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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The Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge are so thankful to Graticle Design for their amazing work! They re-vamped and updated our website in the time promised, and made it so user-friendly! It is so easy now to go in and edit, change and move things around compared to before. The user options are exponentially better than before, with easy add and use boxes, places to enter information while editing that will show up in multiple places throughout the website; and, my favorite part, easily editable and accessible buttons that can be added to every new webpage module. This makes linking people to important information, other pages on the website, other websites, and to our own uploaded content a breeze!

Shawn and his team made our site more mobile friendly (more as in, now it is mobile friendly!) and the video tutorials that were created to walk us through adding content to our new website are so clear and easy to follow, we had our new website filled with content and up and running in just a week, once the Graticle team finished creating it.

We would highly recommend Graticle for your website needs! Affordable and unbeatable quality and support.

Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge

www.RidgefieldFriends.org

Ridgefield, Washington

We hired Graticle recently to make several updates to our current website. We are not only very happy with the outcome of the updates, but also impressed with how quickly it was completed. We received great customer service from Shawn who was always very quick to answer any questions we had during the process. Because of this, we would recommend Graticle to anyone needing help with projects involving website development or graphic design.

April Janota

Account Manager

Laliche Resources

www.LalichResources.com

Grant Park, Illinois