Posts Tagged

Creative

10 Ways to Restore Your Creative Energy Using Technology

Whether you’re a DIYer trying to solve a problem, a writer working on a new story, or a designer looking to spice up an old model, perhaps you need help restoring your creative energy.

This article is designed to help you restore your creative energy when it has upped and left you. Maybe one tip will do the trick, or perhaps you’ll have to work your way through the list.

1. Go for a Walk

If you’ve been working on the same thing for a long time, your creative juices may be running dry. If so, it’s time to take a break by doing something else entirely.

One simple idea is to go for a walk. It might not sound like much, but a short walk can reset your system and break the monotony of working.

If you’re feeling lazy, fitness trackers (the best fitness trackers with heart rate monitors


The 6 Best Fitness Trackers With Heart Rate Monitoring




The 6 Best Fitness Trackers With Heart Rate Monitoring

Looking for a fitness tracker? Fitness bands with built-in heart rate monitoring are all the range, but which one is best?
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) can be of great help. These devices can help keep you motivated when doing exercise. Their constant feedback about the calories you burn will help you go the extra mile. You can even add friends on some of these devices and compare your activity data.

2. Get Rid of Distractions

digital-entertainment
Image Credit: MikeRenpening/Pixabay

If you’re unable to get creative because you open Facebook or check your messages every five minutes, you need to get rid of these distractions.

While smartphones are amazing devices, they can also make us less productive. To fix this problem, you can uninstall the distracting apps from your phone or disable notifications on your phone


How to Disable Notifications From Any App in Android




How to Disable Notifications From Any App in Android

Here’s how to turn off notifications in Android, plus how to fine-tune the notifications you do want.
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to work free from distractions.

You can also try apps that limit your time on social media. We recommend OFFTIME, Moment, or Flipd.

3. Have a Snack

Hunger can play havoc with our ability to get things done. A research paper published by Science Daily shows that our stomach produces ghrelin, a hormone that affects our decision making abilities and can lead to impulsive choices.

There are several helpful apps such as Noom that will not just find the right snack according to your cravings, but also find a way for you to achieve your fitness goals.

Once you’ve satisfied your stomach your brain may just let you get back to work.

4. Come Up With 100 Bad Ideas

Instead of coming up with something good, come up with something awfully bad. And a lot of it. So that there’s no pressure on you.

If you’re a writer, come up with 100 bad story ideas. If you’re a musician, come up with a 100 awful tunes. And if you’re an architect, come up with 100 bad designs for buildings.

You can create your list of bad ideas on apps like Evernote or Google Keep. These apps store all of their data in the cloud, meaning you can revisit it at any time.

The logic behind this method is that out of those 100 ideas, a couple will always turn out to be good. When you try to create something absurdly bad, you utilize a creative side that you hadn’t ever explored before.

5. Change your Surroundings

reorganize workspace
Image Credit: Skitterphoto/Pixabay

You don’t have to make big changes. Just change something in your environment. Replace the items on your desk and reorganize the space you’re in. If you work in a typical office cabin environment, try adding some colors to your cabin.

Make use of apps such as Houzz to give your home workspace a virtual makeover before investing any real money. You can also get ideas from Pinterest or Tumblr.

Fresh surroundings make way for fresh ideas.

6. Organize Your Thoughts Visually

There are several platforms that let you organize your thoughts in a better way to help your creativity. Websites like Coggle, Popplet, and MindMaster help you visualize your ideas using flowcharts or drawing tools.

This lets you get a better picture of your ideas and reach solutions faster.

7. Discuss Your Ideas Online

You’ll find several forums where there are experts who will happily share their opinion on your creative piece. For example, if you are an artist, you can showcase your art on DeviantArt and interact with other users. There’s a thriving community that can offer you support and inspiration.

Reddit is full of great communities on every subject you can think of. And you can either be a passive participant reading other people’s threads or an active member starting conversations. Either way, as you discuss things with others, you might find a creative angle you didn’t consider earlier.

8. Listen to Happy Music

Research suggests that listening to happy music can trigger creativity. Music is known to enhance cognition and improve memory and learning, which boosts creativity as well.

Maybe all you need to restore your creative energy is a little dose of happy music. And all you need to do to find it is open up your favorite streaming service—whether it’s Apple Music or Spotify—and search for “Happy Music”.

9. Meditate to Regain Focus

meditation apps
Image Credit: akiragiulia/Pixabay

It sounds cliche but if you get rid of all thoughts (or at least try to clear your current thoughts), you get to reach your spiritual side. Even if you don’t have a lot of time, it’s the consistency that matters and not the duration. If you can spend just 3-5 minutes a day meditating, it can help your creative energies.

While most people have heard of meditation, many don’t try it because they find it difficult to focus. If you’re one of these people, you can seek help from meditation apps such as Insight Timer and Calm.

10. Enjoy a Little Humor

If you’re planning to reap the benefits of technology to be creative, have fun while you’re at it. Research suggests humor can enhance creative thinking as it lets you associate ideas more broadly and freely.

So don’t hesitate to watch funny videos on YouTube or to browse funny GIFs on Giphy.

Creativity cannot be forced. Let go of the pressure and have a laugh. But make sure online entertainment doesn’t become too much of a distraction for you. Remember, everything is good in moderation.

Carry on Training Your Brain

Creativity is like a muscle. If you don’t use it for a long time, it will lose its strength. You need to flex it every day so that it stays healthy. While some people are naturally better at it, others can build it with practice.

To flex your creative muscles, keep training your mind constantly. You can do this by playing brain exercise games on your smartphone


The 7 Best Brain Exercise Games for Android and iOS




The 7 Best Brain Exercise Games for Android and iOS

These free brain games will challenge your mind and keep you sharp. Check out these challenging puzzles, word games, and more.
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7 Creative Things to Do When You’re Bored

When you get time off from work or school, it feels like a blessing. However, what if you don’t want to waste that time browsing social media sites or binge-watching Netflix?

Thankfully, there are plenty of creative things you can do when you get bored. And if you find these creative activities relaxing, you’ll be spending your downtime being productive.

Here are some creative things to do when you’re bored.

1. Start a Fundraising Project

snow cone sale fundraise
Image Credit: Dr_Gomz/Pixabay

Lemonade stands, yard sales, bake sales—do whatever makes you happy. You don’t need to be an entrepreneur to get started with these ideas. And you can start out with few resources.

Have you got a day of boredom to kill? Set up a stand in the neighborhood and sell watermelon slices on a summer’s day. Or if you have an ice shaver machine at home, you can sell snow cones.

The small cash you make can be used for a good cause. Depending on the time you have, you can get creative with promotions and design fun and engaging posters for your project.

Go ahead and use social media to promote it. It can be a good way to connect with people on your friends list.

2. Learn a New Digital Skill

podcast setup
Image Credit: PIX1861/Pixabay

Learning might sound dull and dreary but you don’t have to limit yourself to learning how to create spreadsheets or how to start programming. There are a number of skills that can be both fun and educative.

For example, play with design software such as Photoshop or Gravit. They are very easy to use (but difficult to master), and if you have some quirky or funny quotes in mind, you can design T-shirts.

You could even post your T-shirt designs on Merch by Amazon to make some money.

