A compendium of my favourite links, tools and gear
I’m always curious about what gear and tools my fellow (and admired) creatives use, so I can’t but share also what’s my own.
Note that this is what I use, not what’s best in the market, I haven’t tried everything. But I’m telling you, for the moment, they work for me. And I’ll be updating it and adding and linking so it doesn’t get too old.
I’m also curious, what is a tool or piece of gear that you use you’d never thought it would give so much? Tell me!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Online courses and learning
- New products, trends and fashion
- Design and creative resources
- Google tools
- Better living
Useful links and sites
I’m on so many newsletters and I love many sites (I’m a multi-passionate woman) but I usually forget about them for a while. So here I’ve made a shortlist, by category, of sites I find interesting and think you may like too.
But firstly : Internet tools
Avoiding so many ads following you everywhere and getting a bit more privacy
Sometimes I get my hands on someone else’s computer and phone, I’m browsing or trying to watch a vide… and I am astounded by the amount of bullshit adds that are all around on the Internet. I live in a different reality. I get some ads on Youtube music when I’ve not being careful about cookies but otherwise, my Internet experience is quite nice and clear. So how can you too live like this?
- Adblock (for your favourite browser). Use a plugin to make ads disappear. For some sites you may need to turn it off (magazines and newspapers that will not let you see the page otherwise – although sometimes there are walk-arounds)
- Use a browser that doesn’t track you and blocks most ads (almost LIFESAVING when browsing the internet)
Then, accept that you’ll have to say “no.” Every time you say you consent to have ads better suited to your interests, you are accepting ads and trackers. Also reject cookies as much as possible.
If you need to go back in time, if you’ve noticed a lot more ads are coming for you, you can cancel permissions you’ve given to advertisers, probably without knowing it.
I regularly do that and it helps with the ads I get on Youtube Music. So maybe it’s worth trying.
For a bit of Google privacy, this is all the information that Facebook and Google have about you. And here follows quick steps to get in charge of your information.
- Go to https://myaccount.google.com and review every section.
- Go to https://myaccount.google.com/data-and-personalization and pause all the services you don’t really need. I only keep the Youtube history to keep a record of which videos I saw, in case I want to rewatch any of them. Turn off ad personalisation (anyway, it is more fun to see new unrelated ads, and you won’t be seeing many either). And anyway, on other platforms you’ll still get ads targeted following your earlier conversations, so sure you can say no to some personalitsation by Google.
Online courses and learning
Used and proven sites to learn anything. I wish I had more spare time and energy to focus on learning and being a good student as I once was… But life is calling me to behave differently these days.
New products, trends and fashion
Be on the look out for what’s going on the world, without the gloomy news that are on TV, newspapers and the mainstream media. Choose your sources of information and enjoy knowing what’s new or interesting in fashion and product design.
Design and creative resources
When I was fresh of design school I loved seeing what was going on design sites and getting inspiration for projects. Nowadays I need a reminder (out of Instagram) to get back to it. Useful the skip your known and daily algorithms.
Behance Make your portfolio online or just browse through thousands of projects from creatives all areound the globe. Great for inspiration and trends.
Designmilk News and inspiration of design
Creative Boom Design news, inspiration and articles to keep up-to-date and be inspired
Ello.co Creative social network and portfolios
Dribbble Digital creatives sharing their work
Pinterest The web search tool for imagery and inspiration
AD Architectural Digest Design news
The Loop The linkedin for creatives
You know them, but let’s not forget how powerful they are.
Google Calendar : now comes with syncing with tasks, which I use fervently for work, as it works both as an agenda for future tasks, events and as a log for my past completed activities.
Google labs see and try all the new tech and apps that google are developing and participate as a beta tester.
Assuming we are all already using Instagram (and Tiktok) for the casual photos and bing-watching content, there’s never a bad day to look a bit further and check other sites for a different scope and views. Surely you’ll find someone new to follow.
Stay on the know for the latest surfing competitions and the names that are sounding loud on the surf scene.
Start here for some good advice on designing a better life for yourself. It’s not exactly self-help but it will help you 😉
Uncategorized (for now)
… And so many more sites and interesting newsletter. I’ll be updating this list (from time to time, irregularly).
Do you have your own list of favourites and want to share it with me? Do you think I should add some other place? Send me an email!
For any other topic, a great place to start is the forum of the internet, aka Reddit.com.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Apple macbook retina 13 inch processor intel i7. Yes, I bought it before the new M1. It’s my main hardware piece and although a bigger screen would be nicer (I see you 14″) this gets the job done. I wish Apple computers would last forever. I’ve been pretty lucky but my older one, which works pretty well, has aged considerably in 5-7 years, the battery is worthless and some keys aren’t working. But I could not live (well, do computer work actually) without a mac. It’s been a romance that started when I was 14.
Wacom Intuos (wireless). The wireless feature is great. It works fine, as all Wacoms. I’m just sad that with the newest laptop I can’t use my bamboo fun tablet, which was my first and still works great but for software reasons I can’t use with modern computers.
Canon 90 D. Canon runs on the family and since my first (reflex) camera was a second-hand Canon 40D, I’m hooked. I chose this camera for its versatility and the video options, it works great and Canon’s support doesn’t disappoint. For the lenses, I have the new common 55-80, nothing special but enough for video and a 80-200 that I’ve owned for long but that I love. I’m planning on upgrading to a better tele when possible, recommendations appreciated. I love a Tele lenses and taking my scenic outdoor photos with it.
If you really want to create something, having the tools should no be a problem. Below are my favourite free choices. And, as you’ll see below, there’s a lot of software that is free or very affordable. So just start 🙂
– Digital photo professional 4 – to go over the photos and select them, it’s Canon software
– Pixelmator (not free but so much more affordable than Photoshop), my photo editor and image maker software of choice. It works so smoothly with my Macbook. It’s not Photoshop, but it’s almost there, I first tried it more than ten years ago and it’s still a promising app. I do a lot of editing with it.
– Inkscape, for vector work. After using Illustrator, it first feels a little odd but when you get the knack of it is great.
– Blender, 3D software. I like doing some 3D from time to time and it has a bit of everything, with great features and good tutorials. For more technical stuff you can try Fusion 360. For designing homes, I love Sweet Home 3D.
– Joplin is my choice for all that is taking notes, making lists, and storing ideas. I synchronize all notes through my devices with the Dropbox connection and it works wonderfully. I’m going to disappoint here, but I don’t use notion. If I feel I need to write down more data and do a complex file, I just use google sheets. I’m always ready to open a new spreadsheet.
My rack and sporting gear
- 6″ 2′ shortboard
- 8″ paddle board
- Skate cruiser
- Inline roller skates
- Cube road bike
- Goggles (+fins and weight belt)
I’m pretty confident that I’ve invested a lot more in sports gear than daily clothing… but no need to list that 😛
My beloved inherited Singer sewing machine. It really feels magical being able to make my own clothing and textile products.
Oh, and for my art, I usually use an inherited fountain pen for the line-work, calligraphic inks (Waterman), Van Gogh brushes and cold-pressed watercolor paper (the finer the best, but sometimes you gotta use what you got – depending on the project).