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This Pandemic has forced so many businesses and individuals to re-evaluate how they work on top of making it through the recessions brought forth by this pandemic. With more time at home than ever, this is the perfect time to master or give these tech tools a try for personal or professional growth if you have not already. The great thing about these tools (except Zoom) is that they are online so there is no need to install any external application on your device.

Zoom

The most obvious tool of choice during this pandemic. Zoom is a conferencing software for teams of any size to have group conferences easily but that is certainly not where its capabilities stop. From hosting free and paid web events, to streaming live on different platforms, Zoom has touched upon every scenario for an online meeting.

Where it may lack: If you are a streaming business or content creator, zoom’s video quality may not be sufficient for you.

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However, it’s important to keep in mind application stability, technical knowledge of participants and audience size when making decisions.

With new features being added to the zoom application such as adding audience polls during webinars, ability to add your own background with your own branding when on screen , zoom is rapidly making strides in the world of online conferencing.  

Zoom by far has been used the most by businesses, content creators, government officials, and educators alike and for good reason.

Alternatives are Skype, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams

Feel free to visit zoom.us to learn more   

Zapier

Zapier.com is a premier productivity solution that integrates and automates the applications you already use to ease your workflow and free up your effort.

Whether you are looking for new files being added to your Google drive to be sent out automatically for approval or directly to youtube or trying to auto-post new stories on RSS feeds through Hootsuite, Zapier.com has something for every workflow. 

The best part about a monotonous workflow is that it can be automated and that is what zapier.com has mastered. 

It’s a premier solution as compared to its competitor IFTTT.com (If this then that) which is available for free and comes with different plans to fit extensive needs and a responsive support team. If you are stuck doing much more data entry than you bargained for, or you are sending out email notifications when you should not have to, this software will save you precious time in being able to delegate and automate monotonous tasks in your workflow.

There are at least some tasks in your digital routine that zapier can take care of. If your application cannot be integrated with Zapier, drop in an email to the team and they will be happy to provide additional help as available. The possibilities are endless and its specialty is to automate the most trivial tasks, it’s not about making your automation complex. I couldn’t recommend this tool more.

Feel free to visit zapier.com to learn more.   

Canva

Canva is Melanie Perkin’s brainchild for creating eye-catching graphics and interactive content. Whether it’s for your next online event or to create a convincing pitch deck, Canva is certainly one of the Go-To choices. 

The website workspace boasts of a large library of text, clipart, and interactive graphics that you can add to your design.

You can tailor your design for multiple platforms and download the content in the typical pdf, jpg or png format or the newer ones being introduced, you can also view and share the content as an HTML website which is a great option for marketing and promotional materials. 

One article is not enough to walk through each and every feature but the best part is that one doesn’t have to know the exhaustive menu of options in order to achieve what they are looking to design. Canva is able to scale with the level of complexity.

For those of us who have used Canva.com for a while, we know how inspiring the quotes are as we create designs we are proud of.

Feel free to visit canva.com to learn more   

Kapwing

Kapwing.com is an online video editing software that allows you to edit videos available online or on your computer, or you can make videos from scratch and all content is watermark free which is ideal for small business owners or content creators who want to add their own branding.

The website provides a comprehensive video workspace which is easy enough to use for anyone with good computer skills. It offers plenty of options and features that are worth taking advantage of if you are starting out in the world of video editing.

  • Adjust video brightness, opacity and saturation in one convenient place 
The biggest barrier to entry when its comes to editing videos is complexity of the software, with this being completely online and having a very user friendly interface, we can finally edit the saturation , brightness of entire videos  and give them a quick “touch up” without having to figure it out through manuals or youtube tutorials.  
  • Use youtube , facebook or online links instead of having to download heavy video onto your computer. 
Definitely take advantage of this offering instead of clogging up your computer with different clips of the same video file, you can use the trim feature to trim online videos to your liking. You can further duplicate the scene and trim them to individual clips to create a refined edited video out of past youtube or facebook videos.  
  • Add a soundtrack to your video through a youtube link .
We all have been there, having to download heavy mp3 files or different cuts of the same audio , in this case you have the convenience to use music available on youtube.  For commercial use youtube offers a large audio repository of free to use audio used by some of the most popular online individuals. 
  • Trim and crop video according to different social media you are posting to. 
Kapwing.com offers different ways to crop your videos with one click for facebook , instagram and Twitter so that you can forget about their requirements. 
  • You can also use add your custom image branding in each scene
The biggest advantage of watermark free content is to be able to add your logos through images on Kapwing. With 2 clicks you can add your branding to your videos without downloading software. 
  • You can create subtitles easily through their subtitle tab
In the era where folks like to read videos thanks to the NowThis videos we see on twitter and facebooks , having subtitles is a powerful way to get videos and create emphasis on whats being said.You can add .srt files or try their auto subtitle generator to cut down the work of adding subtitles for each timestamp.
  • You can also create online memes through their meme maker, by easily using their text and clipart tools.   

The only downside to this tool is that it only allows for editing videos that are less than 40min long, but even if your video is longer you will have the option to trim them first before use.

The true value this tool offers is convenience and speed to quickly prepare video (and image) content for social media or video platforms however you choose and you can revisit them at any time and make edits. 

Feel free to check out kapwing.com to learn more. 

Create your own website using these popular platforms

COVID19 has shown the necessity of having a polished online resume, especially if your job is digital.

Platforms such as Wix.com, SquareSpace, Weebly are great platforms to make websites for individuals or businesses.

All of these website makers allow you to choose from their library of templates and layouts and create and host your own custom website or blog using their onscreen web editor without editing website code or buying server space to host your website.

All three now have some form of ecommerce integration to support those who want to keep a merchandise component. 

Weebly is the most affordable option since it lets you create and launch a website for free with their URL.

For those with coding experience and want to build a website for completely free with no hassle of renewing services (and trashing sales emails), Github Pages is a great option to explore, you get a Github domain but you can connect to your own as well and host your website on the Github server for free. 

The only limitation to all of these is there’s no database or users can’t have access to it, it’s a complete frontend experience ideal for portfolio/marketing websites.

Feel free to visit weebly.com, wix.com, squarespace.com, pages.github.com  to learn more   

We hope that these tools are just as helpful for your personal and professional development as much as they have proven for us.