Take Your Projects to the Next Level
These creative tools have helped me fine tune my creative skills, and bring my output to a higher standard. These are tools and websites that every creative needs bookmarked.
The internet was built on, and continues to be driven by creativity. Programmers pushing the boundaries of possibility. Artists using diverse platforms to get their work to an audience unrivaled by any gallery.
As the internet grew in size, the tools grew in complexity. More and more tools flooded the market to help us fine tune our work, and give a professional edge to the creative work.
Writers can find stock images, and more than enough reference pieces. Visual artists could utilize the latest tools by the top software. Photos and filmmakers can access swaths of stock footage. An upper leg in a field of stomping feet trying to get noticed.
There are so many tools, and many of the best ones are free. I am going to break some down in this article.
Images / Graphic Design Websites Every Creative Needs
Gimp is a Photoshop alternative, that is open source and free. I use it almost daily between InTakeCreate and my real job.
My only experience with Photoshop was a cracked version I had when I was 12. (If Adobe and/or the FBI is reading, that is a joke…) So I did not get very far in learning the tools available. Gimp has proven a solid learning ground for the basics of graphic design for me.
My graphic design skills may still be at a single digit if I were a SIMS character, but Gimp has proven sufficient when I’ve needed to throw something together.
Where my artistic skill fails me inside of Gimp, Canva allows me to put something together simply and elegantly.
There is a paid tier that seems to have some undeniable benefits. However, the free tier has been doing me lots of favors as of late.
My go to spot for Free to use images, and video is Pexels. These images help round out these blog posts, and add a layer of context to my words that nothing else can. Of course, it helps with SEO ranking too.
The stock footage for video use is another added layer of ‘professional’ to my work (when I use it right.).
Audio Websites Every Creative Needs
YouTube Audio Library
Using audio in any project makes me nervous. I don’t know (yet) how to compose and create my own music tracks, so I’ve looked towards Free to use audio as I move through my projects.
I have had varied success with free audio in the past. On multiple occasions, I used audio that was labelled as free to use – only for the licensing to change and suddenly my months old video was taken down.
The safest option (and the one that I use almost exclusively at this point) is the YouTube Audio Library.
Mountains of free to use music fitting different moods, and even some useful sound effects.
Writing, Note-Taking, and Reading
Evernote is a powerful, sleek, and cross platform note-taking app. Easily one of my favourite tools on my jam-packed phone.
I’ve drifted away from using it as much (more on that in a moment) but Evernote continues to be the home of many unfinished poems, scanned documents, and novel outlines.
If you find yourself consistently having ideas, or things to write down, Evernote is one of the quickest tools you can equip yourself with.
The best words to describe it is a series of databases that consist of files and documents. A note taking app with endless possibilities.
My daily work tasks, home tasks and creative projects find their home there. My entertainment reading lists, and my reference sheets are close by. Even my daily journal has moved to Notion instead of a notebook.
I have a full article on Notion alone, describing how it came in and replaced Evernote as my go-to note taking app. It takes some time, and a learning curve is involved, but Notion is the most satisfying app I have ever used.
Pocket is a very simple tool that fixes an enormous problem.
My death scroll goes on and on until I find something interesting. I dig my teeth in and start reading, but then something pulls me away. Pocket lets me quickly save that link into one place to find later, across devices.
When I am researching for a project, Pocket is great for letting me amass a nice collection of reading material very quickly.
The way it ties into my daily browser, Firefox, is simple and easy to use. I can access the saved links in a matter of seconds on my phone and I always have something to read.
Those are some of the websites every creative needs bookmarked. The tools available can be seen as cheating by some, but allows unmatched possibilities. Especially creatives on this journey as a one person team.
Name some websites you think every creative needs.