Tech Toolbox March 2021

It is time once again for the monthly roundup of the apps, tool and tips that I’ve uncovered over the course of the past month to help you #WorkSmarter and more efficiently.

These come from my daily “L&D Toolbox” newsletter which you can find and subscribe to here for free. Sign up for that one and you’ll get 5 new tools every weekday. (Unless I forget a day-which makes it “almost” every week day.)

Here is the collection of everything from the past month. If you have any new discoveries that you’re really loving, please send them my way!

Spotlight Apps

These are the ones that have caught my attention from the past month.


Making life easier with integrations | Revue

Newsletters are getting quite popular at the moment. GetRevue is doing a lot of things right on that front. No algorithms or fighting to be seen in a news feed, just your writing in front of your subscribers, without the guesswork. I’ve been using it for a few months and it has been fantastic. If you’re thinking of starting a newletter, this is a great place to start.

Revue – An editorial newsletter tool for writers and publishers.

Butter | Workshops as smooth as butter

If you’re Zoom fatigue has you thinking of exploring other options, this is for you. Butter is a video conferencing tool that empowers facilitators to run interactive, buttery smooth online workshops!

Butter | Workshops as smooth as butter — 


Gmelius for Gmail

Empower your teams to collaborate on emails, manage projects, and automate workflows right from your daily apps like Gmail, Slack, Trello.

The collaboration platform for Gmail. — 


Grain | Record, transcribe, share Zoom video call highlights

Grain allows you to create short video highlight clips of Zoom recordings, transcribe calls, and take time-stamped notes.

Grain —

The Best of the Rest


Microsoft Power Automate (previously Microsoft Flow) Easily create automated workflows with Microsoft Power Automate, previously Microsoft Flow, to improve productivity with business process automation

Collaboration & Whiteboard Tools

Miro — Scalable, secure, cross-device and enterprise-ready team collaboration whiteboard for distributed teams. Join 15M+ users from around the world.

MURAL is a digital workspace for visual collaboration Our platform and professional services enable innovative teams to think and collaborate visually to solve important problems. Simply put what’s on your mind on sticky notes. Then organize in lists, flowcharts, diagrams, frameworks, methods and drawings to activate and align your team.

Stormboard Make your meetings, brainstorms, and projects better! Use our digital sticky notes, whiteboards, and workspace for business processes like Agile, Design Thinking, and more.

Collaborate in real time with an online whiteboard. Try Freehand, the easiest free online whiteboard digital teams use to collaborate in real-time. Integrates with Slack, Microsoft Teams, Sketch & Photoshop.

Limnu – The online whiteboard you’ve been looking for. The online whiteboard you’ve been looking for.

Design Tools & Resources

Amigos Illustrations by Gustavo Pedrosa – Blush — Free illustration library inspired by people, life, coffee, colors, and good vibes! Just the small things that make our daily lives happier and better.

SVG Repo – Free SVG Vectors and Icons — Free Vectors and Icons in SVG format. Download free mono or multi color vectors for commercial use. Search in 300.000+ Free SVG Vectors and Icons.

Penpot – Design Freedom for Teams —The open-source solution for design and prototyping.

Flameshot 0.9.0¶ — Powerful yet easy to use screenshot tool

Google Fonts — Google Fonts now supports icons starting with their own Material Design icons. — Placeholder content (text, graphic, & video) for developers and designers

Mockuuups Studio – Mockup Generator Drag-and-drop tool for creating beautiful app previews or any marketing materials. Easily insert your screenshot into digital mockups for free.

Wondershare Mockitt Creating wireframes/interactive prototypes with built-in widgets and templates, by simply drag-and-drop.

Blobs – Generate beautiful blob shapes for web and flutter apps Customizable blobs as SVG and Flutter Widget. Create random or fixed blobs, loop, animate, clip them with ease

Animated icons – 20 styles and GIF, JSON, AEP formats — Download 3000+ animated icons in 20 styles. Animation icons available in GIF, JSON for Lottie, or After Effects formats. Created by the Icons8 design team!

BackgroundCut : Remove Background from Image — Automatically remove background from image in seconds online. It is the easiest way to remove backgrounds from your images without having to go through hassle of downloading software or hiring anyone.

Gradient Generator: Create Beautiful, Smooth Gradients Easily create linear, radial, and conic gradients – and export as CSS or an SVG image.

123apps — Nice free online tools for working with audio, video and pdf files

Create beautiful premium spaces for your best ideas Create beautiful premium spaces for your best ideas. Publish content, get reader feedback, and sell access in a few clicks.

