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Best Screen Capture Software

How lucky am I? While discussing with a client what screen-capture software to use, I was contacted by another blogger about possibly linking to a blog post he’d written about … get this … Best Screen Capture Software!

The best part of being a creative service provider is knowing that I don’t have to have all the answers – especially to technical issues or products. I prefer to defer to others who have the expertise to investigate and review such things.

Joseph Gildred has is the blogger that I’m speaking of, and his very informative and easy-to-read blog post appears here.  On his post, you’ll find several different brands of screen capture software as well as what is great about each brand.

What is screen capture software? It’s software that is installed on your computer which you can access to capture an image, a webpage or even a video. What you capture can be edited or used as is.

Clients have found it easier to explain issues, dislikes and likes as they browse the web, when speaking to me about services that they need. Showing me what they are talking about is often easier than trying to find words for some things that might have their own language as items often do on the Internet.

Screen captures are also excellent for creating Featured Images for blog posts when you can’t find what you need. (Always be aware of capturing work that is copyrighted and carries licensing fees.)

Here are some other ideas you can draw from when using a screen capture tool:

  1. Pausing a video to capture a specific image that is within the video.
  2. Capturing a snapshot of a website page to use as an image within a blog post to enhance the reader’s experience when referring to a public figure, news agency, etc.
  3. Snagging a portion of an image to use in a blog post (you can select how much of an image you want to capture and customize your results)
  4. Capturing a moment in time as it happens. A news story, or a Live Streaming video that has information in it that you’d like to remember.
  5. Capturing notes that you’ve written that you want to post, but not have others copy the text in a text editor. Quotes are often shared this way.
  6. Capture an image and edit it in the software’s editing tool by adding arrows, text, highlights, etc. This is extremely helpful to me when I’m teaching a client how to use various online tools, or sharing with them any changes made that they needed to know about within their website.
  7. While creating presentations in PowerPoint, or videos, I will often use a screen capture tool to create an image that I want to be included in the presentation.

Every computer user really needs to have a screen capture tool on their computer – and even though computers come with the ability to capture screens, they are not as user-friendly or as flexible as the stand-alone software provides.

With screen capture software, you get to see immediately what you’ve just captured and then have an option to edit it. My favorite software is Snag-it. It’s awesome that Joseph has collected other brands for you to choose from.

Check it out …

Best Screen Capture Software
By Joseph Gildred — Last Updated: 05 Dec’17

Whether for a presentation, writing a cloud storage review or saving someone’s daft social media post for posterity, the ability to image your screen comes in handy. While computers have a built-in screenshot function, dedicated screen capture software advances that capability considerably.

Continue reading …

 

 

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Here’s a great list of FREE Photo and Clipart resources

No need to keep searching for free clipart or free photos!

Here’s a nifty list with many various resources and websites that provide free clipart and photos for your blog posts.

Free clipart for your blog postsNote that I mentioned “for your blog posts”. Not all clipart or photos are free for anything you want. After all, the artists and photographers deserve to make a living too, especially if you’ll be making money off of their work!

When visiting these sites, you’ll see, in addition to advertisements, other images offered in response to your search inquiry. Usually, the images that have a watermark on them, are images that you’ll need to pay a license fee for.  The images that are free of watermarks can be used for blog posts.

Be sure to read the requirements on each of these sites because some allow you to use their images carte blanche while others may request that you sign up for their newsletter, or pay a fee for any image that you’ll be using for print or marketing purposes, or other endeavors outside of blog posts.

What you need to know is that when you pay a fee to use images – whether artwork or photographs, you aren’t actually buying the image outright. You are licensing the image for a particular use.

Or this informative article regarding copyrights on clipart, written by Bobbie Peachey, Clip Art Expert on About.com.

Can't find the clipart you need?If you can’t find what you are looking for, then you can always contact me personally and for a small fee for clipart, or a licensing fee for custom illustrations, I’ll create just what you need!

