Every week I include a few design resources and useful tools in my Learning, Design, and Technology newsletter. This is a collection of all them from 2018. I hope you find something to help you do whatever you’re doing at least a little bit better. I’d love to hear about it if you do?
Design & Content Creation
Illustrations & Design Elements
- Hand-drawn Graphics Starter Kit by @ClintClarkson
- The Doodle Library – hundreds of unique hand-drawn SVG doodles – free to download, share and adapt under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
- Pixton Comic Characters – A Free PowerPoint add-in lets you add illustrated, posable comic characters to your #PowerPoint presentations
- https://wiredjs.com — a Set of Common UI Elements With a Hand-Drawn, Sketchy Look
- PowerPoint Device Mockup Graphics: Nice collection of devices for framing screenshots, etc.in #PowerPoint I use these all the time and they look great.
- Halftone Pro Polygons – I really like the look of these. This low poly generator creates a great looking in a matter of seconds. Just upload a photo or a gradient as a source and let them do the rest.
- No Shit is a nice list of free resources for your design projects.
- Files.Design – Professional resources for digital designers including templates, sounds and other files made by Great Simple Studio.
- DB Freebies – this site rounds up all the great design freebies from Behance and Dribble
- Design Base – DesignBase is a database of highly curated free resources for all designers.
Photos & Graphics
- New Old Stock – a collection of vintage photos from public archives
- Moose by Icons8 — Interesting new option for free stock photos that match each other https://buff.ly/2Ja5Eva You can even download them all as a big .zip file.
- Findshot – Yet another great looking resource for free stock photos
- Ouch.Pics – beautiful, free illustration sets from Icons8
- Isometric Love – nice set of isometric objects that are free for personal or commercial projects
- Customize Your Noun Project Icons – With advanced editing features, you can now customize the color, size, rotation, orientation, background color and background shape.
- The 70 Best Fonts for designers 2018
- 60+ Free Fonts for Your Design Collection
- Arby’s Sauce Font – If you’re looking for a new font, how can you resist “the ink of the sandwich world”? (Yes, it is real.)
- Marker Mark SVG Font – Nice hand written font free for both personal and commercial us
- Picular is Google but for colors. Type in a word and get a related set of colors.
- Gradients Guru – Pick a gradient and add your photo for great-looking, dead-simple results.
- Cool Hue: Curated Gradients
- Site Palette – A browser extension that extracts the color scheme from a website
- Pandacolors – Pandacolors is simple online web tool for generating colors in one single click. Because graphic designers are not the only ones who have to think about choosing the right colors.
- Palx – Nice color palette generator. Just give it a color and you’ll get a full-spectrum color palette, well suited for UI design and data visualizations that work harmoniously with brand colors.
- Site Palette – a browser extension to generate color palettes for your projects.
- Khroma is an AI color tool for designers
- Random material palette generator
- Grab this free downloadable library of 150 Custom Color schemes for Microsoft #PowerPoint, Word, and Excel
- Trendy Palettes – Free and open collection of color palettes, updated daily.
- Color Leap | Do a little time traveling and browse the colors of history with this fun, cool site.
- BBC Sound Effects Archive Resource — Explore a weird and wonderful collection of noises & download more than 16,000 free sound effect samples.
- Looking for some good free music for your projects? Check out @Wistia’s Music Collection https://wistia.com/library/music
- Unearth – A music library for content creator
- cchound is a curated library of free music for content creators
- Video Kit – Curated resources to help you create and market videos
Charts & Dataviz
- Chart Chooser by @juiceanalytics – This free, online tool helps you identify the right chart based on what you are trying to show, and then lets you download the Excel or #PowerPoint version of that chart to help you get your job done
- Chartify is a chart maker for busy people.
- Whimsical.co – online mind maps, flow charts, and wireframes done right.
- DataViz Stash is a curated collection of dataviz resources.
- Flourish – Nice data visualization and storytelling app. Check out some examples.
- MapInSeconds – Is a free online tool that takes your data and generates a map – in seconds. It is free, there’s no sign-up required, and you can save the map as an image or a PowerPoint slide.
- Artboard Studio in a browser-based mockup tool that combines photography and some really smart features to help you make great looking mock-ups and product shots.
