Tools for Techie-Misfits

Most User Friendly Apps and Web Tools for the Technologically Challenges | ASpicyPerspective.com

This may be hard to believe, but when I started A Spicy Perspective a couple years ago, I knew very little about the online world, or technology in general.

I would surf the web to research, do a little shopping, or find recipes, but had no idea there were hundreds of thousands of people out there blogging about food, family, sports, etc.

When I stumbled upon the “blogging community” as we lovingly call it, I was completely shocked. Not only that, I had an uphill battle learning how to do everything that goes along with blogging.

I didn’t know how to take pictures or work a sophisticated camera. See example A…

Great recipe, gross photo.

I didn’t know how to edit photos.

I didn’t know how to work my smarter-than-me phone.

I didn’t know how to work the back-end of a website.

I didn’t know how to get involved in social media.

I didn’t know ANYTHING about apps, widgets, or plugins.

Heck, I couldn’t even download fonts.

To summarize, I knew nothing.

In fact the only thing I didn’t have to learn, was How to Cook. …and how to teach other people to do it as well.

Thankfully, friends came to my rescue. People who knew all about technology were willing to help out this pitiful techie-misfit. So today I want to share the love, and some random things I now know how to use, that you might find useful.

If you are a technological wizard, please disregard this post. This isn’t a list of the latest cult-followed web applications.

These are FUN user-friendly tools for we who snarl at things with microchips and chargers.

Top Techie Picks for the Technologically Challenged

Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom is essentially Photoshop for dummies the technologically challenged. It offers the incredible photo editing capabilities of Photoshop, without having to take a class to learn how to use it. Within an hour of downloading this program, you’ll be adjusting exposure, vibrance, and cropping away with ease. Plus it won’t break the bank. Lightroom is much less expensive than full-scale Photoshop, and Adobe offers sharp discounts if you are a student or have a student in your home. Call to ask about student discounts, they are not generally listed on the Adobe site.

Most User Friendly Web Tools for the Technologically Challenges | ASpicyPerspective.com

Instagram. Instagram is a free phone (and tablet) app that allows you to take pictures, quickly edit them, and share them around like mad! Your latest picture goes to your Instagram feed and shows up for friends and family that follow you. Within Instagram, you can choose to send your photo to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Foursquare, Email… or ALL of them at once if you are so inclined. It makes sharing images through social media a breeze.

Most User Friendly Apps for the Technologically Challenges | ASpicyPerspective.com

You can download additional apps like Webstagram, an online Instagram viewing program, that allows you to shoot your photos onto Google+ and Pinterest as well. As if that weren’t enough, there are all sorts of editing apps to make Instagram collages, frames, labels, and graphics. It’s pretty fun to play with!

Apps and Web Tools for the Technologically Challenges | ASpicyPerspective.com

Pinterest. Back in the day, if you liked an idea you saw in a magazine, you might tear out the page and keep it in a folder for later reference. I used to do this for house projects and recipes I wanted to try.

With Pinterest, you do the same thing online, “pinning” your favorite photos, recipes and concepts onto boards you create for easy reference. When you go back to look at the pin, it will link straight back to the website where you found it. Genius.

You can also follow your friends and gain followers to share your pins. You can create group boards, so you and your friends can share pins in the same place. This works particularly well when trying to plan an event with a group of people. Place your recipes, party favors, and game ideas on a group board, for all to see and make comments.

Web Tools for the Technologically Challenges | ASpicyPerspective.com

Google+. Google+ is Google’s answer to Facebook, Skype, Pinterest, and frankly anyone else that has a handy web concept. Take that, suckers!!

On Google+ you can pretty much do it all. You can share videos, photos, and links to everyone on Google+, or select people you add to a “circle.” You can set up online events and email them to your contacts. You can even set up “hangouts” which are live video chats (like Skype) with up to eight people in the same chat. These hangouts can be recorded and posted on Youtube, so you can refer back to them, or share them. Google+ also immediately indexes the links you add, making your website, and other websites easier to find online.

If you’ve struggled to use Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media site, Google+ is by far the most user friendly.

Easy Web Tools | ASpicyPerspective.com

What is your favorite App or Program?

25 Responses to “Tools for Techie-Misfits”

  1. #
    1
    Abby — September 28, 2012 @ 9:58 am

    I can completely relate to being lost in the world of online things….and I don’t know how to download fonts…shoot. I’ll have to check out Adobe light room now!

    Reply

    • Sommer — September 28th, 2012 @ 10:00 am

      Hey, I can show you how to do that now! Email me… ;)

      Reply

  2. #
    2
    Kate@Diethood — September 28, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    That is so nice of you to share your knowledge about social media and blogging! I was like you when I started… I thought knowing how to cook and loving it was good enough! :)

    Reply

  3. #
    3
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — September 28, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    great info Sommer!! Have a wonderful weekend

    Reply

  4. #
    4
    Anita at Hungry Couple — September 28, 2012 @ 11:10 am

    I love the title of this post. Like you, I knew how to cook but everything else was a mystery. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned over the past year or so and I’m guessing I have even more to go! :)

    Reply

  5. #
    5
    Belinda @zomppa — September 28, 2012 @ 11:27 am

    Great list! Have to admit – PhotoShop takes too long most often!