Cartoons, clipart, and illustrations are used for not just blog posts, but marketing material, presentations, branding, book pages,  book covers, websites, products, trade show booths – you name it, an illustration, cartoon or clipart may be just what you need.

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What is the Difference Between WordPress.org and WordPress.com?

Are you finally jumping into the world of WordPress and are thinking of building, or having a WordPress website created for you?

It’s easy to get confused about what to do, because there is so much information out “there” about which way you should go when starting your first website. Before you throw up your hands in frustration, first consider what your immediate needs are for your business or website project.

If you don’t see yourself continuing to grow and build onto your website with new products, services and perhaps membership features, then you could easily start out with a free website from WordPress.com.  

However, if you are just beginning a journey of building an empire, you’ll want to start out on your own hosting.  Why? You’ll have more control and a greater ability to move into a higher level of branding and customization for your site.

Thinking about creating a new website?What if you aren’t sure about how far you are going to grow in your business and just want to get started? Perhaps you aren’t ready to invest in your dream yet, and want to try out the world of WordPress before you jump in and swim. You can get started with WordPress.com and build a free website. Later, if you see that you are growing and want to build a website on your own hosting provider, then you can, indeed, import all of your previous blog posts over to your new self hosted WordPress website.

One thing to consider, however, is that if you build a fan base on your WordPress.com free website, and you have a domain name that is tied in with WordPress.com, you may discover that your fan base will drop off, because they aren’t sure where to find you.

To solve that problem, make your last post a post a sort of “marketing announcement” that lets your readers know where to go to enjoy your new-and-improved website. (be sure to include a link to your new site.)

To avoid the problem above of readers not being able to find you, WordPress.com has the ability for you to have your own special domain name, which you will transfer over to your new site, once you decide to build elsewhere.

WordPress.com vs. WordPress.orgTo help you understand the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, (WordPress.org is the collaborative effort of developers who created the WordPress codex that drives WordPress over all.) Here’s a simple and insightful info-graphic by WPBeginner.com that gives you a visual comparison of these two WordPress sites.

Go to the post and view the infographic  

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Contracting for Customized Artwork

Custom art on a marketing productOften a customer has a specific need or character in mind.  Choosing existing clipart or cartoons sometimes doesn’t  work for a new project, and so they call me to consult with them regarding creating a new piece of artwork or cartoon. 

As a Professional Creative Life Coach, I’m use to working with entrepreneurs and other creative individuals who have a vision or an idea in mind, but are overwhelmed with how to get from A to B.  They may have one idea, but instinctively know that there’s more to their idea than what they can see. When they hire me as a coach, not only do they get a discount for their custom artwork, they access ideas, strategies and resources that make their project all that more possible. 

Not only do I provide creative services, I also network with a wide range of other service providers and artists who are excellent and are great team members. Not every artistic style meets every need. My joy is in helping you move forward with your project and dream, as an artist, a coach, or both.

If you don’t mind the image being resold, then you save money.  If you want artwork that will be original to your product and own all rights, then your investment will be higher.  Copyright and licensing is negotiable when you have a win/win outcome in mind. 

Call me at 1 (720) 295-7409

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More Than Meets the Eye …

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words …

Deadline
(Over committed, with an inability to say “no”)

Not every illustration and cartoon has to be funny.  Sometimes the message is so difficult that just a touch of humor (or sugar) makes the medicine go down easier.

Perhaps your message is complicated and you’ve noticed your audience stumbling over a particular point or subject matter.  Perhaps an illustration is needed to help those attendees visualize the concept more clearly.

If your message is important enough for you to devote your time and energy to delivering it, then you will want to pay attention to the high number of individuals who are visual learners.

Visual learners comprehend and remember information that they see – not necessarily hear.  While they are listening, they are searching for visual clues to comprehend and understand what they are learning. Body gestures, facial expressions, physical examples and demonstrations of what you are communicating will help aid your visual learning audience.  Utilizing charts, illustrations, flowcharts, cartoons and illustrations enhance and make clear your message and information.

