I love freebies and I love finding good, reliable tools and apps that will make my life easier and my work more creative. I’ve used some of the tools at work and almost all in my blogging and in running my Happy Barnet Craft Challenge group.
Below I’ve posted an example from the tool and then a link to the site and a brief overview of what you can use it for. Hope you find them useful!
A great graphic design tool, easy to use and lots included in the free version including lots of templates, free images, graphics, shapes, fonts etc and ability to customise colours and upload your own images. It has all the commonly used social media sized blank templates too. There is an app and whilst it has limimtations compared to the desktop version it is handy for downloading your images and sharing straight to your social media apps. All the Happy Barnet graphics, especially for the Craft Challenges are created via Canva. Definitely a tool I use a lot and would recommend.
Free online photo editor. Pretty straight forward to use and lots of functions available including adding transparancy, changing colours, pixalisation, changing perspective (see right), resizing, drawing, animation etc . You can see some of the variations I made in the pig image above. The things I like best about this tool is it shows a preview of all the different edits you’ve made so it’s easy to go back one or more steps if you aren’t happy with what you’ve done.
Have been using this app for a while now to add fancy fonts to my images. It has lots of free pre-written collections (a few examples in the image above) or but additional collections for around 79p . You can also pick from various fonts and write your own message and add speech bubbles, arrows etc. It also easily allows you to pick colours for your text from your image.
A brilliant Chrome Extension that works with Google Sheets (their version of Excel) to plot out postcodes on a map. Not necessarily useful for everyone but if you need this sort of thing it's very easy to use and does just the trick! You have a few options available in terms of the look and filtering and it's free for maps with up to 50 locations. Even the paid for option which plots unlimited locations isn't too bad price wise at $25 per year.
This is only free for students I’m afraid but it is a really great tool for making infographics and icons/graphs. As you can see in the examples above, they have lots and lots of brilliant templates for inforgaphics that you can then tailor with your own text, icons, colours etc and you can create icons like the pint of beer above where you can choose the percentage you want to fill it up with one colour which is a really nice way to visualise a statistic. Similarly the goldfish icon chart shown allows you to say what percentage of the icons will be one colour…you can pick from a huge number of icons, it doesn’t have to be fish! Finally the bar chart at the bottom is an example of how you can use icons in a graph. There are even more options available with the premium upgrade as well.
Very popular presentation tool designed to beat that 'death by PowerPoint ' feeling. Clean and light with movement and the ability to use touch screen zoom on mobile/ table versions it feels a much more modern. You can upgrade for additional features, the most important one being the ability to keep your presentations private, however if this isn't an issue for you then the free version will be fine. You can see lots of examples online at Prezi.com and there's great online tutorials and templates to get you started. You can embed YouTube videos, upload your own images and add charts too.
A picture paints a thousand words and in the age of Instagram having lots of vibrant images is really important. Pixabay has thousands of copyright free images and videos. All contents are released under the Pixabay License, which makes them safe to use without asking for permission or giving credit to the artist - even for commercial purposes. You can link back if you like and there is an option to donate to the image author but neither are mandatory.
Cincopa is a photo & video hosting platform, offering various designs for slideshows, photo-galleries and more. The images above are just one example of the various photo galleries you can create. It’s really simple, upload the images or videos you want to use, pick one of the slideshow or gallery style you want to use, make any adjustments using the setting menus if you like and then choose how you want to embed your gallery. You can use html, Wordpress, Moodle, Blogger, Joomla. You can also just share a link and add it to emails. You can also add hyperlinks to the images themselves…I’m thinking I might add blog links to these images and add the to the craft section of this blog!
Great tool I first discovered when I made the foolish mistake of holding my phone the wrong way up when recording a video and I wanted to amend it. Ezygif (despite the name) does edit videos as well as animated GIFs. I haven’t used all the functions but they include Gif maker and image editor, crop, resize, reverse, rotate, optimize and split animated GIFs and videos. I’ve used it to crop a landscape video into an instagram friendly square video focusing on the area that I want, flipping a video when it’s been filmed as a mirror image (important when demoing crochet lol) but it does lots of other cool things. I would add that I find the menus a little unhelpful (more so on the mobile version) so to get to the right bit I sometimes just google “ezygif” and what I want to do eg ezygif crop video. Once you are on the right page however it is really easy and I even manage it on my phone screen just fine.
I hope you find one or more of these tools useful and would love to hear about any tools/apps you’d recommend I look at in the comments below!