Email Tools

Email Tracking, Create Email Reminders & Recurring Email In Gmail More than 250,000 professionals use Right Inbox every day to increase their email productivity. 10 powerful features to supercharge your Gmail account. — Upgrade your inbox

All-in-One Sales Toolkit & Email Software | Yesware Yesware is an add-on for Outlook and Gmail that gives sales professionals everything they need to prospect, schedule meetings and follow up.

The Best Way to Maintain Clean Share Organize Your Contacts Your all-in-one online address book for iOS, Android, web, Mac OS, & Gmail. Effortlessly store & maintain your contacts with Contacts+.

MailerLite — Create advanced email marketing campaigns with features like automation, landing pages and surveys.

AWeber | Powerfully-Simple Email Marketing for Small Businesses Looking for free email marketing software? Get started with AWeber for free today – no credit card required and no time limit. Powerfully-simple email marketing is now free.

Email Marketing Automation Software for Thriving Businesses The ultimate email marketing software and marketing automation platform that will not break your bank. Get to know Moosend now!

Create a free account and send up to 300 emails per day Get you Free account and discover all of our features and platforms. No commitments!

Do more than automate your email — activate your entire customer experience ActiveCampaign’s category-defining Customer Experience Automation Platform helps over 120,000 businesses build meaningful connections with their customers.

Buttondown Buttondown is the easiest way to start, write, and grow your newsletter.

SendFox | Free Marketing Tools for Content Creators Grow your audience with email campaigns, automations, and landing pages that integrate your content.

Substack Reader Your description for this link…

EmailOctopus – Email marketing made easy Manage and email your subscribers for far cheaper with EmailOctopus. Drag and drop email builder, powerful analytics, bounce/complaint tracking and more.

Microsoft Office

Transcribe your recordings with Word  The transcribe feature converts speech to a text transcript with each speaker individually separated.

Insert icons, and more in Microsoft 365

Choose from thousands of royalty-free images, including stock images, icons, videos, cut-out characters, and stickers that you can insert in your Office files.

A new way to convert a Word document to PowerPoint or Sway

Automatically convert a Word document into a PowerPoint deck or Sway

Create Animated GIFS with PowerPoint  PowerPoint has long been capable of playing animated GIFs in slideshow mode, but now you can actually create animated GIFs with the program, further defining

Online Events & Meetings

Mixily — Mixily helps you create and manage events. Design beautiful landing pages in under a minute, with features for power hosts: create a Zoom call, schedule your invitations and messages, poll your guests for a date, and even sell tickets all on one page.

Luma —Luma helps creators interact with their fans. Build a website to host events, sell products, and run your newsletter, all in a few minutes.

Free Zoom Scheduler | Eventzilla — Automate scheduling Zoom meetings for your attendees with our free Zoom Scheduler.

Eventbrite – Discover Great Events or Create Your Own & Sell Tickets  — Eventbrite brings people together through live experiences. Discover events that match your passions, or create your own with online ticketing tools.

Sell Tickets Online | Online Ticketing Platform | EventSprout Create an event website, manage event registrations, and simplify ticketing operations. Easy to set up and completely free to event organizers.

Pinstriped— Collaborative Zoom meeting notes

Perfect Recall | Make your users heard — Perfect Recall transcribes your calls, lets you take time-stamped notes and make Zoom clips your team will actually watch.

Bluu – Bluu is a meeting productivity tool in Meets and Zoom that helps host run best practice meeting consistently by bringing agendas and notes into the meeting.

Teachers—An app that automatically turns your notes into review quizzes, flashcards, and assignments.

eWebinar — eWebinar offers rich, engaging and automated webinars using a combination of pre-recorded video, real-time interactions and live chat. Scale your time today.

RingCentral— RingCentral provides businesses with cloud-based business communications that include message, video, phone, and collaboration solutions that allow teams and customers to work together – from anywhere.

Zoho Meeting— Zoho Meeting is a browser-based online meeting software that lets you host online meetings, free webinars & conferences for team meetings, sales presentations, and more. Sign up for free!

AnyMeeting— Our AnyMeeting video conferencing solutions has built in collaboration tools to make it easy for participants to share content for interactive meetings.

Jiminny.— Getting visibility of your sales performance is tough. Reps spend hours on admin and you still can’t see the truth. Jiminny provides unparalleled insights into performance with actionable data to help you grow. Use real customer conversations to build sales teams that win together.


Form2Sheet – Easy Custom Google Form to Google Sheets Replace Google Forms by creating a personalized HTML Form and save the responses on Google Sheets.

