As an art enthusiast, I’ve always been seeking to improve my art & design skills. I even got myself a Wacom Graphire tablet, which has unfortunately been used more as an expensive mouse pad than an actual input device.

It is well known among the art community that the best way to improve is practice, practice and practice some more. Second to that is reading tutorials.

I’ve been a paid subscriber of PSDTuts since the inception of its paid membership, about a year ago. They’re truly a great site, well designed and with (usually) quality tutorials.

Now, the sheer amount of content posted to the site can be a bit overwhelming, especially when I already struggle to keep up with my NetNewsWire non-read item count:

While it is relatively useful to read tutorials as it gets published, it is much more useful to actually get back to them once you’re trying to design something, and could actually apply the expertise from the tutorial into your own personal work. This is why you need a good bookmarking system.

My first system was simply to use Safari’s bookmarks. But that quickly got out of hand. The main problem is that the title of the tutorial gives you zero insight on what the actual result looks like.

I then set out to find a solution that would let me visualize the result. I searched and searched hopelessly, and settled on using Together to categorize not only tutorials but other art resources such as textures, layer styles and so on.

This worked alright, but very very slow. My disastrous internet connect is more to blame than Together for that, though. The one thing that I didn’t like was the lack of a good pre-visualization. I hoped to find a way to be able to visualize the result of the tutorial first. An useful feature would have been to be able to set a custom image as icon for the items.

This didn’t seem possible with anything I’d tried, so I stuck with this suboptimal setup for month, as the second-best solution.

When I first heard about LittleSnapper, I initially dismissed it. I later fall in love with it upon reading Sophia’s case study and realizing this could be the solution I had been seeking for so long. This was all before I had even downloaded the beta.

While it is mainly marketed as a screenshotting utility, it’s likely that LittleSnapper will become my bookmarking utility of choice. The breakthrough comes in the fact that I can use the DOM-screenshotting feature to make a picture of the result of the tutorial in just a click. LittleSnapper will store the URL in the metadata, ready to launch with a keyboard shortcut, thus giving me the bookmarking functionality I had been seeking.

In the interest of full disclosure, note that I do know Together’s developer and have received a free license.

This entry was posted on Friday, December 12th, 2008 at 11:30 pm and is filed under Art, English, Internet, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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