My Three Favorite Ways to Create Visuals for Free

Tan teddy bear in hipster glasses staring at a laptop.

When I left a corporate position where someone else paid for great, fancy software I found that I needed to find some new tools. I no longer had access to tons of stock photos and Photoshop to help me make badass images. Thankfully, some sleuthing, googling, and (always my favorite) asking of friends led me to a happy place where maybe I can’t do everything that I used to, but I can do a heck of a lot.

Hubspot

Tan teddy bear in hipster glasses staring at a laptop.
Bear with my puns please.

I have to admit that I’m a bit of a fangirl for Hubspot. They provide various services to paying clients, but as someone marketing on the cheap I absolutely adore all the resources they provide for free to everyone. They provide advice through whitepapers and webinars, as well as a ton of tools. There are free stock photos, templates, and more. Go poke around and you’ll almost certainly find something useful. (Yes, that photo to the side is definitely a free Hubspot Stock Photo — who doesn’t love a bear on a headset, even if it’s not the most applicable?)

PicMonkey

There is a paid version of PicMonkey, but to be honest, there’s so much in the free tool that I’ve never felt the need to buy the full version. PicMonkey is incredibly intuitive with various filters, edits, and even cute overlays and frames for your images. I used the collage tool to make the Facebook banner below right before Easter to showcase a nonprofit thrift shop’s character and variety of merchandise.

Collage of thrift shop merchandise including Easter items and men's suits.

Trying to put this together elsewhere would have involved a lot of futzing with sizes and placements, but with PicMonkey it was less than 15 minutes — and most of that time was spent choosing which photos would work best for our goals!

Photoshop Express

Finally, sometimes you just want the free version of Photoshop. Photoshop Express makes me gleeful until I have a proper “real” version of Photoshop again.  I love the browser version for its simplicity and ease of use.  Just look at that interface with those perfectly useful buttons. How can it make you not want to sigh with gratitude?

Screenshot of Photoshop Express being used to edit a photo of a gorgeous gray cat.

 

This isn’t an exhaustive list (Inforgraphics mean I turn to other tools), but they are my solid standbys, my true favorites. What are yours?

Spitfire’s “Planning to Win” Looks Fantastic

I’m a tip and tool junkie in a lot of ways. I have folders in Google Docs devoted to whitepages, interactive tools, and even templates that will save time for me or others. If a friend calls or emails asking for help, I always turn to those folders to see what I can provide that will help (I adore that Hubspot, realizing that most people don’t have Photoshop, provides templates in PowerPoint so that anyone can put together a good looking image post).

Here’s the latest tool I love — Spitfire’s “Planning to Win” campaign tool. Spitfire Strategies is a cool company I learned about when my old coworker/friend, Adam went to work for them. They work with nonprofits and use their marketing knowledge to help nonprofits raise funds and deploy campaigns. Pretty neat, eh?

Try the tool and let me know what you think! I, for one, am very impressed!