By Benét J. Wilson
One of my new favorite features at the NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair is the Innovation Bubble. These are one-hour sessions where you can learn about digital tools and resources you can use in your newsroom that help you work smarter and better.
I was delighted when I was asked to do a session on all the digital tools, apps and resources that I use in my job every day. The room was packed, and it went pretty quickly, so I promised that I’d share the presentation, along with other tools recommended by the audience. My goal was to show you things you could use as soon as you returned to your newsrooms on the Monday after convention.
Click here to see my Prezi presentation with all the tools I shared. But I also got input from the audience on other tools and tech you may want to consider. Please feel free to add your favorites in the comments!
- EasyGif: Use this tool to make your own gifs.
- Atlas: From the publishers of Quartz, this tool to create your own charts that you can embed into stories.
- Pixlr: This desktop and mobile app is that is a Swiss army knife for those who work with photos, including photo editors, a screen recorder and a photo-sharing service.
- Google Scholar: Looking for experts to add to your story? This website serves as a repository of professors, scholars and lawyers who can help. Type in your topic and watch the magic!
- Hootsuite: This free tool allows you to schedule your social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube.
- Buffer: The free and paid versions of this web and mobile app also allows you to schedule social media posts. The paid version gives you great analytics about your posts.
- Over: Take your photos to the next level by using this tool to add captions, change fonts and play with filters. It comes with more than 4,000 editable templates, millions of commercial-free stock images and 20,000+ graphics.
- Tape-A-Call: This app allows you to record calls that convert into MP3s that can be easily shared. Make sure to check your state’s laws on recording phone calls.
- Google Translate: This desktop tool and mobile app (iOS or Google Play) can translate more than 100 languages. It isn’t perfect, but it does a good job for basic things. You can type, speak or write words or short phrases. You can hold your smartphone camera up to a sign and have it instantly translated. You can download any language and use all these functions even if you don’t have Wi-Fi or cellular access on your phone.
- Knightlab tools: One I recommended in my presentation was Timeline JS. But Knightlab has three other tools designed to help you tell your stories. Juxtapose allows you to compare two photos taken at different times. Soundcite allows you add short audio clips to your story right under any text you choose. Storymaps allows you to create maps and add text that helps illustrate a story.
- Ground: This new app, created by a journalist, uses artificial intelligence to help users verify news events happening around them.
- Nappy: Looking for free African-American stock photos? This website has wonderful pictures of our people at work and at play.
- Snapz Pro X: Use this tool to record your screen or save it as a QuickTime movie or screenshot that can be e-mailed or shared on the web.
- Snagit: This is another tool that allows you to record your screen for videos and photos.
- EasyPrompter: This web-based app turns your computer, tablet or smartphone into a teleprompter.
- Hunter: Looking for the email of someone who works at an organization? This tool scours the web to find their name and email address.
- Whentogram: Let this app tell you the best times to post to Instagram.
- Unum: Use this app to craft layouts, create and tailor grid, save posts to drafts and plan the perfect Instagram feed.
- TilePic: Turn your photos into tiled banners that can be posted on Instagram.
- Google Keep: This tool allows you to take notes, lists, photos, and audio to keep up with your life.
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Benét J. Wilson is the travel + rewards associate editor for MagnifyMoney.com and CompareCards.com. She is also owner/editor-in-chief of Aviation Queen LLC, a freelance writing and consulting business.