This is part 4 of the Design Toolbox Series where I interview top designers about what tools they use to help them create their art. This series was largely inspired by Grace Smith’s â€œShow Me Your Dock Series.â€ It’s my hope that you can gain insight into what other designer’s are using, and hopefully find some new apps/tools to check out.
About Jeff Finley
Jeff Finley is an artist, designer, and creative entrepreneur. He is part owner of the creative agency Go Media and lives in Cleveland, OH with his wife Kim and their bunny Cocoa. He plays drums in Parachute Journalists with Adam Wagner, also of Go Media. He’s also founder of the art, film, and music festival Weapons of Mass Creation Fest taking place in Cleveland this year on May 22 and 23.
Jeff Finley – Design Toolbox
Windows XP, but I’ve been using Windows 7 and I love it. Once I can, I plan to switch all my machines over to Windows 7. People might be surprised I don’t use a Mac, and frankly I don’t have a very good reason other than they cost a lot and I already get my work accomplished on a PC. I don’t really care for the whole debate, I’ll work on whatever!
Xerox Phaser 7750 is our big color printer at Go Media. We also use a few Brother laser printers for black and white documents.
Notepad2 and Dreamweaver. I like using Dreamweaver because of the shortcuts and it’s faster to write HTML and CSS. But Notepad2 is better when I don’t feel like opening up yet another bulky Adobe app.
Microsoft Exchange. I use Outlook 2007, but will be delighted when I can use 2010. I like Exchange because I can easily access all my emails from anywhere. I used to use Thunderbird with POP3/Imap years ago and I would have issues when working at the office and then at home. Exchange makes this easier, and it works on my PalmPre.
We use Quickbooks Pro 2009, although I personally don’t work in it. My wife Kim does Go Media’s bookkeeping and our project manager Heather uses it for invoicing clients.
Filezilla and/or WinSCP. I actually used FireFTP quite a bit, but I’ve found these other two are much faster. WinSCP is kinda old school, but it’s great for editing files directly on the server w/ Notepad 2.
I’ve been using HootSuite quite a bit lately, but I’m still a fan of DestroyTwitter. I love the DT interface, but lately I’ve been managing quite a bit of Twitter Accounts and Facebook Pages. I love how HootSuite lets me do all of that. I’ve got Facebook pages for Go Media, The Arsenal, ShirtMockup, Parachute Journalists, Myself, and a few random others. Same with Twitter. It gets overwhelming, HootSuite is the only way to keep it organized.
Google Reader. I used to subscribe via email, but my inbox just would get cluttered and overloaded and I spent more time deleting posts than reading them. Google Reader is much nicer for this. However, I find myself not logging in and honestly it’s been like a month since I last logged in. I’ve been swamped so it’s easy to forget about keeping up with your favorite sites.
We’ve got an in-house project management app called Prooflab that we built to run the ins and outs of Go Media. We’re actually working on a complete overhaul and will release it to the general public. But I also use Basecamp, Highrise, and somtimes Outlook for task management.
Photoshop, it’s just the standard. I’m good at it and wouldn’t use anything else.
Illustrator. Same as above.
Any Other Apps You’d Like to Share?
My fellow Go Media colleague Adam Wagner has turned me onto a few neat apps like YadaByte Subtext for text replacement. For example, I can fill a text block w/ Lorum Ipsum just by typing â€œlorum2â€ for two paragraphs. It recognizes what you type and replaces it with whatever text you want. If you say the same things to people in emails, this is handy. He also pointed me to a handy app called â€œFolderMenuâ€ which adds middle mouse button functionality to access your frequently used folders and files. It has saved me tons of time navigating through client folders and directories. I also like using â€œFolderSizesâ€ for seeing how much disc space particular projects are taking up on our server. When we’re reaching capacity, this app shows me what clients are the biggest disc space hogs. Like â€œoh wow, this client is taking up 22% of our entire server, better back it up and delete it). When you have tons of files, this stuff can get out of control.
Connect With Jeff
- Go Media
- Shirt Mockup
- WMC Fest
- Parachute Journalists
- Portfolio Site
That’s A Wrap
Feel free to comment and add your tools of choice for any or all of the categories above.