Creative Creating: Create the Tools You Wish Existed

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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Let me start by saying if you choose Graticle Design for your website needs, you’ve made the right choice!

Four months ago, I started a new online business. I hired a company that I had found online, to design and build my new business website. Let’s just say, it has been a complete nightmare the past few months trying to get the work done that I needed on my site. I would email them when I needed something and sometimes get no response for days. Not to mention, the amount of time it took for them to get the work done and the high cost of their services. This situation had me extremely stressed out. I must add that I am not computer savvy. Therefore, I depended on this company for all of my website needs. Finally, after months of anxiety, frustration and utter disgust, I decided to search the web for a new website design company. I searched and interviewed many. However, I felt the most comfortable with Graticle Design. When I spoke with Shawn Hooghkirk, I felt a sense of trust and ease after our very first phone interview. Shawn actually took the time to listen and understand my concerns, expectations and everything I wanted for my website. After our first interview, I hired Graticle Design. This was the best decision for my business website and for myself as well. They are fast, efficient, reasonably priced and might I add, very skilled. I am beyond impressed with their service and I couldn’t be happier! I no longer have to stress and worry. I know that I can count on this company for all of my website needs. Most importantly, they do an incredible job!

Thank you Graticle Design! Your team is amazing!

Sincerely, Flickerfancy.com

Renee

Owner

Flicker Fancy

www.FlickerFancy.com

Michigan

Shawn at Graticle Design does exactly what he says he will do, when he says that he’ll do it. He is not only creative, but responsive. We have very much appreciated his expertise and advice. Great ideas and great execution!

Brian Burke

President / CEO

Praxis Capital, Inc.

www.PraxCap.com

Santa Rosa, California