When I’m looking to create something great, these are the 10 tools that I turn to first.
Skillshare – Learn (or Teach) Anything
Skillshare is an online community where you can learn, or teach, anything from cooking to coding to creating your own film. You’ll even find online classes from some of the best creatives in the world, like Seth Godin and Gary Vaynerchuk. Sign up for free for access to hundreds of online classes and tutorials, or pay $10 a month for Premium membership, which means unlimited access to the thousands of classes on Skillshare. New members get three months of Premium access for $0.99.
Canva – Design Anything
Whether you need a graphic for your next Instagram post, a new Facebook cover, or a print advertisement or flyer, Canva lets you create professional-level work in no time at all. (I use it for everything.) No design knowledge needed – just choose from one of their many templates, upload your own images or choose from Canva’s library, drag and drop things as needed, and you’re done.
Type Genius – Find The Perfect Font Combinations
I’m a typography junkie and I can appreciate how much great fonts help to tell a story. With Type Genius, you no longer need to guess about which fonts work well together for headers, subtitles, paragraphs, and the like. Enter one font and you’ll get several recommendations for fonts that pair well with it, complete with visual mockups of how they look on the same page and links to find & download the fonts to your computer.
Creative Market – Access Design Templates Of All Types
If you’re in need of a wider range of graphic assets, Creative Market has it all. Here you’ll find hundreds of WordPress templates, fonts, icons, logos, and much more. Plus, if you subscribe to their email newsletter, you’ll get 6 free “goods” sent to your inbox every Monday.
Medium – Write Anything & Share It With The World
Medium is a mix of a blogging platform, social media site, and news source. Once you create an account, you’ll have your dedicated Medium page and profile. From there you can read what’s trending, bookmark articles you like, and find and follow other Medium members so that their articles automatically appear in your feed. You can also turn Medium into your very own blog (like I do here) by writing and publishing your own articles for your followers — and the rest of the Medium community — to see.
CreativeMornings – Connect With The Creative Community
CreativeMornings is an international breakfast lecture series for the creative community. If you are in one of the hundreds of cities with a CreativeMornings chapter, you can sign up to attend an in-person — and free — Friday morning talk, held once a month, and led by a variety of speakers. (Spaces always fill up FAST.) You can also be a part of the community online, by watching their thousands of past talks and engaging via social media. They’ve also just launched a podcast.
Scrivener – (Finally) Write That Book
While I do most of my other writing elsewhere, all of my long-text work is done in Scrivener. It serves as both a writing tool and a place to visually organize the pieces of a story, as an easy way to keep track of several moving parts. In Scrivener, you can use the storyboard layout to map out the different sections that need to be written, tackle them in whatever order you prefer, and reorganize the sections as you go along. Start with a free trial and then purchase for a one-time cost of $40. Windows and Mac compatible.
Death to the Stock Photo – Get The Images You’ve Always Wanted
Death to the Stock Photo is one of the more popular stock photography sources, primarily because their images look nothing like stock photography. I use their images all the time, like here, here, and here. Their business model relies on the work of professional photographers who take photos specifically for the site and its members. You can start getting their free monthly photo packs by subscribing via email. There’s also an option to upgrade to a Premium plan to get more images, more often.
Pexels – Access Thousands Of Free Images
Pexels collects high quality, hi-resolution images from several stock photography sites and combines them all in one place, eliminating the need to search multiple locations for that perfect image. Even better — it’s free.
Calm – Have A Quiet Moment
When I need to stop and gather my thoughts or regain clarity and focus around a particular project, I turn to the Calm app. Calm offers several guided and unguided meditations, covering everything from creating calm to reducing anxiety or inducing sleep. Sign up for free for access to their core meditations. For $9.99/month, get unlimited access to all meditations.
What tools do you use for your creative work? Share in the comments.
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