Many of us have been in situations where budget is a bit tight or non-existence. Over the years I’ve pulled together a handy list of all the tools that have helped me out in my role without breaking the bank. I’m definitely not advocating the replacement of creative agencies, as these guys are absolute life-savers when you need some support and guidance on the big ticket items. I just enjoy making things look as good as they can be, as it makes such a difference to how people read your message. The tools I’ve mentioned below will definitely help take your materials to the next level:
Firstly, let’s be clear, IC are not a design department and frankly it’s not really our role to make things look ‘pretty’. However, in a small organisation or somewhere where budget is bit of an issue it can be all hands-on-deck at times and sometimes you do have to support leaders/managers if you want to get things done.
Once you’ve made the decision that you have time to support, you will want to use something that’s easy and doesn’t cost the earth. Microsoft Word is fine but it’s restrictive and can be a bit boring. PowerPoint is a bit easier to manipulate but again you’re limited on what you can do. My go-to design tool has to be Canva. If you’ve never used Canva before you are missing out.
This online tool is easy to use, doesn’t require any software and has 1000s of templates, icons and images you can use. I’ve added some examples of some designs you can create.
It doesn’t cost a fortune and it’s something that will pay for itself throughout time.
I love animated videos and if I could do everything in animation I would. The only downside is that it can cost quite a bit of money. If you’re doing a big campaign that requires quite a bit of buy-in then I definitely recommend you spend some money to bring in some experts as they will not only design but they’ll also advise based on their experience. Biteable is great for creating quirky short videos that doesn’t require much text. You can upload your own images or use one of the many templates they have.
It’s an online software package which again doesn’t require you to download software to your machine. There are a few templates available which are ridiculously easy to use. You choose the templates, add your words, choose the colours and add some music from their music library, and you’re on your way. I recently created a #CIPRProud video which I’ve attached below. It only took me 20 minutes but it definitely did the job I needed it to do.
If you take quite a lot of photos on your phone then you definitely need to download the Photoshop app from app store. It’s a lifesaver and can make your images look like they’ve been taken by a professional. It’s free to download but there is a small fee if you want to use all the features. Definitely something to consider if you’re the resident photographer as well (we’ve all been there!).
This is a bit contentious as some organisations can be a bit funny with anything that involves collecting data – especially with GDPR on its way. However, if you can get through the legalities of using it then Eventbrite is well worth the effort as this tool really helps keep things in order. It sends automatic alerts, allows you to collate lists, you can sort by acceptance, ask custom questions and to top it all off it helps you to create badges (if you know, you know!). It’s free to use if you’re not charging for the event – so definitely look into it if you’ve never used it before.
I hope you find these useful. Are there any more you use that you think should be added to the list? Let me know and I’ll include.