15 Web Tools to Simplify Your Life (Especially for Photographers)

Especially for Photographers & Creatives

web tools to simplify your life - square card readerYou know how most photographers and creatives are looking for ways to simplify life and business and just make things generally easier?

These folks need a useable, action list of web tools that simplify the running of an online business.

Tools that improve workflow, solve the need of instantaneous communication, and make it easy to send stuff, like +5GB funny pictures to customers or clients. That sort of thing.

The idea behind this list came from seeing a Facebook post – I immediately thought that my photog friends, fellow companions, mountain bikers and random world travellers would enjoy it.

Tweaked in the mix are additional “photo” related goodies.

I’m sure I’ll refine this list further as time goes by and everything changes – except for the hardy tools like, say Paypal and Skype.

BTW: I wouldn’t want anybody to think that this is a guide where you’re going to learn useful information about simple tools for photographers. :o)

But if you do pick up a thing or two, it’s not my fault.

Quick heads up: some of the links on this page are ads, partners or affiliates. This means I may make a small commission if you buy from the linked sites. (I only link to products and services I love and use probably too much).

Here’s the list. Grab a cup of your favorite non alcoholic beverage, go forth and pho-create…

15 Web Tools to Simplify Your Life (and Business)

#1 Asana

Neglect thy email.

It took me a while to work out what Asana actually does. I think I got it. Asana enables you to keep ideas, plans, files, conversations and tasks (ie; everything) in one place, instead of spread out (and lost) in emails. Clear as mud?

So when working with a team, you’re always getting the latest, most relevant information. Plus everything is neatly organized around the work. Integrated with Dropbox, your workflow is faster, intuitive and current.

We used Asana and Dropbox simultaneously to keep track of everything; from what each team member was doing, to the current status of each transaction, to keeping a history of all related documents. We had more than 18,000 items in Dropbox that we would link to in Asana instead of attaching them in email.

Asana gives you free unlimited teams of up to 15 members and unlimited projects and tasks.


#2 Dropbox

Dropbox is the secret source, the golden elixir that every photographer and creative needs to earmark. In other words, bring your photos, docs and videos into it, host as needed, share them with anyone, anywhere, and do it all for free. It’s brilliant. You’ll love it.

Dropbox is free up to 2GB — $9.99 /month for 100GB


#3 Google Drive

If Dropbox is good, then Drive is massive. They’re pretty much same same, but Drive bribes you with 15GB free storage. Keep pictures, stories, designs, drawings, recordings, videos and files – anything – in Google Drive and grab it from any smartphone, tablet or computer.


#4 Gmail

Nothing to say here. You know what Gmail is. Verdammt!


#5 Jing

Also Camtasia Studio and Camtasia for Mac – trial it for free.

Everyone I know said get Camtasia. I got Screenflow. But if you keep your videos small, you might get away with just using Jing. Jing lets you create short videos of your computer screen and share them.

So if you have an idea to get across, want to show the world you’re totally convinced the Sony a7R is the ultimate camera, or just humiliate the neighbours, then get the thing called Jing.

As for Camtasia…

TechSmith Camtasia is a reliable screen recording and video editing tool that helps users convey their message conveniently and effectively, no matter the audience.

Jing is free, Camtasia is $99.00.


#6 Screenflow

Eternally great and unflappable, ScreenFlow is powerful, easy-to-use screen recording and editing software for the Mac. I’ve used it too much, and she’s a pretty cool little tool. Share your untapped resources with the world.

You’ll shell out $99.00 for Screenflow too.


#7 Voxer

Voxer has to be the drama queen that changes your life. They describe it better than me so, dudes, lead the way:

Instant Voice. Anytime, Anywhere. Talk to anyone in the world with live voice, text, photos and location sharing from your smartphone or desktop. Everything is saved, so you never miss a message.

30 day free trial and the basic plan is free. For business users it’s $9.95 per user/month.


web tools to simplify your life - pixlr

Better than Photoshop? One of my pics opened in the online Pixlr Editor

#8 Pixlr

The most popular online photo editor in the world?

If you’re impatient to start editing photos right this minute, a secret deadline is looming and you want an online editor, then use Pixlr. I use Photoshop Elements but the Pixlr Editor looks amazing (see pic above).

Of course, you can also use the free editor Gimp too (but you’ll need to download that).

Hey – Photoshop Elements comes packaged with the Wacom Bamboo pen, if you don’t want this page to take all your money.


#9 WordPress

WordPress is great. Don’t overlook it.


#10 Optimize Press

You’ve had visions of setting up a product page for your photo products, or maybe a landing type page so you can get people to subscribe and sign up to your email list (which you should be doing).

