My name is Philipp and you are reading Creativerly, the weekly digest about creativity and productivity-boosting tools and resources, combined with useful insights, articles, and findings from the fields of design and tech. The newsletter built for the creative community.
Hey and welcome to Creativerly 253 👋
We are nearing the very last days of the year 2023. This means it is almost time for Creativerly’s Favorite Apps of 2023, a recap and reflection of the apps that stood out to me throughout the last 12 months. But before I am unwrapping my favorite apps of the past year, I would like to share another piece I just finished writing yesterday. Back in November an open letter signed by over 200 authors who are writing publications on Substack, asked the founders of the platform to take a stance against multiple Neo-Nazis and white supremacists who are publishing on Substack to thousands and tens of thousands of subscribers, even earning money through paid subscriptions.
In a post shared by Hamish McKenzie, one of the co-founders of Substack, the company finally provided an answer to the open letter:
I just want to make it clear that we don’t like Nazis either—we wish no-one held those views. But some people do hold those and other extreme views. Given that, we don’t think that censorship (including through demonetizing publications) makes the problem go away—in fact, it makes it worse.
Those were the exact words from Hamish McKenzie. This means, Substack will not ban, remove, or demonetize content published by Nazis and white supremacists. It is yet again a clear sign that Substack quickly became one of the darkest places on the internet, although there are varies actual insightful, and quality publications. Chris Best, the CEO and co-founder of Substack, failed miserably in the past to answer questions about Substack’s content moderation while appearing on the Decoder podcast with Nilay Patel. The recent post by Hamish McKenzie shows that it is time to leave Substack and boycott the whole platform.
Therefore, I decided to no longer share any links to Substack posts within Creativerly. Additionally, I also finished a post about the best Substack alternatives. It is time to ditch Substack. If you are looking for Substack alternatives as you would like to move your whole archive to a different platform, this post is for you. Make sure to also share it with anyone who would like to migrate off Substack.
On another note, I would like to take the chance and wish everyone happy holidays, although in times where the wars in Ukraine and Palestine are still present, it feels wrong to wish “happy” holidays. Nevertheless, I hope you get the chance to spend it with your loved ones, appreciate them, their presence, and do not take it for granted.
Apps, Software, Tools
Throughout the last year, “AI” has been one of the most buzziest terms. Loads of existing tools throughout the fields of writing, productivity, and design implemented their new AI integrations. I am still biased about the technology of AI, mainly because I have the feeling that we are still waiting for the breakthrough showcasing how valuable the technology could actually be. Nevertheless, I get excited when I find out about a new tool, which puts AI first.
Krea is one of them, a revolutionary creative tool that has been designed to empower users to generate high-quality visuals with an AI attuned to their unique styles, concepts, or products. It is always exciting to see tool or platforms that empowers users, no matter if they are working in a creative field or not, to generate high-quality visuals in real-time. With the customization based on individual styles, Krea provides a user-centric experience.
As of writing this, Krea is available as open beta, which means you can sign up, create an account, and start exploring and experiencing their cutting edge image generation technology. First of all, Krea offers real-time generation, which means you can create and generate the perfect composition with real-time editing, give you the natural feel and experience of a design tool. Additionally, Krea offers upscaling and enhancing. If you already have assets and visuals which need to be edited, enhanced, and upscaled, Krea can streamline your process with its powerful AI image upscaler and enhancer. Besides that, Krea offers a set of compact and simple generative AI apps. Among them, you will find the AI Patterns app, which you can use to create beautiful patterns with AI in seconds, the Logo Illusions app, which you can use to turn your logo into an amazing visual illusion, and the AnimateDiff app, which can be used to create impressive videos with AI from a text prompt in seconds. All those apps and features are currently open to everyone as part of Krea’s open beta. With Studio Projects, Krea gives you the possibility to use an infinite canvas for all your AI generations. Krea even allows you to teach an AI your aesthetic, subject, or face.
Krea is without a doubt an exciting and interesting tool. Its user interface feels like fresh air, as it is featuring a style I haven’t experienced before. The real-time generation feels incredibly fast. As mentioned, Krea is now available for everyone as part of their open beta. Therefore, give it a try and explore its cutting edge visual generation technology.
Luminar Neo is an incredible powerful app that will level up your editing capabilities effortlessly with next-gen AI-powered photo editing tools. No matter if you want to edit Landscape, Wildlife, Travel, or Portrait photography, after capturing your favorite moments, Luminar Neo helps you bringing them to life. Thanks to an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, Luminar Neo is accessible to everyone. AI-powered tools let you replace skies, enhance landscapes and portraits. Besides that, Luminar Neo gives you access to a wide range of instruments including layers, masking, and local adjustments.