Or if you have the gift of the gab, you can start a podcast


How to Start Your Own Successful Podcast




How to Start Your Own Successful Podcast

Podcasts can be heard by millions of people worldwide. Now it’s easier than ever to collaborate, record, edit, publish, and promote your own show. We show you how.
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. You don’t need to be too technical to begin an audio podcast. Just think about a topic you want to talk about and prepare the content. You can host the podcast at places like Podbean and Libsyn.

3. Set Up a Shop on Etsy or Fiverr

If you visit Etsy or Fiverr, you’ll find people selling all kinds of goods and services. While Etsy is for goods, Fiverr is mainly for services.

You can make clay pots or paper flowers in your free time and list them on Etsy. Or if you want to sell services, you can try anything from recording a puppet message to dressing up as a king and singing a rap song for someone’s birthday.

There are very few limits on what you can sell online. And those aren’t the only two selling platforms either. You can paint when you’re bored and sell it on Art Fire or Spoonflower.

4. Tidy Up Like Marie Kondo

Tidying up and decluttering is a good way to kill time. But if you’ve heard about Marie Kondo and her popular phrase “does it spark joy,” you already know the kind of tidying up we are talking about.

The KonMari method by Marie Kondo is a creative way to declutter your space and organize things. In this method, instead of focusing on what to get rid of, the focus is on what to keep. This change in mindset can help you declutter in a non-regretful way.

If you are going to throw away a thing because it’s practically useless but it does give you joy or happiness when you hold it, it’s best to keep it.

This method is diverse and can be applied to almost anything. In fact, you can even use the Marie Kondo method to declutter Twitter


You Can Now Declutter Twitter the Marie Kondo Way




You Can Now Declutter Twitter the Marie Kondo Way

Marie Kondo’s KonMari method may be best used for tidying houses, but it can also be used to declutter your Twitter feed.
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5. Organize Your Playlists According to Mood

A research paper by Teresa Lesiuk has shown that music boosts productivity. And of course, it kills boredom.

It’s worth spending time sorting your playlists; deleting old songs, and adding some new ones.

Different types of music can help with different moods. For example, when you’re working out, you might want energizing music that will help you exercise better.

If you’re feeling stressed due to all the work pressure, slow tempo music will work best as it soothes your mind. When you’re sad, create a playlist with fast tempo songs that can uplift your spirits.

6. Give Your Resume a Makeover

If you have a boring resume that lists your experiences and qualifications in the same old traditional format, now is the time you give it a creative makeover.

Why limit yourself to a text resume when you can create a video resume instead? Record a neat video and upload it to your YouTube channel.

You can also create an entire website about your portfolio and give prospective employers a link to it. Create a resume using Canva and add that to your website. It is a great way to display your experiences and qualifications in a visually appealing way. Here’s how to create a resume using Canva


How to Create a Resume From Scratch Using Canva




How to Create a Resume From Scratch Using Canva

In this article, we’ll show you how to create a resume using Canva and make your resume stand out from the crowd.
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to help you get started.

You can even create a booklet resume. Get someone on Envato to do the job for you if you lack the design skills.

7. Create a Capsule Wardrobe

capsule wardrobe
Image Credit: Mrs_schu/Pixabay

A capsule wardrobe is a wardrobe where you set aside specific clothes for a season.You mix and match these clothes with each other. These are the clothes you already have and love to wear. A capsule wardrobe typically works for about three months and then it needs to be updated for the next season.

It will let you get dressed quickly, always be in your favorite clothes, and have a neat closet.

When you create a capsule wardrobe, make sure you select a base color. Let’s say you selected black. Now you’ll have some black clothes in your wardrobe that will go with everything else.

Find More Ideas on Creative Websites

As we’ve explored in this article, there are a number of creative things you do when you’re bored. And if you ever run out of creative ideas, you can always visit sites such as Pinterest, Tumblr, and Dribble to find new inspiration.

While you would need to be at home to do most of these activities, there are also plenty of things to do online when you’re bored at work


20 Fun Things to Do Online When You’re Bored at Work




20 Fun Things to Do Online When You’re Bored at Work

These websites are guaranteed to ease your boredom at work. Because we know that even the best jobs have their bad points and those moments when boredom sets in.
Read More

. They may not be particularly creative or productive, but they are fun.



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Tips On Designing Creative Websites That Will Wow Your Clients

The global market keeps getting bigger and bigger, which should be good news for web designers – but there’s a catch.

The clients you can expect to serve are more sophisticated and want creative websites, not just the regular HTML and CSS.

You can’t deliver just anything and expect them to be happy. You’ll also have some serious competition to contend with. As a consequence, your website must adequately address an ever-growing need for improvements. Like in flexibility, responsiveness, and conversion optimization.

Fortunately, the cloud has a silver lining; and a bright one at that. Tools to meet these challenges and address them head on are readily available. With the most notable case in point being Be Theme, the largest and most versatile WordPress theme of them all.

With a tool like Be Theme at your fingertips, you’ll be more than able to successfully handle any challenge that comes your way.

Then, it’s simply a matter of following these 5 simple steps to design creative websites. They are eye-catching, impressive in their ability to convert visitors to users and guaranteed to put smiles on your clients’ faces.

 

5 Steps to Building Astoundingly Creative Websites

Step 1: Choose a Mesmerizing Color Palette

The color palette you use can make a difference between a so-so website and an attention-getting one. Choosing one should not be difficult if you follow a few simple rules:

  • its colors need to attract instant attention;
  • they need to be on-brand, and;
  • the color palette you select needs to visually support the message your app or website is designed to convey

Artist features BOLD color touches that will instantly attract attention.

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This Be Theme pre-built website is another great example of what can be accomplished with an eye-grabbing color palette.

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Carbon8 is an example of how to align the color palette with the website’s brand. It is done with its clever use of various shades of green. Note how the deep green element draws visitor’s eyes to the center of the page.

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BeInsurance features a subtle, crisp color palette. It perfectly reinforces a strategy of using crisp, clear images to gain the clients you need.

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BeFestival is a great example of using a color palette designed to appeal to a larger audience.

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Step 2: Display Crystal-Clear Photos and Images

This step should be obvious. A crystal clear presentation suggests the business behind it goes the extra mile. That is when it comes to clearly present their products and services. Using the best images you can get your hands on can give you an extra edge over the competition.

BeStylist is an example of the advantage of displaying images with flair. The crisp image definitely supports the intended message.

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Or, try something like RansomLTD; minimalist, yet crisp and powerful.

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A pre-built website like Zajno illustrates how crystal-clear pics can be used to display your creativity.

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The Design Shop employs flair and creativity to entice visitors with crisp and compelling images of your products.

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Step 3: Show Visitors How Your Creativity Benefits Them

Creativity isn’t about you. It’s about serving your visitors. It can be extremely effective when it helps them imagine themselves actually using your product or service.

BeMarketing’s homepage video illustrates another way to show people how they can benefit from using your products.

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Lane illustrates a fabulous approach you can use to express your structural design perspectives.

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BeSimple takes a minimalist approach. It’s the typography and way the text is presented rather than the text itself that’s effective.

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BeTravelBlogger provides the basis for a travel blogger’s dream site. You can use it to present your travel adventures and escapades with a super-cool layout of graphics and snippets.