WeWeb: Create websites powered by any data source — Use a powerful website builder to create, test and ship faster from design to production.

Form2Channel – Send your form to GoogleSheets, Email, Slack or Telegram Send the results of form submissions to GoogleSheets, Email, Slack or Telegram. Just host a static form on your site and include our form2channel js file

PaperCut Mobility Print – Free Google Cloud Print alternative | PaperCut Make the switch to easy printing from Chromebooks, iPads, iPhones, Macs, Windows, and Android devices. All 100% free.

Microsoft Clarity – Free Heatmaps & Session Recordings Clarity is a free user behavior analytics tool that helps you understand how users are interacting with your website through session replays and heatmaps.

Minipoll – Simple and Free Create simple, shareable and custom branded polls in seconds. No Signup required!

Rows — The spreadsheet where teams work faster Combine the power of a spreadsheet with built-in integrations from your business apps. Automate workflows and build tools that make work simpler.

Multimedia Tools

Animaker, Make Animated Videos on Cloud for free — Animaker is an online do-it-yourself (#DIY) animation video maker that brings studio quality presentations within everyone’s reach. Animated Videos, Done Right!

Visme —  Use our free social media video maker to create engaging videos for social media. Start with one of our social media video templates. Sign up for free.

Free Video Slideshow Maker | Create Videos Easily – Animoto —Everything you need to create powerful, professional videos free. Turn your photos and video clips into a professional video slideshow in minutes.

 Create Professional Animated Videos and Presentations – Wideo — Create professional animated videos for your marketing campaigns in minutes. Make explainer videos, product presentation videos, promo videos and more.

Canva Videos — Yes, Canva can do videos too.

Video Content to Boost Your Social Media Marketing – Boosted Boost your business with our creative, easy to use marketing apps, including video, social media posts & stories. Professional level quality but easy to use!

 Threadit: Work Together, on your time. — Short video recordings to share work, connect your team, and help you get your day back.

Footage – video editing Super quick and easy way to get a great looking video.

Presentation Tools | Track when a PowerPoint file is opened — Track when a PowerPoint file is opened. Easily upload a PowerPoint file and get notified via email when someone opens it.

Speaker Deck — Share Presentations without the Mess 

Hubspot Slides —Free slide sharing option

SlideShare — Discover, Share, and Present presentations and infographics with the world’s largest professional content sharing community.

PowerPoint Online

Good options from Microsoft that you may not know about.

Productivity Tools

Cold Turkey – The Toughest Website Blocker on the Internet — The free website blocker designed for studying or focusing on work. Block distractions like social media, games, apps, Youtube or even the entire Internet.

SelfControl SelfControl is a free Mac app that helps you avoid distracting websites. Block your own access to websites or mail servers for a pre-set length of time.

Forest – Stay focused, be present — Forest is an app helping you stay away from your smartphone and stay focused on your work.

Freedom  —Easily block websites and apps on your computer, phone, and tablet with Freedom. The original and best website and internet blocker – Freedom blocks distractions so you can be more focused and productive.

Focusmate —Focusmate virtual coworking helps you get things done.

Tips & How Tos

How to scan documents on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch — You can use the Notes app to scan documents and add signatures on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Use Group FaceTime on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch —Group FaceTime makes it easy to chat with multiple people at the same time. You can start a Group FaceTime from the FaceTime app or from a group conversation in the Messages app — and you can add up to 32 people. The tile of the person speaking gets larger automatically, so you’ll never lose track of the conversation.

Use Magnifier with your iPhone or iPad —With Magnifier, you can turn your iPhone or iPad into a magnifying glass so you can zoom in on objects near you.

Use Back Tap on your iPhone —With Back Tap in iOS 14, a quick double or triple tap on the back of your iPhone can open Control Center, take a screenshot, trigger accessibility-specific actions, and more.

Pin important messages — How to pin your important conversations

Stand out with Designer in PowerPoint — Let an AI assistant help with your slide design.

Transform a Word document into a Sway — Quickly & easily convert Word documents into dynamic Sway projects.

Transcribe your recordings — Word’s transcribe feature converts speech to a text transcript with each speaker individually separated.

Rehearse your slide show with Presenter Coach— Presenter Coach in PowerPoint can help you refine your presentation. It lets you know if you’re reading from your slides too much, using too many filler words, speaking too quickly (or too slowly) and more.

Branch a quiz in Microsoft Forms — Super useful branching in MS Forms.

Published by Mike Taylor

Born with a life-long passion for learning, I have the great fortune to work at the intersection of learning, design, technology & collaboration.

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