CommsCampNorth is all about sharing – ideas, challenges, solutions. And cake, of course.
I ran a session at the end of the day of our Bradford event on 13 October, to put together a list of the freebie apps and tools comms professionals use in their working lives. I promised to share this list, so here it is, with a few extras thrown in for good measure. Thanks to everyone who came to the session and contributed – team effort!
If you have more you want to add in the comments below, feel free.
‘Free’. Get it? 😉
Some of these apps listed below only have a free version if you’re a charity, or have a version that is cheap, and is recommended even if you do have to pay. If you need something done for a one-off project or event, it’s also a good idea to make the most of free trials offered for products and apps.
RemoveBG: Remove the background from any photo – https://www.remove.bg/
Remember what David Banks our resident media law expert said at another session at #CommsCampNorth; only use images you have a licence for. There are lots of image sites out there, here are just a few I like:
- Unsplash – https://unsplash.com/
- Pixabay – https://pixabay.com/
- Pexels – https://www.pexels.com/
- Magdeleine – https://magdeleine.co/browse/
- Gratisography – https://gratisography.com/
Failing that, take your own photographs, and try and do a stock photography day at least once a year. Portrait mode on an iPhone may not be as good as a professional photograph, but it’s usually better than using the same old stock shots that come up time and time again.
- Kinemaster: edit your videos on your phone (recommended by the one and only Dan Slee) – https://www.kinemaster.com/
- Filmic Pro – https://www.filmicpro.com/
- iMovie (Apple only) – https://www.apple.com/uk/imovie/
- Pixabay: royalty free music – https://pixabay.com/music/
- Soundcloud: yet more royalty free music – https://soundcloud.com/royalty-free-audio-loops
- Uppbeat: free music for Youtube videos – https://uppbeat.io/
‘Design’ (sorry to all the graphic designers out there!)
- Canva: the pro version is free for charities, and also allows you to share templates and work on your phone and have a brand kit – https://www.canva.com/
- Adobe Express: a ‘lite’ version of the full Adobe – https://www.adobe.com/express/create
- Piktochart: for infographics and reports – https://piktochart.com/
Getting stuff done
- WeTransfer: send large files to anyone, anywhere – https://wetransfer.com/
- Todoist: an app to manage your tasks – https://todoist.com/
- Asana: a team collaboration tool for tasks and calendars – https://app.asana.com/
- Slack: another team workspace tool with a focus on messaging – https://slack.com/
- Trello: a simple team project management tool – https://trello.com/en
Advice, support and training
- GCS, the Government Communication Service, with lots of good articles and advice – https://gcs.civilservice.gov.uk/
- Join the CiM or the CiPR for access to lots of free training and support
The Hemingway app helps make your writing clearer … more plain English, less use of the passive voice – https://hemingwayapp.com/
Scribe records your screen activity and turns it into step-by-step guides – https://scribehow.com/
There are a whole bunch of people on TikTok who provide help and support in much smaller chunks to consume than old-school YouTube videos – Danielle Canva Video ideas, Sam Despo, Kevin Stratvert are just three.
And my favourite tip … our comms community!
Don’t forget that #CommsCamp and #CommsCampNorth are FREE and always have been, but if you can’t wait until the next one for advice and support, go to the Public Sector Comms Headspace group on Facebook and use the search function to find answers to all sorts of questions, or post your own. You’ll often find that someone else out there has already done the work that you need to, saving you time, which is of course precious.