Category Archives: planning

You can afford to get the full picture. For Free!

If you run a business, blog, or website, or just need some images for promotional material, you don’t have to pay for everything. Below is a list of 10 sites that can offer a free resource to give you a solution. Not only can you save money, but you can avoid being robbed of your valuable time in searching for what you want.

1. Unsplash

Fantastic images, with 10 new ones added every 10 days

Can I search images? Yes .   Is attribution required? No, but appreciated

3. Picjumbo

22 year old photographer, Viktor Hanacek, has put together a great site with top class images used by millions across the world.

Can I search images? Yes . Is attribution required? No, but check

4. Pixabay

Over 970,000 images on a CC0 basis. Also they have videos.

Can I search images? Yes.  Is attribution required? No

5. Gratisography

Ryan McGuire has a fantastic collection of his work for use free of copyright, and new ones added weekly.

Can I search images? Yes . Is attribution required? No, but appreciated

6. FreeImages

High quality resource of digital stock images.

Can I search images? Yes . Is attribution required? Yes

7. Free Range Stock

The site was formed with the goal to provide quality stock photos for commercial and non-commercial use.

Can I search images? Yes . Is attribution required? No, but check CC0 status

8. New Old Stock

Vintage photos from the public archives. Free of known copyright restrictions.

Can I search images? Yes . Is attribution required? As per origin site.

9. Pexels

Free, tagged and searchable CC0 images with good filters for selection. Also a video clip section.

Can I search images? Yes . Is attribution required? No

10. Public Domain Archive

100% free stock photos, with new items weekly, taken from the public domain.

Can I search images? No . Is attribution required? As per origin site

Attribution and licenses explained. 

REMEMBER! In a Google Images search, photos may not be ones that you’re free to immediately use. Usually they are still covered by photographers’ copyrights.

You need to make sure that you check the source websites to keep yourself out of copyright trouble, and check for the particular image you want to use.

Two types of licence are:

Creative Commons zero (CC0) allows use of the images in any way you like, no need to ask for permission.

Creative Commons with attribution is as above, but you need to credit the creator of the image.

Attribution should include the name of the creator, and a link to their website if available. It’s not just legally sound, it’s polite! Always be safe by being sure to check each website’s licence page for specific details.

Can “FREE” ever give true value?

It will not have escaped your notice that there are many products and services out there that are listed as “FREE”. You are also familiar, I’m sure, with the adage that “You get what you pay for”. Are these statements always true? Assuming that you are not fully ready to spend all of your hard earned pennies on having the best known software tools in the current climate, here are a few of the opportunities to get what you want in a way that may not cost you any cash. (I should say here that I am not an affiliate of any of these organisations, and I gain no financial advantage from you visiting their sites and links below.) Whilst not the best solutions for the fully established entities that are surging towards domination of our planet, these options can be life-saving (and life-giving) for the small but growing business in a global age. There are some overlaps in the examples below, but I am sure you are more than able to recognise what works well for your challenge and might provide a good, and almost always free solution.

So, in no particular order whatsoever, here we go…!

Aha! A product strategy tool. This has simple and clean approach, and will be helpful for putting all your thoughts and projects in order for specific and ongoing timelines. Good function for launches of products and services, with a clever gantt style calendar view. It gives a free trial period, and is free after that for up to 5 users.

Zoho Business applications in a well integrated package for easy use. They call it “an operating system for business”, and they’re not far off. All areas from people, customers, projects, finance, and many more are covered by their wide-ranging and growing suite. they are a huge partner of Google, and have the integrations to prove it. Their plans have a free option for almost all apps, and their small accounting function is great to use when mobile.

Mailerlite Automated email marketing software that can save hours and cement relationships. This is in a competitive arena, and performs well to allow replies and follow-ups to be easily managed to keep your subscribed customers and prospects engaged over an extended period. The use of landing pages is made simple, and the plug-ins for use on a site are straightforward. This is free for up to 1,000 subscribers.

Canva design tool to assist with graphics that you might need on your website and promotional materials. Not able to afford Photoshop? This provides a good spread of resources and flexibility, which allows you to build your design from scratch. You can use your own or stock images as well as screenshots and presentation slides to create punchy and vibrant graphics to use for targeted or longterm purposes. Free to register to use.

WordPress. Very widely used content management system, for easy and fast access to changes needed on a blog or website. There are two flavours, “.com” and “.org” If you use the first, then it is truly free to start off with. There is a huge community of support, and it really is simple to tweak your site to what you want. There are over 74 million WordPress sites out there, and around half are on the .com platform.

G Suite. The latest incarnation and wrapping from Google for an alternative to MS Office. If you want to keep legal, then this is the one that does have a small monthly charge of $5 per month for a user, but you get a lot for your money.

So there you have it. Some options to get free value in a monetary world. There are of course others that may meet the brief above, but these are some that I think are worth a look. If you use any of these already, or you find the examples interesting, please leave me a comment.

Writer’s Block and the effects it has

writers blockEveryone reaches a point at which the creative flow slows, and eventually stops. This has been forever known as Writer’s Block. The effect this has is variable, but some of the points below might be familiar. The positive way to see this, is that things can only get better once you have moved past the dreaded state. The need to write is more powerful than you might think, and the output of your labours will be an overpowering driver to pull you through the darkest of times. Be strong and you will be successful.


How many windows have been broken by the impact of a laptop, PC, or typewriter, as the mind of the author is pushed to its limits?


This is an emotion that is well known by authors seeking to not quite let go of their newly formed work. If that is not difficult enough, the inability to finish those final few pages, or lines, can make the sense of impending loss all the greater.


For a work that has been going well, the reaching of a point involving Writer’s Block is not pleasant. The temptation is to give up on the work, and never try to achive the goal. Doubt Questioning one’s own ability and worth as an author can arise at any time. Not being able to get past a sticking point is dangerous, and must be avoided.


There are approaches that you can take to ensure that the example scenarios above are prevented from coming into being (and costing you the price of a new PC and pane of glass) Take a view and consider the following:
  • A walk
  • Listen to music
  • Look back on an old project
  • Read a book
  • Coffee and chocolate
  • The pub