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4 Options to Make Your Site a Mobile Friendly Website

April 21st is the deadline that Google has set for people to make their websites mobile friendly.  Here’s 4 options that will give you a mobile friendly website.

 

In this blog post I’m going to provide you with 4 Options to Make Your Site a Mobile Friendly Website.

If your website was built in the beginning era of the Internet, you definitely need a re-design. The earlier thinking was that a nice ‘brochure’ type of site would do well for businesses because of the convenience of access and not having to print and deliver. Brochure websites were always accessible … from anywhere … at anytime.

Blogging on your mobile friendly websiteThen blogging took off and sites became more personable, interactive and relational. Studies were done to determine what people were clicking on, how long did they linger, and where were they looking. Websites then transformed into marketing machines and search engine optimization was the main focus.

But as our cyber world continues to grow and expand, more and more people are upgrading their technology and convenience is within the hand – nearly, at all times – even in the bathroom!

People are searching for websites more from their smart phones, iPads and tablets than they are searching from their laptops or desktop computers.

That means – the entire layout has changed as to what people are clicking on, and how they are interacting with your website.

Instead of being able to access all of your pages and links from the top half of your site, they are now scrolling vertically to get to what they need – so that the images and text need to be larger.

Add to that, an exhausted and information soaked population, people want fewer words, more direct communication and constant call to actions. (tell me what to do and where to go, don’t make me think to hard)

It was inevitable that Google would start indexing mobile websites, mobile friendly websites and mobile apps that were a reflection (and connected to) websites.

In their official blog announcement, Google has given a deadline of April 21st as to when this new algorithm will begin. All sites which do not comply will penalized in search engine rankings if they don’t transition their site to a mobile friendly site.

Now is the perfect time to do that – because everything that worked before now, is now changing.

What steps you can take to adjust to this change.To Do List to make your mobile friendly website

  1. First things first – TEST YOUR SITE with the Google Test Tool for a mobile friendly website to see if you pass their criteria. They will take a snap shot of what their search bots see when they go to your site. NOTE: If your site passes, scroll down further to see what your site LOOKS like, because it may not appear how you want it – and changes will still need to be made.
  2. If you passed the test but you don’t like the way your mobile friendly website looks, then you can TWEAK the site to make it look better. Some images will need to be made smaller – especially those gigantic headers that use to rank and look so well.
  3. Change your THEME. Just move to a responsive WordPress theme that to create your mobile friendly website. This is not an entire remake of your website, but will require some planning regarding marketing and strategy as to how this new layout will convert for you.
  4. If you love your website and just don’t want to change a thing, then CONNECT A MOBILE APP to your site with deep connecting links. When visitors land on your site from their mobile device, they will be given an option of whether they want to view it through your mobile app and will have an opportunity to download your app … or they can look through it the old fashioned way, re-sizing pages and text as they go. (The benefit of considering a mobile app is that readers can make purchases straight from the app, and you can add a rewards card feature to encourage additional future purchasing.)

Mobile apps have an additional monthly or annual cost. You can have control over changes that are made within your app, and you can contact those who have downloaded your app with push notifications. (huge benefit!)

Magic wandTime is passing quickly! Time to shake out the dust and decide what strategic approach to take towards your mobile friendly website.

Contact me now to get started on your mobile friendly website – the deadline is quickly approaching!

Call me at (720) 295-7409

 

Financial options include, but are not limited to:

  • Annual pricing
  • Monthly payments
  • Retainer packages that include mobile friendly updating and regular maintenance
  • PayPal Credit
  • Credit Card

Here’s the official Google announcement and their test tool for your convenience.

Official Google Blog Announcement  |  Google Test Tool

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How to make the Google Birthday Calendar disappear

Who cluttered up my calendar?
I CAN’T SEE MY CALENDAR BECAUSE OF ALL THE BIRTHDAY NOTICES!

