internetTools

October 7, 2017

Ultimate CSS Gradient Generator

One of the neat features of HTML5/CSS3 is the ability to have gradient colors. You can fade colors or mix different colors to create all sorts of creative effects. All the major browsers fully support HTML5 and CSS3 gradient functionality. Chrome has supported

Creating gradient colors in CSS can be tricky. You have to figure out all the HEX values, the length of the color and then decide on the gradient type: linear-gradient, repeating-linear-gradient, radial-gradient, repeating-radial-gradient.

Ultimate CSS Gradient Generator

Ultimate CSS Gradient Generator makes creating CSS gradients designs very easy.

Ultimate CSS Gradient
http://www.colorzilla.com/gradient-editor/

There are 115 gradient color designs to get you started. You can get inspired by selecting one of the designs and then change the colors and position to what will look good for you. There all sorts of configurations, including hue, saturation, lightness and more.

You can also convert an image gradient to a CSS style too! Useful if your trying to match a web design from a printed design.

There's a Live Preview to show what the gradient will look like.

Once you have the perfect design, simply copy/paste the CSS code into your CSS or web page.

Very useful site and it's free!

September 16, 2017

Five Cool Text Graphic Tools

There are lots of cool websites online that can help create cool graphics. These are useful when you want to convey a simple message and want to draw some attention to it. These are very useful to catch attention in Slack, Facebook or Twitter posts.

Here are five cool graphic tools that I have found online, bookmark these so that you have them when you need them:

Text Craft

textcraft

Design your own logo or text for your website, blog, YouTube videos, screenshots, forum sig., artwork, Minecraft server, wallpaper, computer games etc. Textcraft is a free online text and logo maker and is also compatible with iPad and Android tablets.

Website: https://textcraft.net/

Pixel Speech Bubble

pixelspeechbubble

Write some text and click the create button to make your own pixel speech bubble graphic.

Website: http://pixelspeechbubble.com/

Cool Text

cooltext

Cool Text is a FREE graphics generator for web pages and anywhere else you need an impressive logo without a lot of design work. Simply choose what kind of image you would like. Then fill out a form and you'll have your own custom image created on the fly.

Website: https://cooltext.com/

Mega Cool Text

megacooltext

Introducing the Cool Text Generator for Nicks lyrics for the Internet, you just write your cute Nickname in the form, then copy and paste it on your Facebook, Twitter or Google+. We have all the lyrics you are looking for you to write a funny nick, different and Nice Nick.

Website: http://megacooltext.com/

Cool Fancy Text Generator

Cool Symbol Fonts

Cool Fancy Text Generator - Create Cool Font Text is a handy tool that helps convert normal text to different cool stylish text with many cool font styles. Just click on a style to copy it to the clipboard and paste it anywhere you want.

Website: https://coolsymbol.com/cool-fancy-text-generator.html

June 28, 2017

Evernote Helper

Have you ever worked on a document and then an idea came up for something completely unrelated to what your working on?

Ya, it happens to everyone.

The problem is if you completely stop what you're doing - you'll loose focus on the task at hand.

EverNote Helper (Menu Item) can be a real life saver. When you encounter a distraction thought, such as "I should really check out that Tom Cruise - Tom Gun Music Video" you can just make a quick note without closing the program you're in. This is possible because EverNote Helper is a Macintosh/Windows system-wide utility.

Evernote Helper Graphic

I have found that EverNote helper is good way to remember things when you don't want to interupt your current task.

Screen Capture

As an added bonus, you can take a quick screenshot with your quick note. You don't need to take a full-screen shot - you can just take a picture of a selected area of the screen or any window.

Audio Recordings

Macintosh users can add a voice recording but I don't see any use for that. At my office it's pretty quiet - I don't think I would ever use this.

Some real world examples

Don't think it's something you need to use? Check out some real world tasks that have happen to me:

  • Thought of a cool gift idea while browsing Amazon? Take a screen shot and make a note.
  • See a cool graphic design on social media that you would like to duplicate? Take a screenshot of it and comment on why you like it.
  • Need to bring some supplies to work tomorrow? Take a note.
  • Found a bug but don't have time to file a report? Take a screenshot and jot down some notes.
  • Wouldn't it be great if.. Take a quick note.
  • On a call, need to jot a phone number or address?
  • Discovered a cool Alexa saying? Take a note.

At first I thought having another menu item didn't make any sense. However, I discovered that it makes perfect sense for just a quick note.

Once you remember the keyboard commands you'll be using this feature all the time.

Evernote Menu Help
Quick Cheat Sheet Guide.

One last Thought

Think about it - when was the last time your desktop sticky note had a screenshot?

June 7, 2017

Emoji in Evernote

EverNote is a great tool to organize everyday notes. You can put notes in Notebooks and tag them so you can easily find them later.

Did you know that EverNote Supports Emoji icons? It's a cool way to highlight notes or notebooks. Check out this example of the Done and Food Notebooks.