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Step 4: (Over)use “White” Space

Yes, it’s true. White space is a design element you can sometimes overuse without causing harm. In fact, in many cases “more is better”, as is obvious in the following examples.

Makespace has a clean design that allows the eye to focus on key elements, imagine, and create.

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BeSketch & The Drive New York are two examples where plenty of white space is used to great effect.

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When white space is part of the brand it can really help to drive the message home. BeIcecream is an extreme example of how plenty of white space can be used to great effect.

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Step 5: Make Your CTAs Grab Them By The Eyeballs

If you don’t have CTA buttons that can’t be ignored, your website isn’t going to convert as many visitors into users as you hoped or planned. You want those buttons to be big, bright, and bold enough to make people feel they absolutely have to be clicked on.

BeDrawing’s CTA button is above the fold as it should be, and it clearly stands out. You can’t help but notice it the instant you’ve finished reading the headline. Its centering on the page makes it serve as a gate that invites visitors to enter.

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Stuart makes effective placement and use of 3 clearly defined CTA buttons.

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Your CTA can match other elements on the page and still easily attract attention. A great example of this is BeKids, where the color of the button matches the color of other hero section elements.

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Building Creative Websites – a Summary

Follow these surefire steps (with the help of a surefire website building tool) and you’re well on your way to satisfying the most demanding of clients. Crisp, stunning visuals, a cleverly chosen color palette and the clever use of white space, images that enable visitors to see themselves using your products, and the all-important bold and beautiful CTA buttons give you the combination for success.

Success typically breeds additional work. Sometimes web design is not as much fun as it used to be. If you suddenly find yourself juggling projects and deadlines to the point you’d be better off using pre-built websites.

You’ll find the most generous gallery of more than 450 creative websites on Be Theme that you can customize to your liking. Start using them now and you’ll never have to worry about juggling projects and deadlines!

 

[– This is a sponsored post on behalf of Be Theme –]



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The Creative Outlier Air Are The Best Truly Wireless Earbuds for the Buck – Review Geek

Rating:
9.5/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 – Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $80

Creative Outlier Air and the case
Cameron Summerson

If you’re looking for an excellent set of truly wireless earbuds that won’t break the bank, the Creative Outlier Air may be just what the doctor ordered. They sound great, are super comfortable, and only cost $80.

Here’s What We Like

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Very comfortable
  • Great battery life and USB-C Charging
  • Insane value

And What We Don’t

  • The buttons are very stiff with very little travel

You’d be forgiven for not thinking of Creative when wondering which brand of earbuds you should buy—I’m not sure this company is on as many people’s radars as it should be. I’ve reviewed quite a few of its products over the years, and I can’t think of many times I didn’t come away impressed. The Outlier Air is no different.

The Outlier Air is the company’s first set of truly wireless earbuds, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better value on the market today. I’ve had several sets of genuinely wireless earbuds stuffed into my earholes over the last few months, so I generally have specific expectations for ‘buds at various price points. The Outlier Air pretty much obliterated every expectation I had, however—they’re comfortable, have excellent audio quality, and killer battery life. What more could you want?

The Case is a Big’un, but Damn It’s Sleek

Creative Outlier Air case
Cameron Summerson

Before we get into pairing and using the Outlier Air, however, let’s first take a look at the case. Unlike most truly wireless earbuds, which have flip-top cases, Creative opted for a sleek slide-out mechanism. I initially thought this would be annoying, but it turns it’s pretty damn nice. I like it. It also charges over USB-C, which is a great addition— even though it’s 2019 and USB-C should be commonplace now, it’s not always a given on products like this. So shoutout to Creative for being forward-thinking.

Creative Outlier Air in the case
Cameron Summerson

That said, the case is on the bulkier side when it comes to truly wireless earbuds. It’s nowhere even close to as sleek as the case you’ll get with a set of AirPods, for instance. In fact, I have five sets of truly wireless earbuds within arm’s reach right now, and the Outlier Air has the largest case of all. Still, it’s not as thick as some of the other (I’m looking at you, Jaybird Run XT), so it still manages to not be terrible in a pocket. But if you’re looking for the sleekest case out there, this ain’t it, baby. Sorry.

No Frills, No Fuss

One thing I love about these buds is that they don’t have a bunch of frills. They just connect to your phone (which is a slightly weird process that we’ll talk about in a minute) and…that’s it. There are no apps to fumble with. In a time when every accessory seems to have its own app, it was nice to know that I didn’t have to mess with any additional installations just to listen to some music. (And before anyone says it: I know you don’t have to install apps for other earbuds, but what kind of reviewer would I be if I didn’t test this crap?)

Outlier Air
Cameron Summerson

But yeah, about the pairing process. Most truly wireless earbuds I’ve tried just pair like anything else—they’re automatically connected and pair to your phone as one unit. But the Outlier Air has a “main” bud—it can be either the left or right, as it’s just the first on you pair with your phone. You pair the main bud first, and then it asks for the other one to be paired, too. Once the second one is connected, it pairs up with the other side and disappears from the phone’s paired list. It works, but it’s just bizarre and slightly convoluted. Whatever—at least you only have to do it once.

Once everything is paired up, it’s smooth sailing. Pop the buds out fo the case, and they connect instantly. And, man, they’re crazy comfortable. They’re about the same overall size as the Jabra Elite 65t, but each bud is slightly lighter. They fit in my ears exceptionally well—probably better than any other earbuds I’ve ever used in my life—and show no signs of slippage no matter what I’m doing. Once they’re in, they’re in.

Outlier Air in my ear
Cameron Summerson

Because of the great fit, they also create an incredibly strong seal, which blocks out most outside noise. This is most excellent when that’s what I’m looking for, but there are also occasions when I want (or even need) to hear what’s going on around me, so the isolation goes both ways. And of course, everyone’s ears are different, so you may have a different experience than me. But these shape of these seems to be very well suited to my ears at the very least. That’s probably a good thing because they only ship with two sets of silicone tips. If one or the other doesn’t work for your head holes, then you’re on your own.

Creative Outlier Air with the extra tips
The Outlier Air only comes with two sets of tips. This shot is for you, Scott. Cameron Summerson

If I had to pick the biggest flaw in the Outlier Air’s design, it would be the buttons on each earbud. They are incredibly stiff and have very little travel, making them highly uncomfortable to press. Pushing the button requires so much pressure it feels like I’m jamming the tip further into my ear than I would ever be comfortable with. I am not a fan of that at all.

And that’s a shame because the controls offered on the Outlier Air are some of the best and most intuitive I’ve seen on a set of earbuds. A single press on either side will play/pause the music, a double press will skip forward or backward on the tracklist (right is forward, left is back), and a long-press will raise and lower the volume (right is up, left is down). If the music is paused, a double-press on the main bud will even bring up Google Assistant or Siri.

So yeah, the controls are great. I just wish I didn’t hate using them.

They Make My Earholes Feel Happy

And with that, let’s talk about sound quality. When it comes to sound quality of truly wireless earbuds, there are two general categories: AirPods, and everyone else. AirPods are the standard by which all other truly wireless earbuds are measured. I’m still not sure how Apple did it, but AirPods have such a nice balance of bass and definition, and I’ve yet to find anything else that really matches it.

