Dropdo - ToDo

If you are a list maker, you will love this.  If you are a minimalist you will love this more!

Dropdo.com is a startlingly simple online list maker.

Go to the site - you don't even need to make an account or log in - add an item in the box, hit return and you have the first in your list.

Then just add more!

You can delete items from the list - make them all as 'done' and clear the lot.  That's about it.

We don't think it could be any simpler and it just does what it says it will.  In fact it is so minimal it doesn't even say what it does.  There is no "about us" page, no upgrade to a premium version - nothing intact - just a way to make lists.

This could be just the 'screen' you need to keep on top of your 'to dos'.

www.dropdo.com


 

Dropdo began life as a site which let you upload images, documents, audio or video files and share them with anyone, simply by sending them a link.  That was also incredibly simple and easy to use.  Somewhere along the way that stopped and the list maker appeared.  We have no idea about when this happened as they don't have any other information on their site - charmingly refreshing in a world full of textual overload!

  • Published in Tools

MyIdeasBook

Launched in 2011, MyIdeasBook  is an online 'sketchbook'  and space to bring together your images, words, links, notes and musings, accesible from any connected screen.  Just the type of workspace you, as a connected artist, might find brilliantly practical.

There are other 'clip and collect' repositories around - Evernote being one of the 'big players', but MyIdeasBook is substantially different in that it has been produced by artists for artists.

If you are anything like us, working with online information, design packages and research portals can be chaotic.  Stuff everywhere, files in different folders, links to brilliant websites spread across the hard disc, photos in iPhoto, some in folders, some on that other hard drive, some in the ‘cloud’, bits of text and clippings all over he place... And we are relatively organised!!

MyIdeasBook.com is a site which wants you to be creative and provides you with a space and structure to do just that?  The idea is that you have an online, private space, to gather material, reposition it, annotate it and be inspired to do “things creative”.  Now, that will mean a lot of things to a lot of different people, but this is a great idea put together by artist Binita Walia and some visually sensitive web developers.  

What is also interesting is that there is “connection” here.  Once registered, you have access to other users of the service (the community) and can have a peek at what they are up to - that might be just enough to give you the confidence you need to do what you were going to do anyway, or provide you with some unexpected inspiration.  Think of it as the 'studio culture' without a physical studio and the kettle!

We always love it when artists put things together like this - and are able to produce something visually beautiful which actually works.  In an increasingly connected world - this as a private, online, sketchbook, which you can ‘get at’ from any connected screen.

There is an introduction video here which gives you an overview of how the 'sketchbook' works and what you could do with it.

You can have a 30 day free trial to investigate if it is the right platform for you and, after tha,t it costs $9.00 per month which gives you 10 books with unlimited images, documents and web links.

One nice touch is that they include a  featured 'Artist in Residence' on the site - people who are already using the service.  One of them, Rachel Welford, was featured here  a while ago.  Great minds!!!

www.myideasbook.com

  • Published in Tools

Procrastination. How do you do it?

We all do it - procrastinate, that is!

Some evidence of this is our 'Distractions' section here on Welikeartists.com.  There are times when it is easier to look in another direction (often via the web) rather than tackle the next job.

This may be because it is a difficult one, looks like it might be time-consuming, is something you have decided isn't going to be successful or you are just unfocused (which is fine some days!).

So - how do you deal with not getting things done?  

Make lists (we have ways to help here): start with the easy jobs and work your way to difficult; do it the other way round or just don't do anything.

If you look around the bookshops and self-help corners of the web, you will see that there is no shortage of advice.

A helpful suggestion, from one of our advisors, was always make phone calls first thing in the morning and do it standing up!  We tried it - it works.  Often those calls are problematic - perhaps you need to chase something up, check if you got a grant/job/show, battle with your mobile phone company.  The impending anxiety, even if only slight, often makes you leave them until later.  Getting them done early in the day does have a remarkable effect:

They never seem to be as difficult as you thought.

You get them out of the way and clear the day for more interesting things.

You don't think about them all day and then make the call when you are tired and distracted.

Alex Mathers, who has been running an informative website with helpful advice for creatives, since 2009, put together a list of 10 key ways to combat procrastination.

Take a look - some of them seem obvious, but sometimes you just need to have what you already know reinforced - or be given 'permission' from an expert.

We like number 10!

www.redlemonclub.com

  • Published in Finds

Evernote

Evernote - remembers everything.  A bit of a tall order but this nifty website and application really tries to do just that for you.

It is part of the trendy concept of cloud-computing.  Basically everything is stored ‘out there’ in a cloud of connected computers. So, whatever you have stored can be accessed from any computer or mobile device.

