Skitch more than just Screen Capture for Mac

Skitch is a great free piece of screen capture software for mac, but it does a lot more than just straight screen shots. Skitch will also allow you to just drag images straight off the web and annotate them with arrows text and shapes if you need to. You can send the files straight to Evernote, attach to an email or drag out to other apps. I made a quick video to show you how it works (plus I got to experiment with Screenflow at the same time too 🙂 )

Skitch is owned by the same people that make Evernote and is also available for iphone/ipad and android – find out more at www.skitch.com/

If your Apple Mac Died Could you Easily Carry on Working?

Create a Bootable Back up disk for Mac with Carbon Copy Cloner

Without getting into a Mac versus PC debate, Macs are great when they work and fortunately don’t usually give you too much trouble, but what if yours stopped working tomorrow? Even if you have a back up of all your work think about the time it would take to get all your software, fonts and work loaded up on to a new machine and working. That’s where a FREE piece of software I recently discovered called Carbon Copy Cloner could step in and save the day.

I discovered Carbon Copy Cloner when I had to upgrade my boyfriend’s Mac (my old one) and in order to do that the disk had to be reformatted first. Carbon Copy Cloner let’s you make a bootable copy of your Mac hard drive onto a external FireWire or USB hard drive. Once the bootable drive is made this means you could then connect it to another Mac and boot off it as your startup disk and it would contain all your files along with you applications etc.

Just like Time Machine you can also set Carbon Copy Cloner to do scheduled backups too. Previously I had always preferred to do manual back ups so I could swap my back up drives round. Now I am using Carbon Copy Cloner with a FireWire Drive and then doing a less regular manual back up that I don’t keep in the house.

If you are thinking of upgrading your system software and want a copy of your existing system to fall back on or just want keep a rescue drive available, take a look at Carbon Copy Cloner www.bombich.com/.

Free Graphic Design Software for when you are Learning Graphic Design

If you are learning graphic design and haven’t got a big budget, the first investment I would suggest is a layout pad and pencil/pen (yes – seriously). The most important thing will always be your ideas and the design rather than the tools you use to implement them. However when you are ready to take your ideas on to the computer there are a couple of good websites you may want to try to find free graphic design software as alternatives to paid commercial programs.

Alternative to

www.alternativeto.net
On this site you have a couple of options, if you have something specific you are looking for – type in the mainstream commercial design program ie. Dreamweaver and then it will give you a list of alternatives (both paid and free).

Free graphic design software

To narrow it down to just Free and Open source use the drop “Filter by License” menu. You can also filter by platform – Mac, PC or Linux.

Opensource design software

With “Alternative to” you also have the option to browse through software by choosing your platform from the top menu and then choosing the type of software you are looking for.

Osalt

www.osalt.com

Here you can simply search for the commercial graphics software (eg. Photoshop) that you are trying to find an open source alternative to. When you have found it select it and underneath you will find a list of alternatives along with which platform they are available for Mac, Windows or Linux.

Osalt Open source design software

Have fun, but don’t forget the humble pencil!

Free Design Project Management and Collaboration Software

Up until recently I had always organised my design work in a really basic way, just typing up a list if projects and breaking them up over the week. A few months ago I was introduced to Basecamp, which is an online software where you can organise your projects and have others collaborating on projects with you. The only problems was that only a very basic version was free, that was when Lisa from Finkcards told me about Podio.

Podio

Just like Basecamp, Podio allows you to create and cchedule tasks and create different spaces where you can invite other people to collaborate. This is great for scheduling your own projects and for designers collaborating on design projects. Another interesting feature of Podio is that it allows you to create “Apps” and all this requires is a drag and drop of different elements (no coding needed). This gives you the ability to do all sorts of things such as storing contacts for a design job, collecting together inspirational links and much more. You can also attach images in Podio giving clients or the rest of your team the ability to leave comments, which can save you from having to dig through emails, and allows you to remember who said what.

Freedcamp

Although I have only quickly looked at it, another free option for managing your design projects is Freedcamp which is very similar to Basecamp. Check out the video below to find out more.

You can read a full review at the  Pixsym Blog

Wunderlist

If you have ever tried the paid App “Things” by Culture Code Wunderlist looks very similar, if a little more basic, but best of all it’s free. It’s available for Mac, PC Andoid and Iphone and you can also collaborate (though I haven’t tried this). The only thing that bugged me about Wunderlist is that I could only view my tasks by Project and not purely by date.

What do you use to manage your design projects?

Sculptris free 3D sculpting software just like modelling with digital clay

Sculptris 3D sculpting software

I have just today heard about some free 3D software which allows you to sculpt amazing things almost though you are using digital clay. The 3D software is called Sculptris and unlike most 3D software with this program you start of with a ball of clay and there is a tool set which allows you to push here and pull there and do all sorts of weird and wonderful things. I have downloaded and tried it quickly just with a mouse, although the makers suggest it works better with a Wacom tablet.

You can download free Mac and PC versions at www.pixologic.com/sculptris/

Check out the two videos below which show some of the capabilities of the software