If you are trying to save time by eliminating extraneous steps in your graphic design workflow, you’re not the only one. Most successful CEOs share this trait: an obsessive commitment to improving efficiency until the workflow is optimized. It’s a great characteristic for someone moving up the corporate design ladder, rocking the Mac at home or collaborating in a boutique design group. In all cases, time saved equals happier clients and a more productive workflow for you. That’s what they call a win-win.
1. Use Evernote
Evernote is an online application that helps you organize your online bookmarks. If you find a video tutorial or blog post about the latest trends in design, photo manipulation or Adobe Suite, save it in Evernote for easy recall to allow you to learn a new technique that will save you time and enhance your work.
2. Save Customized Templates for Beginning New Projects
One of the first rules of improving a business process is combining the steps that are repeated. Save a template with preferences to avoid spending precious moments configuring page settings. Increase your speed and you may experience the fabled designer’s high, that is similar to a runner’s high. You will attain new heights of creativity and skill.
3. Mentor with Your Idol for a Day
Ever wonder what process your favorite graphic designer uses to create such amazing work? Call his publicist and ask to interview him for a blog article, or spend a few hours shadowing to enhance your professional skills. If you need help spotting a role model, contact the American Institute of Graphic Arts, an association that can link you with designers in your area.
4. Read More
Tricks of the trade are easy to find because many professionals are becoming more transparent today about the daily reality of the profession. Established designers who don’t need to worry about competition are particularly generous with information. Find a wide variety of websites on a top design blogs list (3) , subscribe to email newsletters, view blog posts and make comments to become engaged in a conversation. If you leave behind a link to your website, it could lead to new business and improved SEO.
5. Use and Customize Keyboard Shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts do not just save you time, they also make the action feel seamless and improve your overall work experience. Use an online reference and take a few moments to incorporate them into your workflow. Start by learning one each day for a week. The seconds you save on these tasks add up.
6. Improve Your Technology
As a designer, you load images and download software online. If your startup or download speed is slow, upgrade your connection to work around the frustration and time-lag inherent in this basic problem. It may seem like a splurge, but some internet companies, such as DSL.com, offer a variety of services to choose from and will consult with you to find a solution.