you get accurate data on exactly where you spend your time, so you’re completely confident when it’s time to bill clients for your work. 

Our recommendation: Toggl

Toggl for graphic designers

Toggl is a very straightforward tool that helps you track your time entries by project, task, and client.

Here are a few things you can do with this graphic design tool:

1. Track your time in just a click
With Toggl's user-friendly interface, you can start and stop timers dedicated to projects or clients with just a click. Rather than getting to the end of your day or week and manually adding up your hours, all you have to do is turn the timer on and off throughout your day and view your time tally when you need to.

Toggl time tracking tool

2. Analyze where your time goes
Toggl’s reports and insights give you a breakdown of where all your time goes. Being able to view this visually helps you pick out patterns in your productivity so you can make any changes you need to adjust your workflow. With this data at your fingertips, you’ll be able to prove you’re spending way too long in unnecessary meetings for example!  

Toggl time tracking reports

3. Log meeting time on the go  

Toggl’s mobile application lets you track your time when you’re on the go. If you’re working from a client office, out and about sourcing materials, or attending a meeting, you can easily log your time right from your phone so no time goes unaccounted for. 

Toggl mobile app

3. Project management tools 

No surprises here that you need to rely on some sort of project management tool for your graphic design projects. Without one, you might:

  • Lose track of upcoming deadlines and end up in a pinch for time.
  • Be unclear on who’s working on what, and when.
  • End up wasting valuable creative time sitting in status meetings that could be avoided
  • Be working sporadically on tasks rather than in a proper project flow. 

Our recommendation: Notion 

Notion graphic design tool

Notion is a versatile tool that provides graphic designers with highly customizable workspaces where they can centralize all of their project information (like notes, designs, and feedback) in one place. 

Here are a few ways that Notion helps you stay organized and collaborate more effectively:

1. Make your workspace your own

This is the beauty of Notion if you ask us! You can set up your workspace according to how you want to work, whether that’s to organize design assets, manage your tasks, or collaborate with other members of your design agency. 

Its intuitive interface offers templates for every type of graphic design workflow and plenty of visual ways to organize your work into boards, lists, tables, and calendars. 

Notion workspace for graphic designers

2. Collaborate in real-time
You can share your workspace with other team members in your agency to exchange feedback, collaborate in real-time, and assign tasks in one centralized place. Rather than figuring out the latest file version or the status of a task in email threads, you can turn to the workspace’s collaboration features to make sure you have the latest information. 

Notion collaboration features

3. Pull designs and data from other software
Notion integrates with popular graphic design software like Figma and Sketch as well as project management tools like Asana, Confluence, and Trello so you can embed the designs you’re working on directly into your workspace to streamline your workflow. 

Notion integrations

Final advice for graphic designers 

Graphic design tools like these are like your trusty companions helping you ramp up your efficiency and unleash your creative mojo. If any of these graphic design tools sound like something that could make your life easier, why not give them a spin? You might just find your new favorite sidekick. 

We encourage you to experiment with these suggestions to figure out which of them make for the right tools for you. Don’t forget that new graphic design tools are always popping up. It helps to keep your eyes peeled and stay in the know. You never know what other graphic design software might fuel your creativity and help you become a master of your workflow.

Streamline your graphic design projects with Content Snare

Content Snare makes it easier than ever for graphic designers to collect project-related information. Instead of getting stuck in unnecessary emails, you and your team can get back to doing what you do best — actual graphic design work.

Start your free trial


James Rose

James is the co-founder of Content Snare and Aktura Technology. Once a web designer, his new priority is to help web designers and developers regain their lives, work less and get better clients. He does this by writing helpful posts, building software and working with web designers to deliver the complex web development that they don't normally handle. Get James' agency toolkit to discover the best tools and resources for creative and digital agencies