By Carl Heaton

In today’s high tech society, there literally is an app for everything. If there isn’t, there is a chrome extension, a cheat sheet or some other online tool that will help you.

The problem is, is that there are a lot of these tools that may just slow you down, take your money and leave you wondering why you thought of taking a shortcut in the first place. I’ve been there.

You’re not alone.

At Web Courses Bangkok, we understand that not everyone has the time to sit and test all these apps on the off chance that one or two may work for you. So, in support of all the startups, creatives and digital savvy users out there, I have picked out 10 tried and tested apps for you.

Here are the 10 tools that I have selected for this month’s roundup:

Toby

Better than bookmaraks

 

The universal rule of YouTube is that, once you open one tab, you get lost in it for an undefined amount of time. When you work online, this rule can apply to your general web browser as well. One minute, you have opened a tab for one task and the next you’re swimming in a see of tabs that looks like a teenage girl’s bedroom floor!

Toby is a fabulous tool to tame these tabs.

It allows you to organize your browser tabs into collections, making them much easier to manage.

As a Chrome plugin, Toby’s quick and simple installation means that you don’t even need to leave your browser to organize it. This allows you to access your key resources in one simple click.

I did, however, have one small issue with this product – Toby changed my browser home page without me knowing. This can easily be changed back, but it was a bit of an unwelcome surprise. Regardless, the product works. My browser tabs are now neatly categorized and I feel like a functional adult.

Web Developer Checklist

 

Web Developer Checklist

 

When I first heard about this app (through a trustworthy coder) I laughed at him for thinking that I, a professional web developer, would need such a list.
Curiosity got the better of me and I had a look.

Whether you are a newbie or have been in the game for years, this checklist is brilliant. Our minds work at an extremely fast pace and can often forget valuable ‘to-do’s’ not just in the digital field but also in life.

This checklist ranges from analytics, performance, usability, semantics and SEO, to code quality, accessibility, security, and social media, with checklists below each category.

And the best part?

Web Developer Ckecklist can be downloaded as a one-click Chrome, Firefox or Edge extention.

Though advanced digital creators may shrug this one off, it’s a definite have-to for the new kids.

Handsome Illustrations

 

Handsome Illustrations

 

Hitting a creative block is a common occurrence for any creative. Browsing the web for some inspiring new ideas is something I resort too more often than I would care to admit.
Recently, I came across Handsome Illustrations, unique illustrations for websites and applications.

At first glance I felt Handsome Illustrations to be rather mundane, but the further I went into it the more I appreciated it.

Online work and creating can often be long and tedious. I put it to the test.

With Handsome Illustrations, users can choose different illustrations, backgrounds, and objects that suit your style, making it quick and bright way to illustrate the idea of your project to whom ever.

I loved playing with the icons, mixing and combining figures, objects, and backgrounds. I may have had a little too much fun…
This app allowed me to portray a simple idea to a client, which became a larger one in the end.

If you want a quick, easy, and expressive illustration, this is the app for you. Indeed, a handsome illustration.

Docsify

 

Docsify

 

Running a business is time consuming. Trying to sort through emails slowly eats away at that time. Coming across Docsify has enabled me to work a lot smarter as it tracks and analyzes emails for me.

Particularly useful to those in sales and marketing, Docsify shows if the recipient opens the email, attachments, what links they click, and the views for each page of document and website. This is helpful when wanting to find out who is most interested in what you have to offer, allowing you to close more deals at a much faster rate.

With all this information being revealed to me, I was able to see who to focus on, who to get in touch with and when.

This is a powerful platform and a great tool for optimizing sales processes.

By viewing the statistics one can make the best pitch to a possible client.

This app was simple and highly effective with graphs and information.

Shrink Me

 

Shrink Me

 

An easy to use simple drag and drop app for all JPG, PNG, and WEBP files that shrinks the file size from 800kb to 80kb.
This nifty app allows you to reduce your image file sizes without suffering visual quality loss, making your sites and apps faster for your users.

I deal with thousands of images and files, working on websites. Images too large will effect loading time and SEO rankings, but smaller images may lose their quality. For this reason, I am constantly on the prowl for a quick and easy way of resizing to load onto my website or send via email. It also saves space in your online storage.

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Large file sizes are inevitable in our industry, and I love that Shrink Me have no maximum file size limit and can shrink in bulk all in one go.
Another bonus is that there are no ads, is free, is fast, and works offline.

