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digital tools

What digital tools do you use?

I think the internet has gotten to an interesting place, where content is evvverywhere and people have to devise their own strategies for sifting through the masses. 

At the same time, the same content often 'makes the blog rounds.' This makes me think that web content exists in little bubbles, groups of people who read each other's comments and repost. This is exactly why designers shouldn't just follow other designers and design blogs—because that's what keeps a person stuck in a self-insulated design bubble. (And while that's surely a very pretty place, it doesn't do much for the greater good!)

Here are the tools I've been using lately:

Google reader puts all your RSS feeds in one place. It's extremely helpful for keeping track of all my tried-and-true blogs as well as new blogs that seem promising. It provides quick access to lots of information, and has become my favorite site to skim while eating lunch or taking that first sip of coffee in the morning.

Pinterest is a relatively new way to document visual inspiration and information on the web. It's simple and lets you create visually appealing mood boards with images you 'pin' from all over the internet. The real kicker? It keeps track of where all these images come from.

This, friends, is a powerful tool. It would have completely changed my design school experience had it been around a year or two earlier. There's also a social aspect to the site—but I don't really take advantage of that.

I have got to be the last young adult on planet earth to have joined Twitter. I held out for a looong time, and didn't actually create an account until a friend advised me to scoop up my domain name and twitter handle. Sounded smart to me—wouldn't want anyone else writing under my alias!

The best thing that I have witnessed on Twitter was AIGA's one day for design. The national organization invited well-known members of the design community to moderate 24 hours of discussion about the state of design. While many bemoaned the limitations of the medium, I sat glued to my computer for hours. Twitter let me communicate directly with influential professionals in my industry (some even re-tweeted my words!) as well as participate in spirited debates about my chosen profession. It was moving. I hope they do it again soon.