    Reply

  6. #
    6
    Cassie — September 28, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

    I love this post! I totally take these tools for granted until I think back to manually bookmarking everything and ripping things out of magazines. PS – love lightroom!

    Reply

  7. #
    7
    Lori Moore — September 28, 2012 @ 1:15 pm

    Hi Sommer!
    Thank you for posting this amazing information. I will begin blogging shortly

    Reply

  8. #
    8
    Lori Moore — September 28, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

    Oops, sent my reply too soon . . . talk about techno challenged . . . think I just proved what a “dummie” I am. Anywho, thanks for posting this info. I will begin a blog shortly on the galley cuisine website. It is a new web based cooking channel and I will be one of their hosts. My plan is for it to be moved to my own blog soon. I’m learning and growing!!! Have much to learn. Any sites you recommend so I have an idea what the heck I’m doing?

    Thank you ahead of time for any info!
    Stay awesome!
    Lori

    Reply

  9. #
    9
    Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies — September 28, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

    You know, I still don’t have a Google+ account. I just can’t get into it & I feel like I’m already overwhelmed with social media as it is–the thought of adding another account to the mix makes me want to cry. ;)

    Reply

    • Sommer — September 28th, 2012 @ 3:35 pm

      Kiersten, there’s a totally different crowd on Google+ than any of the other social media sites. It might be worth taking another look at.

      Reply

  10. #
    10
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — September 28, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

    Great tips, Sommer! :)

    Reply

  11. #
    11
    Colette @ JFF! — September 28, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

    I’m a fledgling blogger, trying to improve my photo quality. Really love the creative experience. It’s very relaxing. Thanks for sharing, Sommer!

    Reply

  12. #
    12
    Jeanette — September 28, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

    Great information in this post Sommer. It is incredible how much you’ve learned in such a short period of time. I feel as if I am constantly trying to catch up and learn with new applications and social media platforms popping up all over the place + improving my photography. I still have so much to learn!

    Reply

  13. #
    13
    Paula - bell'alimento — September 28, 2012 @ 7:15 pm

    I am right there with you Sommer. I didn’t even know how to hyperlink when I started. True. Sad. Story ; )

    Reply

  14. #
    14
    Lisa | With Style and Grace — September 29, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

    this is so great – I know a lot of people who can definitely benefit from this!

    Reply

  15. #
    15
    Chris — September 29, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

    For me, it is “Evernote”, a free app.

    I used to keep my cooking notes in spiral notebooks. But Evernote works the same way but allows me to access syncd files from my laptop, tablet or phone. It makes it easier to find things later, I can edit from work if I think of something I forget to write down the night before, and I can attach pictures or make drawings too. I use it daily now.

    Reply

    • kellypea — September 30th, 2012 @ 9:56 am

      I love Evernote too! Does so many great things to organize it all.

      Reply

  16. #
    16
    Elizabeth @Food Ramblings — September 30, 2012 @ 8:11 am

    thanks for sharing! i’m in the process of understanding twitter!

    Reply

  17. #
    17
    kellypea — September 30, 2012 @ 9:54 am

    You’ve brought back so many of my own memories about blogging — a lot changes in six years! I use Apeture to initially process my RAW photos and then use Photoshop when I want to take my time. Thanks for the heads up on Webstagram — I hadn’t heard of that one ;)

    Reply

  18. #
    18
    MIss @ Miss in the Kitchen — October 1, 2012 @ 8:12 am

    Light room has been on my “I want” list for a while now. I need to just do it! Great post.

    Reply

  19. #
    19
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — October 2, 2012 @ 11:16 pm

    Pinterest has definitely removed the need of bookmarks ;)

    Reply

  20. #
    20
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — October 3, 2012 @ 3:21 am

    Great post and everything you said is so true about the learning curve from starting a blog to a few years later. Cooking is the easy part. Everything else…well, learn as we go! I love my LR 4 (and LR 3 when I had that) – couldn’t live without!

    Reply

  21. #
    21
    Kimby — November 6, 2012 @ 8:02 am

    Thanks so much for this info! G+ seems the easiest to use, but I haven’t gotten into the swing of it yet… I feel the same way as Kiersten (who commented earlier) — overwhelmed by Social Media. But you’re right about the “crowd” there — a totally different feel from FB. Will keep plugging away it and grateful for your help!

    Reply

  22. #
    22
    Karen — July 23, 2013 @ 1:34 am

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge and making it very understandable. It was very helpful :-)

    Reply

Leave a Comment