Evernote allows you to save your ideas, things you see, and things you like, then find them quickly from any connected device - for free. The idea is that you can snap a photo, write a note, clip a web page and have it all stored in your account at Evernote. Everything you capture is automatically indexed and made searchable and, if you want to, you can add tags and key words to help with that organisation.

When you want something, you log on and search by keywords, title and tags. What is particularly clever is that the system can make printed and handwritten text inside images searchable, too.

We had this demonstrated in a Chinese restaurant in Notting Hill. Our tech-savvy friend took a photo of our bill on his phone, uploaded it to Evernote and then logged in to search for the amount we paid. Evernote had already scanned, indexed and organised the information and found the piece of paper almost instantly. Now, we had just paid and could still remember the price, but it did demonstrate just how fast and flexible this system might be.

If you need to have everything in one place and that place accessible everywhere, Evernote may be just the answer.  Great for research and organising the 'bits'.

 

 

For some suggestions on how Evernote might be used in a broader (business/personal) context, take a look at Michael Hyatt's "12 surprising ways to use Evernote"

 

www.evernote.com

  • Published in Tools

TeuxDeux

TeuxDeux - Are you a list maker? Most people find this a basic way of trying to get organised even if, like us, you do add some things you just did so you can cross them off retrospectively and make yourself feel like you are getting a lot done!!

TeuxDeux is a remarkably simple online list maker. Sign up for a free 30 day test and start adding items under the day and date you need to do them. That’s it.

The designers have stripped this little application down to its absolute minimum and it makes it remarkably functional and easy to use.

When you have completed a task, simply click on it and it crosses it out for you. If you don’t get it done on Monday, it will move all items which still need doing to the next day. Things which don’t have a specific day can be added to a ‘Someday’ list.

Being online, it means you can access it from any browser and check what still needs doing so your list goes with you (virtually).

Made by Fictive Kin and Swiss-Miss, they describe TeuxDeux as ”...a simple, designy to-do app.”  Which is exactly what it is. They also offer a quirky sense of humour in the dry oasis of code-obsessed geniuses! Just read the TeuxDeux privacy policy for a flavour of how they think!

After your trial it will cost you $2.00 per month paid yearly

 

Use TeuxDeux by visiting:  www.teuxdeux.com

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Dropbox

Dropbox is a simple, free and simple online way of getting at the files you need from anywhere there is a computer.

If you run any type of creative activity, you can bet there is a computer, or several, involved.

Here at WeLikeArtists.com, apart from editing and organising all the information for this site, we use our computers for design, archiving, accounts, e-mail, letters, presentations, finding information and, and, and...

Today most of us work on several machines: perhaps a desktop and a laptop or phone. A machine at work and one at home. The problem is that you are in one location and the file you need is on a different  device.

Dropbox solves that problem. It allows you to have a folder on several computers which automatically synchronize themselves in the background. Pop a file into the Dropbox folder on your studio computer and it will appear on every other device you have a Dropbox folder on!  

This works seamlessly. We have been using it for a months and found it to be one of the easiest organisational services around - and completely free.

So how does it work? Just download a small piece of software (Mac, PC and other "flavours”) onto your computer, register for a free account and that’s it. A Dropbox folder appears on your computer. Repeat the process on your laptop (or another computer, tablet or phone), and when you place a file into one Dropbox, it also appears on the other!

The basic free account gives you 2GB of storage and, for every friend you recommend, you receive extra storage (up to a total of 16GB). So, in effect you can quickly have a free account with 18GB of storage.

An extra advantage of Dropbox is that your folder is also synchronized on their secure website. This means that you can simply browse to their site, sign in and access the files in your folder!

Collaboration

More interestingly, you can share folders with specified people, which is brilliant for collaborations or just swapping files. Set up a folder in your Dropbox for your friend in New Zealand, click on “share this folder”, enter their e-mail address and, as long as they have Dropbox installed at their end, you can swap files with them. They can’t access any of your other files, just the one you specify, so the system is secure.

We use Dropbox to regularly collaborate with one of our advisors in London. He drops images into his Dropbox, on his computer in Earl’s Court, and it instantly appears in our Dropbox in Nottingham. We also get a nice little message on our desktop to say it happened.

For those of you who are mobile, there are a number of downloadable applications which help you sinc your stuff with your iPone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android and Blackberry phones.

 

This will revolutionise your working day. We love it. www.dropbox.com

  • Published in Tools

Remember the Milk

This is a simple, free, organisational tool which allows you to keep any number of lists and attach ‘to do’ dates to them. As time ticks by, the site keeps you on your toes by sending you reminders about what needs doing. You can have this directed by e-mail, SMS to your phone or via any number of instant messaging services.  

