This past week I've gathered some links to useful tools. If you use Photoshop regularly, browse coding docs, use forms, and/or manage projects, the following will make your life easier and improve productivity:
GuideGuide - Photoshop plugin that allows you to quickly generates accurate grids for your designs/projects.
Inquire.ly - Collects data from your website's forms, with easy management and notifications. Will also be available as WordPress and ExpressionEngine plugins.
Asana and Do - Both Asana and Do are highly robust task and project management tools with great interfaces, multiplatform synching, team communication, and more. Hard choice, this one is.
Mobile phones are still on a growth spurt throughout world. With our phones by our sides at all times, virtual assistants can gain traction and become a critical part of how we function and utilize technology. The point of technology is to make things easier and more efficient for us, right?
With the introduction of Siri, Apple's new virtual assistant platform for iPhones, the bet for the future is on! If you're thinking "Why does this matter? Speech recognition and task dictation is nothing new," you're absolutely right. However, there is one great differentiating factor in that Siri is the first to actually understand what you mean. Rather than passing blunt commands, you talk to it and hold a conversation. More after the jump...
You're probably very familiar with this new "30 Day Challenge" trend that's been going on lately. After watching the mini TED talk by Matt Cutts, I decided that it's time that I joined in on the fun! However... I don't know what to do, so I need your suggestions.
Things I am doing well in...
Not a caffeine addict – I don't drink soda or coffee often.
Rarely watch TV.
Keep meals relatively healthy – junk food a couple of times a month.
Always research and read interesting things (but no action).
I work out semi-regularly by playing handball, jogging, etc.
Things I am not doing so well in...
Practicing necessary coding and web design techniques, etc.
Learning a new language (Spanish, etc).
Working on personal projects that've been on hold for years.
Writing tutorials for this blog.
Fire away, people! Comments section is open for business!
There are some things in life that you just do, and don't do. I have been writing this list since September 2008. I have learned many things, met many people, and experienced things that I will carry with me to the grave. Tomorrow is my 23rd birthday, and I feel I have just barely touched the tip of the iceberg of life.
I would like to say thank you to those that have helped me compile this list, whether you know it or not. This endeavor has always kept me on my feet, thinking, and observing the world around me. It is my hope for this list to inspire people anywhere in the world, just as I have been influenced by those around me.
Continue reading for the list that's been in the works for nearly 3 years:
About 2 years ago, I blogged about Penzu, a web-based private journal and diary. Today, Penzu is alive and well, and better than ever! Recently, a mobile web version was unveiled (pro accounts), compatible with iPhone, iPad, Android, and Blackberry. This is HUGE for Penzu, because now users have a dedicated interface for an optimal journaling experience. It even uses the latest HTML5 techniques that allows you to access and write entries when you're offline.
What is Penzu? A quick overview. It is an online private journal and diary. Every entry is private by default, and not viewable publicly unless you specify. Entries are auto-saved as you write so you don't have to. You can upload photos from your computer, or insert them directly from Flickr. If for some reason you want hard copies of your entries, you can print them out, too. More after the jump...
Being considerate shows respect, understanding, appreciation, and care towards whoever is involved. It effects our overall image - how people perceive us, which, in the end, is more positive. The more we realize and acknowledge things about people, the more we learn about ourselves (read: self discovery), and about everyone around us. This helps us become socially well-rounded, which is important to all of us when we're around friends, family, coworkers, strangers at a bar, and so forth.
So, let's get down to the nitty gritty. Being considerate involves compromise. You need to be observant of people's behaviors and feelings so you can determine what needs to be done. If someone you know is having a bad day, you probably shouldn't do/say anything inappropriate that would hurt their feelings. If you see a friend or colleague drowning in work, and you happen to have free time, lend a hand. These types of things are hard to forget. More after the jump...
Three weeks from today, my college career will be complete. I will have fulfilled the requirements of a rigorous 120-credit design program, met tons of amazing people, and built lasting relationships with my colleagues. This will mark a major milestone, and I will be headed towards greater things.
A strong network is important because you will take it with you wherever your career takes you. The amount of opportunities you are presented often depends on who you know. Your former professor may recommend you for a job, or a former classmate may need your expertise in some project. In contrast, if you ever need a hand somewhere down the line, who do you ask?
Say a former colleague of yours becomes an Art Director and is building a team of professionals, who will he go to? Most likely the people he knows and trusts, which could be you. I have been referred to clients by my friends and colleagues simply because they knew I did design work. People often make recommendations based on good experiences. The more people you meet and impress, the more likely you are to be recommended. More after the jump...
Be amazing in your schoolwork, regardless of what it is you do. Always do more than you're asked for. Beat out the competition. Blow them away with your work. Come up with fantastic concepts and ideas - something you know others wouldn't think of. Always go for something that would make people think "dang, now that's clever!" These are the teachings of my former Advertising professor, Douglas Davis.
In his class, I learned how to truly work as a team with partners, how be actively productive, and how to go above and beyond what I thought I was capable of. These are the types of professors that shape and mold us into who we are as professionals.
When you're just entering the working world, you don't have much experience under your belt. Your schoolwork is pretty much the only thing you have to show for yourself. For designers, this means that your portfolio does most of the talking. For those with careers that don't involve portfolios, your resume should list your accomplishments, activities, and so forth that define who you are and what you're capable of.
By mid-May, I will be launching a portfolio that will highlight a lot of my schoolwork. It will including some great advertising campaigns I worked on in Douglas Davis' class. I can't wait until it's up an running!
Some people say they are always behind everyone else, but that is not the case. Everyone is always a step behind someone, including the best out there. It takes a special skill to be able to discover things and learn whenever you wish. Self discovery is important because it's what allows us to take control of ourselves and our future.
Knowing what you want is one of the greatest challenges in life, even though the list always changes. We may not always have the answers in front of us, but if we learn to look for answers in the right places, many problems can be eliminated. We all have the ability to research, try and experiment with anything that interests us, whether it's music, the arts, programming, sports, and so forth.
Self discovery is a life-long process. Even when we reach the point in life where everything is going our way, it's no reason to stop growing as a person. There is too much to see and learn about in this world to be fooled by some success. Success, after all, is a state of mind, and must be actively sought after.
Remember: Not knowing isn't the problem. Not knowing how to get what you want is the problem.
A few weeks ago I discovered Flavors.me - a website that allows you to quickly create and customize your own website. You can link your existing blogs and website feeds, Flickr, LinkedIn, Netflix, and so forth, all in one simple interface. Here's mine: flavors.me/lasha
Flavors.me is a GREAT way to get you started if you don't have your own website, and a great addition to your online presence. It allows a decent amount of customization such as colors, fonts, and various options for Facebook, Flickr, etc. With this service, you can link people to just one page and have them access everything else. Great for potential clients and networking.
On another note, I'm getting decent traffic from my Flavors.me page back to this blog. I don't know how that happened... haha.