The Ultimate Creative Toolkit: Free Digital Resources & Design Tools

Discover how to source content when you can’t capture it yourself with these creative resources.

Creative Toolkit
Portrait for Kelsie RimmerBy Kelsie Rimmer  |  Updated April 25, 2023

Whether you’re in or out of lockdown, if there’s anything this global crisis has taught us, it’s that it doesn’t hurt to be prepared! You never know what’s just around the corner, so if your work involves capturing, creating or promoting creative content – having a Plan B is paramount. 

Worldwide pandemic or not, knowing how to source and create high-quality content from home is a valuable career skill for any freelancer or creative professional to have in their design toolkit. There’s a looooooot of resources, guides, templates and content out there – so you’ve gotta know what you’re looking for, where to look and how to find it quick-smart.

Whether you’re working from home, time-poor or simply looking for some extra cards to keep up your sleeve, we’ve put together this Creative Toolkit full of free digital resources, design tools and high-quality content for when you can’t venture out into the world and film or photograph it yourself.

01. Photos & Photography Tools

If you’re a content creator, designer, small business owner or anything in between – photos and images are typically going to be the bread and butter of your online content. Luckily, there are a huge number of resources online for creating, editing and sourcing amazing photos and images for your creative projects when you can’t go out and snap them yourself.

Stock Photos

Bright and colorful photo collection from Twenty20

Stuck in iso or just low on inspo? Browse an image library like the collections from Envato Elements and Twenty20, all available with an Envato Elements subscription.

Over on Twenty20 you’ll find authentic photography – all shot by creatives like you – covering a whole range of themes, from the topical (activism, working from home) to the inspirational (bright and colorful).

With plenty of styles to choose from, you’ll be sure to find the picture perfect photo for whatever your creative project may be. Once you’ve selected your photos, you can head to Placeit and resize your images, with our free image resizer tool.

Filters, Presets & Editing Software

If you already have some great photos of your own in your camera roll, you can use Filters and presets to bring them to life! VSCO, Snapseed, Photoshop Express and Lightroom Mobile are all great apps for adding some razzle dazzle to your phone snaps.

You can try your hand at more advanced programs such as Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for more professional pics. Adobe has even introduced a Photoshop camera which edits photos as you snap – talk about a time saver.


If you’re unable to get into the studio to shoot, mockups are the perfect way to bring a product to life without having to photograph it in situ.

Make your designs look more professional and put together by presenting a full rendering of your design as it will appear on various mediums – such as smartphones, stationery, flyers or signage. You can also head to Placeit for a huge range of mockups including free mockup templates.

02. Video Tools

It’s no secret that video is THE most entertaining and engaging form of digital content online. The great news is – putting your ideas into motion from the comfort of your home isn’t as hard as it may seem. All you really need to create an amazing video is a good camera and a great idea – but, if you can’t go out and shoot it yourself, you gotta look elsewhere!

Stock Video & Audio

While the term ‘stock video’ may conjure up nightmarish images of memes and watermarks, there’s actually a heap of incredible authentic stock video footage out there just waiting to be put into motion – you just have to know where to look!

Stock websites such as MixKit (which provides free stock video) and Envato Elements have a huge collection of stunning video content created by professional videographers and filmmakers, so that you don’t have to – which you can download at the click of a button. There are also plenty of audio tracks and sound effects to pair with your video and make it pop!

Video Editing Software

The next thing you need in your kit is some video editing tools. Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects are two of the best video editing and video effects programs on the market, so if you’re not already familiar with them – now’s the time to get a movie on!

Here are some great video editing courses, including a free introduction to After Effects and a free introduction to Premiere Pro to get you up to speed.

Video Templates

Glitch Opener Video Template from MixKit
Glitch Opener Video Template from MixKit

If you’re just starting out, low on time or just want to keep your videos consistent – video templates are the way to go. Video templates do all the hard work for you, leaving you with an incredible end product.

Try out Placeit’s awesome video maker, or you can find heaps of incredible free video templates over at MixKit and premium video templates on Envato Elements.

03. Design Tools

Thankfully, even in isolation, many designers are still thriving. With most design tools accessible from the comfort of your laptop, there are so many resources, templates, tools and assets available online for designers to draw from – even while stuck at home.

Design Software

Adobe Photoshop, and InDesign are definitely designer favorites and go-to tools for many creatives, so these are great programs to have in your kit. Other software and online tools such as Figma, Sketch and Visme are great for bringing your ideas to life and collaborating with other designers.