- Mobile Mockup – The simplest way to create beautiful mobile mockups.
- Screenshot Guru – Quick, free & easy high-resolution screen captures of any website or tweet.
- Shotsnapp – Quick and easy mockup designs
- ImageBlur.io – Ever need to blur private or any other info in a screenshot or graphic? ImageBlur lets you do it right in your browser and it is super quick and easy!
- Need to whip up a presentation that looks like a million bucks? Did you know you can build presentations in Canva? You can even present right from there too.
- Design Bold – If you like Canva, you’ll like this online tool for designing graphics, flyers and almost anything else you need!
- Crello – Another design tool, like Canva, that makes it easy for anyone to make pro designs. They’ve made some nice improvements recently that are worth noting.
- Xara is another free online design tool. Sort of seems like a Canva for business documents.
- EDIT – Yet another Canva-like online graphic design tool.
- Adobe Spark for Educators – details about how your school can use a premium version of Adobe Spark for free.
- Fotor – Another option for online photo editing AND creating pro-looking designs.
- Vectary – this is a super cool online 3D design tool
- Affinity Designer | download the beta for this free professional desktop publishing app.
- Iloveimg is a fast, free site with just about any tool you could want to edit images in bulk
- Instant Duotone Effect Generator – Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen duotone images many times. Now you can get in the duotone game with this super easy and helpful app.
- Remove.bg – Super simple AI tool for removing people from backgrounds in 0 clicks.
- Screen Sketch – This becoming my most used (and loved) shortcut. If you’re on Windows 10 try Windows+Shift+S to fire up the screen selection toolbar to select an area to snip. After this, the Screen Sketch app will open where the user can add annotations and share the screenshot right away.
- Snaggy – A super fast & easy way to share a screenshot without needing to download or install anything.
- Refresh – A fresh approach to the web browser
- Shotsnapp.com – Dead simple mobile mockups.
- Sketch.The.Ripper is a free online tool powered by the Lunacy engine that lets you extract the objects from a .sketch file.
- VectorMagic -Easily Convert JPG, PNG, GIF Files to PDF, SVG, EPS Vectors
- Squoosh – a really refined way to reduce the file size of your images
- The Affinity Designer 1.7 beta is now available
- Maglr – Great looking tool for creating visual, interactive content.
- Sumerian – Amazon’s VR/AR creation tool is now available to the general public.
- Brandquiz – Build a great looking quiz, calculator or survey in minutes to capture leads, collect feedback & activate your audience.
- Kapwing – Kapwing lets anyone create and edit video easily online.
- LICEcap is a screen capture app that can save it directly to animated .GIF (for viewing in web browsers, etc)
- Rivyt is a nice option for sharing a distraction-free version of YouTube videos. (Great for embedding in elearning)
- Headliner – Headliner is a free online video editing tool that includes a free selection of music to use in your projects as well as an integrated image and video search tool. Via Practical Ed Tech(@rmbyrne)
- Loom – This free app lets you capture your screen, record your front-facing camera, and narrate it all at once, then instantly share with a simple link.
- Headliner is a fun social media video creation app that I’ve been playing with.
- Moovly – Make your own explainer video, marketing video, presentation, etc.
- ReClipped is a neat tool that lets you take notes, share notes, and share clips from educational videos.
- Timelinely – is a new type of tool for annotating videos hosted on YouTube.
Portfolio / Resume
- Mural App is a super easy way to make a great looking portfolio.
- Do you need a website? Mozello is the best and easiest to use option I’ve ever seen.
- carrd.co – Simple, free, fully responsive one-page sites for portfolios, businesses, or pretty much anything.
- Check out Gridify if you’ve been thinking you need an online presence but don’t have the time to spend building it from scratch. This lets you bring together the things you’ve already got online into your own personal space. Here’s one I built in about 2 minutes.
- Rebout.me is another nice option for creating an online presence. Here’s what I cooked up in another 2 minutes
- Welcome.ly – Welcome.ly gives you a quick, easy way to build a great looking website for free.
- HTML RÉSUMÉ – Beautifully hand-crafted, single-page responsive HTML resume & CV templates.
- HTML Resume Templates
PowerPoint & Presentations
- Pixaby add-in for Word & PowerPoint – Search free images on Pixabay and insert them into your documents and presentations with one click.
