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My Essential UI Toolset

February 06, 2020

“A good tool improves the way you work. A great tool improves the way you think.”

- Jeff Duntemann

“No amount of tools can help a bad product. You have to remain genuine in your product development innovation and quality.”

- Kara Swisher

The quotes above can be applied to pretty much anyone and the choices of tools they choose to use, regardless of profession.

Even with the best tools, you still have to learn how and when to apply then given the task at hand. Not to mention having tools you can always rely on to help you with your craft is always a plus!

For this post, I wanted to share my ever-growing list of tools that help me do the work that I do, from frontend development to UI/UX design.

These are some of the software, sites, and services that I found either on my own or via suggestions by fellow designers and developers (below).


  • Notion - Note-taking, Task listing, budget management, keeping track of roles I applied to, trip itineraries, the list goes on. Notion is a one-stop-shop for teams and solo power users, with many templates to choose from to keep track of and manage workflow and options for collaboration.
  • Slack - I use this to for communication with groups that I’m in, and have used it in the past for the last few jobs I was on. Nowadays I mostly use it to keep up with groups such as codenewbies, blacktechpipeline, and united designers.
  • Bear - I use this for taking quick notes, saving images in notes when not online. Plenty of options for using markdown and HTML.
  • Visual Studio Code - For all coding projects, it’s my main compiler, after having left Brackets and Atom behind. There are many extensions to choose from to enhance your productivity and your projects in general.
  • Adobe XD - UI design software used to create artboards and mockups.
  • FIgma- Another UI design software, similar to Xd but with collaboration in mind and an emphasis on interactions.
  • Pixelden - Premium option for high quality images. Paid of course.
  • Unsplash - Good option for high-quality images, totally free, no watermarks.
  • Adobe Illustrator - just started using this, and so far it’s come through for stuff non-tech related, like the business cards I’ve designed for freelancing. It can (optional) also be used for creating mobile and desktop mockups and image-intensive projects.
  • Coolors.co - Color palette generator, you can use it to create custom palettes. They have a feature to lock certain colors so that you keep them after refreshing the remaining set for customization.
  • Colormind- AI-powered color palette generator, supposed to use algorithms to create a cohesive set of colors for use in your next project.

This list will most likely see updates as time passes or when I find something else to aid me in my work. Keep in mind that I am not suggesting you use all the ones listed here, but if you find one you like that’s a good thing! :smiley: