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.

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We’ve had an excellent experience with Graticle. Not only did Shawn craft a beautiful website (www.statusceramics.com), but he responded quickly to our questions and requests. In fact, we were so pleased with the job he did, we hired him for another website project before finalizing the first.

Ryan Calkins

Partner

Status Ceramics

www.StatusCeramics.com

Seattle, Washington

Graticle designed the website for the company that I work for, and it turned out so amazing! Shawn was extremely understanding and helpful, walked me through problems (on my end, not his), provided solutions, and was always available to me if I had any questions. The whole process was very straightforward from wireframing to designing to WordPress. Shawn also recorded training videos to help me (and other associates) understand how to control nearly every aspect of our site from within the dashboard. Our website is now controlled in-house, and we have a beautiful mobile-friendly website that is already seeing more traffic!

Graticle is a great company, and more importantly, Shawn is a great guy! I would recommend Graticle to anyone considering website or design services!!!

Jeff Dean

Marketing Associate

A Nationwide (USA) Public Refrigerated Warehousing Company

Portland, Oregon