Notebook Emoji

As you can see it's pretty easy to identify the use of those particular notebooks.

What are Emoji icons?

Emoji are a small digital image or icon used to express an idea, emotion, etc., in electronic communication.

Emoji in Evernote

You can use emoji within your documents. But did you know that you can use them in headers and in Notebook names?

This can make it easier for certain notes or notebooks to stand out. As in the above example, my 'Done' notebook is where I store completed Blog notes.

All Emoji are Not the Same

Androd Emoji and Apple Emoji are different, this is important to know if your using EverNote on different devices types.

Emoji

Also keep in mind that Apple and Android don't have the same Emoji library. When Android encounter an Emoji that is not in their library, you'll get a box to indicate an incomplete emoji, If you keep a single OS platform, then this isn't a problem.

Emoji Technique

Using Emoji is a good way to make ordinary notes stand out. This is a great idea for those reference notes that you may need to use all the time.

Just remember to not throw an Emoji on synced Notebooks. (i.e. Notebooks that are being used by IFTTT, such as Twitter and IOS Photos.) If you add an Emoji, you're essentially changing the name and that may cause the sync to fail.

March 30, 2016

Five Web Productivity Tools to Maximize Your Productivity

Here are the five online productivity tools that I use just about every day. picmonkey

PicMonkey

PicMonkey makes creative tools for photo editing and graphic design because we want you to rock the universe. We want your images to show your creativity, your style, your spot-on brilliance.

I currently have the Royale Membership ($33 a year) This is simply an awesome tool to touch up images and create Collages. I use this tool to create my photo collages where I email my daughter's photo of the day. The good thing about PicMonkey is that it's 100% web based - which means that it works the same no matter what platform I am using.

Here are the key features of the Royal Membership - Advanced touch up tools, 1,100+ graphic overlays, 2x more effects and filters, Premium fonts, Edit from Collage and No Ads.

Grammarly

grammarly

This online service says that they are "The World's Most Accurate Online Grammar Checker." - probably true. Grammarly's writing app finds and corrects hundreds of complex writing errors -- so you don't have to. Millions of users worldwide trust Grammarly's free and premium products, which are also licensed by more than 600 leading universities and corporations.

This is a great tool to have! It's almost like someone double checking my writing. I find this very handy when I have to send company-wide emails. Grammarly doesn't catch everything, but it forces me to proofread what I am writing. This works with any HTML page that has a text area.

I purchased Hemingway, but I find Grammarly to be more accurate and a lot easier to use.

I currently on the Free version, and don't have any immediate plans to use the Premium plans, although it's very tempting!

Google Alerts

Google Alerts

By creating a Google Alert, you can get email notifications any time Google finds new results on a topic that interests you. For example, you could get updates about a product you like, find out when people post something about you on the web, or keep up with news stories.

Stay on top of news that you care about! Google Alerts will send you daily email summary of whatever you choose. Interested in what Donald Trump said last night? How about a product review of camera you're thinking of buying? Google Alerts is a powerful tool that lets you focus on what you want and not get distracted by a lot of news clutter.

Here are some suggested Alerts to set up:

  • Your hometown
  • The car brand that you are thinking about buying: BMW, Audi or Mercedes-Benz
  • Favorite Vacation Spot: Disney World, Sint Maarten...etc
  • Famous Person to You: Phil Schiller, Carl Yastrzemski, Peter N Lewis

This is a free service provided by Google. Why not let the power of Google work for you!

MBTAtrains.com

MBTA trains

We're building the next generation commuting app focused on your commute and the information you need to make it better. Data-driven transit, designed and built for Boston. Tools for Commuter Rail riders.

Every morning I need to know the status of the train that I need to catch. As soon as I park my car, the first thing I do is bring up the MBTAtrains.com website. I then quickly figure out the current location of my train. That determines if I need to run or sprint to catch the train. The other commuters heading to the platform may look at me weird, but thanks to MBTAtrains.com, I know how much time I have.

I have found that the MBTAtrains.com site to be accurate and reliable. They use the train GPS locations and predict when the train will arrive at the next station.

MBTAtrains.com is currently a free service.

Evernote Plus

evernote

Evernote is a cross-platform, freemium app designed for note taking, organizing, and archiving. As one workspace that lives across your phone, tablet, and computer, Evernote is the place you write free from distraction, collect information, find what you need, and present your ideas to the world.

I use Evernote on my Kindle Tablet for reading and writing. I also have it on my iPhone 6s Plus, but I find my Kindle HD 7 to be the perfect size for reading and writing.

I upgraded to Evernote Plus ($24.99 per year) so that I can read notebooks offline. While other people on the train are playing Candy Crush, I am reading the latest technical information on the just announced iPhone. This is the advantage of using EverNote Web Clipper.

