Have you ever spent an inordinate amount of time on a task, sweating and laboring over it until it’s absolutely perfect, only to have someone tell you there was a far easier way to get where you were going?
I simultaneously hate and love that feeling. I hate knowing that I wasted valuable labor hours on something that could have been so much simpler to accomplish, but I absolutely LOVE knowing the time-saving trick that prevents those wasted hours the next time around.
Hi, I’m Valerie, and I love tools.
I might even be addicted to them, judging from the way I tend to hoard them and revel in the discovery of new ones to add to my collection. But at least this addiction is healthy for all, because I’m just as delighted to share these finds as I am to collect them.
I’ve found myself creating lists of suggested resources in each conference session I attend, but it wasn’t until recently that I thought to combine all of these separate tool lists into one large compilation.
Through a series of presentations, conversations and continuous edits, I’ve created a Google doc master list of the various free-to-cheap tools that can save you time and heartache in all sorts of ways. From graphic design to user testing, social media monitoring to analytics, you’ll find a LOT of great stuff in here.
The best part, to me, is that ALL of them have been suggested and/or vetted by myself or my higher ed web peers. And it will continue to grow that way, because I’m asking you to submit any other awesome tools you might know of to me via email. I’m more than happy to add them to the list!
Fantastic project management tool that allows uploads of images/videos with commentary on each item, great for communication with a vendor around a project. In-app live meeting hosting available, lots of great features. If you’re only running one project, it’s free!
Web-based application that allows you to build prototypes for testing against public pool of users or privately in-house. Free account allows 1 prototype, but paid levels are reasonable and offer unlimited prototypes at first paid level.
Free web-based app that allows you to upload an image and generate a color palette from it, including hex codes. So dang handy.
Placeholder kitten art! Because kittens. Need I say more?
All the Tools
About the Author
Valerie Harness is the Web Project & Systems Manager for the UVA Darden School of Business, where she’s tackled social media strategy, brand management, digital marketing and content creation. She often serves as a web consultant for small businesses and non-profits, and she runs a quirky Etsy shop in her free time. Valerie even led a public square discussion on this topic for edUi 2015.