What It Really Means To Go Paperless

It’s good to go paperless. In this age and age, it’s actually the way to go. Since it’s so easy to digitize files these days, it makes a lot of sense to go paperless. Just think of all the physical space you could save. You wouldn’t have to keep copies of old files in old filing cabinets that take up so much physical space.

Going paperless means getting rid of the clutter. No, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to throw everything away. You’d have to digitize all your files first to store in a virtual space. Once you’ve done that, then maybe you could throw away the clutter. It’s really up to you but you would have to be very careful.

An important follow-up to scanning is getting rid of any paper to reduce the chance of identity theft, which saw increased fraud reports in 2018, according to Federal Trade Commission findings. Of the 10 shredders we tested, Wirecutter’s favorite can take up to 10 pages at a time. For most people, the cross-cut model works just fine, but if you have particularly sensitive documents, a micro-cut shredder makes it pretty much impossible to put paper back together.

(Via: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/09/smarter-living/wirecutter/go-paperless-home-office-taxes.html)

You really have to be careful when throwing out old documents. Make sure they’re shredded pretty well. If not, the information of the documents might be misused.

A good example of documents that you could digitize are your tax records. Your tax records over the years probably make up most of the clutter that you can’t seem to get rid of. If you really want to go paperless, you could start digitizing your tax records.

If your tax seasons have involved too much paper wrangling, consider throwing out your file cabinets and going paperless. Everything you have to track for the IRS you can also keep digitally.

(Via: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/09/smarter-living/wirecutter/go-paperless-home-office-taxes.html)

It takes a lot of work to digitize files. Imagine scanning every single file you’ve kept over the years. Nonetheless, you always have to keep in mind that you have to scan all your tax documents properly.

Gil Charney, director at the Tax Institute at H&R Block, said, “The IRS will accept electronic digital versions of documents provided that the documents are retrievable and legible, so a poorly scanned document is not going to suffice if important elements of that document are not readable.”

(Via: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/09/smarter-living/wirecutter/go-paperless-home-office-taxes.html)

You could always rely on an app to make scanning easy for you. However, you have to consider the fact that your tax documents are highly confidential. It contains sensitive personal information. You really wouldn’t want it to be compromised, …

UX Design Techniques Every Designer Should Know

Nailing down the perfect UX design can be a monumental task. Different user bases have different needs and skill levels. What works for one may be a total flop for another. It is important that adequate research is done in order to ensure the design you come up with is a perfect match for your target audience. With so many design techniques, it can be hard to choose what’s right for your situation and get to work! This copy will guide you on the best design techniques that help you create a user-friendly app. First, you need to gather and … Continue reading

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30+ Best Premiere Pro Templates 2019

Today we’re featuring a collection of easy to use Adobe Premiere Pro templates you can use to quickly craft professional-looking scenes for your videos.

Whether you’re looking to make an opening scene for your YouTube channel, a title sequence for a video, slideshows, or even product promotions, this list of Adobe Premiere Pro templates has it all.

We’ve included a mix of free Premiere Pro templates and top-notch premium options too. So there’s something for every budget!

What is Premiere Pro?

Adobe Premiere Pro is one of the most popular video editing apps available today. It’s a powerful software being used in all kinds of productions from blockbuster Hollywood movies to add visual effects and even to create attractive intros and titles for YouTube videos.

The ability to import and use pre-made templates is one of the best features of Premiere Pro. With this option, you can download templates already made by other professionals to quickly design and add creative intros and title sequences to your own videos.

How to Install a Premiere Pro Template

Installing and using Premiere Pro templates is quite easy. Here’s how it works.

  1. Once you download a Premiere Pro template from a free website or a premium marketplace, it will be available on your computer as .ZIP file. Right-click on this ZIP file and extract the files.
  2. Inside the extracted folder you’ll find a file with .MOGRT extension. This is the Premiere Pro template.
  3. Open Premiere Pro and navigate to the Windows menu and enable Essential Graphics window.
  4. On the lower-right hand side of the Essential Graphics window, you’ll see a small icon for installing Premiere Pro templates.
  5. Click on the Install Premiere Pro Templates icon, navigate to the folder where you’ve extracted the template and then open the .MOGRT file.

To add the template to your video, simply drag and drop the template on to your Premiere Pro timeline and start customizing.

Our Favorite Premiere Pro Templates

If you don’t have time to go through our entire list, check out our top picks. These are our top free and premium picks from the Premiere Pro templates collection.

Top Premium Pick

Colorful Opener Premiere Pro Template

Colorful Opener Premiere Pro Template

If you want to create a unique opening scene for your video with a modern and creative design, this Premiere Pro template is perfect for you. This is an opening scene template you can use with all kinds of fashion, design, lifestyle videos and promotions.

