Internet Tools Blog Posts
Printable Calendars on TimeAndDate.com
It's that time of year, time to start thinking about making next year's Calendar. Thankfully the folks at TimeandDate.com make the process really easy. They have a great widget that helps you create all sorts of different calendar types. Simply design your calendar then download the results.
This is useful for event planning and software release scheduling.
You can open up the PDF in Affinity Designer and other programs and add enhance the calendar even more.
There's a lot of other cool Date/Time utilities over at TimeandDate.com:
- Date Duration Calculator: Days between two dates
- Distance Calculator - How far is it?
- Solar & Lunar Eclipses Worldwide
- Sunrise and sunset times in Boston
- World Temperatures -- Hottest/Coldest City in the World right now.
The "Make Your Own" calendar is the most popular thing that I use the site for.
Finding good matching colors is tricky, especially if you're looking for colors for the holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. COLOURlovers is a great site to find the perfect color for any occasion.
Description from their site:
COLOURlovers is a creative community where people from around the world create and share colors, palettes and patterns, discuss the latest trends and explore colorful articles... All in the spirit of love.
There's color help for just about anything:
Drag and drop the image into Affinity Photo and you can create your own Swatch set from the colors. Just use the Color Picker Tool and build your custom Swatch Set. Check out this video by Affinity on how to do it.
CloudConvert is a powerful way to convert files from one type to another. It's very convenient and you don't have to install any software on your computer.
This site has been handy when I wanted to:
- Convert a Movie to GIF
- Convert an Apple Live picture to GIF
- Convert a PDF document to ebook
CloudConvert supports the conversion between more than 200 different audio, video, document, ebook, archive, image, spreadsheet and presentation formats.
There is no need to install any software on your computer! Upload your files to CloudConvert and we will do the job for you. Don't worry, your files are safe and only you can access them. They will be deleted again as soon as your conversion is finished.
Most conversion types support advanced options, for example setting the codecs of audio/video files. Also, we support batch converting and folder monitoring!
Free and Subscription Plans
The free plan allows you to convert 25 minutes per day. Think of a conversion minute as the amount of time that you spend on the site. Larger files will take longer to convert, so plan your time according.
If you plan on using CloudConvert a lot, there are a couple of Package plans available. You can purchase a block of time, or commit to a certain amount of time every month.
The block of time is useful when your converting a whole bunch of files and don't want to make a long term commitment.
Mozilla created a website called openbadges.me where people can design and Issue Open Badges. You can use the free online generator to create a badge for your website or blog. Badges also make great picture overlays.
It does take a bit of time to learn all the functionality of the online editor. Once you get it, making badges will be easy to do any time you need one.
Open Badges are visual tokens of achievement, affiliation, authorization, or other trust relationship sharable across the web. Open Badges represent a more detailed picture than a CV or resume as they can be presented in ever-changing combinations, creating a constantly evolving picture of a person's lifelong learning.
Image compression is important when your sharing files. You don't want to email a large file if you don't need to. The problem with most image applications is that they don't have a good preview of what the image will look like when you compress it.
That's where JPEGMini comes in handy, from their website:
Get the smallest image file size without compromising quality. JPEGmini can optimize photos up to 28MP.
This is a very useful tool to help compress images for email or website development. You'll be able to see the before/after and decide if the compression is worth it.
In most situations, you don't really need the high-resolution photo unless your sending the image file to a printer.
If your using JPEGMini a lot, then consider going Pro, here are some features:
- 128 Megapixels - Support high-resolution photos from the world's leading camera brands.
- Lightroom Plugin - Fits perfectly in your workflow, enabling you to optimize photos without adding any extra steps.
- Batch Resize -Drag and drop any amount of photos and have them resized to your specifications.
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.
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!
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:
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.
Pixel Speech Bubble
Write some text and click the create button to make your own pixel speech bubble graphic.
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.
Mega Cool Text
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.
Cool Fancy Text Generator
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.
Five Web Productivity Tools to Maximize Your ProductivityHere are the five online productivity tools that I use just about every day.
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.
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!
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!
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 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.
Google Birthday Cake
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!
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.