HueSnap

 

HueSnap

 

When inspiration strikes, in the form of colour, this is the app for all you digital artists.

Picture this:

  1. You are strolling along the garden route. It’s sunset. The trees are vibrant in their shades of green, with this milky blue pink backdrop behind them. You can almost smell the
  2. colours of the flowers as they are in bloom, yellows and purples, oranges and magenta. Your brain neurons start firing as you picture these colours in synch with the style of the new
  3. website you are designing. You snap a shot of the scene, and allow Hue Snap to extract the colours of the image, and make them into a palette.
  4. You now have a digital colour palette for your website color scheme.

Simple and extremely easy to use, tailored to be a mobile app, allowing you to save and share your palette with others.

Definitely an app for artistic digital creatives.

Duette Display

 

Duette Display

Technology never ceases to amaze me.

This app allows you to use your iDevice (iPad/ iPhone) as an advanced extra display for your mac/PC as long as you meet the conditioned requirements.
To set up, there is an easy and informative ‘getting started’ guide on the site. Yes, I know because I used it.

Although this app is Mac and PC friendly, the target is for Macs.

I am constantly plugged into a dual screen setup. However, as a traveller, I can’t always lug an entire extra screen around with me.
When I realized I could use my iPad as an extra screen it made me so joyful.

Those of you who know the comfort and the twice as fast productivity of the dual setup can understand this joy.

Those who haven’t yet started using a dual setup, this is a must.

It is so convenient when I am on the road or away from my office space.

What I really love about this app is that the retina display is at 60 frames per second with zero lag. Zero.

Especially if you are an on-the-go creator, this app is for you.

Photoshop Express

 

Photoshop Express

Cameras have almost become obsolete. Phones are evolving faster than almost anything else on the market, with megapixels at such large rates. Photo editing has become just as important as having a good camera/phone. People are more likely to view your slightly saturated, high contrast and sharpened image as opposed to your original raw photo, whether it is professional or not.

Adobe Photoshop Express is a phone app that allows you to have the power of Photoshop, only a little less. Now you can edit your photos, make collages, and use premade filters or create your own filters – I love creating my own filters as it suits my style of photo editing and keeps my images consistent.

For those professionals out there – Photoshop Express supports RAW file formats as well as JPEG and PNG.

Although some features are limited if you do not have an adobe account, you can make one for free and access all of the tools. Of course, additional features are extra cost.

Unfortunately Photoshop Express has little in common with the ultimate desktop program but bare in mind this is a cellphone app.

All in all this a simple photo app that delivers on image quality and is easy to use, and is totally free to download.

Interneting is hard

 

Interneting is hard

The older generation understands that interneting is another language to them. Big surprise for these folks… it’s often just as foreign to us ‘tech’ generation kids.

We learn how to use apps as they appear and become popular, but designing, creating, and programming the apps and software is another game altogether.
Developer code.

HTML and CSS, sound familiar?

Interneting is Hard is a brilliant and free site that has put together a comprehensive set of friendly web development tutorials to help transform complete beginners into talented internet professionals.

Their 14 chapters, 284 code examples, 42,845 words’ cover every aspect of crafting a quality webpage. Although I already knew most of the information, it was such a great refresher with simple explanations. Their use of diagrams made it even easier for the brain to comprehend this new language.

Maybe I am just speaking for myself here, but we creatives love diagrams and pictures!

The site is aesthetically lovely and it was definitely worth my time browsing, even as a current coder. This is a great resource for people new to creating websites.

Fugue

Fugue

How many of you have spent hours prowling YouTube and every other site you can get your hands on, to find a decent platform for Royalty Free music?
You are not alone.

We find great sounds in all cracks of the net, but here is a site that has an array of beautiful SFX and music tracks on one platform.

Their options of Themes (cartoon, city, technology, etc.), Genres (Comedy, horror, Sci-Fi, etc.) and Moods (calm, dark, love, magical, etc.) leave you with many options to choose from. The whole platform is a smorgasbord of music, with tracks ranging from Indie, to classical, and much more.

When creating digital content, I am constantly in need of new sounds and tracks. Coming across this site provided me with everything I needed in my current project, and was as simple as the click of a button for a free download. No hassle, no hidden agenda.

A simple and easy to use downloader, I didn’t even have to sign in. Now, that’s a win!

If any of these suggested apps and tools have helped you, we would love to hear about it!

Send us your feedback and let us know what you think of this months selection of tech tools for startups, creatives and savvy users.

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About The Author

Carl

He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.