Every time that I turn around I am coming across another unique innovation that someone has
put out there on the market.  What is really neat is that many of these are free, or of very low cost to use.

        I have decided to share with you just a few of the many items that have come across my desk,
or rather my computer screen, that can really make a difference in how you handle things online. These
sites and software will save you both time and money (…and who doesn’t need to have more of those things?).

Get Animated
        The first thing on my list is a program to make animated videos.  You have likely seen the animations
that have the “Cartoonish” characters waving their hands or nodding their heads.  Or, you have probably
seen the “Phantom” hand that wields a pencil that creates words and images at the speed of light
right before your eyes.

        I came across this program online, and it’s actually free to use.  But as anything that is free, it has its limitations.
At the end of each video that you create and download, Pow-Toons gives themselves a short plug. 
Still, Pow-Toons offers some versatility, and allows its user a lot of creative freedom. The program to which I am referring
is called “Pow-Toons.  You will need to sign up, but they don’t send you hordes of emails, and you can make as
many videos as you wish, at least I never saw anything to suggest otherwise. Be sure to check this out.


                              (LINK TO DEMO VIDEO HERE)

Back Up To The Future
          Some of you may have “Cloud” backup, or you may back everything up at the end of a work session.
This tool (also free) will back up to a file located on your computer, or it will back up to an external drive.
You can choose which files to back up on a regular basis, or you can do a full back up every time that
the program does a backup.

           With this program you can choose to do a backup every time that you turn on your computer, back up
your files at a specific time of day, specific day, or you can choose to do a back up every few minutes to
every few hours.  This is a ver versatile program, and one that I use.  Very nifty. 

           The only thing that you will have to deal with is the pop-up that asks you to buy.  If you buy the program,
then you get a few more bells and whistles, and the pop-up will go away.   This free program is called BackupMaker.
BackupMaker will insure that you all of your files are automatically updated so that you do not lose any of
your valuable information.


           Should you ever have need of either capturing an onlline image, or making a screen recording of some kind,
there is a superb program out there that is called JING that is free to download and use.  This free program
is by a company called Techsmith which also makes a high-level program (paid) called Camtasia.

           The biggest limitation to Jing is that it limits the user to 5 minutes if they are doing screen recording.
Other than the time limitation, Jing is perfect for doing short tutorials as it not only will capture your video, or
computer screen as you are typing or changing slides, but it also will record your voice as you are explaining
what you are doing.  Jing is very easy to use and is a nifty program that can be a very valuable tool in your online arsenal.


           If you find that the 5 minutes is too limiting, Blueberry software is a program that will also do screen recordings,
but does not limit your time.  You can set all kinds recording parameters for your recording needs.