what i do

The goal of this "Life Hacks" page is to give you the tools I use to do the work I do every day.  There are some non work stuff like home hacks, parenting hacks, but they all go into helping me scale my time and maximize my productivity during work hours.

I want to give you all the knowledge you need to be able to take your design style and skills to the next level and become the designer or marketer you want to be.  These are my personal preferences and you could disagree with them and that's fine.  This is just the stuff that works for me. Enjoy and like anything on this site, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me.

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If you are not monetizing your brand online yet, you need to be.  I have been working on eCommerce websites since 2009 and my go to is Shopify.  I am an official Shopify Partner and Shopify Expert so I can help you with any part of your ecommerce web build from design and launch to app implementation.  If you want to start your own Shopify website, click here and contact me if you need help during your 2 week trial. If you want to have me start your project, great idea, I will give you a month free trial. Contact me today.

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WIX is a great option for any size business with any size website.  Theis dynamic platform gives the designer total creativity.  I am an official WIX Expert and can design you an amazing website in less time than you think it would take to get up and running. If you have a personal brand and want to get your online reputation started off on the write foot, starting with an engaging website is your first step, Contact me today.

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I have been using BlueHost for the last couple years.  I've tried out a lot of email clients and I like Bluehost best for quality and quantity.  I have upwards of 20 different email addresses I use for different asspects of my business and all of them are on one of the $3.95/month hosting package. I also host some of my smaller websites on their servers and I buy all my domains through BlueHost (so I can create any emails I need on my hosting plan.  If you have any questions about BlueHost or want me to help you set your account up, Contact me today.

WEB

 

DESIGN

The fastest way to take your design skill from where you are today, to where you could be in five years is to step up your mock up game. You can do that with an Envato Elements account.  It only cost $29.99/ month but for that, you get access to a ton of resources.  You get fonts, photos, videos, premade mock up files, website themes, and more.  The first thing I always use to tell my interns was, sign up for Envato and re do your portfolio.  If you have any questions about it, feel free to Contact me.

A lot of my productivity hinges on what tools I use.  I have spend a lot time researching and reading about any product that would help me be a better designer. Below is a list of products I use everyday.

LG 22" Monitors

These monitors are great.  I have a dual set up daisy chained off my laptop. Great color and resolution! 

Apple MacBook Pro

Nothing beats a Macbook for graphic design.  The best thing you can do for yourself is investing in a quality computer.

Apple Magic Keyboard

This blue tooth keyboard works perfectly with my laptop and looks pretty sweet too!

Laptop Desk Stand 

Great for getting your laptop up if you want your screens semi lined up if your a little particular like me.

1TB Portable External Hard Drive

You always need a reliable external hard drive to back your work up.  This 1TB hard drive has worked great for me for the last 2+ years.

Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse

This bluetooth mouse works great with my laptop and workflow.

Tablet Stand 

Just like the laptop stand, this tablet stand keeps my iPad at a confortable hight in my view line.

iPad Pro 11 inch

I LOVE my iPad Pro.  It is the perfect size to take with me to meetings and when I need to sketch something, nothing beats it.

Apple Pencil 

This Apple Pencil  is crazy. It feels like using traditional tools and alllows me to create anything I want.

 
 

LEARNING

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Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of classes in design, business, tech, and more. Anyone can join the millions of members in our community to learn cutting-edge skills, network with peers and discover new opportunities. I use Skillshare all the time.  I just finished a course about how to present to a camera.  If you want to try Skillshare out, I will give you a free TWO month trial. If you have any questions, Contact me today.

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One of the biggest 180's of my career happened after I started reading regularly.  I had no idea, but reading books like Crushing It by Gary V, Linchpin, and 12 Rules for Life, does all sorts of things for you.  I got more confident when I was talking to clients, I had better conversations with peers and was able to add value in all sorts of areas of my person life and professional life because I was thinking differently.  Sometimes, I can't sitdown and read and when I can't, I use Audiable.  It is great in the car and on in the background as Im working threw projects.  Try it for 30 days for free by clicking here or Contact me today.

Udemy is another online corse website that has over 3000 classes in so many different genres. The classes are around $9 and there is a ton of value for that.  If you have any questionsContact me today.

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PRODUCTIVITY

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Asana is easily organize and plan workflows, projects, and more, so you can keep your team's work on schedule. I have been using ASana for iWear Solution's workflow for the last couple years and I could not work on so many projects with out it.  We organize all the projects and task into boards with projects, subtasks, due dates, conversations, and timelines.  I even use Asana to lay out stuff like personal blogs, side projects, and even the outline of some books I am working on (the Don't Suck Collection) 

I love working with Asana as my project organization software and think it is a tool you should think about using too. If you have any questions, Contact me today.

Another 180 turn in my productivity came when I started using list.  I didn't want to write it down on paper every morning, so I started looking around and found WunderlistWunderlist is the easiest way to get stuff done. Whether you’re planning a holiday, sharing a shopping list with a partner or managing multiple work projects, Wunderlist is here to help you tick off all your personal and professional to-dos.

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RocketBook is awesome.  I use to go through books and books and books of notes and sketches.  Now, I use this magical notebook. Basically, there are qr codes on the bottom of each page.  You write what ever you want on the page then scan it with the app.  In the app, you can program where the app sends the "scan" based off what code you circle to places like Asana, emails, or your desktop.  Then, after the book is filled up, you microwave it with a cup of water and all the ink erases.  It's insane, You need to try it today. Click Here to order yours

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Cash App makes life as a freelance designer so easy.  You can use Venmo, but I prefer Cash App.  It connects to your debit card and you can send money request, pay vendors, split lunches, go in on gifts and pay people, all sorts of stuff.  If you Click this Link and download the Cash App, you will get $5 right off the back!  Check it out!

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Top Cashback makes online shopping easy.  I had to get a bunch of bins to organize my office and I went to the Top Cashback app and followed the links to stores like Dollar Tree and Target.  I bought what I was going to buy anyways and got cash back! If you Click this Link and download the Top Cashback App, you will get $15 right off the back!  Check it out!

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Shipt is another shopping app I use all the time.  In my area, I can get stuff from Target, Meijer (groceries), CVS, and Petco delivered with Shipt.  I am often too busy to think about what to make for dinner and forget to go shopping. This app allows me to take a 5 minute break, pick out my items, and then someone drops them off and I don't have to stop working. If you Click this Link and download the Shipt App, you will get $10 off the yearly membership!  Check it out!

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© 2020 by Nathan Johnson Chicago, IL All Rights Reserved www.natemadeit.comZeda.Pro

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