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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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


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


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.

Gravity Forms

Web-based Forms can be semi-cumbersome, if not daunting and detailed to make, especially for a new designer.

The WordPress community, of which I am most familiar with – as opposed to Drupal or Joomla – is active with making things like building forms easier.

Contact Form 7 was the first contact form plugin/builder I was introduced to for WordPress. It had a great following and wide use. Previously I had used (and loved) JotForm, the “first web based WYSIWYG form builder” which, like WuFoo, lets developers visually build forms while storing the collected information in the user’s account (don’t forget Google Forms). This “offsite” setup and collection was (and for many still is) great. It was easy to build and embed, but I wanted to store collected responses in our own site’s database visible in the WordPress backend.

Well, as is often the case with me, options sparked my exploration. I eventually settled on/with Gravity Forms and have been happy ever since.

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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.

Lynda.com logo


Lynda.com introduced me to a whole new world of learning software via video tutorials, available 24-hrs online.

Once I saw it, I felt like I could learn anything because they had a video tutorial for just about every application I was hoping to learn.

And the way in which I could learn made such a difference; all my senses (learning styles) engaged. I essentially had the ideal situation for learning a new “instrument”, through professionally prepared lessons, at my own pace, at any time.

Tutorials you might consider, should you be in a situation similar as I regarding websites, Content Management Systems (CMS), etc. might include topics like WordPress, HTML5, CSS3, and Web Design Fundamentals.

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1Password - for Mac/Windows and Mobile Devices


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


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.



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

ManageWP logo


For those working with and/or supporting multiple WordPress sites, I have found ManageWP to be a helpful service.

From their site:

All your sites under one dashboard! ManageWP helps you manage all your WordPress sites from one dashboard, keeping them updated and secure.

I don’t get anything for telling you about them, I just like them and appreciate what they’ve permitted me to do and accomplish a little more easily as I support and manage multiple WordPress websites.

WordPress Plugins

Plugins for WordPress

Here are some WordPress plugins I recommend and use (alphabetical):

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Namecheap Logo


I use and recommend Namecheap (I’m not affiliated), both from my past two years with them as a domain registrar and more recently with web hosting. Thanks for good prices, great service and support, and coupons.

Namecheap has been a credible alternative for some of the other more well-known registrars out there to date and I use them for everything in this field, as much as I can.

UPDATE: If you have an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, etc.), the Namecheap app offers a management system for the domains that you manage at Namecheap: search, register, renew, view transfers and even change DNS, all on the go.