One of my favorite apps: Skitch

Skitch Skitchlogo is my favorite clipping tool. I'm running it on my MacBook as well as my phone. There is nothing out there (that I have found) that is as convenient as this app to grab a screenshot. Use the annotation feature to share ideas or quickly explain an edit. As you know, a picture's worth a thousand words. Use this app when only a picture will do.

If you are looking for something free and easy-to-use, try it.  

Do you have other clipping tools that you rave about? Please share with us...

How to incorporate FUN into everyday life

Here's a site guaranteed to make you smile. Looks like fun does change our behavior and they are proving it. The Piano Stairs are my favorite, and the Bottle Bank Arcade is a close second.

Cast your vote in the Doodle 4 Google contest

If you're like me, you probably use Google a lot and don't always pay attention to the links on the home page. Yes, the changing designs of the name are neat to watch (like on holidays). It's the strength of the Google brand that allows them to be creative with the look and yet people still know what it represents. I don't always take time to see what's going on though.

GooglecontestTo get to my point - for some reason I clicked on this link recently and read about the Doodle 4 Google contest. The contest was open to K-12 students and the challenge was to play with the Google logo and come up with new designs. This year the theme was "What I Wish for the World" and open to U.S. kids.

Go ahead, take a break and see what the kids are thinking about. It's thought-provoking and their art is amazing. And best part is you still have time to cast your vote in the online public vote through May 18. The winning art will be showcased on May 21st.

Support the Artists: Give Handmade Gifts

Looking for gift ideas? If you can't get to a craft show this year, here's the next best thing.

Maybe you're an artist looking for a place to display your crafts.

Etsy_2Etsy is a neat site where you can buy handmade items. There are 30 categories from Accessories to Woodworking. My personal favorite category is "Geekery."

With that many items, it's a good thing they have  a well-designed site with clear photos and neat tools to help you shop:

  • Showcase allows you can see the top items from 36 different sellers
  • Time Machine and Time Machine 2 display recently listed items
  • Geolocator helps you find gifts by location

Disclaimer: I don't have any items for sale here and don't know anyone who does.

I just like the shop and the idea of supporting artists and craftspeople.

I've always enjoyed handmade and it seems like the right thing to do. It's fun to build a relationship with the person who creates the item. My favorite items are those that are not mass produced.

How about you? Where's your favorite place to shop online? or off?

What the Heck are ATCs?

Today I came across ATCs or Artist Trading Cards when I was reading a post at 37 days, "Carry a talisman." She talks about and displays an ATC that a reader - Donna Miller - designed for her with a quote from her blog. It's fabulous. (I put a small version below so you know what to look for.) But you really have to visit both those blogs.

Dayone Reading that post sent me on a journey to learn more about ATCs. You can read about them at Wikipedia if you are interested. The only standard is that the measurements are 2.5" x 3.5" and can be either portrait or landscape. Oh, and that they are traded and not sold, although I did find some for sale, too.

Where have I been? These are so great! I have been enamored by the philosophy of reducing clutter and simplifying life for years. And we have a very small house (by 2007 standards).  So, for those of us who don't have a place to display large works of art, this seems like a neat way to collect and enjoy art in miniature. And they make unique gift items.

Here's a neat tutorial from CedarSeed.
And a site called Artist Trading Cards.
And Artist Trading Card Forums.

Do you collect ATCs?

Send an Extraordinary Greeting Using SendOutCards

Here's a new twist! I want to tell you about a service I recently found that makes it REALLY easy to send an extraordinary greeting to your family, friends, and business contacts using your own photos.

Soclogo_2It's SendOutCards! Have you heard about it yet? If not, take a few minutes to Take a Tour. (Be aware, there is an audio component that starts talking immediately.)

This is not an electronic card. It is custom printed, put in an envelope, stamped and mailed. You can choose from more than 6,000 8,000 designs in 40 different categories, create your own design with PicturePlus, or mix-and-match. You can even select your own handwriting font when you write your message. They use recycled paper and green ink.

This is a network marketing opportunity. Originally I signed up because I wanted to send custom photo cards to my Mom using the PicturePlus feature (she doesn't have email). Then I quickly realized the marketing and communications potential of the service for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

There's three ways to become a sender of cards: retail, wholesale, and entrepreneur.

Are you looking for an extraordinary way to keep in touch with your clients, customers and business contacts? Ready to take a "test drive?" Let me know and I'll set up a gift account for you to try it out.

How do you keep in touch?

What NOT To Do With PowerPoint

Thanks to David Airey, I found this fun video by comedian, Don McMillan. He shows some good examples of the worst things you can do when designing an effective presentation.

I've worked with plenty of people who use the techniques he demonstrates and didn't listen to advice about what might be more effective.

What's your favorite story about presentations you gave, attended, or created?

Life After Death by PowerPoint


RSS: What is it?

A common question I hear is, "What is RSS?" How do you explain it?

I also notice how graphics impact our daily lives and improve our communications. These are two popular ways to explain what RSS is and they also demonstrate the power of visuals. What do you think?

A Visual Guide: RSS in Plain English

This clever video from Common Craft quickly explains what RSS is and how it can help you. The auditory and visual learning styles are addressed - and the kinesthetic learners can follow along in a second browser and actually go through the steps to set up a feed reader.

Click to Play

A One-Page Primer: What is RSS? RSS Explained

This text-based primer is another great resource. It's short, to-the-point, with great information and links. In fact, it's a page I have linked to for some time. They did a fine job of formatting using white space and different font sizes to break up the text and make it more interesting.


A Winner of the World's Best Presentation Contest

Have you visited SlideShare lately? I got there just in time today to see they announced the winners of the World's Best Presentation Contest. Take a look. I posted one of the winners here.

Big visuals and text really caught the eye of the people and the judges, and the winners each tell a great story with their presentation.

How do your presentations look? Are you making them audience-friendly, or trying to cram all the words you can on each slide. Maybe they're ready for a makeover!

Related posts -

Did You Take the Web Design Survey?

Itookthe2007survey If you design and/or develop web sites, head on over and take the survey. It doesn't take long and the information they are collecting will help our profession.

Tools and techniques for business communications.

Phone: (515) 745-9978

If I develop your site, you own it; you control it!

Where You Will Find Sandy Blogging

Great Tools

Subscribe to Feed



  • BAD Blogger



B-List Blogger

View blog authority


Web Design Blogs - Blog Top Sites

Powered by TypePad

Facebook Pages