Hello and welcome to another edition of apps + chrome extensions + nifty sites with Vicky!  I honestly need to sit down and come up with a better name for these things, it’s getting to be kind of a mouthful. I know I normally do these separately but I haven’t been doing anything drastically different lately to warrant two posts.

tl;dr of this post – icon pack + calendar widget // photo editing // new tab page that swears at you // i miss jobmine // infographics

If any of the above even vaguely interest you keep on reading!

Apps:

1. Delta Icon Pack (Android)

No need to go into crazy detail on this one, it’s just the most recent icon pack I’ve been using. I like the minimal style of the icons and the pack comes with some pretty nice wallpapers too!

2. Agenda Widget (Android)

Ah yes, would it be an app roundup if I didn’t include a calendar component? I’ve been using the Agenda Widget because one of the themes has a transparent background and nice rounded blocks for individual items. I’ve been hunting for this set up for months now so I was probably irrationally happy when I found this. The free version comes with many other themes (that are all extremely customizable re: colours) and even more so if you want the paid version.

3. Preview (Android/iOS)

I definitely use Instagram often enough (and am neurotic enough about the layout) to require a whole other app dedicated to scheduling + previewing my feed. I was using Planoly before but have been giving Preview a try and so far so good! Super minimal layout with drag and drop functionality. What I really like is how there are filters and basic editing tools within the app so if you need to make more changes you stay in the product. It also remembers hashtags that you’ve used in the past which makes it easier to add them to future captions.

I’m ready for Instagram to roll out this feature natively soon because that feels like the next logical step for them.

Note: Their site also has an inspiration page if you need ideas on your feed theme: https://thepreviewapp.com/inspiration/

4. Snapseed (Android/iOS)

Google is love, Google is life. Thank you, Google Gods for buying Snapseed then releasing the Android version. It’s hella robust and can do a lot more than what I use it for (desaturation + brightening) so if you download this, you probably won’t need other editing apps. Kind of. The next app on my list actually covers a gap but we’ll get to that in a sec.

I will let you guys explore the full capabilities of this editor on your own but I’ll highlight the feature that I use the most – the brush! Really to desaturate backgrounds (my office has terrible yellow light that does not vibe with me at all) and sometimes to adjust brightness. It’s better than adjusting the entire image because I tend to leave my body/outfit alone and just edit the background.

I actually really like the colouring of my example picture but I did a sample so you can see how the brush tool can be used with a mask to target exactly where you want the edits to be.

5. Aviary (Android/iOS)

One thing that Snapseed can’t do is blur things. I sometimes get great photos of my outfit but my face is doing a weird thing so that needs to be blurred out. Or I might want to really focus on a particular object in the image (read: usually always probably me) so I’ll blur out the background like in the example below. Aviary is great for this! Also apparently it can make memes if you’re into that sort of thing.

I will warn that it’s not as easy to use as the mask + brush tool in Snapseed and if you make a mistake you kind of just have to start all over from your last save. It is an Adobe product so it’s pretty dope and even has a web component if you need to edit pictures on your computer and don’t have (legal) Photoshop money.


Chrome Extensions:

6. Fucking Life Advice

I like changing up my New Tab replacer every once in a while to keep my life interesting. Can you tell I don’t get out much? I also like things that swear because art imitates life and I swear a lot. This extension will swear at you (if you want, you can also censor it) while giving you advice on life. Pretty straight forward.

7. WaterlooWorks Works

This one is a pretty specific pitch for Waterloo co-op students. If you’re going to be looking for a co-op job next term or will have to interact with WaterlooWorks at any point in your future, do future you a solid and download this extension. I don’t know how we ended up with the product that we did after waiting so long but my experience has been underwhelming so far. Little things like certain tables looking like they’re sortable but finding out that it’s a lie.

What’s really painful is the number of columns we have now (at this moment in time, none of them are removable/hidable/adjustable in any way) and the speed of the side-scroll.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Maybe WW will get their shit together and make the portal actually functional but in the meantime, download this extension to add pagination to the bottoms of the pages as well (otherwise you’re scrolling to the top after each page) and to shrink the sizes of the columns to save yourself some headache.

 

screen-shot-2017-02-28-at-9-50-33-pm
WaterlooWorks as seen with the extension enabled

 


Nifty Sites:

I’ve been trudging through 12 months of social media data at my co-op to craft our annual social media review and I wanted to share some sites that make really nice infographics for when you have infographic needs. (You’ll probably at some point need an infographic made, right?)

They both offer really solid templates + chart types (if your infographic is data-heavy like mine is) and have both free and paid versions. Obvious the paid product has more options for you to play around with but the free versions are amazing as well. I looked at a couple of other sites that do similar things (hi Canva!) but these offered the most utility when it came to aesthetics and graphs.

When it comes to data, you can either copy and paste your spreadsheet numbers into their chart tools or upload the file or even connect to Google Sheets/Dropbox.

8. infogr.am

I like the charts editing options more in infogr.am than Piktochart but this site is less customizable when it comes to everything else. Whereas in Piktochart you can arrange every component however you want, infogr.am tries to keep very linear + horizontal sections. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if you don’t have time to mess around with every detail and just want data displayed in a (gorgeous) readymade template.

NOTE: You only get 10 image uploads for your account which is kind of a bummer.

 

screen-shot-2017-03-01-at-12-33-43-am
Examples of templates available in infogr.am

 

9. Piktochart

Definitely the more customizable option of the two but I found myself a little sad at the lack of axes range editing capabilities. I know, it seems like such a tiny gripe but when the majority of my report is graph-based, I want a bit more control over how the values are displayed.

Other than that you can do so much with this tool and it even has presentation templates so you can make your infographic PowerPoint-ready.

NOTE: You only get 40mb of image uploads on the free account but (depending on image sizes) it’ll give you more than the 10 images in infogr.am.

 

screen-shot-2017-03-01-at-12-34-23-am
Examples of infographics created in Piktochart

 


And that’s it from me, this post went on longer than I thought it would but I hope you found a new nifty tool that you can use! If you have any suggestions for apps/sites you think I’d find interesting and useful, let me know.

xoxo, Vicky

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