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 issue 140 👋
Next week I will take Creativerly offline for a couple of hours, as I am going to revamp the site a little bit. Most of you will probably not even realize when the site goes offline, but I thought it would be better to inform all of you in case you are visiting the site and wondering why it is not reachable.
I think it is time to give the Creativerly site a little overhaul. Since I am using Ghost I am relying on themes. The current Creativerly theme is the default theme by Ghost, called Casper. The community around Ghost is steadily growing and more and more premium themes are getting created. I want to take a look and different options to see if I find a more fitting theme for Creativerly, which also makes it easier to structure and highlight my content. One of the drawbacks of the current theme of Creativerly, is the fact that I do not have a dedicated landing page to showcase some content sections. The current landing page is simply an endless scroll page displaying all the posts I have created so far.
I already saved some of my favorite themes and will give them a try and play around with them next week. We will see, it could be the case that with the next issue Creativerly will shine in new splendor.
If you have recommendations or feedback, drop me an email or a tweet. For now, enjoy the newsletter! 🥰
Apps, Software, Tools
What happens when ex-Google execs decide to create a privacy-focused search engine with no ads, no affiliate links, and just real results? The answer is, Neeva. When using a search engine just like Google, nearly half of the results you get are ads. Additionally, you will get tracked by countless trackers. Search engines like Google are simply built for advertisers, but not for people.
Neeva wants to bring back real search results, with no ads, no affiliate links, and no trackers. Neeva delivers you 100% real results, no matter what you are searching for. You can also be sure, that your data will be safe and yours since Neeva is blocking all kinds of trackers while you are searching the internet. Neeva is here to give you a premium search experience no matter what device you are using, since Neeva is available across all devices, browsers, and also mobile on iOS. Their browser extension is available and compatible with all major browsers. When you have the browser extension activated all trackers with be blocked, so they can not follow you.
Neeva's business model is based on a subscription which will cost you $4.95 per month. Neeva stated that they never ever sell or share your data. You can even search completely anonymously whenever you want by simply using Neeva's incognito search. Neeva also gives you the possibility to customize your search results by choosing the retailers you love and news sources you want to see results from. But Neeva does not only work to search the web, you can also search your personal accounts.
To make searching even more convenient, all you have to do is sync your email, calendar, and documents so you can find anything you need from one search bar.
A crucial part of my work at Creativerly is gathering and organizing links. Currently, I am using Raindrop for that which gives me the possibility to create different folders and further structure my links with tags. Although I love Raindrop, I am always excited to find out about new bookmarking tools and give them a try. One I recently found is WebCrate.
At the core, WebCrate is a tool to gather, group, organize, and share links from all over the web. But at the same time, WebCrate is more than just yet another bookmarking tool. First of all, WebCrate runs on Deta Space, which is a new personal cloud that gives you the possibility to create your own personal computer in the cloud, to run your own apps. All apps you find and use on Deta Space run in your own sandboxed 'personal cloud'. That means that only you have access to your data. Therefore, WebCrate might be the most secure and private bookmarking tool out there.
WebCrate lets you add links from your phone, laptop, desktop, and even via an API. Since WebCrate is also supported on mobile, you can easily manage and organize your links straight on your phone. No matter if you want to read an article later, or simply save a link to a useful website, WebCrate makes it super easy to organize each link into different collections. Those collections are called crates (therefore the name WebCrate). Once you added a few links to your crates you can easily organize them by using drag and drop.
If you want to make your collections and crates public, WebCrate gives you the possibility to share all your links with your friends, colleagues, or clients. You can even subscribe t someone's collection to stay up to date with all the links they add to it. WebCrate is fully open source, so you can report any issues, suggest features, or contribute to code directly.
Patera is a new environment for teams. It is a space to think, plan, and model scenarios. With Patera you can get rid of boring static sheets and bring in dynamic documents. Patera gives you the power of excel syntax so you can explore possibilities, outcomes, and alternatives, it feels like a spreadsheet you can actually read. At the core, Patera is a new way to create documents, but if we take a closer look, Patera is offering unique features to create dynamic documents for active readers.
Within Patera you can add variables and calculations directly into your document, blog, article, or research paper so you can allow readers to interact with your ideas by changing values and sketching scenarios. A lot of research papers, audits, marketing plans, and other ways of presenting ideas and projects, are defined and presented through hundreds of pages of text. Patera wants to bring more dynamic ways of writing those documents to you and your team. With Patera, your dynamic document summarizes these pages into comprehensible and playful presentations. When you are working with variables in Pateram these values are draggable. You can simply add calculations in excel syntax elsewhere in your whole document to see these updates in real-time. Readers can click on numbers/variables to reveal how they are calculated, you no longer need to search for the corresponding cells just like in spreadsheets. In Patera you can just use plain recognizable language to form powerful formulas. Patera is still in a very early stage.