You’re eager to set up that photo membership site. You can’t shut up about it. OptimizePress is right up your alley. Go manhandle it. Now.

Ð – OptimizePress is $97 one time.


web tools to simplify your life - square card reader

Web tools to simplify your life – The Square Card Reader

#11 Square Card Reader

Square began with a simple idea: everyone should be able to accept credit cards. We’ve been rethinking buying and selling ever since. From a revolutionary card reader to an online marketplace, we’re helping local sellers connect with customers everywhere.

Square is a small card reader that you plug into your smart phone and bingo – immediately start accepting credit card payments for your business. 100% free but there’s a 2.75% processing fee per transaction, which is probably a lot less than your bank will charge. (See photo, top of page right).

The Square Card Reader has a 2.75% processing fee per transaction.


#12 Aweber

For your email list. You have one, right?

Instantly pocket more money. Or something like that. Sign up to my photo business tips newsletter here

You NEED an email list, subscriber list, whatever the bloke next door calls it.

Aweber is $19 /month. Get your first month for $1.00 here.


#13 1Password

Right off the top, 1Password looked superb. It allows you to create unique passwords and sync your data across all your devices automatically through iCloud and Dropbox, or locally over Wi-Fi where your data never leaves your network.

Good for Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad and Android. Shave off some time.

1Password makes it simple to use strong unique passwords. Being secure with 1Password is easier than being at risk using weak ones you have to remember and type manually. A single click can open your browser, take you to a site, fill in your username and password, and log you in. It’s the fastest way to work or play.

A 1Password single user license for Mac is $49.99.


#14 Easy Video Suite

According to their sales page, a study found that shoppers who viewed a video are 174% more likely to purchase a product than viewers who did not. Easy Video Suite just makes it super easy to create all that complex video stuff.

How do you want to reach your audience? We’ve all grown up with TV so creating videos to build your reputation and brand makes a bad hair day feel great!


#15 Skype

You know what Skype is. Free video and voice calls to anyone else on Skype, anywhere in the world. Use Skype Recorder (different versions available) for recording precious conversations, interviews and all that funky stuff.

Keep in touch with your contacts, customers and clients. Get around the rules.

Skype is free but if you call mobile phones or landlines, you’ve got to fork over some dollars.


Other cool stuff to scribble down:


Printful is an app that lets you print your art and design on most products. (Think pillows, totes, t-shirts, hats, bags, canvas prints, framed posters etc). Syncs perfectly with your Shopify store. Takes care of the online printing, fulfillment and shipping.



An example of all the things you can print on using Printful


I know it’s not a web tool but…

Love these vests. Great for quick overseas adventures. Perfect for location independent photographers.


In a nutshell, outright photo awesomeness. I wrote about how Photojojo takes the groovy cake here.


Short run printing. No huge stockpiles and different designs. Artistic.

Send out those double-sided postcards for your next portrait promotion, photo gallery invitation or flirt with portfolio pieces.


web tools to simplify your life - creative market

Web tools to simplify your life – Sell your photos through Creative Market

Creative Market is a platform for handcrafted, mouse-made design content from independent creatives around the world.

Creative Market is a site where independent creators from around the world (like you) can sell their own “mousemade” content – everything from illustrations to templates, fonts, web themes and now, photography.

As I understand it, the concept behind Creative Market is that they provide an alternative to the cliche and staged “more-marketing-concept-than-creative” images of the big stock photo websites.

Creative Market’s solution to this dilemma is to help independent photographers to bring some authenticity and art back into the stock photo world. If you’ve got some skill as a photographer (whether that’s using a $5,000 dSLR or an iPhone), you can open up your own store and sell your work on your own terms.

From this angle, Creative Market has some distinct benefits. You get to set your own prices (you might need to look how the other stock photo sites set their prices though, just for some world-wide guidance), and you keep 70% of every sale.

Plus there’s no cost to open your “photo” store, and because you’re not limited to selling exclusively on Creative Market, you can sell your images elsewhere too.

Customers, of course, get to choose from thousands of photos from authentic sources that are not “stock” as we know it. (Hey, I could be a good fit for this). Which can be good or bad, depending on what you need at the time.


The ultimate digital financial adviser which is free and secure. Add your bank account details and credit card information into Mint, and manage your finances with ease. Set budgets, try out the financial advice. Use the Mint phone app to fact-check the best credit card finding tools.

So did we cover them all?

Of course not!

With technology and innovation changing as fast as it does these tools could be superseded in a year’s time. Until then, go forth and create.