Note: The sands of time move on, as do the free tools I use. See the updated version of this post here!
This week’s Articulate challenge is to share the free e-learning tools we really use. These are my favorites.
1. Redbooth: Project Management
This makes my life so easy it has to be first. Redbooth from Google makes project management effortless, and it’s free up to 5 projects and 5 users. I use it to:
- Work Across Platforms: I use it on PC, Mac, iPhone, and iPad. It syncs effortlessly and tasks are immediately on my calendar.
- Manage From Anywhere: I assign tasks, get feedback from team members, write up project notes, and participate in team conversations wherever I am.
- Easily Manage & Share Files: I store and track all pieces and parts of a project – including email, notes, and conversations – plus sync files automatically with Dropbox. Nothing gets lost.
A “Free” Thought: I started on the free version to test it, then went to the paid one. Get creative and you could stretch those 5 projects and 5 users a whole lot farther.
2. Microsoft Clipart: Images
Crazy, right? Sounds like the ’50s or something. There are a million other places to get images. Why is Microsoft Clipart still my first stop?
- License & Attribution Issues: I REALLY can’t stand checking every license on every image and deciding whether it’s worth using and if there should be an attribution, and if so where do I work it in?
- Editable/Flexible Images: I start with an image and think of ways to use it so it doesn’t look like everyone else’s. People loved the images in this piece, and they’re from MS Clipart. With an open mind and creative eye you’ll be amazed at what you can do.
- Click & Play in PowerPoint: Since it’s integrated into PowerPoint, my quick image editor of choice, I can speedily bring in a pile of images and play around to see what works. Even if I get my final images elsewhere, it’s a great playground.
3. Pinterest: Inspiration & Project Organization
I haven’t been using it long, but already rely on it for a couple of things:
- Graphic Inspiration: When I see something that resonates with me, I pin it in my Graphic Inspiration board. That’s where I went to design my interactive resume.
- Project Organization: Now that you can have lots of “secret” boards I tend to create one for each new client project and use it as a catch-all place for everything from graphic and technical ideas to instructional design approaches. It’s secret, so I can include company-specific links and info.
4. Dafont & Font Squirrel: Fonts
These free font sites are so quick and easy to use, they’re hard to resist. I use them for:
- Typographic Inspiration: Even if I don’t end up using one of theirs, browsing gives me ideas.
- New Font Fun: I’ll often use them in the weekly Articulate challenges. They’re great to try out and see what’s possible.
Check Out Many More!
Those are my current go-tos you can get for free.
There are tons more you can use, and many are being shared in the comments section of this week’s challenge. I’ll be using ideas from there, and you may find some new freebies you love, too.