The vibrant and colorful design of this template is what makes it stand out from the rest. It also features lots of colorful visual transition effects that’ll make your videos more entertaining as well.

15+ VSCO Photoshop Actions

VSCO is one of the most popular apps for adding effects and editing photos for Instagram and social media. But what if you want to achieve a similar effect using VSCO style Photoshop actions?

We handpicked a collection of VSCO-inspired Photoshop actions you can use to easily recreate the same effects of the VSCO filters using Photoshop and make any photo look more vibrant and attractive.

We made sure to include both free and premium VSCO Photoshop actions in the list to let beginners and experts find high-quality effects that suit their design workflow.

What Is A VSCO Photoshop Action?

VSCO is a photo editing app available on iOS and Android that allows you to edit and enhance photos. It’s a great app but it requires paying for its yearly subscription in order to access its collection of filters. Not to mention that you have very limited options for customizing those filters and you get stuck with mobile photos with low resolution.

VSCO Photoshop actions are a type of actions that are designed to apply effects to photos that are similar to VSCO filters. Unlike VSCO, these Photoshop actions can be easily customized to adjust their settings to your preference and you can apply them to various types of file formats as well.

Our Favorite VSCO Actions

To help you find a great VSCO action more quickly, we picked out our top free and premium actions from the list.

Top Premium Pick

Skin Retouch Photoshop Actions

Skin Retouch Photoshop Actions

VSCO app has a built-in slider that allows you to adjust the skin tone of your portrait photos. Although, it does very little to improve the skin tone and doesn’t offer any kind of options for adjusting the effect.

However, this skin retouching Photoshop action is far more superior at what it does and lets you apply the action and adjust the opacity, blending, and strength of each effect to fit different types of photos.

Why This Is A Top Pick

While VSCO does simple adjustments to improve your skin tone, this Photoshop action will allow you to take things further to improve your skin tone to remove things like blemishes and acne to get a better portrait before you upload it to Instagram. Plus, this action fairly easy to work with as it creates a non-destructive effect with fully organized layers.

Top Free Pick

Realistic Painting Photoshop Action

realistic painting action prev

Have you ever wanted to give a more artistic look to your photos and make them look like paintings? VSCO doesn’t have a filter for creating that type of effects. But, with this Photoshop action, you can achieve a similar effect without any effort.

This

25+ Modern, Premium Google Slides Templates & Themes

Google Slides is a great web-based, free platform for creating presentations (and collaborating as you do so). There are plenty of pre-made default templates available, but they can only so so far — many are quite simple, and lack polished aesthetics.

If you’re wanting to take your Google Slides presentation to the next level, today’s collection of 25 pre-made templates will help. They’re all fully editable, beautifully crafted, and come ready for you to drop in your own text, images, graphics, charts, and more. We hope you find them useful!

Our Favorite Google Slides Templates

Don’t have the time to scroll through our entire list? Then you can save time by checking out our top picks of the list. These are the best of the best free and premium Google Slides templates on the list.

Top Premium Pick

Onfire – Modern Google Slides Template

Onfire - Modern Google Slides Template

If you’re looking for a Google Slides template filled with colors and shapes, this template is perfect for you. It includes 30 unique slide layouts in 5 different color schemes featuring creative image placeholders and fully editable design.

The template is designed with vector graphics and shapes. This will allow you to freely customize the design to change the colors and sizes of the shapes however you like.

Why This Is A Top Pick

The unique design of the image placeholders in this template is what caught our attention the most. Also, being able to choose from multiple color designs makes this template useful for creating many different types of presentations.

Top Free Pick

Brook – Free Google Slides Template

Brook - Free Google Slides Template

Brook is a multipurpose Google Slides template you can use to create many different types of business and professional presentations. The template comes with 8 unique slides and you can download it free of charge.

In addition, the template also features high-quality vector icons and editable vector graphics that will add more value to your presentations.

Why This Is A Top Pick

Even though this template only has 8 slides, they are designed well and includes editable charts and graphs that will be useful to visualize data and make compelling arguments in your presentation.

The Best Of The Rest

Those were our top picks, but the rest of the templates in the list are second to none as well. Check them out.

Unguana – Colorful Google Slides Template

Unguana - Colorful Google Slides Template

Using bright and vibrant colors in your presentations is a great way to get more attention from your audience. This impressive Google Slides template will help you achieve that goal. The template features multiple slides in both light and dark color themes.