Outlier Air
Cameron Summerson

But I’m surprised at how close the Outlier Air comes—especially at less than half the price of a set of AirPods. I’ve been using the same playlist (with a few minor changes here and there) to test earbuds and Bluetooth speakers for the last six or seven years, so I have a good feel for what songs should sound like (note: I also test all buds/speakers with additional equalization either off or on flat). And man, for $80, I’m convinced that you won’t find better quality sound than the Outlier Air. They sound fantastic. 

They’re punchy in all the right ways, with plenty of crisp, defined bass—not that muddy, floppy garbage you’ll find on most cheap earbuds (if they have any bass at all). It’s super snappy. But that bass also isn’t overwhelming—it’s nicely blended with the rest of the music, as the Outlier Air has a terrific balance across the board.

The treble is sharp and defined without being tinny or shrill, and the mids do exactly what mids should do: tie everything together very nicely. It’s not much of a secret that I don’t care for the midrange overall—especially when it’s the defining feature of the sound quality—so the Outlier Air hits the balance out of the park.

…And They Outlast Me

On top of everything else that’s great about the Outlier Air, Creative somehow managed to pack crazy battery life into these. According to them, you should be able to get 10 hours of playback time from the buds themselves, as well as two full recharges from the case. That means you should be able to get a full 30 hours of playback time before they’re drained.

Outlier Air case
They charge over USB-C. Yes! Cameron Summerson

And while I don’t wear headphones for ten solid hours at a time, I can tell you this: I charged the Outlier Air before I started testing them and they haven’t needed to hit the charger even once during my two week test period with two to four hours of use five days a week. That’s a lot of playback, and while I can’t come up with a definitive number that I’m comfortable with, I will say that I’m very pleased with the battery life here. Even if you listen eight hours a day for a full workweek, you should only need to drop the case on the charger once a week. That’s pretty damn impressive.


For the price, the Outlier Air is easily the best set of truly wireless earbuds I’ve had the pleasure of testing. They offer 95 percent of the experience you’ll get from much pricier earbuds—all without breaking the bank. If you’re looking to pick up a set of truly wireless ‘buds and don’t want to spend more than a Benjamin, put these bad boys on your wishlist.

Even better, just put them in your cart. You won’t regret it.

Rating: 9.5/10

Price: $80

Here’s What We Like

  • Excellent sound quality
  • Very comfortable
  • Great battery life and USB-C Charging
  • Insane value

And What We Don’t

  • The buttons are very stiff with very little travel





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How to Get Started With Fortnite Creative: A Beginner’s Guide

While Fortnite Battle Royale is one of the biggest games in the world, Fortnite actually includes other modes as well. One of which is Fortnite Creative.

In this article we seek to explain everything you need to know about Fortnite Creative. Including what Fortnite Creative is and how to play Fortnite Creative.

What Is Fortnite Creative?

fortnite creative game mode select.jpg

Fortnite Creative is a free game mode where players can craft custom maps and matches in a sandbox-game environment. These creations can be shared with friends or the wider Fortnite community.

If you make a high-quality, unique map; there’s a chance that your creation will be featured in the Creative mode lobby for other players to see. Battle Royale also introduces interesting creations to the largest Fortnite audience by rotating them on the public map at a location called The Block.

fortnite creative mode assets

Creative mode gives players access to various game assets in order to create their own unique locations. These include props, building components, landscape features, traps, vehicles, and more.

You can use assets to simply construct an interesting location or create specialized game types such as deathmatches, parkour games, coin collection, or races.

How to Get Started With Fortnite Creative

fortnite creative mode start server

To create your own map, you simply need to go to the Fortnite Creative lobby and start your server. There you’ll find a “personal rift” which, when interacted with, will give you the option to Create New Island. On a platform behind your personal island rift, you will see other featured islands or saved maps.

When you create an island, you can choose different biomes or a layout for The Block. Your island creates a personal instance where you can begin crafting your map.

Your progress saves as you build, but you can only use a certain number of assets. Each asset has a specific memory value and the game allocates you 100,000 memory for your creation.

To access different assets, select the Inventory option. This opens a window with various asset kits to choose from. Add assets to your inventory, select them, and place them. Galleries, for example, will include a series of props and building elements. Simply copy these objects and place them on your map as desired.

fortnite creative mode building

You aren’t bound by normal movement or construction mechanics in this mode. For example, players can enable a flying mode that allows their character to levitate while building. You also place and remove assets by using a special in-game device (resembling a smartphone) that includes a variety of commands such as copy, paste, delete, or rotate.

You can adjust settings for your game using the My Island menu. Here you can adjust the game type, game settings, UI settings, island tools, description, and player permissions.

Since it is a sandbox mode, you’re free to try out different mechanics and set up your own unique locations. The best way to get to know the mode is to play around with it. Experiment!

How to Publish a Map in Fortnite Creative

To publish an island and share it with the community, you first need to apply to the Support-a-Creator Program. This, unfortunately, disqualifies many players since they need to meet certain criteria. You can also apply through an Epic Games Creative form submission to have your island considered for The Block or a featured spot.

If you sign up to the program and receive publishing permissions, you can publish your island under the My Island menu. This gives your map a 12-digit code that you can share with others.

Occasionally, Epic Games contacts players whose videos and pictures of their islands attract attention on platforms like the Fortnite Creative subreddit.

Accessing Fortnite Creative Maps With Codes

fortnite creative mode use island code

Any player can access shared community maps—you don’t need special permissions as is the case with publishing. To load another map, you simply need to enter the island code for the specific map.

To enter a map code, approach one of the featured island windows in the Creative player hub. When you are close enough, you will see the option to Change Destination. Once you do this, you can enter the island code of the map you want to visit. Fortnite provides a list of potential islands to visit if you want to explore other creations.

You can also find island codes on community forums such as the aforementioned Fortnite Creative subreddit. There are also websites that share popular Fortnite Creative maps, such as DropNite, Fortnite Creative HQ, and Fortnite Tracker Network.

Can You Make Money From Fortnite Creative?

Some of the attention paid to Fortnite Creative comes from the possibility of making money through the mode. However, there is no direct way to make money from the mode—even if Epic features your map in Creative, The Block or as a limited-time-mode in Battle Royale.

Basically, anything you submit is subject to the game’s terms, which means that what you publish belongs to Epic and the company doesn’t have to compensate you.

As the terms explain:

“If we pick your Block, we aren’t required to attribute it to you or compensate you. Anything you submit to us is subject to the Epic Games End User License Agreement which means, among other things: Epic has the right to make use of anything you submit to us for any purpose, including for commercial purposes, without any compensation or notification to, or permission from, you. Epic isn’t obligated to use anything you submit to us. Epic isn’t responsible or liable for what others do with your submission.”

However, if you’re part of the Support-a-Creator program, it’s possible to make money from Fortnite Creative indirectly. If players enjoy your content enough to add you as their supported creator, you will make a commission from all of their V-Bucks purchases.

This commission is marginal, though. The exact rate depends on how many players support you. As Epic elaborates, if in-game supporters spend 50,000 V-Bucks in Fortnite, the creator would earn around $25.

Fortnite Creative is one way to attract the attention of players if you are part of the creator program. However, most creators choose streaming, video guides, and written tips as a way to attract player support.

