Online tools I’m still using as a freelance illustrator

Cinyee Chiu
7 min readJun 26, 2019

I’ve worked as a freelance illustrator for 3 years this summer. From having no clients and no experience, to having many different types of case done, there are some online tools I think it’s very useful and I’m still using now. I want to share with you!

First, visual tools for illustrators


This is basic, you English-using people should know. I just listed it here in the Chinese version because I realized not everyone knows Pinterest in Taiwan.

Great for inspiration, I usually spend way more time on Pinterest than on Facebook or Instagram


While Pinterest is for collecting inspirations, when I’m working on a project, I use Padlet to organize my visual thoughts. Padlet is a true online mood board. Not just images, you can also put texts and arrange each piece in the way you want. This is something Pinterest cannot do.

Thoughts for ideal room. I put notes with the images and arrange them in sections. With Pinterest I can’t do this.
When I need photo references and visual inspirations, I put them in sections but still on one page, so I can see everything at a glance. With Pinterest it’ll be messier.

With the free account, you can have 27 padlets. You can also share the padlet to other people to edit if you are collaborating on a project. I always work on myself so I haven’t used this function though. When you finish the 27 padlets, you can export a png of the whole board for the record, and then delete or clear the padlet.

Time & project management tools that everyone likes


I love Trello too much, been using it for many years. I used to try scheduling on paper, but no, I get back to Trello in the end. Although there are tons of project management tools everywhere, I still feel Trello has the simplest and the most flexible design. With all kinds of extensions, you can plan and manage almost everything on Trello.