Having a repertoire of tools is essential for making and designing. What I would recommend for any starting out:
Arduino for physical prototyping.
P5JS for interactive programming.
Atom.io for a text based code editor.
Inkscape for vector based design.
Audacity for audio edit and conversion.
Gimp for advanced photoediting.
Snapseed (android & ios) for basic image correction.
iMovie (if on a mac) for Movie editing.
TinkerCad for basic 3D modelling.
Slack or discord for online collaboration.
Google drive (+ docs and slides) for organizing your code, files, documentation and presentations.
You can find the links below.
My personal gearbag is the following: Snapseed for quick photo manipulation. Affinity Designer for vector drawing and Final Cut Pro X for movie editing, Arduino for physical prototyping and P5JS for visual programming. Google drive for files and office tools like slides, docs and sheets.
Blow is a curated list of software tools that can be used for design, prototyping and documenting. We are often forced to into commercial products wrapped in student licences and short term triels. With this list I try to provide free or even "open source" alternatives. I hope this page can help you find yours.
See also https://fablab.ruc.dk/essential-tools-for-prototyping/ for a longer list og good tools.
Open source tool for macing PCB diagrams. Good for makers because it has all the Arduino components. They have made a 8$ dollar fee on the download link. You should consider donating, but you can also find it here:
Is also easy to use.
Open source and market leader.
Free with advertisements.
Good and well developed open source version. Use the latest beta version.
Market leader, but subscription based.
One time cost - good alternative, but a bit tricky with export for laser cutting
One time cost - good alternative.
Subscription based with a free alternative.
Deep nest is vector placement utility that places your objects as close as possible on your plate so you do not waste materials when cutting.
Good open source image editor.
Android and Iphone based photo correction tool. Really good for basic correction.
Good open source photo editor for windows.
Affinity photo editor.
photoscape x(on mac)
photos app on Mac
Creative programming fremaworks
Programming framework for creeative programming.
Simple and fast interface for programming. Based on Java language.
Fast visual engine in C++
Fast visual engine in C++
Node based programming engine.
Market leader in node based programming language.
Screen recording / casting
Quicktime can be used on Mac for basic screen recording.
There are many interesting online live programming tools.
Especially for music and visuals
Sometimes it is neccesary to route audio (or midi) in special ways in the computer.
Network protocol debugging