Hey designers! The BEE team is heading to this year’s Adobe Max conference, so we’ve definitely been thinking about all the different resources for email designers.
We all know the internet can be a little… overwhelming, especially when you’re on your own as a freelance or contract designer. It’s time-consuming to track down what you need when you need them to work quickly and efficiently. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of our favorite resources for email designers to help with collaboration, organization, and inspiration. Use these tools to work better, and let us know which ones you can’t live without so we can add them to the list!
Keep your design knowledge and skills sharp by tapping into great resource aggregators: email design blogs. These blogs cover all things email design and routinely put out inspiring, useful content. Of course, the blog you’re reading right now, our very own Email Design Workshop, is intended to be a place where you can get inspired and learn how to build better emails. We’re grateful to have you as a reader. Here are some of our other favorite resources for excellent email design content.
#1. Really Good Emails
The name says it all. Really Good Emails is a go-to resource for finding hundreds of inspiring emails all in one place (though Pinterest is great too). Created by MailChimp, the archive is searchable by keyword and category. Plus, the blog also has a resources section with posts on email marketing and design. We’re fans of the RGE newsletter, too.
FreshInbox creator Justin Khoo says he created the FreshInbox blog when he realized that “email is finally growing up and is starting to adopt cooler new capabilities such as media queries and interactivity.” The FreshInbox blog is where he writes about just that. With posts going back to 2013, the blog has tons of in-depth goodies for email geeks, from responsive roll-over images to CSS animations. It’s a must-read.
#3. The Better Email
Litmus project manager Jason Rodriguez is the mastermind behind the Better Email, a blog and resource destination for email designers. Rodriguez’s resource list includes a treasure trove of links to email design tools, courses, blogs, and more.
There’s no question Litmus is an email industry giant. From the Litmus Live conferences to webinars to the blog, Litmus is a valuable place to keep up with the latest in email.
The Emma blog is a great place to find email marketing tips and strategies, plus plenty of fun email examples to draw inspiration from.
When it comes to pulling off a great email marketing campaign, collaboration is critical. Designers need to coordinate with developers, project managers, art directors, clients, and others. There’s a lot to juggle—which means it’s super important to be organized and to communicate well. Here are a few of our favorite resources for staying on top of project coordination and communication.
Trello is a free and easy way to keep track of what you’re working on. Designers can use it to prioritize to-do’s, set due dates, and manage their workflow. Plus, you can collaborate with others and do everything you need to on the move with the mobile app.
#7. Google Drive
If you or anyone you know uses Gmail, chances are, you also use Google Drive. It’s an incredibly easy, intuitive place to create, share, and store docs, spreadsheets, presentations, and more. (We personally love the ability to create in-email surveys). It’s a powerful resource for storage, creation, and collaboration.
Slack seems to be everyone’s favorite communication tool. It’s free and intuitive to use. Plus, it integrates well with Trello and Google Drive, giving you a powerful combo of team organization and communication.
Agencies and enterprises often opt for a robust cloud-based project management tool that can be used across teams—like Workfront. The tool helps teams collaborate and work better with visual calendars, custom dashboards, and time-tracking features.
What about the tools to help you work faster and better when it comes to actually making good design? We’ve got a few ideas. If you missed our previous post, 21 Email Design Tools to Transform Your Emails, here’s a quick roundup:
#10. Font, icon, and stock photo tools
#11. Photo editing tools
#12. GIF and meme tools
#13. Prototyping and video tools
#14. Chart, graph, and survey tools
Plus, here are a few apps designers told us they liked: Sketch (a design toolkit) and Coda (HTML Editor). And there’s even more at DesignResources.Party.
The design industry is huge and amorphous, with email design occupying one particular niche. There’s a lot going on. Occasionally—or regularly, depending on your preference—email designers need to tap into the bigger picture for perspective and inspiration. We do that by listening to great voices in the design industry on a few fantastic platforms, including:
Conferences, job boards, conversation, meet-ups—when it comes to design thought leadership, AIGA has it all. After all, it has earned the claim of being the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design.
HeyDesigner has hundreds of posts and resources on everything from typography to mood boarding to product design and beyond. You can opt to receive their newsletter on a daily or weekly basis to keep your finger on the pulse of all things design.
Need to brush up on your design skills? Sometimes a YouTube tutorial just won’t cut it. Skillshare offers a huge selection of classes you can take from home at your convenience—including design courses aplenty.
No designer can do his or her job without coming into contact with an Adobe product, from Photoshop to InDesign to Spark and more. You can find tutorials, guides, and instructions for any of their products on the site, plus a wealth of info on their digital marketing blog.
Dribbble is “show and tell” for designers. But it’s more than a website: don’t miss design expertise extolled via its podcast, blog, or in meetups.
Share your go-to resources for email designers
The design universe certainly stretches to the far reaches of the internet, but we hope this is a valuable starting point for your must-have email design resources. Let us know your favorite resources in the comments!
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