Most people who play Fortnite Creative do it as a way to showcase their creations and make inventive maps, not to make money.

Secure Your Fortnite Creations

If you’ve invested time and effort into your Fortnite account, you should definitely take steps to protect it. Scammers are increasingly targeting Fortnite players, using accounts for financial information or drawing players into V-Buck scams.

If you want to keep your account safe we recommend enabling two-factor authentication. So here’s how to secure Fortnite with 2FA


How to Secure Fortnite.com With 2FA (Two Factor Authentication)




How to Secure Fortnite.com With 2FA (Two Factor Authentication)

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How to Get Started with Creative Writing – LifeSavvy

woman working on a novel in a sunny cafe
Alissa Kumarova/Shutterstock

Creative writing is a great way to express yourself, hone your writing skills, and be more imaginative. Want to start penning some inventive tales and poems? Here are the things that will help you get typing.

What Is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is a lot of things, so it may be easier to focus on what it’s not: writing college term papers, articles, or the like.

Creative writing is often referred to as literature. It’s not always made-up stories, but it is all about telling a story.

While an article might tell you how to do something or what’s happening in the world, creatively written works take you someplace and help you imagine other worlds, whether those worlds are real or made up. It’s an expressive form of writing, rather than a way of presenting facts.

When you want to try creative writing, it helps to know the different types of writing that fall under this umbrella term. You’ll want to start your foray into creative writing with one type, rather than overwhelming yourself with too many.

Here are some genres to start with:

  • Fiction (from vampire horror stories to realistic historical stories)
  • Poetry
  • Scripts for TV shows and movies
  • Plays
  • Songwriting
  • Memoirs (often written in a creative way, even if they are based on real events)

You can see why we’d suggest starting with one as trying to tackle so many different forms out of the gate would get pretty overwhelming pretty quickly.

Getting Started with Creative Writing

Once you choose which type of creative writing you want to delve into, start looking at the techniques needed to write creatively.

While there are no strict rules to adhere to, most creative pieces include at least some of the following:

  • A plot and plot development
  • Characters and character development
  • A setting for the story
  • A point of view (this could be first person, omniscient, or from the perspective of any of your characters)
  • Dialogue
  • An underlying theme
  • Metaphors (these work great in poetry)
  • Anecdotes
  • Emotional appeal
  • Imagination
  • Descriptive words and imagery

For some, the words will pour right out. For others, the writing process needs a little coaxing to get started.

Now that you know some of the stuff your writing needs in order to be creative, here are some tips to help you get started with your short story, poem, or play.

Pick a Place to Write

woman writing on a laptop with a cup of coffee
astarot/Shutterstock

Finding a place of comfort and solitude for writing is important. Solitude, as a writer, doesn’t always have to mean you’re completely alone—it just means you’re away from distractions.

Many people do their writing at coffee shops and libraries, where plenty of noise is going on around them. The solitude comes from the lack of direct interruptions (like the dog wanting to go outside or a roommate knocking at the door).

If you have a home office, that may be the place you find most comfortable for writing. A screened-in porch can give you the natural light and view of the world you need for inspiration. Each person’s preferred writing space will be different, so experiment to find what works for you.

Make a Ritual out of It

Not all, but most writers have some sort of ritual they do before they start writing.

Rituals can be something as minute as placing your pen and paper on the desk in a certain spot before sitting down, or something as time-consuming as brewing a cup of tea and watching your favorite inspirational film before you get started.

You don’t have to have a ritual, but if one works for you, use it.

Write Every Day

One thing most writers will tell you is that you need to write every day. Even on the days you don’t feel like writing or don’t think you have anything to write, you need to write something.

This is why all writers should keep a journal. It’s a great place to keep prompts, to write when you don’t feel inspired, and to reference for future stories.

Search “writing prompts” online, and you’ll find a plethora of memes and more that will help you when you need a little push. Set aside 20 minutes each day where you write anything you can manage to. Don’t worry about whether it makes any sense or will be useable in the future, just write. You can go back and make edits later, or choose not to do anything with it.

Practice Makes a Better Writer

Spend some time learning creative writing techniques. You can find lessons online that will walk you through learning different types of poetry, how to build a character, or how to create a fictional world.

On the days when the words aren’t coming freely, spend some time learning, which will have you writing in no time.

A great book for beginners (and anyone wanting to brush up on their creative writing skills) is The Daily Writer. Fred White walks you through all sorts of writing lessons, from getting down to the details of the story to writing satire.

You don’t have to go to college for a degree in creative writing, but you may find it useful to take an online class or two in the fields of creative writing you’re most interested in.

Join a Writers Group

The life of the writer might seem like a solitary one, but it doesn’t always have to be.

If you want to get good at writing creatively, it’s important to share your work with others. You can do this by joining a local writers group, or finding one online.

Many writers group do readings and critiques of members’ works, and have exercises to help with inspiration. This gives you a chance to spend time with like-minded individuals who are passionate about creative writing, too.

Why Are You Writing?

Finally, consider your reasons for creative writing.

If you simply like to write, that may be motivation enough. But many people begin their foray into the world of creative writing with the hope of getting published. If this is your goal, make sure you’re finding the publications and contests you want to enter and staying focused on the deadlines they have for entries and reading periods. Deadlines are very motivational.

Perhaps your goal is to write a novel or a poetry book. You have plenty of options when it comes to publishing books, from big-name publishers and small publishing houses to self-publishing. Each writer has their own preference, but you have to start writing if you want to have a story that may turn into the next Fifty Shades of Grey.

Whether it’s for personal benefit, future publication, or something else, there are countless reasons to give creative writing a try. Get started today, and see what your writing hobby blossoms into!





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The 10 Best Homebrew YouTube Channels for Creative Beer Hobbyists

Independent breweries have been popping up left, right, and center. With beer lovers increasingly reaching for a local craft beer rather than a known brand, now’s the perfect time to make your own homebrew. But, how do you get started brewing your own beer?

Several homebrew YouTube channels are dedicated to showing you how to make craft beer. These homebrewing YouTube channels will teach you everything you need to know about how to make your own beer.

David Heath Homebrew offers tons of videos geared toward the budding brewer. This informational homebrew YouTube channel has product reviews of the latest brewing equipment, and also provides basic homebrewing guides.

When you’re ready to start creating your own recipes, David Heath Homebrew will help with that too. You can learn how to make the English Porter, Irish Stout, or even Vienna Lager. If you have any questions, leave a comment on the video. David often interacts with his viewers and will likely give you some much-needed advice.

Basic Brewing is a homebrew YouTube channel made by two friends: James Spencer, and Steve Wilkes. In most videos, the hosts talk about the brew of their choice, and show short clips of the brewing process. Their videos provide a great way to get to know the different types of beer and even gives you great food pairing ideas.

Not only do the pair create YouTube videos about homebrewing, but podcasts as well. Tuning into their videos and podcasts should help you get started brewing your own beer.

The owner of the Fast Homebrew channel prides himself on creating fast, informational, and entertaining videos. He gets right to the point, and his videos are sped up so that you don’t get bored.

In addition to offering a collection of how-to videos, he also has videos dedicated to beginner homebrewing. If you’re interested in creating unique brews, Fast Homebrew loves to experiment and has several videos on his process.