Use Luminar Neo on Windows, macOS, or as a plugin for Photoshop and Lightroom.
This is an affiliate link to support Creativerly. If you are interested in putting your tool, product, or resource in front of over 2000 creative minds, consider advertising in Creativerly and book a sponsor or classified ad spot. Find all the important information at creativerly.com/advertise.
Fresh Updates & News
Just before the year ends, Bear shipped yet another exciting update. To celebrate one of the biggest years in Bear’s history, the folks behind the app wanted to make it easier to navigate between your notes and tags. Loads of users have asked for it, and now it is live for all users. The feature is called Quick Open and gives users the possibility to instantly navigate between notes, tags, and sections. After a simple shortcut or swipe, you can type the first few letters of your destination and find what you are looking for.
Throughout the last year, Bear became an even more enjoyable and powerful app. All the recent updates have been lovely and it was one of the best decisions to invest in a Bear Pro subscription.
In a recent email update, Kosmik shared that its new major version, Kosmik 2.0, which will be fundamentally different to the app users are currently using, will launch to the public on January 24th. Besides that, the company announced that Creandum has led a $3.7m seed round in Kosmik. I am excited to see what Kosmik has been working on.
Arc is not only know for creating and building a lovely new browser, they are also always nailing their YouTube videos. In a recent update, the company behind Arc announced, that on January 30, 2024, they will re-introduce Arc to the world in sharper and bolder ways than ever before. They often stated in the past that no one needs a new browser, but they do need a better internet. In a recently released video, Arc announced that Act I of The Browser Company is over and it is time for a new computer. Watch the video to get a sneak peek into Arc’s plans for 2024.
Frond 3.0 is here and introduces ways to make money with tour content and community. You are now able to promote your brand and host your community on your own domain. Additionally, by setting up paywalls you can charge members for exclusive access to groups or courses. Thanks to events, you can easily schedule community events and track attendance. Besides that, with a new features called “Courses” you can teach your members something new by creating and selling a course.
❯ How to Take Bigger, Bolder Product Bets – “It was the middle of 2020, and it became clear to Slack’s Chief Product Officer Noah Desai Weiss that the product’s first-day user experience needed a complete overhaul. Up until this point, the product team had tinkered with hundreds of little experiments to the core platform’s UI — all trying to inch towards optimizing the onboarding funnel for new teams signing up. But amidst all of the experimenting, Slack’s growth had plateaued.”
❯ Are design ethics useless? – “Have you worked in digital design for a while? I bet you’ve been under pressure to apply deceptive design patterns and weaponize design against users. With so many companies disrespecting the needs and rights of users, a lot of it has become sort of standard practice.”
❯ The science of decision-making: why smart people do dumb things – “Chocolate or vanilla? Trello or Jira? Atom or VS Code? Stay in or go out? Should I click on this link or not? We make thousands of choices everyday, often automatically, using mental models we have created over years of experience. Decision-making is the process we use to identify and choose alternatives, producing a final choice, which may or may not result in an action. It can be more or less rational based on the decision maker’s values, beliefs, and (perceived) knowledge.”
❯ The Myth of The 1% Better Every Day Theory – “Every self-respecting self-help junkie trying to master self-improvement has surely heard the theory of becoming 1 percent better every day. After all, it has all the major components to become a buzzword: it’s easy to get, it offers groundbreaking results, and it’s distributed by some of the most famous writers. But does it really work?”
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These are paid promotions or affiliate links to support Creativerly. If you are interested in putting your tool, product, or resource in front of over 2000 creative minds, consider advertising in Creativerly and book a sponsor or classified ad spot. Find all the important information at creativerly.com/advertise.
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❯ Quick Bits
- From CZ to SBF, 2023 was the year of the fallen crypto bro
- Banks use your deposits to loan money to fossil-fuel, emissions-heavy firms
- Google might already be replacing some Ad sales jobs with AI
- High-speed train company Hyperloop One shuts down
- Social media platform X suffers global outages
- After year of ‘frustration,’ European tech welcomes 2024 with cautious optimism
- What Europe’s VC funding landscape will look like in 2024, according to analysts
- Apple Watch ban: everything you need to know
- Bluesky posts are finally open to the public
Till next time! 👋
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