free & cheap stuff for creative professionals

Archive for the ‘tools’ Category

Write in peace with Dark Room – FREE

Dark Room is a simple word processor that does away with menu bars, palettes, options, and that insipid “Clippy.” All you get is a black screen and your very default-looking green text. I use this pretty much anytime I’m writing copy since it produces a simple .txt file that can be easily imported to InDesign or the web. Available for Windows. Check out WriteRoom for OSX.

Check it out.


Huge Collection of Hi-Res Wood Textures provides this awesome collection of high resolution wood textures. While their use may seem limited, many of these photos can provide a great “base” of adding depth and complexity to your designs and illustrations.

Find color inspiration with Colourlovers

Colourlovers is one of the best tools available for all manner of creative folks. From illustrations to web designers, color can sometimes be the one element that holds back a design. Colourlovers allows you to browse user-created palettes, find new colors, and share patterns that make clever use of unique colors. Best of all, it’s absolutely free.

$500 Animation Software for just $10

In an effort to get the word out about their world-class 3D animation and rendering software suite, Messiah Studio has started the Dare to Share campaign. Similar to a Groupon deal, you buy in for $10 and if enough others also pitch in, you’ve got $500 in software for just $10. These are full versions available to anyone who wants them. The package is available for PC, Mac, and Linux. Find out more.

Track expenses on the go with Expensify – FREE

Keeping track receipts is all in a day’s work for a freelancer, and losing one can mean missing out on big deductions. With Expensify, you can keep track of your spending from your smart phone or on the web. Organize by category, store emailed receipts, track mileage, export to QuickBooks and even input receipts by taking pictures of them! Sign up for FREE.

Track your time with SlimTimer – FREE

SlimTimer is a simple, web-based time tracking utility. Create different tasks, run reports (exported directly to Excel) and report in to the higher ups. Simple sign up process and completely FREE.