Software wise I started out years ago with CorelDRAW and PSP (Paint Shop Pro), but then I moved to the full Adobe Creative Suite package. My strong point was PhotoShop and I’ve spend A LOT of time working with PhotoShop, but I have also done work with Dreamweaver, Illustrator, and InDesign as well. Switching job I lost my access to the Creative Suite package and for a few versions I dished out the money myself to stay aboard (CS4 was the last I got). But about 2010 or so I got a new PC, and refused to pay the high price for a new CS upgrade. So in stead I went completely open source. Replacing PhotoShop with Gimp, Illustrator with InkScape and InDesign with Scribus. These programs did not match the feature set of the Adobe Creative Suite, but at least I did not have to pay +1000€ every year to stay updated. I have stayed with these open source programs until 2020 and had become very proficient in both Gimp and InkScape. Even though these programs were updated with new improvements over the years, I have often looked at a subscription for the Adobe Creative Cloud, but $600 a year is simply too much for my taste. It was one thing if all you lost was access to new upgrades if you canceled your subscription, but in stead if you stop subscribe you loose all (“you only rent access to the software”).
Forward to 2020 I began to hear more and more good things about Affinity, and I started to watch tutorials for Affinity Designer, -Photo and -Publisher to learn about the features they had. It was obvious to me that their feature set was more in line with the Adobe software than the open-source I had been using, and the price of $50 for each of the 3 programs seemed fair (you buy each major version, in stead of “rent” on a monthly basis). I had planed to “play it cool” and wait for them to go on sale, but in the end I couldn’t resist so I went for Affinity Design and Affinity Photo at full price. Publisher was added to the collection a week later (again, couldn't resist). I love the way publisher's studio link lets you edit both vector and raster content directly from within Publisher (if you also own Designer and Photo).
Back in the day it was hard leaving PhotoShop and Illustrator for Gimp and InkScape (to be honest, in the end I missed Adobe Bridge the most). But the change from Gimp/InkScape to Affinity Photo/-Design was not nearly as hard. Naturally everything took 3 times as long to do in the beginning, because all the old keyboard short-cuts were stuck in my fingers, and you had to learn other ways to do the same thing. Affinity Photo was love at first sight, and I loved the (none-destructive) adjustments- and layer-effects from the get go. Affinity Design took me a little longer to get used to, and I felt there were more ways where I had to do things differently than I was used to (e.g. that everything is a layer on its own, and sometime you have to find/select the items in the layer-list in stead of being able to select them with the mouse within the drawing). But producing multiple illustrations in the same file, but placing them on each their own storyboard (for batch export) is just SO MUCH more easy that what I used to do with InkScape (e.g. producing graphical buttons for the Stream Deck). Also I love the way you can have both raster- and vector-graphics in both programs and how you can “place” files inside other files.
I wish Serif (the company behind the Affinity-software) will come up with a DAM (Digital Asset Manager) on par with Adobe Bridge. On their forum there are posts dating back to 2016, where they say they have plans to produce a DAM, but so far it have been pushed in the background while they made iPad versions of Designer and Photo, and produced Publisher for PC and Mac (personally I guess an iPad of Publisher will be prioritized over a DAM). As of now I have settled using XnView MP. It is nowhere near Abobe Bridge, that I have used in the past, but at least its better than dishing ouy +100€ for iMatch, ACDSee or something similar (still have my fingers crossed that Serif will make a great DAM).
When it comes to Fonts I am using MainType (from High-Logic) as my font-manager. It lets me browse- and search through all my fonts, both those that are installed and those who are not. Selecting a font you can see a sample-text (you can have your own), and you can see all the individual characters of that font. You can create various tags, and for each font you can set the appropriate tags. E.g. I use a "Danish" tag for those fonts that are available in Danish (contains the 3 special letters we have, that are not available in the English language). Once the tags have been set, I can quickly find all fonts that contains the tags I specify (e.g. "Danish", "Script", "Elegant"). Once found, its just one click to install that font. If you only need to use a font for a single header (which you transform into a path/curve in a vector-program) you can make a temporary installation of the font, so that it is only available until you reboot the computer. So this is one way to reduce the number of fonts you have installed.
I still have Gimp and InkScape installed on my computer, but I hardly ever use Gimp any more, and InkScape I only use when I need to make small tweaks to illustrations that I produced in the past with InkScape (or if I need to auto-trace raster into vector, as Affinity is missing this feature). All new vector graphics I make, is made in Affinity Design.