February 26, 2016

How to Scan to Evernote on a Mac

If you do a search around the internet for instructions on scanning documents directly to Evernote on a Macintosh, you'll find that many are out of date. You may think it's no longer possible. Well it still is...and it's very easy to set up.

Evernote Scan

Here's my simple instructions on how to capture scan images and put them directly into Evernote using Image Capture version 6.7 (OS X El Capitan)

  • Open Image Capture
  • Click on the "Show Details" button on the bottom right window
  • On the pull down menu next to the "Scan To: text, Select "Other..."
  • Select the 'Applications' Folder and then find 'Evernote'
  • Click 'Open'
  • You'll see the EverNote now appears in the pull down menu

Scan file items will appear as individual notes in Evernote. Immediately after the scan, you will have an opportunity to make some notes. This is a good time to comment on why you scan the item.

Evernote recommends to use Color as the "Kind:" and to scan at 72 dpi resolution. (See the example screenshot)

If you have Evernote Premium, the text in the scan items will be searchable. This includes photos. This means if you have a photo with an inspirational quote, you can search for it.

Note: This is backward compatible, which means that if you upgrade to Premium today, anything that you already have in Evernote account will be searchable. Make sure to give Evernote some time to scan and index all your document and photos after you upgrade.

January 8, 2016

Skitch and Evernote

If your looking for a productive Macintosh screen capture tool, I highly recommend checking at Skitch by Evernote. This is a free tool that works very well with your existing Evernote account. You don't need Evernote to use Skitch, but they work so well together, why wouldn't you?

About Skitch

Use an existing image or capture a new one, then add shapes, write on it, draw on it, annotate it any way you like, and save it to your Evernote account so that it is available everywhere Evernote is.

About Evernote

Evernote is a notes application designed to help you stay organized that goes far beyond what you'd typically think of as a notebook. You can add text, images, audio, scanned documents, files, and more to your notebook, synchronize everything across all of your devices in Evernote's beautiful, free apps, and then quickly find anything with powerful search that can even recognize text inside your files and images.

Your Screen Capture on Steroids

The key thing to remember is you can "quickly find anything with powerful search." This means that when you use Skitch and save the screenshot in your Evernote account, you can search for text that is in your screen shot.

That's the power of Evernote and Skitch.

Skitch has all the image annotation that you come to expect from a screen capture tool. You can add arrows, Text, Shapes, Highlights, predefine stamps, Pixelate, and crop images. You can easily export the image out of Skitch so that you can add it to a Jira issue.

Skitch_sm.jpg
Click on image for a larger version.

The good thing about Skitch is that it will create a notebook to store all the images, so the screenshots won't clutter up your default Evernote notebook. In addition, you can manage the notebook how you want, so if you don't want the files, simply delete them. You can tag the notes so that you can find them even easier.

EverNoteAccount.jpg
I have plenty of space in my Upload Allowance.

Feature Requests

I would like to have the ability to record video as I can do with other applications, such as MonoSnap and Snap Z Pro X. Sometimes it's a lot easier to describe a bug when you see it in action.

Image/Shape Library - This would be a personal library of shapes and images that users could add to the screenshot. Knowing the image was issue happen in Firefox or Chrome could add a lot of value to the screen shot.

September 15, 2015

Google Birthday Cake

googlebirthday

This morning when I logged into Google.com I noticed that the google logo changed to birthday cakes with candles. My first thought was - Hey! who's birthday is sharing my birthday? When I mouse over it, it said 'Happy Birthday Christopher.' Wow! Pretty cool for Google to do that!

Google isn't super intelligent (yet!) as I volunteered my birthday information when I signed up for an account. I just didn't think that they would every apply it.

I checked Facebook and Twitter and take advantage of the information and wishing me a 'Happy Birthday' in some creative way. In particular, I am surprise that Facebook didn't do anything - being a social network.

So, if you have a Google account, be sure to check out google.com on your birthday for a special birthday wish just for you!

August 20, 2013

PicMonkey

Thanks to the technology changes with HTML 5 and CSS 3, the web browser can do a lot more than just serve up web pages. Developers have been busy making Chrome and Firefox an essential tool for everyday needs, and in some cases replacing desktop applications.

If your doing any photo changes for the web, you should look into PicMonkey. The services is free for basic usage, or you can upgrade and get access to additional components. What makes PicMonkey great is that you can create different types of collages. This is great when you want to show lots of image in a single image. 

When you create a collage, you can select the number of images you want and how to display it in the collage. PicMonkey has the ability to edit the image within the collage, you can zoom in or re-touch the photo. Other web editors don't allow you to do.

Once you change and manipulate your image, you should use Yahoo's Smush.it to reduce the image size for emails and websites. Smush.it reduces the size without sacrificing on the quality of the image.

There's lots of Web 2.0 tools out there, you can check out Web 2.0 Tools over at Scoop.it! They have a blog of all sorts of creative tools that you can tap into to make your task much easier.