Archive
Writing

I recently guest-wrote a blog post where I talked about some uses for Evernote, the free note-taking software that can be synced to multiple computers and mobile devices. While that post was geared towards more general use, I thought I’d list five uses for Evernote for graphic designers and illustrators to consider.

  1. Evernote as an inspiration stash. Evernote lets you store text and images which is made even easier when you use the Firefox or Safari plugin. You can grab snippets off the internet or shoot a photo with your phone and store it as you navigate the world around you. You can tag everything, so your store of inspiration can be easily sorted and searched. It will even process the images and make any text searchable!
  2. Store technical information. As I mentioned in my other post, Evernote is a great place to store information that you use often, but don’t always have at the front of your brain. Things like printer specifications, client contacts, software serial numbers or key commands in Illustrator can all be stored in an easy-to-find location.
  3. Pieces of code. This is more useful for web designers, but the idea could be applied across all disciplines. As you surf the web and come across interesting web techniques, tutorials, or pieces of code, you can toss them in your code notebook for use on future sites!
  4. Shared notebooks. If you’re doing a collaborative project, you can have shared notebook that syncs to everyone’s account so you can have drafts, writings, and other notes available to all involved.
  5. Small achievement notebook. I got this awesome idea from Heather Parlato, a great designer out of Los Angeles. She keeps a notebook that contains a list of small (and big) accomplishments she’s made each month. It provides a great way to quickly look back and assess the work you’ve done. I thought this could also be done using a digital notebook as well and so far, I really like the snapshot it gives me of my successes, no matter how small. (I do kind of miss the sound of pencil on paper, though!)

There is more information on how to use Evernote on their website and blog, but I’ve found it to be a very useful tool for keeping myself organized!

I’ll also point out that there are other applications that do somewhat similar things (though I’ve not used them) such as LittleSnapper and Simplenote which can be used with Notational Velocity.

Read More

Design Books on a Shelf

Hello everyone! Happy 2011!

Now, I’m not usually one to make New Year’s resolutions (or write really wordy blog posts!), but one thing I’ve been working hard at so far this year is improving my organization. This included a good old fashioned office cleaning and purging of old documents and books, but I also a digital rearrangement as well. After reading Frank Chimero’s great post about his workflow, I thought that I might share a few of the new things I’ve tried in case someone else finds them useful. It’s likely boring, technical reading, but I’ll try to be brief!

Read More

I was fortunate enough to be asked to work as a beta tester for the newest product from EllisLab called MojoMotor! The product just launched, so I wanted to give a few thoughts on this cool new web development package.

What is MojoMotor?
MojoMotor is a web publishing engine that, in my opinion, bridges the gap between a tightly hand-coded web site and a template-based CMS that’s easy for a non-programmer to update. It has a back-end interface that sits “on top” of your website so, when logged in, you can basically just type directly onto your web page and save the changes. This is particularly appealing from a designer’s standpoint because you don’t have to have a lot of web knowledge to update the content which fits the needs of a lot of clients out there. You could set up the site and hand it off pretty easily. That’s not to say that, as a programmer, you give up control. You can still edit the html/css files and can have full html source editing on every page for more exact tweaking. Here’s a link to their overview for more information.

Read More