TWiB Notes

As a kid growing up with the dream of being a major league baseball player, one of my favorite shows was  “This Week in Baseball“.  It was a fun, fast-paced recap of highlights from recent games, interviews with players, and other regular features. I can still hear Mel Allen’s iconic voice and vividly recall the amazing things Ozzie Smith seemed to do every game. It’s easy to see TWiB’s influence in today’s sports programming like SportsCenter and others.

So with Mel and Ozzie as my inspiration for finding and sharing the best things of the week. (and a huge technological helping hand that I’ll share in a future post) I’m relaunching my regular FridayFive recap of the best things I discovered during the week.

You can follow along here every Friday. Or if you like, have things automatically served to you via email, you can subscribe here for your choice of daily or weekly updates.


Discover is a directory of over 200 top-notch newsletters that can help you stay plugged-in to the best sources for the topics you’re interested in. There is something for everyone whether you’re into design, tech, news and a whole lot more.



Skuawk is a curated set of public domain photos you can use for both personal and professional projects.

Take a peek at my big and growing list of free design assets for even more great sites for photos and other design resources.


10 typography tricks every designer should know


This CreativeBloq article shares some typography tips and tricks you can use to boost your design skills to impress friends and colleagues.

$0 Design Tools to Help You Create Your Next Project


21 of Product Hunt’s favorite free (or close to free) design resources. They are sure to make your next project visually stunning, whether you’re a design novice or a professional. 

Five Popular Myths


What you think you know about how learning works could be completely wrong. Counter to common myths, here’s what actually works for retaining new information and skills.

View story at


Friday Finds

It’s been awhile since my last post on new things I’ve discovered. So here are some things that I’ve collected since then including:

  • Sortd: a super useful task list skin for Gmail
  • Office Lens: a mobile app that lets you translate photos of documents into editable Word and PowerPoint
  • Photopea: a free, online graphics editor for Photoshop (.psd) files
  • AppSheet: The quickest, easiest way to create a mobile app.

Sortd Smart Skin for Gmail

Sortd is a Gmail ‘skin’ that transforms your email conversations into a usefule, intuitive task list workspace right inside Gmail!

If you ever lost track of important emails in your inbox despite Herculean efforts to flag, start, and label messages you’ll love how Sortd helps you escape that mess. With sorted you’ll get a new to do / task list view where you can simple drag your emails to organize them is a way that is logical to you. You can even rename them to something better than the email subject line which is another big plus.

The thing I like best about this app is that you can toggle it on and off if you ever want to peak back at the normal Gmail views. Hop on over to and give it a look. You’ll be glad you did!

Office Lens

Office Lens is a great app for capturing whiteboard notes and paper documents and saving them into a PDF, email, OneNote, etc.  Whle it’s been around for awhile now., a recent update makes it even more usefuly by adding the ability to convert pictures of whiteboard notes and paper documents directly into editable Word documents and PowerPoint presentations.

(Available on iOS, Android, & Windows)

Here is the process for how it works.

Convert a hard copy document into an editable Word document


Convert a whiteboard drawing into a PowerPoint presentation


If you’re curious you can check out these  actual examples:

Learn more at


There are a wealth of great Photoshop design assets available on the web. But what if you don’t have the money to shell out for an expensive Photoshop license that enables you to work with them? One good option is Photopea, a free online graphics editor that handles..PSD files like a pro.



AppSheet is one of the slickest, most useful apps I’ve seen lately. It lets non-developers build custom mobile apps. While so many things are moving to mobile apps, getting something up and running can be next to impossible unless you’re an app coding pro.

AppSheet lets non-developers build custom mobile apps quickly and easily – no coding required. AppSheet works by connecting with information you populate in a spreadsheet and then it guides you the rest of the way. With this, you can have a nice, useful app up and running in a flash. And it’s FREE to boot!

Take if for a spin with these sample apps:


Recent Discoveries

Discoveries this week include a great source of free stock photos and a handy system for managing team/group tasks.

Visual Hunt

There are a boat load of sites offering free stock photos these days but few, if any, offer the features of Visual Hunt. Some of the things I like about it is the ability to search and get results from multiple sites, adding images to a collection which can be downloaded as a single zip file  and the filters for things like commercial use and color.


