whew!Is it me, or can everyone under 30 write, manage, code, photograph, design, analyze, train, present and strategize?

Me? I’m not so good with the graphics. I’m getting better, but infographics and photo manipulation aren’t second nature to me. Sometimes, they’re a struggle.

But I need visuals to communicate, to tell the story I need to tell, to motivate donors and advocates to act. I know words alone will not move the world, and that the right combination of visuals and words are more powerful than either alone.

So, I use tools. Remarkably EASY, FREE and CHEAP tools.

Do they replace a graphic designer? No.
Do they empower you to create social media graphics and blog graphics and data visualizations for reports? You bet.

Let me share some of these tools with you:


You can wrestle with Excel and curse the data gods, or you can use Infogr.am. Your choice. I choose Infogr.am. Web-based.


Hey, what’s the latest Facebook cover photo size? WHO CARES! Canva knows, and it has a template for that, and a template for Powerpoint presentations, and one for Pinterest, among others. You can create some nice simple social media graphics with this tool, and it has TONS of freebies in it. Take it for a spin. Web-based.


Canva example

I don’t use these other similar tools, but other people do: Easel.ly, Piktochart.



Raise your hand if Photoshop drives you nuts. Also, it’s just not a tool you can give to all of your staff! PicMonkey lets you crop, filter, fix, add text and frame photos right in your browser. Web-based.

PicMonkey example


Dead simple. It just makes quotes from anything you highlight in a browser. Web-based.

Quozio sample


Want to make a nice photo collage from your mobile photos. Super easy and fun with Photogrid. Android + iPhone.

Photogrid example


OK, I paid for this one, but it’s worth every penny. Capture screens, including scrolling down a web page, and gussy it up with arrows, blur it, numbers, callouts and stamps. Indispensable for trainings. Desktop.

SnagIt example


Make this post better – share your favorite easy graphics tools in the comments section.