Created by Chip Walton, Chop and Brew exists to highlight the world of homebrewing. It includes everything from lagers, ales, and experimental brews.

In some videos, Chip gathers with friends for some tasting notes on a craft beer. When you need some inspiration to create great beer, definitely check out Chop and Brew to get some fresh ideas for your next homebrew.

Northern Brewer started out as a brewer supply shop in St. Paul, Minnesota. Since its inception in 1993, Northern Brewer has released a whole line of brewing kits and supplies for anyone who wants to make their own craft beer. The company also created a YouTube channel as a way to educate aspiring homebrewers.

Northern Brewer TV has videos with instructions for its own beer kits, but it also has plenty of resources if you want to brew beer on your own. Pay attention to the instructional videos on how to make a yeast starter, or how to add hops to boiling wort, and you’ll learn something you can use in your own brews.

Brew Dudes’ channel comes packed with videos featuring beer tasting, as well as tutorials. It’s run by two passionate homebrewers called Mike and John.

If you’re interested in kegging your beer, Brew Dudes has a number of videos that guide you through the process. Brew Dudes also specialize in tasting SMaSH (single malt and single hop) beers, which can give you a good idea about the taste of the hop used in the recipe.

Homebrew 4 Life centers around a group of friends from San Diego who have brought their love for beer to YouTube. In some of these fun videos, the friends travel the world tasting craft beers in locations like Uruguay and Portland, Oregon.

If you can’t find any good recipes to pair with beer in one of the best recipe management apps


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, you can also find some tasty comfort food recipes on their channel. When you’re ready to start brewing, don’t forget to take notes on their videos on homebrewing quick tips, as well as their homebrewing tutorials for beginners.

Jason, an enthusiastic homebrewer, created Barley and the Hops TV as a way to showcase his experimental brews. He also posts videos of his experience taste-testing homebrews and craft beer that he finds in his travels.

The best part about watching Barley and the Hops TV is learning more about his experiments. In one video, Jason challenges himself to brew beer in a pumpkin, and in another he brews beer using grocery store ingredients. You can learn a lot from his channel, as he incorporates basic instructional videos as well.

Craft Beer and Brewing started as a Colorado-based beer magazine, and has since extended its reach into YouTube. It’s a reliable resource for all of your homebrewing questions. Not only will this channel take you through a long, step-by-step process of constructing your own home draft system, but it also informs you on how to develop a homebrew recipe, as well as how to brew a great stout.

With all of this helpful knowledge, you’ll get on your way to creating an amazing brew. The crisp, high-quality production makes Craft Beer and Brewing’s videos easy to digest.

Beer Geek Nation hasn’t posted videos lately, but it’s still a great resource for those scouring the internet looking to find the best websites and communities about craft beer


New to Craft Beer? Start with the Best Beer Websites & Communities




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. It contains plenty of videos on how to create your first beer, and also provides tips and tricks to make the brewing process easier.

Maybe you just want to chill out and watch some videos about different types of beer. In this case, Beer Geek Nation has a diverse selection of beer reviews as well.

Utilize These Homebrew YouTube Channels

If these videos don’t inspire you to get started making your own homebrew, then I don’t know what will. Watching and learning from passionate homebrewers can give you the information and drive to create your very own craft beer.

Want to pair your homebrew with some delicious food? If you’re new to cooking, check out these awesome helpful online guides for the beginner cook


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Creative Essentials: Professional Tools That Make My Work Better

Welcome to our first Creative Essentials post, a new series that focuses on the tools and resources used by different creative professionals, and the workflow they enable.

My name is Suzanne Scacca and I am a tool snob. 

Before I became a writer, and before I entered the world of marketing and web design, I was a long-time project manager. And although I could’ve stepped into any of my project management jobs and simply executed the tasks employers asked of me, I was never happy with the status quo. 

We’re living in an amazing time for technology and I knew there would always be a better way to work, if only we could find the right tool for it. And that’s the key, isn’t it? Finding tools that are right for the job and that are right for you. 

Adopting the wrong-fit tools can do a lot of harm to one’s productivity and success, which is why we should all be picky about what we use. It’s also why we should be loyal to tools once we’ve found ones we know we can trust. 

There are 13 tools I’m 110% dedicated to and use on a daily basis. These tools help me write, optimize websites, and even create fake web pages in order to demonstrate points I’m trying to make or to show how tools work in my articles. I also rely on a number of communication and productivity apps to keep me on top of things without being overwhelmed or distracted by them. 

Curious to see how a tool junkie runs her day? Check these out:

 

1. Google Apps

Google is pretty much the central hub of my business. I do all my major communicating through it with Gmail. 

Gmail

I do all my note-taking, brainstorming, writing, editing, and content collaboration in Google Drive. 

Google Drive

I’ve also integrated a number of my applications with Google (like Zoom, Asana, and Zoho), so I have fewer steps to take as I move things from one platform to another. 

 

2. Boomerang for Gmail

Because I worked as a project manager for so long, it’s my natural instinct to reply to messages and tackle new tasks the second they hit my inbox. This is a major problem for me as a writer because once I lose track of what I’m working on, it takes a couple minutes to get back into the swing of things.

That said, I can’t focus if my Gmail isn’t at Inbox Zero. It’s just how I operate. 

So, I fake it with Boomerang for Gmail

Boomerang for Gmail

What it does is it prevents new messages from entering Gmail and holds them in a hidden queue for me. While it took some getting used to, it’s actually helped me become less dependent on email during the workday. I also use it at night and on the weekends when I really shouldn’t be working anyway. 

Another cool feature is that I can schedule my emails. That way, if I want to wait on sending something to a client or prospect, but don’t want to forget about it, I can schedule it to go out when I want it to.

 

3. Asana

I’ve used enough project management systems to know what works for me and what doesn’t. And Asana has nearly everything I need.

Asana Tasks

With color-coded “Teams” for each of my clients and an easy-to-use system of creating and completing tasks, Asana gives me great relief that I’ll never miss an assignment or deadline.

I also create templates for different parts of my workflow here, too.

Asana Templates

I don’t know what I’d do without Asana. As I’ve scaled my business, I’ve worried that something will inevitably fall through the cracks, but this tool always helps me keep my head on straight.

 

4. WordPress

I’ve been a WordPress user for almost 10 years. First, it was to create websites for myself. Then, I worked for an agency where I created, documented, and refined our processes inside and outside of WordPress. Now, I write guides on how to build websites, use plugins, and customize themes. 

WordPress Website

I occasionally help small business owners build WordPress websites, in addition to running my own. I also upload and optimize blog content I write for clients that have WordPress websites. 

 

5. Google Analytics & 6. Google Search Console

I use Google Analytics weekly to measure my website’s stability and overall reception with visitors. 

Google Analytics

I also use Google Analytics to determine what kind of topics to write for my clients.

I use Google Search Console in conjunction with Google Analytics. (It’s very rare I’ll go into one without accessing the other.)

Google Search Console

While Google Analytics tells me most of what I need to know about my website traffic and how they’re responding to my content, I need Google Search Console to help me fill in the searchability and ranking piece.

 

7. My iPhone

It’s very difficult for me to work without my iPhone since I’m constantly having to take screenshots of mobile websites or apps for articles. Because of this, I’m very easily tempted by distractions. 