Task Mail

Keeping track of who is doing what without letting anything slip through the cracks is important for any team or group working together. If you’re looking for a good, easy to use option for this challenge you might want to take a look at TaskMail. TaskMail can help you with get a handle on project management, tracking issues, and team collaboration messaging.


Recent Discoveries Worth Sharing

It’s been a bit quiet around here for awhile but a few recent conversations with some wonderful people have me re-energized and given me a nudge to get going again. So here are a few things I’ve uncovered recently that I think are worth sharing.

Vivaldi: A Customizable Web Browser

I’ve been test driving Vivaldi, a new customizable web browser. I like it so far. It’s pretty zippy and allows you to customize a lot of things like the location of browser elements, stacking tabs and more. I’m curious to see how it integrates with other apps like Gmail, Dropbox, etc and if I will miss any of the Chrome plugins I’ve come to count on. Browse the features or just watch the video for a quick overview. Dead Simple Video Meetings

Video conversations with up to 8 people for free. No login required — no installs. File this one under the “it just works” category.  Simple, fast and super handy.


As always, I’d love to hear how these work out if you try any of them. Have a great day!

Friday 5: PowerPoint Social Sharing, Curated Design Resources, Trello Integrations, Skype For All, New Image Format

PowerPoint Social Share Plug-in

If you do any presenting at conferences, etc you probably already know about the #backchannel. Now you can easily share all or part of your PowerPoint presentation directly to Twitter & Facebook with the new Social Share plug-in.

The Microsoft Garage project lab has released Social Share, a free plug-in for PowerPoint to allow for instant social sharing of presentations and parts of presentations from within the program. You can share a whole deck or just a single composed slide.

Awesome Stock Resources

A great list of awesome stock photography, video and illustration websites by Tony Phipps ‏@neutraltone.

Add a little bit of body text

Trello Integrations

Trello is one of my favorite ways of managing tasks and projest. The two biggest reasons are flexibility and simplicity. Now you can add to that a large list of integrations. Check these out to see how Trello earn a place in your workflow by playing nicely with other apps you already use.

Skype for All

Skype is the go-to VoIP app a lot of people and now Skype has a new option for connecting with anyone without requiring them to be a Skype user. Now you can lead a Skype session via a direct link.

It’s pretty simple: Users of Skype for Windows, Skype for Mac, or Skype for the Web will soon be able to send friends a link. Once they accept it, they’ll be able to launch Skype from the web and join the conversation. Also, if you have a Skype name and a Skype mobile app, you can share a conversation link from Skype for iPhone, iPad and Android just by clicking the link.

Skype said the new link-sharing feature should be live now within the United States, and should be live throughout the rest of the world in a few weeks. Sharing a mobile conversation will be added “soon,” Microsoft said.

BPG: New & Improved Image Format

BPG stands for Better Portable Graphics, and it’s a new image format, the aim of which is to replace JPG. To do this, BPG delivers the best of both worlds: superior quality, and smaller file size. Get the scoop on this new format in this article.

I’m clumsy…and proud of it.

One of my favorite posts of all time by Betsy Hubbard on LinkedIn.

“I want to show my kids that it’s fine to be bad at something”

Friday 5: DevLearn Resources, Presentation tool, Image Editing App, Website Builder & Newspaper Columns

DevLearn Handouts & Resources

Check out the handouts and presentation decks from one of the biggest Learning & Development conferences of the year that happened last week in Las Vegas.



Embed any web content in your presentation: If you give presentations you might know the hassle of keeping things up to date. LiveSlides is a PowerPoint add-in that lets you skip static screen shots and include real, live, fully interactive web content.

This is nice for many reasons including:

  • No more need screen shots and keeping them up to date
  • No more toggling between your slides and a web browser
  • Keep the size of your slide decks much smaller
  • Incorporate interactive audience polling (via Poll Everywhere )

Adobe Photoshop Fix

The power of Photoshop retouching for everyone in a mobile app: Photoshop Fix is a new, free mobile app that lets you do serious image retouching and restoration on your iPad or iPhone. Heal, smooth, liquify, lighten and make other edits and adjustments that give you the precise look you’re after. You can also use your Adobe Creative Cloud account to access your edited photos with other Adobe apps to work on them there or add to another project.

