SHIFT's eLearning Blog

Our blog provides the best practices, tips, and inspiration for corporate training, instructional design, eLearning and mLearning.

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    5 Handy Tools for the One-man eLearning Show

    Let’s face it: sometimes we may feel as we’re subbing for the whole personnel in a circus. Day in and day out, we are faced with the challenge of juggling content, walking the tight rope of creative storytelling and making our audience gasp with amazement at sensational graphic design. As an instructional designer, we welcome all the help we can get!

    The good news is we have lots of it, if we look in the right place. So, without further ado, here to assist you on your one-man (or woman) eLearning show is a toolbox of small yet enormously helpful apps and websites for your everyday tasks.



    1) Writing Challenge

    Available for iOS download

    It is often said that restriction is the lighting flame of innovation. Writing Challenge is an app that takes this to practice. Feeling blocked? You could use a challenge! 

    By giving assignments along with certain conditions (place the action takes place in, character trades), it loosens your creative self up. Who knows, it may even give way to your course plot!

    2) iA Writer

    Available for Mac, and iOS/Android download

    iA Writer might just become your personal assistant for script-writing. This superhero app wears no cape but aids your writing workflow loyally. Start up with Notes for sketching your thoughts and course structure, move on to Write to use their fuzz-free interface, then Read in the no-formatting environment.

    Feeling distracted? The Focused Writing tool blurs everything but the sentence you are currently writing. Try their Pro version Trial, no harm in that, is there?

    3) Creative Cards

    Available for Android download

    You must know by now inspiration can come from anything. How about drawing? If that technical script is blocking your word flow, consider taking a pause and waking your creative senses. This app gives you continuous ideas for drawing, from “Draw your Dad” to “Open up a random page in a novel and draw it”. 

    You will take your mind off that technical process for a minute and might even discover your inner Picasso...


    4) Coolors

    Available for web and iOS download

    Dreaming of a wonderful color scheme to lighten up your on-spot script? Coolors is a wonderful tool to take your idea to the screen. This app lets you lock one or several colors by playing around with HSB, RGB, CMYK and PMS values or typing your hex#. By clicking the lock and then pressing the space bar, the app will create as many matching combinations as you want while respecting your locked values.

    One of the best thing here is you can download a .png file with your desired color scheme.

    Heads up: the space-bar pressing can become addictive; you might end up spending some time here!

    5) Color Palette FX

    Available for web

    If you’re not up for the playing around but rather have a clear inspiration already, try this webpage for extracting the colors from an uploaded image file. You will get a whole scheme, but also a main color-complement-triad color palette.

    I hope you still give real joggling and tight rope walking a try, life's too short anyway. In the meantime, enjoy these amazing helpers!

    Free eBook: A Quick Survival Guide for Modern elearning Designers


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