But then I discovered the iPhone’s distraction free mode that makes my phone look like this: 

iPhone Distraction Free

I’ve set limits on how long I’m allowed to access certain apps for and turn off all notifications on them until the workday is over. It’s been great for helping me focus on what I need to do in the browser and then encouraging me to put the phone away when I’m done.

 

8. Local by Flywheel

On occasion, I write articles or film videos that teach others how to use WordPress. Since I don’t want to use my own website to demonstrate these lessons, I use Local by Flywheel to create my simulations.

Local by Flywheel

Essentially, it allows me to set up a local installation of WordPress so I can safely build anything I want. If I were still working on websites for clients, I’d be using this to safely handle updates and edits for their sites, too. For now, though, it’s just my playground.

 

9. KWFinder

As part of my writing services, I optimize the content I write for search. Now, there’s a lot more to SEO than just keywording. However, I do always use KWFinder to ensure that the keywords I’ve chosen will help my clients’ content rank well in search. 

KWFinder

What’s more, because I write for a number of clients in Australia, I can filter my keyword lists for that specific audience. That way, my optimizations aren’t skewed to the wrong people, at least geographically speaking. 

 

10. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

I like to think of blog titles as gatekeepers. They appear in search results on behalf of our pages and posts. They appear in social media, attached to said pages. And they appear in RSS feeds, easy to miss if they don’t stand out from the content all around them. 

So, whenever I write something new, I break out the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer and run a test.

CoSchedule Headline Analyzer

Every time I enter a new title, it saves and scores it for me. Red is bad, yellow is okay, and green is good.

CoSchedule Score

While it can take some time finding the perfect combination of power words and title structure to get it right, it’s worth it. Without a strong headline, I can’t help my clients get clicks or reads.

 

11. Zoho Vault

I’m not going to name names, but there was a different password manager I used for years before Zoho Vault

However, after they experienced a server outage last year, it corrupted all of the login and password records I had stored there (along with countless others). Because their customer support disappeared during and after the outage, and because I had to spend hours recreating passwords for all of my tools as a result, I decided to switch to a provider I knew and trusted: Zoho.

Zoho Vault

Since I log in and out of over a dozen tools every day, it’s absolutely critical that I have a way to quickly generate super-strong passwords and store them somewhere safe. Zoho Vault is the one that takes care of that for me now.

 

12. Nimbus Capture

Sometimes I feel like my job is “professional screenshot-taker”. As such, I need a tool that will take all kinds of screenshots for me: 

  • Selected areas of a screen
  • A full screen
  • An entire browser window
  • And video
Nimbus Capture

What I like even more about Nimbus Capture is that it allows me to edit and annotate my screenshots before I ever save them to the file type of my choice. 

 

13. MockUPhone 

When I do screenshoting from my mobile phone, I don’t really like to share the raw portrait files from it. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with them. It’s just that they’re usually too tall and force readers to scroll in order to view the entire image. 

MockUPhone

That’s why I use MockUPhone. It automatically places my screenshots into an iPhone UI. It also adds a horizontal buffer so it sits more comfortably within my content on a page. (You can see an example of this under “My iPhone” above.)

 

Wrap-Up

I remember a time when Excel spreadsheets and sticky notes were the best way to stay organized, productive, and sane. Needless to say, I’m really grateful for all of the tools that power my business and improve the work I do for clients on a daily basis. I can’t imagine being a freelancer and making any sort of profit without them.

 

Featured image via Unsplash.



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The Best Programs for Creative Writers

There are so many different things you can write these days and so many different types of writing careers. From crafting novels or essays to working as a journalist, content writer, or copy editor; those with the gift for creating compelling sentences are in high demand.

Because of this, you need the best tools of the trade so you can be a productive writer. When you have the right kind of tools, it can help you cut back on the time you have to spend on your writing.

Here are some of the best writing applications for creative writers that are currently available.

1. Google Docs

Best Programs for Creative Writers Google Docs

Google Docs has a reputation as an accessible and collaborative writing program. In the current age of internet connectivity—where almost everything we do is online—it has become ubiquitous at home and in the workplace.

Google Docs may be free for personal use, but just because it’s free doesn’t mean that it is less versatile than old-school titans like Microsoft. Its numerous functions allow you to design a functional looking document from start to finish. Its collaborative abilities, especially for teams that need to work on the same document, are unrivaled.

Google Docs is best for anyone who needs to work online and remotely. It’s also good for people who need to switch between different devices to write on the same thing. This is especially true if you’re working with other people on the same file, as Google Docs allows multiple individuals to work on a single document.

Another upside to Google Docs: it has a very low learning curve, which means that you won’t struggle to adjust to the application. The fact that it’s designed and operated by Google means that it will interface seamlessly with all your other Google apps.

Looking for a more in-depth rundown? We have an article on what Google Docs is and how to use it


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Visit: Google Docs (Free)

Download: Google Docs for Android | iOS (Free)

2. Microsoft Word

Best Programs for Creative Writers Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a writing program that has been around for ages. So long, in fact, that it’s an application that many of us millennials learned how to type on when we were kids.

Over the years, Microsoft Word has evolved and become more complex. There are more competitors these days, but the program still packs a punch with its incredible versatility and its reputation as a standardized tool in a work-based setting.

Knowing how to use Microsoft Word can mean the difference between getting that office job or not. Because of its sprawling number of customizations, Microsoft Word is good for a large variety of writing professions and purposes. These range from business reports to novels.

Microsoft Word works on both PC and Mac OS. In my own experience, I find it’s best utilized when you’re on the PC, as you retain more of the natural versatility of the program.

If you’re looking for more information, here’s a list of add-ons that you can install to make Microsoft Word easier to use


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Visit: Microsoft Word Online (Free)

Download: Microsoft Word for Windows | macOS (Office 365 Subscription)

Download: Microsoft Word for Android | iOS (Free, in-app purchase)

Best Programs for Creative Writers Scrivener

Scrivener hasn’t been around for as long as Microsoft Word, but it’s definitely not new. It’s been gaining traction over the years as an alternative to the old-school favorite.

As an incredibly in-depth outlining application, Scrivener is perfect for anyone who is writing a novel. These days you’ll often see creative writers shouting its praise. Its name usually comes up as a recommended tool on the eve of writing events like NaNoWriMo.

With its ability to organize chapters, scenes, and research all in one place, Scrivener prevents you from hunting for files in different spots on your computer.

Visit: Scrivener (Free)

Download: Scrivener for Windows | macOS (Free Trial)

Download: Scrivener for iOS ($19.99)

Best Programs for Creative Writers Dabble

In terms of writing programs, Dabble is sort of like the new kid at school.

I first heard about Dabble through Camp NaNoWriMo, where the free trial was being advertised. Because I already had a lot of creative writing applications on my plate, I was unsure about trying it at first. I didn’t know if I needed another program.

Dabble hasn’t been around for as long as the other programs, so my curiosity was piqued. Was I missing anything in terms of features? Would it bring something new to the table that I hadn’t tried before? Turns out, I liked it a lot.

Some highlights:

  • Just like Scrivener, Dabble allows you to organize your writing files all in one place.
  • You can arrange your book via chapters and scenes, and you can include notes and set goals for your manuscript’s progress.
  • When you download your final document, Dabble formats it so your manuscript meets industry standards. This is incredibly helpful if you’re submitting your story to agents or publishers.

