Free design tools to boost productivity & creativity

We all love a good freebie, especially when it turns out to be indispensable in day-to-day working life.

Here’s a selection of free design tools we use every day, useful things hand-picked by mark-makers across the business, to help you out with everything from photo-editing to font identification.

1. Snapseed

free tools for everyday use

An on-the-go, on your phone photo-editing App from google. Anyone who posts their photos on social media (which is everyone) should take five minutes to edit their shot in Snapseed. It’s quick and easy to use and will elevate your Instagram feed from zero to hero. – Nic


Helps you create consistency with custom links across each online channel. You can also track individual link analytics to measure campaign performance. – Jade

3. Hubspot Marketing Hub

Great for monitoring social media campaigns and hashtag tracking – don’t lose track of mentions and stories on social media. You can also create briefs, that are the perfect start for content. – Jade

4. Grammarly

 essential tools for the workplace

A spelling and grammar checker I now can’t live without. The free version covers all the basics, and the advanced one really gets into the finer points of things. If like me, you’re ready to give up on Word’s attempts at linguistic correctness, you can add Grammarly’s checker into the program and use that instead!

For non-Word users, Grammarly also has a text editor, which is free to download and is actually a really nice writing interface. You can even add the Grammarly extension to your browser, for an eagle eye on pretty much anything you write in a text field on the internet. Marvellous! – Chloe

5. Pocket

I use pocket as a bookmark replacement. With Pocket, I can save URLs from an extension and tag them for future reference.

6. Image searches

Business owners searching with images or even video instead of words dusts off whole new bits of your brain. Google, Pinterest, Creative Commons, your stock library, whatever you have access to. It’s great when you’re branching out for inspiration at the start of a project or stuck on an idea that won’t quite crystallise.

The mm* design team use them to make mood boards and for loads of other purposes too. It’s worth doing whatever you’re working on – you never know what weird, wonderful and funny connections the algorithms might make for you. Sometimes, the thing you’ve been looking for is just an image search away. – Chloe

7. Fontface Ninja

A designer’s dream, this free browser extension lets you inspect, try, buy and bookmark fonts online. Us designers love a critique and finding the nitty gritty details. This tool enables you to monitor type sizing, letter spacing and colour. – Tom

8. Feedly

RSS is not dead! I use Feedly as my RSS aggregator. With Feedly, you can organise your feeds into groups. – Shannon

9. Full Page Screen Capture

Purchased something online, want to capture information from a website or simply appreciate its aesthetics?

For Chrome users, Full Page Screen Capture is a simple way to take a full page screenshot of your browser and transform it into an image. – Tom

10. Streamkeys

A Google Chrome extension digital tool for business that lets you control sites like Youtube, Bandcamp and Soundcloud with the media keys (play, skip, etc.) on your keyboard. – Shannon

11. Session buddy

I save my browser tabs into a session and give it a name. Then if I close them, I can restore them in the future, a perfect productivity tool. – Shannon

-If there are any new discoveries in here for you, we hope they’re useful. Are there any little gems you use every day? Tweet us @markmaking1995

About markmaking*

mark-making* is an award-winning creative agency specialising in branding, campaigns and communications