How to make the Google Birthday Calendar disappear in 6 easy steps

* (updated 4/9/2015) Whoot! Whoot!  FINALLY Google updated this so that we can hide the Google Calendar birthdays. Have no clue what took them so long, but … they finally listened. 

 

Go to their help section here, to learn how to do this. 

You can read the rest of the blog if you like … or not.


 

… well, sorta …

When I originally wrote this post, the calendars completely disappeared. When I went back to my calendar today, I saw that the cake pieces still remained. At least it doesn’t look as cluttered as it did before, and I can see my other dates better. Needless to say, this just takes the cake! Why, Google, why?

Just when you think you have them all individually deleted, or down to a minimum, Facebook, Google + and who knows who else, syncs the birth date once again on your calendar for every person in your friends list … successfully cluttering up your calendar.

Researching on how to delete this annoyance earlier last year, I ran across a way to unsubscribe from the Birthday’s Calendar.  But with this last update that Google did – all of those Google Birthdays are back – and more obnoxious than ever!  There is no way to unsubscribe to this calendar.

Now, tell me WHY would Google think that having EVERYONE’S birthday (even “friends” you don’t know) on your calendar, beats me. But on my smart phone, it makes it nearly impossible for me to use my calendar.

There are options for the Google Calendar app – and Google has provided that information. However, they do NOT address how to get rid of this pesky clutter within your main calendar, short of just not using your calendar anymore. (Really Google?)

Once again I went to my favorite search engine … yeah, yeah, … it’s Google … and found a forum discussion on how to delete your Google Birthday Calendar. One person suggested unchecking the color scheme for the Birthdays’ calendar, so I immediately tried that … and the color can’t be unchecked.

BUT … your Birthday Calendar can be changed to a custom color.  That gave me an idea … and it worked.

How to make the Google Birthday Calendar disappear

  1. Go to your Google Calendar (making sure that you are logged in, of course) … and look to the left of your window where all the Calendars are listed and where you can pick a color for each of your calendars.
  2. Scroll down to the list of My calendars
  3. Click on the Birthday calendar to make the sub menu drop down
  4. Click on the EDIT COLOR link at the bottom of the sub-menu
  5. Google Birthday calendarNow highlight the color code and replace it with six Fs, like this … (#ffffff)
  6. Click OK when you see that the color has turned to white … and voila! Your Google Birthday calendar is now hidden from view.How to make the Google Birthday calendar invisible

The calendar text and background color are now white, and appear invisible on your calendar days.

Whew … now you can get back to business! If you need further help with your creative needs, contact me for more #CreativeHelp with your WordPress website, cartoons and illustrations, graphic recording or … Creative Visual Coaching

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Best Way to Stop Spam 100% to Free Up Your Inbox and Life

rp_ohno_72dpi-262x300.pngWasting 2-3 hours a day on deleting spam and setting filters that won’t work, just about put me over the edge.

Every November there is a dramatic increase in spam emails which continue through December due to the holiday season.

Are you annoyed, but thinking that this will lighten up once the holidays pass? The last year I wasted time cleaning up my inbox, I waited it out … and deleted … and deleted … and deleted.

Patience is indeed one of my virtues, and I had accepted this nasty task as part of doing business over the Internet in our current “Cyber-world”.

January rolled around and suddenly, like a plague of locusts, tons of new spam arrived in my inbox, in multiple duplicates!  Enough was enough! There had to be an answer!

Searching on Google I found post after post of on how to reduce spam, control mailing lists, and software that you download to your computer and filter from your hard drive. In fact, I was already using one of these, which I’d been happy with, but was still a bit dismayed that I still had to do the delete and train the software manually.

SpamArrestThen I came upon SpamArrest*.  It’s a service where people have to confirm that they are human before their mail will pass on through. That is, people you aren’t expecting mail from, who are legitimate senders – something that I was concerned about since much of my work comes from word-of-mouth referrals and Google searches.