If there are more of you working on some form of group project, set things up so that all your contacts get the reminders too!  Not only do you keep on top of things but so does everyone else.

If you are mobile, Remember the Milk can follow you around and link up to your 'smart' device.  It works with iPhones, iPod Touch, Android, BlackBerry, Google Mail, Windows Mobile or Google Calendar.  There is also the opportunity for ti to connect with Evernote and Twitter.  There are also a number of third part apple to extend its functionality.

No excuse for forgetting anything now. The basic package is free and, as with all these services, they also offer a more advanced, paid-for, version at $25.00 a year.  Not a bad offer for around $2.00 per month!

www.rememberthemilk.com

  • Published in Tools

Organising and Curating Art Submissions

If you have ever wanted to organise an exhibition, competition, fair or collaborative event you will know what an administrative pain it can be to keep everything together.  As more and more calls for participation are taking place online, artists expect a simple and fast application process, which is often difficult to achieve on a limited (or no) budget.

CuratorSpace is a new site which aims to help smooth that organisation process by providing artists and curators with a set of online project management tools and a platform on which to use them.

ORGANISE AND SUBMIT

As an organiser you can quickly, and simply, set up calls for participation and those wanting to take part can submit their details directly through CuratorSpace’s online submission system.  

Interestingly, once registered with the site (free of charge) you can use it as an online portfolio for all future submissions.  As an artist you can upload your details and images of work and then, if you see an event or call for participation which interests you, you can submit your details without having to go through the process of uploading everything again.

This is a really efficient aspect of the site and will appeal to anyone who has been through the torture of constantly having to submit the same information to multiple sites.  

There is a list of opportunities which gives visitors a single location from which to select events they may want to be involved with.  Each has a descriptive outline of the event, clear submission deadline, frequently asked questions which the organisers set up themselves (so they are relevant to that particular submission), ways to contact the organisers and pre-defined forms to input details and upload images.

When we looked, there were opportunities to submit to exhibitions dealing with sound, painting, books and festive networking.

Functionality for curators and organisers goes even further allowing them to make their listings private, so they do not appear on the main listings page.  This has the advantage that they can still use all the site tools but then send out email links, to selected artists, they are interested in inviting.

One clear advantage advantage for organisers is that they can manage all their submissions in one place,  view work online and accept or reject submissions.  If you have organised an event in the past you will know how time consuming it can be just to copy and paste all those participant emails into a list for sending acceptance and rejection messages. CuratorSpace offers an integrated messaging system to speed up contact between artists and curators. 

The site is packed full of very useful information and also includes items on featured curators, so a chance there to gather information and opinion about how they work and their rage of view.

TESTING

We tested out the platform and have to say - a lot of thought and care has gone into its functionality.  Setting up an event, or call for participation, is simple and intuitive.  Including frequently asked questions is fast and quick to change. Organisers can select from a set of predefined submission forms, with relevant fields for people to fill in, already set up.  The site is also very happy to help you make the most of their tools and will adapt current templates, or create new ones, for you.  For our test we needed some adjustments and they responded to us quickly and professionally - even to the point that they were able to anticipate what we wanted and get it all ready for us!

EARLY DAYS

It is early days yet for this fledgling site, but it does look promising.  The basic service is free of charge, which gives organisers access to the tool kits and management of one event at a time, with unlimited submissions. Other packages cost £5, £20 and £50 per month and allow you to manage multiple events simultaneously with greater flexibility and personal branding.  These are clearly aimed at the professional curator who regularly organises exhibitions or calls for submission.

Put together by artist-curator Louise Atkinson, and web developer Philip Bennison, CuratorSpace is being developed from a user’s perspective with functionality which makes sense for the end users.  Often, when projects like these are borne out of a real ‘need’, by people who have experience in the field, they fill a space no-one knew needed filling.

Have a look round the site - particularly the current opportunities and see if the tools might smooth your future event organisation.

www.CuratorSpace.com


ABOUT THE CREATORS OF CURATORSPACE

Louise Atkinson is an artist/curator who has been developing projects for about 14 years. She is a big fan of social media particularly ways of disseminating knowledge and making connections through blogs and online communities. She has worked on education projects with galleries including Tate Britain, has examples of her own work in collections including the V&A, and is also currently studying for a PhD in Fine Art at Leeds University. 

Philip Bennison has worked at some of the top digital agencies in the UK, building ecommerce websites, web applications, and myriad other systems. He has a real passion for his craft, and enjoys nothing more than building systems that help people achieve what they need to achieve simply, elegantly, and efficiently.

 

  • Published in Tools
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