Overall, Dabble is online, like Google Docs. This means that you can work on your document through your browser. It has a desktop version too.

The major difference with other applications like Google Docs is that Dabble is subscription-based. When choosing between the two programs this price point could potentially be an issue.

If you’re on a budget or you’re a cash-strapped student, it might be better to go with something cheaper (or free).

Visit: Dabble (Free)

Download: Dabble for Windows | macOS (Monthly Subscription)

Best Programs for Writers Pacemaker

A tool I discovered this summer that I absolutely love is Pacemaker: a word count productivity app for writers.

By feeding your project stats into Pacemaker, including desired word count, deadline, and what days you will be available to write, Pacemaker creates a custom writing schedule that is perfect for you. You can stay on track with your writing goals, especially the more complex ones.

The thing I really love about Pacemaker is that they have two versions: a free account and a subscription-based premium one, so you can use whatever version works best for your needs.

Visit: Pacemaker (Free)

Download: Pacemaker Premium (Monthly Subscription)

Best Programs for Writers Hemingway

Finally, one of the tools that you can use to make your writing better—and in perfect harmony with these other programs—is the Hemingway App.

By feeding your writing through the app, you can find out where your prose is weak and how to tighten it up. You can also narrow down the particular type of editing your writing needs, ranging from overly complicated sentences to an overabundance of passive voice.

Visit: Hemingway App (Free)

Download: Hemingway for Windows | macOS ($19.99)

Choose the One That’s Right For You

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, there’s a lot of demand for writers these days. In order to compete and make the best use of your time, it’s essential that you have the right tools for the job. This list will give you a good head start.

Another great thing about the programs listed here is that both Scrivener and Dabble offer trial runs. Google Docs doesn’t even need a trial to function. It’s free to use as an individual, and all you require is a Google account.

Looking for more amazing applications to help you with your writing? Here are some browser-based tools for writers, and what they’re good for


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Whether you need help with organization or a clean slate on which to write your words, these tools will prove useful to all of you who write on a regular basis. Don’t miss out!
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10 Unique Creative Projects to Reuse Your Old PC

When you’re upgrading to a new PC, you might wonder what to do with your old hardware. You could sell it or keep it as an emergency backup machine, but you could also put it to more creative uses.

Here are several DIY projects to repurpose and reuse an old PC.

1. Media Center

One of the most useful things you can do with an old PC is to move it into your living room and repurpose it as a media center. You can watch movies and TV, listen to music, and play games by installing and setting up Kodi


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or similar software on your machine.

Kodi is designed to be used with a remote control, so you can link up your old computer to your TV and browse from the comfort of your couch.

A nice benefit is that media center software is lightweight and doesn’t require a lot of system resources, so you can use it even on very old hardware.

2. Build a Home Server

If you live with housemates or family, it’s great to be able to share your music, videos, and photos with them. Even if you live on your own, you can benefit from having a place to store all your media.

This is where a home server comes in. You can use your old PC to host your media and other files and access them whenever you need. This is handy if you only have a limited amount of hard drive space on your new PC.

You can also give access to the home servers to other users on your network, allowing you to share your files with them.

3. Set Up a Web Server

Alternatively, what if you want to host files on the internet? If you have your own website, you can host your site yourself from home instead of paying for hosting or using free hosts which can be bad for your site


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You can set up your old PC as a web server relatively easily. Once the web server is set up, you can host your own and your friends’ websites.

You can also set up the web server for FTP use if you want to share files over the internet but not create a specific website. When you or your friends want to access the FTP server, you can use Windows Explorer as an FTP client.

4. Run a Games Server

If you’re a gamer, a really neat feature of the Steam client is the Steam Stream option. This allows you to install games on one machine and then stream these games to other devices on your network.

This means you can host your games on your old PC and play them from a media center or other device in your living room. Or you can pick up a small and fairly cheap device called a Steam Link which plugs into your TV or monitor and streams the content from your server.

With a Steam Link, you can even play Steam games on Android


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which is great for phone and tablet users.

5. PC Testing Rig

If you build PCs often, or if you frequently benchmark components, then a test rig is extremely useful to have on hand.

It’s easiest to use if you have an open test bench, so you can swap parts in and out quickly. And you can buy a solid, well-made test bench if you’re a serious builder. But you can also throw together your own test bench from metals, bits of wood, or whatever else you have on hand if you want a cheap option.

Once you have a bench, you can transfer parts from your old PC onto it, safe in the knowledge that all the parts are good and working. This will let you troubleshoot new components easily.

6. Build a Frame PC

A PC isn’t just a functional object: it can be art as well. This unusual project puts your PC into a picture frame which you can hang on your wall.

Using Wi-Fi sync functions, you can modify your framed PC and send and receive files. And you can power the PC with a single power cord from the bottom of the frame.

You will need to do some modifications to your components and to your frame to allow for issues like air flow, so this is a project suited to the handy and experienced system builder.

7. Wall Mounted PC

If you like the idea of a frame PC but you want something a little easier to put together, try a wall-mounted PC. This example uses the Thermaltake Core P1 case which holds standard components but is designed to be wall-mountable.

You can buy just the case on its own, transfer the parts from your old PC to the new case, then hang it on the wall. The case is open-sided which is great for airflow but does mean you need to be aware of dust. But it’s a fun way to turn your PC into an art piece.

8. Home Security System

Projects for your old PC - Home Security System

If you have a simple webcam, you can connect it to your old PC to make your own home security system. Using software that detects motion and triggers an alert, you can get a notification or set off an alarm if there is unexpected movement in your home.

Follow this tutorial to turn your computer into a video surveillance system.

9. Desk PC

If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can build you old PC components into a custom desk. You fit components in to a compartment below the desk level and then put glass or clear plastic on top.

This way you can see your components beneath the surface of your desk. This looks absolutely amazing, but be warned – it’s not an easy project!

You’ll need to design and build your own desk with a compartment big enough to fit all your components. And before you begin, you should know that getting the layout right and performing maintenance on a desk PC is a big hassle.

But if you have the time and the patience, your own custom desk PC is an incredible and unique project.

10. Mineral Oil Cooled PC

Another impractical but stunning PC project is to build a mineral oil-cooled PC.

Because mineral oil is not electrically conductive, you can submerge many components into it without damaging them. In fact, it will increase their lifespan by lubricating them. And you can get terrific cooling performance as the oil dissipates the heat.

This is another case in which maintenance is a real pain though, and trying to re-use parts which have been in mineral oil requires an enormous amount of cleaning. So it’s better as a show PC rather than being your everyday workhorse.

One thing to remember is that when using old parts, you’ll need to clean them very thoroughly before submerging them in oil. Or else any dust or grime left on them will float around in the oil, and that’s no good.

Don’t Throw Out Your Old PC Parts—Put Them to Use!

Just because your components are outdated doesn’t mean they’re not useful any more. Working but old hardware is ideal for using in experimental and unusual projects. Or the hardware can be repurposed in a more practical way and turned into a server.

Alternatively, you could resell, repurpose, or upcycle components instead. See our tips on how to reuse your old hardware like a pro


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Explore more about: Building PCs, DIY Project Ideas, Media Center, Recycling.



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