Cheqbook

If you are building a website, then you probably have and/or operate a business…or something that is almost about to resemble a business (substitute “organization”, “venture”, etc.).

The same is probably true if you are helping someone else with their website: they have/sort of have a business, and you are helping them.

Now enters a financial/business word, namely accounting – a term that generally means minutes lost doing that thing you have to do to have integrity and intentionality in a business, etc.

Isn’t it more fun to be playing outside than suffering in front of a computer screen?

Ah, yes.

Well, I am perfectly delighted, grateful (add “finally” to that), and excited to recommend and encourage that you check out Cheqbook. Here’s a video to get you started. Read more

Adobe Kuler

Choosing colors for a web, logo, or creative project in general is a step of first importance. Adobe® Kuler helps. Use the iOS App alongside the website for inspiration and color combos you’re bound to be glad to explore. Read more

Springpad

Update: Springpad closed it’s doors on June 2014.

Springpad. A new word that I’ve come to like, and I think you might, too. Read more

Jolidrive

Jolidrive

Jolidrive is a simple and elegant way to access your online data.

There is one basic question the guys have attempted to answer: “If the cloud is the online hard drive containing all my data, why don’t I have a simple access to it?”

Get to know Jolidrive. I think it’s worth taking a look!

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Facebook News Feed

Facebook News Feed

It is amazing to think of how much goes into one, on-going project like Facebook.

News Feed is the newest element to receive a redesign and features update.

Check it out and see if it adds value to your time on Facebook. Read more

Web Inspector

There’s a little gift inside of every web browser, and it’s called the “web inspector”. Take a moment to learn about them. You’ll get to see how a website is really made.

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SugarSync

SugarSync

It’s helpful to at least know your options.

In a world of ever-changing technology and science, one particularly noticeable category has been the “cloud” and “syncing” data. Maybe it’s not “ever-changing” in this case as much as “still getting going”.

SugarSync is on Version 2 (November 2012). The field is continuously changing.

As they like to say, “Sync just got sweeter”:

  • Access – desktop, web, mobile.
  • Sync – SugarSync does not just store your data but keeps everything in sync.
  • Share – file or folder sharing/collaboration.
  • Backup – can backup any file on your computer.

It’s a great and competitive game out there. DropboxGoogle Drive, iCloud (if you have a Mac), and others if you have the time.

If you’re looking for a clear backup solution, you might check out this post.

Microsoft SkyDrive

Skydrive

Microsoft has been busy.

I recommend you check out SkyDrive:

  • 7 GB free
  • Mac or PC – iPhone or Android – web login
  • Syncs across devices – folder on each
  • Pricing structure for upgrades in storage capacity (up to 100GB)

Like Dropbox, the folder exists on your Mac/PC. You can even place it where you like. Everything syncs. You can access it online.

Nice.

For so long we’ve been hearing about Mac OSX, Apple, iPhones, Dropbox, SugarSync, Google Drive, “Switch to a Mac”…it’s actually almost kind of nice to see some excitement with Windows 8 and the Windows Phone design and style.

And SkyDrive.

Microsoft has been busy.

 

Pixelmator

Pixelmator

I can’t say enough about Pixelmator. Though it doesn’t do everything Photoshop does and can, it sure does just about everything the average web designer (or computer user) could need for $29.

It’s also kind of a pleasure to use.

Fontcase | Elegant Font Management

Fontcase

“Fontcase: iPhoto for fonts.”

That’s how Fontcase 1.0 was introduced to the world. We loved it!

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Things 2

Things

Things 2 is awesome.

Read my post on OmniFocus for more detail on why I love these sorts of things and then come back if you like.

Gimme Bar

Gimme Bar

Using Pinterest? Have you heard of it? My guess would be a, “Yes.”

Heard of Gimme Bar? Thus the reason for this quick post.

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MailDesigner

Mail Designer

First came Apple Mail Stationery and tutorials on how to create our own.

Then came the Stationery Packs from equinux – over 300 total – but were we really going to use all those?

Then MailChimp, free template layouts or professionally designed templates for customers, and a world of email expertise and advice.

And finally, the combination of them all: Mail Designer.

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TextExpander

TextExpander

Besides the thought of seeing my words show up as I talk (Dragon Dictate, Siri, etc.), the thrill of watching five letters expand into 55 is pretty cool. Why would this be so cool? Precisely.

