Creative Creating: Create the Tools You Wish Existed

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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 is absolutely professional and extremely talented. His talent and ability to understand the objective – even with all direction done through email – has exceeded all our expectations. He is works quickly and efficiently and has great communication skills.

Shawn has helped us create the face of our company, quite literally, and I can’t imagine going to anyone else.

Melissa Kniazeva

Marketing Director

Wellx

www.Wellx.com

Portland, Oregon

Wow, what can I say?

Working with Shawn and the team at Graticle has made launching our website not only easy and stress-free, but fun! Our website looks wonderful, it looks beautiful and clean and is easy to for clients to navigate and order products. I love that it is mobile friendly and formats great on the phone. They really took the extra steps to make sure it came out exactly how we wanted and even made videos explaining step by step and page by page how to change or add to the website including changing text and images, adding products, etc. Shawn has made this a wonderful experience and helped create a great site that accurately represents our business. Not only will I recommend Graticle to other companies but also plan on having them do more work for us in the future.

Asia Robbins

Little Island Creamery

LittleIslandCreamery.net

Cathlamet, Washington