The Internet is chocked full of free tools to make your life easier. For example, we looked at “5 Free Sites to Make PDF Less Painful.” Today, here is an assortment of five free digital tools ranging from design to voice transcription.
Whether you are creating an invitation for a birthday party, a report, a social media post, or just about any other design project, Canva makes it easy. Go to canva.com and create a free account. Yes, there is a paid option, but what’s included in the free version is amazing. Start a project from scratch if you wish. What’s easier is to take an example they provide and modify it.
Let’s take a look at just one example. How many Facebook pages have you seen where the cover is a picture of the family? The only problem is the heads are cut off because the dimensions of the original picture don’t match the frame for Facebook. Go into Canva. Choose “Facebook Cover.” Drag the photo into the frame. Resize the photo and drag it around inside the frame until you get the right look. While there, add some text. It’s easy to do. Click a button to download. Now, when you upload to Facebook, it’s going to be a perfect fit.
If you are a teacher, you’re likely making classroom posters. Machines exist that will make a large poster, but they are expensive. Here is a free solution. You can design your poster on Canva. The resulting size will be 8 ½ x 11, the size of a standard piece of paper. Be sure to download it as a jpeg. Go to blockposters.com. You don’t even have to create an account. Upload your one-page creation. Block Posters composes a multi-page PDF of your original. The result will be around a dozen “puzzle pieces,” each one on an 8 ½ x 11 block. Print the PDF and paste the pages together. It’s all for free!
Shortening a YouTube Video
How many times have you wanted to show a group just a portion of a YouTube video? How can you make the video start at just the right moment and end at a desired spot? Go to youtubestartend.com. Enter the URL for the video. Find the points at which you want to start and end. Enter those into the site. The site produces a link. When you or anyone uses that link, the desired clip plays.
This app is designed for the hearing-impaired. The app, available for Android, transcribes speech into text and displays it on the phone’s screen. The hearing-impaired person simply keeps an eye on the screen. Watch this three-minute video that demonstrates the app. Download it for free.
Otter Voice Notes
Next time you need to transcribe a meeting, give Otter a try. The app uses speech recognition to create transcripts automatically, even identifying multiple speakers and picking out keywords. Those transcriptions are then stored online so you can access them from anywhere. Otter is free for up to 10 hours of recordings per month. Here is a 2-minute video on how it works. Get it for iOS here. Get it for Android here.