There are so many valuable resources, sources of information and golden brain nuggets out there, and as freelancers we love to share tips. So this week’s post is about 7 bloody marvellous resources that help me function, give my brain a good old poke when needed, or that have lit a fire in the old noggin when it was most needed.
In no particular order, I give you:
A fabulous project run by Content Design London, with oodles of input from content (and other) designers all over this lil globe we call home. Their handbook has become my bible, sitting on my desk for those moments when I get my brain in knots trying to remember what makes efficient link text, or whether it is positive or negative contractions I am not supposed to be using. Check out their online handbook or get your mitts on a print copy.
Content Design by Sarah Philips (of Content Design London – a double whammy award for them tonight)
As an avid book nerd there was always going to be a slight skew towards books on this list, and this is a cracker. Content Design is a great introduction to the discipline, with every page being designed to show the very principles of readability and delivering content in the right way to the right people. It has a great case study throughout to put the topic into context, and is worth a read for anyone working with content designers, looking to improve their content or who wants to reach their users more efficiently.
A great app for brainstorming and getting my mush of ideas down on the page when I need to do it digitally and my illegible scrawls will simply not do. There are many templates to help you, and particularly if you are in UX/service design, there are many options.
This app essentially gives me a digital version of my beloved and trusty friends the Post-Its, but they don’t curl at the edges or fall off the wall in the heat. Wahoo! What’s not to like?
A bit of a no-brainer as I do 99% of my e-learning development in this suite. Though there are other options out there I have not yet needed/had to explore them. They have been waiting in the sidelines on my ‘look at when you get a spare mo’ (ha what are those?) list. It incorporates all I need and I do like the addition of the Review tool in the suite, it makes like so much easier to collate stakeholder feedback, and for them to see each others comments. You can just sit back and watch their internal debates roll on before you need to weigh in and get a final decision.
Content Strategy Toolkit by Megan Casey
Another marvellous book-aroo that is FILLED, and I mean FILLED, with fantastic advice and examples. For anyone involved in putting content strategies together this book is a must, no matter what level you are at. If you are a content type person looking to go in a more strategic directions then this is definitely for you. This book saved my bacon when I was asked to put something together that was a bit out of my experience and comfort zone. Leave this on the bookshelf at your peril.
I don’t think I know anyone now (in the work world anyway) who isn’t on this now. It is a great app for sorting yourself out, and I have lists for all manner of things – work based, house to do lists, and more random brain splurges. Though I still need my day-to-day to do list on pen and paper, I find this great for longer term planning and for plotting the stages of a project and the tasks that are to do/in progress/done. Who doesn’t love colour coded propriety ordered lists? No? Just me?
Some love it, some hate it, but I find it is such a great tool for picking up the words my furious fingers have mistyped and my brain hasn’t seen. When I proof read my own work I miss so many mistakes – a common occurrence for many – so it is so helpful for me to throw my words in and let it do it’s magic. I only have the basic version, and don’t use some of the extra features within it, it just does what I need it to nice and quick. The toolbar extension which checks as I type directly into websites is also a godsend.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, there will no doubt be a part 2 coming shortly featuring some of my fave peeps and inspirations.
As I have a godawful memory, I actually have a Trello board (of course) full of resources, books, podcasts, websites and people to keep track of and remind me to keep up with things. Or to try one day if I haven’t already. But I am always looking to add to it and take other people’s recommendations on board, so do fling any suggestions my way. What can you not function without? I’d love to know.
I’m off now to update my lists. This girl does not function without lists.
Write 52: Week 50
Write 52 is an accountability initiative started by Ed Callow, to encourage the team to create original content every week, and to commit to it. You can find more information here.
Come join us and get writing!