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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Points on Handy Tools for Nowadays

 #1  Physical notebooks and sketchbooks never go completely obsolete if you’re artistic. Because, as convenient and efficient as technology can be, sometimes we need time away from the screen and can benefit from the grounding effect that writing and drawing physically can have. So get yourself some if you don’t already have them and use them for “brain dumps” and drafts during break or downtime.

 #2  It’s no news that Google took over most things. Though maybe not for too long, we will see. In any case, it has been facilitating a bunch of tools for free that can make your work easier. You can use GMail for regular emails and to gain easy access to their tools and more. Google Drive, which gives you plenty of space to store many types of files online. And maybe you’ll also find Google Photos handy, which can automatically get your photos and videos from your phone and organize them for you (and getting extra space isn’t too costly). Furthermore, they shamelessly redid the Office tools and I’m not complaining because those got absurdly pricey (you left us out, Microsoft). Now you can use their equivalents: Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and even make Forms with them. They automatically save to your Google Drive so you’re less likely to lose your progress and are able to access them from anywhere (no hassle of moving around files). And if you want to have your own site, quick and easy, they have Google Sites and Google Domains. (Also, Blogger.)

 #3  Graphics and videos are super important nowadays. For everyone, not just the pros! So, if you don’t have a budget for expensive applications or even the resources to make the most of them (knowledge, skills, time, energy, etc.), there are two apps for you: Canva and Clipchamp. They are free (though you can pay for extra features that are not essential) and quite user-friendly, so they won’t consume your existence.

 #4  Something I like to do when writing is to use text-to-voice software. This way, I can give myself little “breaks” from focusing too hard, and have what I’ve written so far read back to me. This will help me catch errors and also stimulate me to regain my train of thought or come up with more ideas. I use Natural Reader at the moment, which is free and straightforward (and can be sped up and slowed down), but maybe you can find more suitable apps for yourself.

 #5  Is AI taking over the world? Looks like it. Major changes are already occurring - and quite rapidly. It’s difficult to keep up with everything that’s coming out that’s heavily reliant on AI. It’s a scary, yet interesting and fascinating time to be alive. We could be moving closer to a utopia or further into a dystopia. That will depend on how this is all handled. AI, in itself, isn’t bad. Technological advances aren’t necessarily bad. But what goes through for it and around it, might be. Fingers crossed and wishing for the best.