My Must Have Tools of 2018




Can you believe that we are actually in 2019?


I am still trying to get back into the swing of things and stop longing for the days where I had nothing to do but eat cheese like it was going out of fashion.


I thought I would kick off my first blog post of the new year by looking back at all of the tools that were essential to me running my business in 2018.


There are so many things that I have not included in this rundown. Giant comfy jumpers, jars and jars (and jars) of coffee, my dog for pretending to listen to me when I am going mad from boredom, etc etc. Lucky for you, I decided to stick to the interesting bits.


Keep reading to the end to find out what apps and websites I use alongside these tools to keep me motivated and organised.


So without further ado, here are my top 6 tools that help me boss self employed life.


Apple Macbook Pro

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Let start off with the most important tool of all, my Macbook Pro.


Literally my whole life is on this laptop. I spend hours upon hours- too many to admit - on it creating designs for clients, emailing paperwork, listening to business audiobooks and podcasts, creating social media content, writing blog posts and a little bit of procrastinating too!


Yes, Apple products are astronomically expensive but this machine has been going strong for over 5 years without any major problems (touch wood) so I count that as a successful purchase!


If only I could win the lottery, this is what I would upgrade to..


Pantone Colour Guide

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This is a new addition to my desk but I am already wondering how I ever lived without it!


This Pantone Colour Guide is honestly one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I spend hours just staring at it and swooning over all the pretty colours. Prior to having this, I had to to all my colour picking on my computer which is definitely not ideal.


I find it so much more inspiring to play around with a physical object that allows me to test out different colour palettes quickly and easily. I also can't wait to take this along to my client meetings. How fancy will I look?!


Wacom Graphics Tablet

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This graphics tablet is another one of my ancient (5 year old) university purchases. Thankfully, this little bit of kit is also still going strong. I absolutely love using this tablet when I am doing anything on my laptop - from creating designs to scheduling social media content - it just feels so much more intuitive than the tiny trackpad on my laptop. It is also amazing for creating simple hand drawn graphics and illustrations, which is something I want to do more of in 2019.


Get a much swankier and more up to date version here


Sony Headphones

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Although I do love to have a full on 90's dance party when I am working, I do have a boyfriend who often works nightshift. To avoid being kicked out of the house, I stick these Sony headphones on, get a playlist blaring and have my own little silent disco.


I have just realised that these babies are also from my university days! Do I have a knack for picking long lasting technology or do I just really need to stop being cheap and go shopping - who knows!


These are the updated version of the ones I have. Super affordable and they do the job perfectly!


Desk To-Do Pad

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This might seem like a bit of a silly thing to include and call a 'tool' but honestly, if I didn't have this, I would spend my whole day on my couch, falling into a never ending YouTube hole.


I have so many planners and diaries which are great for the big stuff, but I have the attention span of a goldfish. If I do not have a list of the things I need to get done that day practically smacking me in the face, I will get absolutely nothing done. Honestly, If I can't see it in my eye line, it might as well not exist to me. So desk pads are a MUST.


This one from one of my favourite indie illustrators IpDipDesign is going to be next on my shopping list


Planner

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Okay, I know I just proclaimed my love for desk pads, but this is the best planner I have ever had in my life. I mean, apart from the obvious fact that it super pretty (light pink soft touch cover with rose gold embossing and stickers!!!) It is also super practical. The whole planner can be zipped shut and inside there are pockets for business cards and paperwork, making it great for taking to client meetings.


In the actual notebook there are sections for making lists, taking notes, planning your day and even blank pages that I use for doodling ideas. You can also remove the notebook from the case when you are finished and slot a new one in, which massively appeals to my cheapskate side. Also, did I mention the rose gold stickers??


It was also super affordable, you can get your own here

So those were my top 6 tools that were constantly on my desk in 2018. How many of them do you also use?


As well as these physical items, I also have a huge range of apps and websites that I use on a daily basis. I thought I would compile all of my favourites into a handy downloadable that you can grab for FREE right now (it is also super pretty which is a bonus)

No peaking now!


Get your hands on my '2019 Business Must Haves' downloadable here


Be sure to let me know about any amazing apps or websites I am missing out on. I am always looking for more!


© 2019 by AbbyLou Designs. 

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