Mockups & Portfolio Templates

During times of social distancing, mockups can be a really useful tool to help your clients to visualize your designs, or even to sell or promote a product without having to photograph it. Get to grips with the latest mockup trends and try mockups for apparel, packaging, iPhones and more.

If you’re using this time to give your portfolio a revamp or refresh, we recommend mockups to showcase your work. And if you’re low on time, you can also make your life easier with a high quality portfolio template.

Fonts and Logos

If choosing the right font for your project has got you asking, ‘what the font?’, never fear – Envato Elements has a huge range of fonts to choose from!

From classic and minimalist to crazy and edgy, you’re guaranteed to find just your type. Discover our pick of the best fonts of 2020 to get started – and you can be informed by the latest font trends for some inspiration, too.

Once you’ve found a font, create a logo with Placeit’s logo maker. Or if you want something more flexible, you can find plenty of logo templates over at Envato Elements.

Design Tutorials

Whether you’re just getting started as a designer or just want to improve your skills, learn how to use Adobe InDesignPhotoshop or Illustrator with free courses over on Envato Tuts+.

Follow this guide on the top creative skills to master for our free design courses and tutorials selection.

04. Illustration Tools

While working from home as an illustrator might be the norm – it doesn’t hurt to have a few extra resources up your sleeve! Let’s get illustraight to it.

Illustration Software

Software such as Illustrator and Procreate are some of the best programs on the market for digital illustration and art. Envato Elements also offers a variety of Adobe add ons if you need a helping hand to get creative!

Illustration Resources

There are plenty of tools and resources for digital artists and illustrators to draw from online, including free stock art, as well as Photoshop actions, brushes, vectors and even illustration packs

If you’re looking for something a little more arty ‘n’ crafty, there are even a range of collage templates for you to try your hand at.

Illustration Tutorials

Whether you’re new to illustration or not, there’s always plenty of skills to learn and techniques to master.

There are heaps of free illustration courses and drawing tutorials available online to help you brush up on your abilities, or you can even draw some inspiration from other illustrators or 2020’s trending illustration styles!

05. Marketing Tools

When you’re a creator, marketing your work is an essential element of making a living from your craft. Finding the time and money to do it, however, is a whole other story! 

For quick and easy ways to market yourself, there are plenty of digital marketing tools, resources and templates available online, giving you a fully equipped at-home marketing suite at your fingertips. 

Social Media

Apps such as Easil, Unfold and and Later are super handy for planning and scheduling your social media content, and Socialinsider and Sprout Social will help you keep track of your analytics. Envato also offers a huge range of social media tools and social media templates to make your social media marketing as easy as possible.

Free mobile website builder app Milkshake is a top tool to have in your kit, as it allows you to make a fully customised Insta website for your social media pages to highlight all you have to offer and make the most of your link in bio

If you need some help getting started, check out our Social Media Marketing Guide, Instagram Stories Toolkit, and Instagram Trends 2020.


When it comes to marketing, it’s all about presentation! Envato Elements has nearly 40,000 professional presentation templates to choose from, to ensure your slides and pitch decks are dressed to impress every time.

If you want to level up your presenting skills and design, check out our free downloadable guide to creating great presentations over on Envato Tuts+.


If you’ve been waiting for the right time to revamp, refresh or makeover your branding, there’s no time like the present! Creating a strong and recognisable personal brand is essential for presenting a professional and unique image to attract new customers.

Give your branding a bit of self care with our guide to personal branding, as well as templated style guides and brand guidelines over at Envato Elements.

Website Design

Creating a website will increase the professionalism, visibility and credibility of your personal brand and attract new customers via search.

For a quick, easy and effective way to design, create or update your website in no time, check out these curated lists of website templates, WordPress themes, landing page templates and Elementor Template Kits to use.

Video Marketing

As video content continues to grow on both social media and search engines, having a video marketing strategy for your business is key. So if you’re not already on the video marketing train, it’s time to get a movie on!

Keeping on top of video trends, video channels and tracking video performance are all important elements of a successful video marketing strategy. Learn all there is to know in our free video marketing guide!

Looking for more resources? You can also find our Portfolio Guide, Branding Guide, the Top Free & Premium Social Media Templates 2020 and more on the Elements Blog as well as courses and tutorials on Envato Tuts+.

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