This week we are starting a new weekly series… tools I/we discovered (or rediscovered) this week.

These are tools that help us with our marketing, content creation, content curation, and other activities highly valuable in our business.

So let’s jump in:

Compfight

Finding the right image is tough, hard, and time consuming. Compfight is an image search engine tailored to efficiently locate images for blogs, comps, inspiration, and research. They make good use of the flickr™ API, but aren’t affiliated with flickr.

I like this tool because if you’ve tried to use Flickr itself to find images (at least for me) it isn’t super intiutive. This platform gives you plenty of images to choose from. In addition, it provides stock photo recommendations you can buy. If you’re looking for creative commons images be  sure to click the left hand menu option so you’ll get those results.

Brook

This Twitter tool will email you the top 5 stories of people or topics you follow. At first I  wasn’t sure how we would use this then it hit us. Why don’t we let this tool filter out the noise and send us only the good stuff. That way we can use this for ideas, inspiration, or even insight into the market we don’t have.

Here’s how you can use this tool. Take time to actually look at some of the stories that are in the top list. Then either curate these stories or use them for inspiration in your own stories. The topic or headline has already proven to garner some success so why not take advantage of this competitive knowledge? There’s more  uses for this tool than that but that’s where it fits into our mix right now.

Canva

Creating visuals is critical in today’s landscape. For that reason we are always on the lookout for great apps that make creating graphics a breeze. Canva is just that. Canva has predefined templates that cover social media, presentations, blog graphics, Facebook covers, photo collages, plus much more. Here’s some of the recent graphics we’ve created and released on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. We’ve also used these graphics in other elements of our marketing as well:

Not all of the designs you’ll find on Canva are free. For some you have to pay a licensing rate for photos or images,  usually this is a small price to pay for the right image that has some great impact.

Calendly

I came across this calendar app when scheduling an appointment with someone this week. While there are plenty of these type of services out there this one seemed unique. The first thing that struck me was the easy minimalistic 3 step process (which you can customize):

calendly

From there it’s just following the three step process that is designed really well. If you’re looking to try a new calendar app and you use Gmail I’d check this one out.

 That’s all for this week.