I use a lot of different sites for help in doing all the various web and graphic type jobs that I do. When I find a tip online that has been useful I celebrate and then I plonk it into a bookmark on my browser. It dawned on me this weekend that some of these tips might be helpful to some of you guys. Not all of these are arty-farty things.
Feel free to share your favorite workflow tips with the rest of us. The less time spent freaking out on HOW to do something the more time we can dedicate to eating peppermint ice cream.
5 Hints and Tricks to Save the Day
1. How to combine PDF files on a mac: I had used automator for actions before, and I had even used automator to combine PDFs, but I never could quite remember the steps. So every time I needed to do this action I had to hunt up the tutorial I had saved. When I found out that I could simply save the action as a service my life improved.
2. How to find that tweet from a while ago: I don’t often have a need for this but when I do – it can be brutal. Twitter is not really an archivist’s tool. Sure the Library of Congress is said to be databanking every musing for more coffee that we clack out at 140 characters, but until that databank is searchable what is the point? There have been other services that offer to do deep searches within twitter, but most are gone or require money. Topsy is simple and free. So when you want to find great tweets this is your tool. I just found this one from last year.
3. Counting, math, dates, timers…I need to know how many days since and how many days until often. While I have an app on my phone that is great for that, when I am working my phone is usually working as a jukebox for me blasting Aretha. This is why I like clean, simple, easy to navigate websites that spit out the answers I need without too many intrusive ads. I like Time and Date because it covers everything. (including information about seasons)
4. Why does Facebook have THAT image with my post?? As someone who occasionally shares posts on Facebook (although not as often there as I do in other places) I sometimes run into a moment where the image that is associated with my post is not the image that I want. Usually this happens because I have made edits. But sometimes it is just random. There is a Facebook Debugger site that you can put the URL of your post in and see how Facebook will see it (via the open graph ID). If you have a problem with the image you can work on it.
5. Work on a MAC or maybe you don’t have every single browser on your computer? There is no way for you to check how your site looks unless you have a friend with multiple browsers OR if you use a site like NetRenderer. This site has been so helpful for me when I work on designs that get complicated so that I can make sure that everything looks as it should across browsers.
When I was updating my sidebar social media images (see those circles up there over on the right?) I realized I didn’t have something for instagram. Since instagram is one of the social platforms that I use several times a day I thought it was weird that there wasn’t an easy way to follow someone without being on your phone. Turns out there IS. Followgram is a site that allows you to subscribe to someone via an RSS feed and it also allows someone to follow you from your blog.