Here are our 7 favorite design and blogging tools of 2016

Helpful and necessary design tools and blogging resources: these are the apps and software we thankfully relied on during 2016.

Every year we find new resources that turn out to be the most helpful and necessary design and blogging tools. But some others we tend to stick with, year after year, just because they are still what better serve our needs. These are the tools we thankfully relied on during 2016:

1. Evernote

With Evernote you’ll collect, nurture, and share ideas across desktop and mobile platforms. I had always used the Notes app from Apple, but a new world opened up after I met Evernote. My thoughts are always with me, accessible and in sync. It lets you organize your notes by Notebooks, save them in the full article layout, or just in a simplified one. And the best feature has got to be sharing easily your notebooks with whoever you will. We use mainly Evernote to produce Elumina – we organize our Publishing Calendar, save inspiration and store our info.

2. Grammarly

Grammarly is an online proofreading tool that checks text for grammar, punctuation, and style, and features a contextual spelling checker and plagiarism detector. Every writer needs an editor, even if it’s a digital proofreader. It will catch the mistakes your eyes will miss when correcting the text yourself – our brains trick us, believe me.

3. Photoshop

Good old Photoshop. It’s a very versatile software, you gotta give it that. There is so much one can execute using Photoshop. You’ll not only create and enhance your photos, images, 3D artwork with Adobe Photoshop CC, but also use it along Illustrator to develop branding concepts, illustrations, and whatever your heart desires. It’s still the world’s best imaging and photo editing software.

4. Gratisography

Gratisography offers free high-resolution pictures you can use on your personal and commercial projects. It’s super quick to download – just by clicking on an image, you’ll automatically download the high-resolution version. They also release new awesome pictures added weekly. All pictures were photographed by Ryan McGuire and free of copyright restrictions, and are gorgeously quirky. We love Gratisography and use it to find super cool photos here in Elumina, very often!

5. Sketch

Sketch gives you the power, flexibility, and speed so you can focus on what you do best: Design. It has a flexible workflow with support for Multiple Pages and Artboards and powerful features like Symbols and Shared Styles are there to make reusing elements quick and easy. It allows you to easily create complex shapes with the state-of-the-art vector boolean operations and to take advantage of the extensive layer styles. Sketch’s fully vector-based workflow makes it easy to create high-quality artwork from start to finish.

6. WordPress

WordPress is an open source software you can use to create websites, blogs, or apps. It’s got beautiful themes, powerful features, and the freedom to build anything you want. WordPress is both free and priceless at the same time. The WordPress market is rapidly growing, so it’s handy to find plugins if you want to optimize your website. Elumina is hosted by Worpress, as is our awesome Minimal Theme.

7. ImageOptim

Using this free online service, you can resize, compress and optimize your image files. Using the service is as easy as clicking of a button. Just drag your files into it and voila! Optimized images are necessary when uploaded, as sites usually have a limit capacity of file storage. So the optimized images are more suitable for web pages, email attachments, or even storage on your disk.

Want some more?

How about starting a blog this year? Check why you should, here: 7 simple reasons why every designer should have a blog.

Helpful and necessary design tools and blogging resources: these are the apps and software we thankfully relied on during 2016.