- Quip Slides is a new online, collaborative tool for creating presentations.
- YouPresent – This PowerPoint add-in can save you time and a bit of your sanity by converting your slides for uploading to webinar platforms.
- iSlide – a PowerPoint add-in to help you craft better slides.
- Paste with frames – a unique approach to creating and presenting slide decks online. Try it out.
Bookmarks & Curation
- Looking for a better way to manage your bookmarks? Qlearly is a new way to use Kanban boards to save and share your bookmarks.
- Zave – I’m checking this out as a potential replacement for my current curation tool, Zeef. They say Zave is a “…place to save the web in private or with the world.”
- Sutori – A curation tool to help you create and share visual stories. Can import existing content from Storify.
File Sharing & Collaboration
- Microsoft Whiteboard – a free collaborative whiteboard app for PC and mobile devices.
- Arrangedly – This one is a Trello-ish collaboration platform with some nice integrations.
- Want to share info with friends and/or colleagues? Slite is a very interesting take on collaborative information sharing. It lets you organize notes in channels (like Slack) as well as collections and subcollections.
- Give Microsoft Teams a go for free.
- Quip – Empower your employees to get things done faster with less email, and fewer meetings.
- LiveFile – Drop any file into LiveFile and get an immediate, shareable link. A new option for interactive presentations and document sharing with remote audiences.
- Whiteboard is a dead simple, easy to share online whiteboard
- Favro is a really nice looking planning and collaboration app that is like a cross between Trello and a task management app.
- Gallery.io – a collaborative tool for sharing design work, getting feedback, and tracking revisions – quickly and efficiently.
- Bit.ai – a collaborative content/document creation tool.
Writing, Text & Data
- Grammarly has released a beta that works with Google Docs in Chrome. Yippeee! You are using Grammarly right!?
- Pencil – An intelligent writing environment.
- Deepr – This is a handy app for creating multi-level to do lists.
- JeffSum – A little text placeholder generator of Jeff Goldblum awesomeness
- If you ever need some fake data to mockup a project, Tabipsum can hook you up.
Email & Calendar
- Kanban Mail – A Kanban system for helping you keep your email organized
- Sunsama is what would happen if Google Calendar and Trello had a love child.
- Slimbox – Slimbox moves subscription and notification emails out of your inbox and summarizes them for you in one daily email.
- Live-Ask – a simple, free, and real-time service for the audience to ask questions before and during panel discussions, conference presentations, meetups, and more.
- Microsoft Forms – Easily create surveys, quizzes, and polls. Analyze the data in Excel.
- Need a quick poll? Fast Poll lives up to its name. It is a quick and easy option for polling.
Misc & Others
- Library Extension – I can’t tell you how often I find a book online and go look to see if it is in our local library. This handy browser add-in automatically searches your public library as you browse book sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.
- Session Lab – SessionLab (@SessionLab) is the dynamic way to design your workshop and collaborate with your co-facilitators
- Storyboarder – Storyboarder makes it easy to visualize a story as fast you can draw stick figures.
- How to get the Office 2019 beta
- Lamda Test – This app lets you test your projects across multiple latest device sizes and resolutions for cross-browser compatibility, etc.
- Inspiratio – a simple app for reading all your newsletters & help you find new ones.
- Adobe Scan – Get rid of those piles of paper on your desk or the junk in your wallet. The free Adobe Scan app works on your mobile device, scans documents into PDFs, and automatically recognizes text.
- Office Lens – This isn’t new, but I’ve had a recent need that reminded me how handy this app is. I needed to capture some whiteboard notes and Office Lens handles the job in a snap. It is also great for scanning documents with your phone and other similar jobs.
- Adobe XD, an all-in-one UX/UI solution for designing websites, mobile apps, and more is now available for free!
- Fast.com – This app, powered by Netflix, is the solution to a problem I didn’t even know I had. Next time you’re looking for the best spot in your house or office with the best wifi signal, fire up this app and find out which location gives you the fastest connection.
- BellHop – Bellhop connects the major ride-hailing apps (Uber, Lyft, etc) , creating price transparency and giving you the freedom to choose the ride that works best.
If you found something you like and don’t want to wait a whole year for another recap, drop your email here and I’ll send you some new ones every Friday.