I was prepared to pay a monthly fee for this service of what I figured would be an expected price point of at least $10 a month. It was worth it to me to do that, just to regain my valuable time and peace of mind.  To my delight, the cost for SpamArrest isn’t even close to that much! You have the option of paying a monthly fee of less than $8 or save bigger chunks of money by paying for a few months in advance.  I chose the 6 month option and saved even more.

This service is a true service, and not software that you have to install or mess with. You enter your email address and your POP/IMAP settings and SpamArrest will then pull all of your email from your server and filter it. To make things easier, you can enter preferred email addresses individually, or upload from Outlook or Plaxo.

After the email has been filtered, you can still go to the “Unverified” area and double check to make sure that legitimate emails weren’t accidentally filtered, and approve of them. You don’t lose anything – until you delete it. (You can change many features in the settings menu so that you never see the unverified emails, but I wouldn’t recommend it.)

HappySpamArrest has a webmail feature too – meaning that you can send and receive email (including your signature if desired) straight from their website, if you like … or, you can set up your email to be pulled in through Outlook, or whichever email software you prefer. This can be set up on your phone, tablet and computer. The settings are simple and there are instructions on how to do this on the SpamArrest website.

Be prepared to think that you aren’t receiving emails anymore! Just know that this is all an illusion. Instead of getting 500 emails an hour that are spam and having to sift through them all, I’m now receiving my legitimate emails nicely – and cleanly. Almost makes me dizzy, seeing how I don’t have to fight my inbox anymore!

I couldn’t be happier.

 

 

* This is an affiliate link. My reviews and recommendations are always true to my experiences. I would be nuts not to become an affiliate of SpamArrest! You should do the same …

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What Exactly Does Work for Hire Mean?

ContractsThe conversation that revolves around work for hire is one that I repeatedly have with my clients. I do not do work for hire work at my normal prices. Why? There is no need to, since I give generous licensing rights to my clients to reproduce the work I create for them, for the purposes that they set up with me from the beginning. However, if you are serious about wanting work for hire, please read the articles contained in the links below, and be prepared to pay a much higher price.

Many people think that work for hire simply means what it appears to say on the surface, which is, “I hired you to do my work, therefore, I own it.”

In a nutshell, the legal definition does NOT mean that – fully. It means that the client is considered the author and creator of the work and can do whatever they want to do – stripping me, the artist of all rights.

In order to keep my prices reasonable and to stay in business, I keep all copyrights of the work I create.  Various resources that address this issue are as follows:

DEFINITION

TO THE DESIGNER

If you’d like to know more about legal terms surrounding artwork and graphic work, here’s a direct link to the Graphic Artist’s Guild for their CONTRACT GLOSSARY.

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Connecting with Creative Geniuses is Smart Business!

The Joker, by Mark Bryant - Artistic Genius
THE JOKER – By Mark Bryant, the young man who is creating the videos for one of our clients. www.MarkBryant.me

Connecting with Creative Geniuses is smart business!

I had the pleasure of being a part of a video shoot for a couple of clients of mine. The young man who was doing the work is brilliant! His eye for details, his keen insights into questions that needed to be asked in order to get a quality interview and his professional manner were a tremendous joy to witness.

What made this photo shoot fun, was the fresh perspective this young man had on the subject that my clients were taping. He asked insightful questions, as he calculated the tiniest details of lighting, sound and staging … all the while creating and editing their video in his mind so that he’d get all the right shots.

Creative MoJo Brainstorming EventsWorking with creative people is a blast – even for another creative! Expanding concepts, ideas, implementing them and maximizing every detail is what we do.

Putting Creatives together with dreams, visions, projects, problems and the people who create them (yes, people create problems) is invaluable to anyone building a future.

Hurry though – seating is limited to facilitate effective conversations and brainstorming solutions.

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