Creative Creating: Create the Tools You Wish Existed

April 27, 2015    Reading Time: 1 Minute

Creativity

I use a lot of online tools for various tasks throughout the day. Most of the simplistic tools that I use (they focus on doing one thing), generally lack something that I wish they had.

Some of them do a great job, but look like they haven’t been touched since 1999. The interface is awkward/not intuitive, it’s crammed with advertisements, it’s built in Flash, and, most of the time, design, was an afterthought.

So instead of complaining, I’ve decided to re-build these tools.

I’ve already started by building three:

#1) Super Simple Stopwatch

Just like it sounds, it does one thing well: Keeps track of time. It’s extremely easy to use and responsive. I use it constantly throughout my day.

Super Simple Stopwatch

#2) Super Simple Mortgage Calculator

Again, this does one thing well: Calculates a mortgage so you can estimate your monthly payments.

Super Simple Mortgage Calculator

And now I’ve built a third: CASE+CONVERT

#3 CASE+CONVERT

This app converts text from lowercase, UPPERCASE, Sentence case, or Capitalize Case and vice-versa. You can type or paste your text, push a button, and it’ll transform your text. Try it out for yourself.

Case + Convert

You may ask: why create something like this if it already exists elsewhere?

Because it’s fun, challenging, and educational. Not only do I get to create and use the tool I want, but I learn valuable lessons and skills along the way.

The founders of 37Signals had a similar strategy when they decided to build a project management tool for their team which we now know as Basecamp.

I think it’s important for people to build and create things they wish existed or believe they can do better. Not only for the tools that come out of it, but for the entire experience of creating.

Are there complementary tools in your industry that you could create or improve upon?

Stay CREATIVE.

Last updated on August 31, 2016. Shawn is the President of Graticle, Inc. You can follow him at Google+

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Shawn at Graticle Design has been great to work with. Our Professional Services firm needed some critical sales material for a multi-million dollar proposal and Graticle came though and blew away our competition. We are going to be using Graticle again for our ongoing website design and high-end graphic needs.

David Horn

Principal Engineer

Professional Services Firm

California

I was very happy with your work. The work was done in a timely manner, I now have a very professional website which contains all the features and items we discussed.

Perhaps the most important part is that you took the extra step as I just found out my web site now shows up when one Google’s Abbotthouse Sunriver OR., or Abbothouse Sunriver OR., This never happened before you did my web site as I spell Abbott the correct way or the way it was originally spelled and everyone else spells it Abbot. The new abbreviated way. Anyways thanks for taking that extra step.

I have recommended you to some other people at Abbotthouse and hope you have received some extra business from my recommendation.

Jim Abbott

Owner

Abbott House #11

www.AbbottHouse11.com

Sunriver, Oregon