Montaen – Simple & Minimal Google

15+ Best HDR Lightroom Presets

The HDR technique is one of the most popular techniques photographers use to add more depth and range to photos. It usually takes multiple photos and a lot of work to take photos using the HDR technique.

However, if you have the Lightroom app, there’s a much easier way to create that same HDR effect with just a few clicks. In this post, we’re sharing with you a collection of the best HDR Lightroom presets you can use to add an authentic HDR effect to your own photos.

These HDR Lightroom presets are easy to customize, and they let you adjust the settings to match any kind of a photograph, whether you take it with a DSLR or your smartphone camera.

What is an HDR Lightroom Preset?

The presets are one of the most useful tools available in Adobe Lightroom. Presets allows you to quickly apply effects, make adjustments, and improve the overall look of a photo with just a single click. These come in handy when you’re editing an entire photo shoot or a batch of photos.

There are many different types of Lightroom presets out there and an HDR Lightroom preset is a type of preset that allows you to replicate the HDR technique and apply an effect to your photos. This effect allows you to enhance the depth and mood of your photos.

3 Tips for Using HDR Presets

If you’re not familiar with the HDR technique or using HDR presets, there are a few things you need to be aware of before you start applying the effect to your photos.

Pick Your Photos Carefully

Unlike most other types of Lightroom presets, HDR presets needs to be used with only certain types of photos. The HDR technique is best used with photos taken in bright and natural light conditions, especially outdoors.

Of course, you can use the effect with other types of photos, but you should pick the photos carefully that most require more depth. For example, the HDR effect will make your outdoor landscape photos look phenomenal but it shouldn’t be used with your newborn baby photos.

Remember to Adjust and Customize

The best part about using Lightroom presets is that they can be easily customized to match your photographs. So don’t rush to remove the effect if it doesn’t look great right away.

HDR presets, in particular, requires adjustments to apply just the ideal amount of depth to a photo. Play with the adjustments until you get it right.

Don’t Overuse the Effect

Look up HDR photography on Google and you’ll see most of the photos that come up looks horrible and just hurts your …

FilmHERO: Stock Video Made Easy

Do you find yourself asking where other websites find such amazing video clips?

You don’t need a monster budget to get high-quality video for your website. With the right stock video, you can create a custom website experience that uses one of the trendiest and most engaging elements out there.

FilmHERO is a good place to start. The video provider has a huge collection of video clips that you can download and use in any number of projects. Here’s how it works.

What is FilmHERO?

FilmHERO is a stock video service. What’s different about this provider is that they produce fresh video content every week, using their own team of directors and crews to make clips that look amazing.

Video content on the site is 4K or higher, so it will look great on every screen, every time.

Here’s how the company describes their product:

We know that flexibility is key. That’s why we offer packs of footage for that one-off project or subscriptions for regular users. Whether you’re a global studio or a film student, we have the right solution for you with keen pricing. Epic content for all. We’re not here to make a quick buck, we’re in it for the long term. Take our footage and mix it with your passion and creativity then see what happens next.

Large Video Selection

All of the clips on FilmHERO are sorted into categories so that it’s easy to find just the right stock video footage. Packs also come in these category-based themes.

Choose from categories such as adventure, aerial, arts, business, education, faith, fitness, governance, humanities, industry, lifestyle, media, medical, retail, romance, scenic, science, sports, technology, and vacation.

There’s also a robust search option if you have an idea of what you need in particular.

The collection includes more than 12,000 4K clips in more than 800 theme-specific packs. Packs are great because you can download a series of related videos that have a similar visual theme for a project.

Key Features

The best thing about FilmHERO is the quality of video footage available. You won’t be disappointed in the quality of clips.

Key features include:

  • 4K resolution for everything at 29.97 per second frame rate
  • Multiple Codecs – H264 (graded), DNxHQ (flat ungraded) and Prores (flat ungraded)
  • Large variety and selection with packs and themes
  • High quality videography – almost everything is shot on RED Cinema Cameras or Phantom Flex Super Slow Motion cameras
  • Easy to

Good News For Apple Users

Are you an loyal Apple fan? Well, here’s some good news for you, especially if you’re planning to buy a new Mac or you’re already a proud owner of  one.

There’s no need to pay for anything if you want data transferred to your new Mac. The data migration fee has finally been dropped.

After speaking with an Apple Store Operations Specialist, TidBITS reported that the company has dropped the data migration fee charged when users move their content from an old computer to a new Mac.

(Via: https://news.yahoo.com/apple-quietly-nixes-fee-transfer-data-old-mac-091257923.html)

That’s really good news because Apple’s data migration fee was quite high. You would really have had to factor that in if, in case, you wanted to upgrade your old Mac to a new one.

