Designers toolbox: handy apps and sites

Freelance Toolbox: Handyt Apps and Sites This may not be my prettiest post ever, but I guess that's no reason to hold out on you. There is no end to awesome online resources for designers, freelancers and entrepreneurs, it seems that almost every day a new one is blowing up in my twitter feed. The ones I use most frequently happen to be not so new, but who knows, maybe they are new to you!

1. www.designerstoolbox.com: Resource for industry-standard specs, things like envelope sizes, web-safe area, and stardard folds (did you know what an 8 Page Short Fold was? -me either.)

2. HootSuite: App for managing multiple social media accounts and scheduling posts. I use this so that I don't have to keep logging in and out between my personal twitter account, SIBLING twitter account, and corresponding facebook pages (unfortunately still no Google+ function though because G+ doesn't allow any third party apps - guess Google doesn't really want us to use it all that badly..)

3. Dropbox: Free online storage to back-up, sync or share files - basically a thumb drive that you never have to worry about losing. You remember what I said about backing up your files, right?

4. Square: A free credit card reader that plugs into the headphone jack of your smartphone! Serious. First you download the free phone app, then a free card reader is mailed to you. The only charge is a small percentage of every transaction, just like any other credit card reader, I think its actually less than what Paypal charges. You link your Square account to a bank account and the money gets automatically deposited. This is a super handy tool for anyone who participates in craft shows, markets, sells merch, provides services - anyone who needs to get paid.

5: Mockup Everything: This site hasn't even launched yet but I know its going to be super useful when it does. Here's what it has to say for itself: "A lightweight app to make photorealistic mockups on real objects. Choose a template, upload your design, mock it up in 3D, save your image. Showcase what your design looks like in the real world! Everything from apparel, hats, posters, business cards, billboards, iphones, ipads, and just about everything else. Made by Go Media, so you know it will be good!" You can enter your email to be automatically notified when this service goes live.

6. Harvest: This is far and away my most beloved online freelance tool. Last fall I tried out a variety of time tracking and invoicing tools and Harvest won the contest hands down. It's super easy to use, has a nicely designed interface and allows you to customize the the tasks, pricing and billing specifications of each project to your hearts content. Oh, AND you can prepare official invoices to send to potential clients, which they can click a button to accept and then you can convert the estimate directly into an invoice. I love it, I talk about it all the time (no really, I do.) There's a free version that allows 1 client at a time, but I use the Solo plan which allows unlimited projects and clients for only $12/month.

What are your must-have online tools? I am sure there are lots of great ones I am missing. Leave a comment and hook a girl up!