Digital Toolbox #4: Evgenia Grinblo

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Posted by: Creative Times on January 11, 2012 22:41

The latest in our series focusing on the tools of digital creativity is by Israel-based Evgenia Grinblo. The freelance visual designer will be speaking at the Creative Times-supported Emerge conference for women in digital on 17th January.

As a freelancer, I travel a lot and usually work from home or friendly coffee shops. I’m always chasing that perfect combination between doing good work, wasting less time, and having fun. Here are some tools that have set me off on the right track.

If I had to name one app that truly changed my life, it would be iA Writer. It’s an excellent reminder of why user-experience design is important.

Design
There is a reason one of my business cards reads: ‘Photoshop is a girl’s best friend.’ I am a die-hard Adobe Creative Suite fan and have been since the age of 12. Over the years, I have developed my own workflow and have even been known to wireframe in InDesign on occasion. Don’t tell anyone.

Other than my MacBook pro, my favorite piece of hardware is my Intous4 Graphic tablet. It’s great for obvious reasons, but it is also an excellent replacement for a mouse that doesn’t cause cramping in your pinky. If you’ve ever forgotten to take a break during a rushed project, you probably know what I mean.

Productivity
I’m a big fan of Alfred App and DropBox. Alfred is an OS X app that is a little bit like spotlight after seventeen cups of coffee. It saves me a lot of time.

I absolutely love Twitter and have set up a power combination between Buffer), Ifttt — I’m specifically including this link because it explains how to use Ifttt, which can be quite tricky – and Google Reader to quickly share content with my followers.

For client relationships, Rapportive Gmail add-on has become a routine tool for me. It’s great for putting a face to e-mail contacts and keeps my interactions more personal.

Ideas and creativity
If I had to name one app that truly changed my life, it would be iA Writer. I use it to plan presentations and brainstorm without distraction. Its Focus Mode and ‘reading time’ features are indispensable and it’s an excellent reminder of why user-experience design is important. I can’t thank my friend @cole_peters enough for literally forcing me to get it.

I use Evernote to keep track of ideas. I like to scan my hand-drawn sketches and sync them to all my devices so I have them with me everywhere. And when I’m stuck and need to do something fun and fearless, I use Scribbler. With some music on, it’s a great cure for those days when you are told to “make the logo bigger”.

Evgenia Grinblo will be running a workshop at the Creative Times-supported Emerge mini conference

Evgenia Grinblo is a self-taught visual designer. She runs a freelance business in Israel and is interested in user-centered design, UX, and social media (@grinblo). Her app idea, Trigger Free, recently received honors in a global Nokia competition on IdeasProject.com.

Image: Photo by Ro Sonne

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