Previously, when you went to the Apple Store to upgrade your computer to a new one or had some repairs done, you’d have to pay a whopping $99 to migrate the data to your new device or new hard drive. As first reported by TidBITS on Tuesday, Apple quietly discontinued charging this particular fee.

(Via: https://news.yahoo.com/apple-quietly-nixes-fee-transfer-data-old-mac-091257923.html)

So, if you’re seriously considering replacing your old Mac, go right ahead. Now is the perfect time for it.

An Apple Store Operations Specialist told the tech news site that “Beginning April 2, there will be no cost of Data Migrations with the purchase of a new Mac or Data Transfers with a repair.”

(Via: https://news.yahoo.com/apple-quietly-nixes-fee-transfer-data-old-mac-091257923.html)

For tech savvy folks, data transfer from one Mac to another can easily be done.

Nevertheless, if you’re confident in your tech savviness, you could do so yourself at home; Apple offers a set of instructions explaining how to move content from an old computer — even if it’s a PC — to your new Mac. If you got into the habit of uploading your files to iCloud, there’s no transfer even necessary when you change computers.

(Via: https://news.yahoo.com/apple-quietly-nixes-fee-transfer-data-old-mac-091257923.html)

For folks, who have no technical knowledge or patience to deal with data transfer, they can always just go to an Apple store to get it done for free.

In any case, if you’d rather a professional handle the work, you can now go to the Apple Store to have it done for free.

(Via: https://news.yahoo.com/apple-quietly-nixes-fee-transfer-data-old-mac-091257923.html)

Data transfer is not the only issue that you have to deal with when you buy a new Mac. There are a lot of other issues that you could be confronted with. After all, anything can happen to your new Mac.

You wouldn’t have much of a problem if issues arise within the first year of your purchase. Your new Mac would still be …

Design 101: Rudiments of the Graphic Design Industry

The craft of making visual designs and using it to communicate the ideas, concepts, and relevant information. In other words, graphic design is the amalgamation of texts and images to create a communication design. Graphic design is the art with an objective. It is an artistic expression of ideas and messages which includes a creative and systematic plan to achieve certain design objectives. Graphic design is the intersection of the discipline of communication and the philosophy of art. The functionality of graphic design is interpreted by making the visual part the main focus of the whole concept. The designing process … Continue reading

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from InstantShift http://www.instantshift.com/2019/05/22/graphic-design-rudiments/…

6 Popular Page Builders for WordPress in 2019

WordPress is without a doubt one of the easiest and yet most customizable site-building platforms available. It brings the difficulty of creating a website down for beginners, while also not chaining down expert designers and developers.

But what if you want to customize your website with your own special touch? Making a theme isn’t exactly easy. Thanks to WordPress page builders, anyone can easily customize their website with tons of design options and functionality.

Both individuals creating a personal site and new designers breaking into WordPress site building should try out these six great page builders.

Semplice

Semplice

Built by designers for designers, Semplice is a feature-rich portfolio page builder optimized for the needs of professional artists. Everyone from agencies down to individual designers can use this platform; the Single, Studio, and Business plans are priced just right. And you only need to pay once!

Semplace uses a dynamic layout builder rather than sticking you with repetitive templates. Drag and drop to create your responsive website, use the blocks feature on Studio+ plans, and create stunning full screen designs for your work.

If you need a designer-focused tool, Semplice is the way to go.

Elementor

Elementor

With two million users, Elementor is one of the most popular page builders, and you can see why. Built just for professionals, Elementor offers a simple yet powerful page builder that integrates seamlessly with almost any theme.

With 80+ design elements from simple image widgets to buttons and forms, everything you need is there. You can also use it for free! But pay a per-year fee for the advanced plans, and you’ll get more widgets, WooCommerce integration, and a theme builder just for designers.

Divi Builder

Divi Builder

Do you feel overwhelmed with most page builders? Divi is made for simplicity. It’s super easy to learn its drag-and-drop system. But as you grow, you’ll find that this builder is more powerful than it seems.

46 content modules let you easily insert sliders, menus, forms, portfolios, and other helpful widgets. Pay per-year or a one-time fee; no crucial features locked behind pricey paywalls. And designers can use Elegant Themes and Divi to build client websites!

Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder

Beaver Builder was made for both users and professionals, with some special features for WordPress designers. The front-end editor is easy to use and allows you to build column-based pages or position elements with precision.

Editor Mode allows designers to give their clients the freedom of editing their site, while removing features that might allow them to break it. Beaver Builder is simple enough for clients to learn, too!

The builder uses three plans on per-year pricing, but later plans only unlocks …