You can sign up for early access, to be among the first to test out new features like pulling in real-time data, or build visual graphs your readers can interact with.
While doing my research for my next blog post about tools and services to create a lightweight, minimal, and clean personal website or blog, I stumbled across diary.by. Diary.by is a minimalist, clean, ad and tracking free publishing platform for your blog, journal, or articles. Diary.by is currently still in beta, which means that you might run into some issues while using the service, but make sure to report these and provide valuable feedback to the maker. You can use diary.by completely for free to create and set up a blog.
If you want to support the maker and the development of the service, you can do so by becoming a patreon. In return, you will receive access to some extra features, like image upload and custom css. Diary.by is a super simple, lightweight, and minimal platform, which gives you a distraction-free interface and a beautiful and minimal blog page to showcase your writing. We often forget, that for most use-case we do not need to set up databases for simple and personal blogs for example. All you need is a distraction-free writing experience, and a simple and lightweight way to display and showcase your writing.
Diary.by is exactly offering that. For now, there are only barebone features available, but if you take a look at the public roadmap of diary.by you can see that the maker is working on new features just like custom domain support, password protection, and some UI work. So, head over to diary.by, create and set up your account and simply start writing.
Creator Stash is a superb library of over 300 products and resources especially aimed at content creators to help them with creation, growth, management, organization, and monetization. Within Creator Stash you have the possibility to filter all the products and resources by tags based on your goals, but you can also search by description. No matter if you are searching for resources regarding newsletters and blogs, audio, live streaming, or community management, Creator Stash got you covered.
➢ The Art of Not Taking Things Personally – “‘That’s irrational.’ ‘That’s stupid.’ ‘They’re making things difficult for the sake of it.’ When we encounter emotions and behaviours that don’t make sense to us, it’s often because we don’t have all the information. And in the absence of information, we tend to assume the worst. ‘Emotional generosity’ is the ability to see past behaviours that we don’t understand and proactively look for compassionate ways to explain them. It’s easy to do this for young children. If they start crying or throwing a tantrum, we wonder whether they are hungry, or tired, or hurt. Sadly, it’s harder to do this for adults — and especially our co-workers. And yet a more generous interpretation of their difficult behaviour often ends up being right.”
➢ Why does everything look the same? – “Current design thinking is heavily influenced by the Lean mindset. This is the belief that no one has advanced knowledge of the optimal solution to a given design problem. You can’t know, a priori, whether more people will click on a light blue button with dark grey text, or a dark green button with light grey text.”
➢ The Future of Flexibility at Work – “As organizations tentatively plan how to get work done amid the uncertainty of the coronavirus, both leaders and employees are touting the benefits of flexibility. But what does flexibility at work look like in practice? And how can you know whether your team or organization is using it successfully?”
➢ A Revolution in Creativity: On Slow Writing – “I’ll invite you to read this slowly. To remember that a voice is embodied in this text, that in this process of following the sentence towards its meaning, in a kind of walking, as in a procession or parade, the writer’s creative process will emerge, a deliberate motion with care as the foundation for which the writer is then able to articulate beauty and suggest some new knowledge, but of course, this will take time.”
➢ Featured Newsletter
During the last year I got extremely excited about communities, how they emerge, how they grow, and how they get maintained. Also, a lot of community-based business opportunities that solve validated problems keep rising.
If you want to get insights about those opportunities, online communities, and the problems they solve, you should check out Community Validated, a weekly newsletter that helps you find real problems that people already complain about and develop products/services that solve them. Every week, Community Validated studies online communities where real people talk about the problems they have.
Within the newsletter you will find those problems gathered, the most promising ones curated, and proposed business solutions to them. Check it out!
You can now book sponsor and classified ad spots within Creativerly. If you have a product, tool, app, software, resource that fits the general style of Creativerly, you can now promote it to over 1280 creative minds within the newsletter. Since every newsletter issue of Creativerly is also available as a blog post online, your ad will also profit from SEO since creativerly.com reaches around 3500 page views every single month. For more information head over to creativerly.com/advertise.
➢ Quick Bits
How Google collaborates with news outlets to optimize their content / The New York Times Is Building a New Audio Product / Substack CEO courts Dave Chappelle, because of course he did / Activision Blizzard: More than 20 staff leave after harassment claims / PayPal might buy Pinterest / Play Store apps will need to add expanded safety labels by April 2022 / Brave browser is ditching Google and replacing it with its own search engine / Uhh, Donald Trump is launching a social network called… Truth / Facebook's dystopian rebrand is probably coming next week
Till next time! 👋
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Some of the links in my newsletter and my blog posts are affiliate links. Those links are marked by an asterisk "*". If you buy something through the link, the product will not cost you anything more, but I will receive a small commission which not only supports Creativerly and my work but also helps me to keep this publication a sustainable side-project.