In 8th grade I once typed 106 words per minute (no mistakes) – I thought that was pretty fast. (I just typed 115 with 3 mistakes on typingtest.com). So how in the world could those court reporters type 225 words per minute?

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CrashPlanPRO

Backup: Have a CrashPlan

Businesses need backup. Files need saving. Data needs not getting lost.

Although I valued the services of SugarSync, the initial exposure to Carbonite, the easy familiarity of Dolly Drive, and the design and approach of BackBlaze, I found myself drawn, by recommendation of another friend, to CrashPlan by Code 42.

You know I like Dropbox and I didn’t mention SOS Online Backup or Amazon S3 in the list above, so do your own research, assess your options, and back up your stuff.

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OmniFocus

OmniFocus

OmniFocus helps me get things (like websites and other projects) done. It’s a powerful, digital tool for staying on top of just about everything I have to do. It’s my to-do list. On orange juice.

If you have something already that works for you, great. If not, give it a look. It’s personal task management, on Mac- or i- OS.

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LittleIpsum post

LittleIpsum

If you are designing websites and use Lorem Ipsum, you “need” LittleIpsum. What a great feeling when repetitive tasks get a great solution. Check them out.

CandyBar – customize and organize your icons

CandyBar

Icons find their way onto small areas of a site, but they can make a big impact. Plus, they’re cool.

CandyBar collects all my icons into one place. I can store, organize, and tag/keyword icons and also share and export them in a few clicks.

The web is made beautiful in a lot of ways, a touch of beauty in an icon is one of them. I didn’t know I’d like icons so much, but I use this app for everything in that field. I always know where they are.

IconBox does allow users to import their CandyBar library should they desire to make the change.

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Transmit icon

Transmit | FTP Client (Mac)

I saw this little purple truck early on in my days of learning about building websites. Then I saw it again and again…and again! I always wanted to know what it was for. And then the day came – I needed my first FTP client. I guess it was the second-hand enthusiasm that I couldn’t resist.

But I did do my research (and you should, too!). I’m on a Mac, so I had FileZilla (free), Cyberduck (free), Fetch, Forklift (which I liked), Flow and Transmit, all as viable options. I downloaded and tested during trial periods and found that I loved the little purple truck.

Could I use the others? Absolutely. Could I recommend them to you? I think I could even do that. Do I like using Transmit? I do.

ColorSchemer Studio

ColorSchemer Studio

In real life, architects and designers use color guides for selecting, matching and sampling the right color. The ones I’m thinking of are portable, numerically referenced and named – it’s a color-on-paper “fan deck” and they are so stinkin’ cool. Pantone has a fan deck with 2,100 colors. Many paint companies have collections of their own, too – you’ve probably seen them.

ColorSchemer Studio is a web and graphic designer’s equivalent. It’s digital, portable, and I can even edit and save color names for each project. I use it all the time, it’s value is second-to-none in the design process, and that’s why I have it listed here with this recommendation.

“I/We need a website” you might say? If we’re working together, my question to you would be, “What’s your favorite color?”

Pull out the crayons and colored pencils – it’s time to color.

Espresso HTML

Espresso

I happen to use Espresso as my HTML/CSS/PHP/etc. editor. Syntax coloring and autocomplete are invaluable features both for work and for learning. Visual CSS Editing and “X-Ray” on live previews contributed to Espresso 2’s 10/10 review on AppStorm.net.

HTML, etc. can be edited in many ways. In truth, I can only help get you started in your research as price, features, and interface all play into choosing a web editing tool. So if Espresso isn’t your cup of web-editing-tea, here’s a few other flavors I will point out on the menu (in no particular order):

WYSIWYG editors like iWeb or RapidWeaver are on the “code-free” menu, but can be helpful and tasty in the right situation. Dreamweaver is on all the menus, but can be a little overwhelming for the complete beginner.
1Password - for Mac/Windows and Mobile Devices

1Password

As part of a website or presence online comes the need for password management. It has been my experience that we sometimes find ourselves in need of a piece of paper to write down a new password or are always clicking “Forgot my password” and then forgetting the new one we just set.

I use and recommend 1Password, available for both Windows and Mac (again, I am not affiliated – just a happy customer).

Dropbox logo

Dropbox

I’ve grown to love this word.

“…a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere…any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, phones and even the Dropbox website. Dropbox also makes it super easy to share with others…” – Dropbox

I think you will, too.

MailChimp

MailChimp

There are few things I love more than ice cream. MailChimp may be one of them.