Tag Archives: Cool tools

Finally! Cool, useful and useable email marketing

I’ve been waiting a long time to find a solution like Newsberry. It used to be that if you were a small business or non-profit and wanted to send a nice looking email newsletter to your customer base, you didn’t have many options, and practically none if you were on a budget. I won’t mention those non-option providers, but they know who they are.

Newsberry is perfect: they offer very reasonable pricing, both monthly subscription and pay-as-you-go, a nice selection of templates, reporting, segmented lists, bounce management and Basecamp integration! Go give them a try!

Run out and get Markups – now!

I’ve been meaning to blog this for a while now. I’ve been using this absolutely brilliant tool for doing quick visual designs, and it’s just about the best thing I’ve ever used. I want to tell everyone I know about it, and have them go get it: Balsamiq Mockups.

It’s easy. It’s super-fast. It’s got nearly every widget you could ever need (cover flow and iPhone sliders!)

You can purchase a desktop version for $79, and there’s an on-line version (a bit restricted with a regular nag screen, and no save capability) you can use to get the feel of it. 

I could try and write down all the great ways this product has helped me, but just go try it. It really is amazing. You might just be instantly hooked. I was.

Where’s My “Copy Merged”?

I’m a recent convert to Fireworks from Photoshop. I had used Photoshop for years (too many, really, I started with Photoshop 2.5) for designing everything from graphics to UIs to websites. I had always viewed Fireworks (first encountered with Flash, back in the Macromedia days) as kind of a weak Photoshop wannabe. Last year, a colleague of mine showed me a few tricks in Fireworks – I was hooked. I use Fireworks now for all my design work (except for true image manipulation stuff, Photoshop’s bread-and-butter). It’s simply brilliant for all sorts of design work, especially web and UI design (separate blog entry needed on that at some point).

But, one of the things I used all the time in Photoshop was the Copy Merged function. When you’ve got a bunch o’ layers and need to get a quick composite to put somewhere else, Copy Merged is key. But, guess what, kids: it ain’t in Fireworks (um, Adobe?), at least not in CS or CS3. Fortunately, I’m not alone in my wanton need for layer smooshing, and clever John Dunning created a nifty Extension to do just that (and a bit more merge-y stuff). Sweet.

Get the Copy Merged extension here.