Adobe Photoshop Fix


Builds Sites Without Code, Like Squarespace Crossed With Photoshop: Webflow is visual content management system that basically allows you to create complicated, responsive websites without ever setting up a server, and that can be readily updated with new photos, text, and other media without a coder involved. It gives you previews for mobile views while you’re building your site.

This is definitely much more “pro” than other site builders like Wix and Weebly but if you’ve got the skills it looks like its worth checking out. This would be great for creating a portfolio site and much more.

How to Create Newspaper Style Columns in Your Documents

Adding columns to your documents can help you fit your content into the space you have and make you look like a pro. This article gives you two great looking, easy to use options.

Friday 5 – Top 100 Learning Tools, Your Personal Brand, WP Social Networking Plugin & more

Thanks for stopping by. Here are the things I’m noodling on this week. I share a whole lot more things like this on Twitter and save the better ones over in Diigo.

Jane Hart’s Top 100 Tools for Learning 2015

Over 2,000 learning professionals from around the world contributed to the 9th Annual Survey of Learning Tools. Twitter was #1 for the 7th year in a row and free online tools continue to dominate.

Why Looking After Your Personal Brand in the Social Era Still Matters

Great article by Luis Suarez  (@elsua) on your personal brand and the death of resumes.

“If the search inquiry doesn’t find you, there’s a void like you don’t exist. Your credibility suffers. You’ll never know that you were eliminated [from consideration for a position], or what chances you’ve missed…Anonymity and mistaken identity are the biggest threats to your reputation“

peepso – The New Social Networking Plugin for WordPress

Add a Private Community (Similar to Facebook) on Your WordPress Site


Why Blogging Still Matters

This week’s #LearnCamp program hits the topic of blogging and includes a recorded webinar by Mark Britz @britz

Using Excel’s AutoFill for Fast & Easy Formatting

Friday 5 – Team knowledge sharing, Interactive presentation polling, Excel Fill magic

Thanks for stopping by. Here are the things I’m noodling on this week. I share a whole lot more things like this on Twitter and save the better ones over in Diigo.


Guru is a browser extension that facilitates knowledge sharing among teams. I’m giving it a try to see how well it works. If it’s successful I’ll share more details later.  If you try it out for yourself, I’d love to hear what you think.



I’ve talked about PollEverywhere before and have been a fan for some time. Now it’s available for Google Slides and it is even included with PowerPoint on the iPad.

Google Slides

If you use Google slides, check out this Chrome browser add-in for PollEverywhere.

PowerPoint for iPad

Microsoft now pre-installs Poll Everywhere in PowerPoint on your iPad. If you’re up to date you’ve got it. It’s right there in the Add-ins menu.

Duarte Diagrammer

This isn’t new, but it resurfaced for me this week and it’s definitely worth sharing.  Pictures are worth a thousand words and finding the right diagram can be life saver. Choose from more than 4,000 customizable diagrams and download the free PowerPoint®-ready file to enhance your presentation.



Wiselike provides a web-based platform that allows users to sign up with their full credentials and expertise to share their knowledge with folks who have questions. These experts are invite-only, and users who wish to be experts can ask Wiselike for an invite to become a knowledge sharer. Got any questions for me? My page is here.


Why Write Excel Formulas When You Can Flash Fill?

Flash fill is great for so many things beyond basic number and date series – especially, when it comes to cleaning data.

Friday 5 – Stock photo & video resources and easy graphics creation tools

Here are a few of the things I’ve noodled on this week that I think you should know about. Thanks for reading!

Free 4K Stock Video Footage

This is an awesome collection of stock video that is free to use for “independent productions” and possible even commercial projects.


If you aren’t graphically inclined and want to make great-looking images for social media or just about anything else, you’ll want to check out Snappa. Snappa is a new graphics tool, very much like Canva that enables anyone to create images in just a few clicks. You can use their templates to get a pro look and choose from sizes that work best on specific social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, etc.


I save these and a lot of other things over on Diigo as well as sharing learning, design and presentation thoughts on Twitter.

Search Free Stock Photo Sites

There are a ton of great new sites with new ones popping up all the time. The challenge is searching for the right image when all those cool sites are disconnected. Enter and Stock Up, two sites that give you the ability to search across multiple free stock photos sites simultaneously.


This one not only combines multiple sites, it also allows you to search by color and category.


Stock Up

Search across 26 free stock photo sites.


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