In this week’s blog battle, a few members of our team share tools, apps and sites that ignite creativity and productivity.
Jing — Michael Parker, Project Manager
Jing helps me out at least once every single day at work! It is a free downloadable screen grab tool that can help in so many ways. It has a bunch of great features and I use a majority of them. You can grab still image screenshots or set a frame to record a video in. When you grab a still image screenshot, you can then add arrows, text, boxes, or highlights all in any color you want to help explain what you are using the screenshot for. You can then either save the image to your computer or create a short link that copies right to your clipboard to paste in an email, HipChat conversation, etc.
Jing is a great resource to use when trying to provide further details on tasks for our internal teams here at AYC Media, and it is also very useful in communication with clients when they are not available to do a virtual meeting or if you are just replying to an email. It has saved so much back and forth communication and created efficiency in what may seem to be small bits, but it adds up and certainly is a valuable daily tool.
Flipboard — Mike Leary, Interface Design Director
Flipboard is an app that pulls in news from many publications into one easy to use interface. The idea is that the user is walked through a series of questions and with the answering of these questions hones the type of news that is pulled through. It’s like having your own easily defined, completely custom news source.
The really cool part of the app is the user interface and how you literally flip through articles. It makes the news viewing process far more engaging and easier to quickly scan through the articles you would like to view. From professional publications to sports, and even beer, the articles appear in a random order, mixing up the genres of the news listings. It’s a great way to get your personalized news without having to dig through hundreds of websites.
Blogs for Inspiration — Andrew Jackson, Senior Graphic Designer
As a graphic designer, I look to various outlets for inspiration and my favorite medium has to be blogs. My bookmarks bar is littered with design blogs that range from lettering to industrial design and everything in between. The standard three blogs that I visit every day are abduzeedo.com, Fromupnorth.com and Graphicburger.com. Each of these blogs has its own allure for me.
Abduzeedo and FromUpNorth have similar feeds that showcase immense amounts of work from across the web from various creatives. While FromUpNorth focuses more on graphic design, Abduzeedo delves into different art forms such as architecture, interior design, and features more user generated content.
GraphicBurger is an excellent resource for graphic designers to use as well. Unlike the past two blogs, GraphicBurger supplies designers with mostly free downloadable and working files to “beef up” designs. You can find documents such as signage mockups, free display fonts, resumé templates, and UI kits.
Amazon Dash Button — Jacob Marcinek, Website Strategist
The Amazon Dash Button orders a single product at the press of a button! However, it is not without its faults. We bought the dash for our dishwasher soap, thinking it would be a useful tool to help keep the kitchen items in stock. It was much more hassle than one “press of a button.”
When we attempted to attach this to the refrigerator, the provided adhesive did not hold. The dash could be improved if it had a magnet to secure to the fridge. In addition, we could have made better use of the dash on a product we go through faster, such as paper towels. I'd rate this product a three out of five Stars.