Be more productive as a designer

Don’t let this be YOU! Here are a few simple tips to improve your productivity as a designer.

There so much to read on the internet these days and it’s hard to keep up. Mel and I always try to keep up with our favorite design blogs and have recently discovered rss feeds. I can’t believe I never knew about his before! (thanks Jimmy!) It’s a super easy way to stay in touch with your favorite blogs and provides a great source of inspiration. I use outlook to keep track of mine, but another easy way to subscribe to your favorite blog is through google reader. I was reading 25 Ways to be a More Productive as a Designer on youthedesigner.com. Gino’s post has some great tips that help keep your mind clear in an insane designers world. Here are some of my favorites:

“3. Become familiar with your Adobe Suite Shortcuts” Learning essential keyboard shortcuts for programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator can actually end up saving you many hours in the long run.

Believe me, shortcuts will change your life! Here are a few that I use non-stop everyday:

  • Ctrl + F; pastes directly in front of the copied object
  • Ctrl + B; pastes directly behind the copied object
  • Ctrl + G; groups objects
  • Ctrl + D; duplicates an object
  • Ctrl + V; paste
  • Ctrl + C; copy
  • Ctrl + X; cut
  • Ctrl + a; select all
  • Ctrl + 7; creates a clipping mask
  • Ctrl + 2; locks a selection

For more shortcuts go here.

“7. Go to design events, shows and learning seminars” Each year there are many design conferences, events and training seminars. If you work for a company they may even pay for you to go, so you can keep your skills sharp and network!

Mel and I try to stay in updated with local gallery and art events which always turns out to be a blast. Try to get to local museum once a month. I promise you’ll come home with loads of inspiration.

“21. Organize your computer files once a week” Organizing your computer files is arguably even more important than organizing your paperwork. You should have a folder and sub folders for each client and create backups of your files every day on multiple external devices.

Try and create a naming system for all of your files. I try and clean off my desktop once a week. It really helps me focus and stay organized on the current jobs I’m working on.

“23. Try to keep your weekends work free and relax” It’s easy to get consumed with work and keeping your weekends work – free is a good way to ensure you won’t burn out or have a meltdown. So don’t forget to enjoy life on the weekends!

I agree!!! Trade that email and cell phone in for sneakers and a frisbee and get outside. Staying active helps keep my mind clear and fresh for another work week.

Thanks Gino from YouTheDesigner.com! To read the rest of his post go here.

-michelle

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