Cool Tools featuring Luis Malbas of TLDC

Cool Tools. This episode was definitely influenced by The eLearning Tools Summit from a couple of weeks ago and all the requests received asking if TLDC was going to do another similar event. We'll definitely be doing another Tool Summit, but also, individual series on community members sharing some of the tools they use in their daily workflows.

So in this episode Luis Malbas focuses on the tools he uses to build TLDC events. You'll find tools for writing, images, transcription, messaging and more. Hopefully some of these tools are things you might be able to in your work.

And if you have any questions at all about any of these tools, message


Luis Malbas  
Hello, everybody, welcome to the Training, Learning and Development Community. Thanks for joining. Alright, hi, Bobby. Thanks for the comment. They're cool tools with a cool guy and a cool morning. How do you do it? See, I am going to check it out and see who we've got in Tamaris. Here, Carlita, Chris Johnson, nice to see you. Sherry Campbell, Jenna Laney, again, Bobby Richard batts. Thanks for joining. So here's a new series that I am going to try to kind of push throughout. And I'm hoping that anybody that is interested is willing to kind of join in and join in the fun and possibly do one of these. And what I'm thinking is this cool tool series is sort of an offshoot of how much fun we had a couple of weeks ago, when we did the learning tools on it was that a couple of weeks ago, it seems like just time has gone by, in a crazy way. But we had so much fun just doing that over two days, and just exploring a variety of tools that people in the community use on a regular basis learned a ton of stuff I personally did. And and the entire time I was thinking about, okay, what are some of the tools that I use? And could some of those tools actually be useful to folks in the community, I'm like, Well, you know, I not only did I want to do another elearning tool summit this year, but I also thought, why not just do it when we can. So if any of you out there that are in the audience are interested in sharing some of the tools that you use on a regular basis, hit me up and let me know. And let's just do a quick, we could just do a quick broadcast and, and would love to see what you have going the kind of tools that you use for what you do. And with that, I'm just going to start with some of the cool tools that I use on a regular basis. I don't know if any of you watch the Nick floral recording, which I should actually I'll plug in that the the link to the page that the resource of the recordings page at some point, but I'm trying to kind of summon that my inner Nick Floro to do this, it was you know, I just came up with this idea really, on Monday morning of actually doing this broadcast. So I haven't had time to do it. And you know, just a huge presentation. But I'm going to just try to fluoro this and, and just show you a bunch of the stuff that I use. Alright, so let me share my screen. Hope you're ready for it. And I'm gonna go fairly quickly. You know, not doing really any demos, or anything like that, just kind of showing you some of the stuff that I use. And I do have, I am a nerd in a lot of ways. In fact, here, let me just go through and I can tell you can you guys see my slides? Just want to make sure. Great, thanks, Jenna. So who am I? For those of you that don't know? Founder of Oregon and organizer of the training learning and development community, I've been in this space for a pretty long time, started out at the Learning guild way back when I think it was 2005. And was pretty much like just on the founding team helped build the guilds. over that decade. Plus it was really, really fun. Went into it. I have an English Lit degree a liberal arts degree. I also had a formal IT background. So that kind of got me in the door of I guess kind of a tech company left there I think in 2015 I currently work at O'Reilly Media and not sure if any of you know who O'Reilly Media is, but if you go to O'Reilly dot com, you can find out they are learning company. They do. It's more like on programming and technology and business. Just amazing. Amazing stuff. I feel really blessed to to be there. But I work at O'Reilly Media. I live in Northern California and a little in a town called Sebastopol. It's in Sonoma County but an hour away hour drive from north of San Francisco. It's gorgeous here. And yeah, my husband, dad, musician, songwriter, foodie, as you can see, I think you might be if you regulars probably know all those guitars that I have in the background. And yeah, that's my thing.

Oops. Okay, so I felt like it would be good for me to just kind of share give you some context of my setup of just, you know, the systems that that you know, the basic infrastructure of my platform, so I am on the Apple ecosystem hat hasn't always been that way it was, you know, Pretty much a PC guy up until like three years ago. That's when I start working on O'Reilly. And they handed me a MacBook. And you know, I had to just deal so I'm now in the Apple ecosystem prior to that I was like PCs, and mostly using Google stuff. But I've kind of just switched everything over. I am really kind of a, since I'm a PC person I do like I'm always on a budget, you know. So, a couple years ago, I actually bought this iMac that we're on right now. It's a late 2015 iMac with an i Five processor. So it's not like new, I think I got it for like $300 and I just plugged in an external hard drive to it, and it just works beautifully. When I got it, it was terrible. The internal hard drive is was awful. So you know, unless you're willing to take this kind of a computer apart and, and put it back together with upgraded items, you should probably like you can, you can actually plug in external things to make it work better. So I have that dual monitor, I also have an iPad Air, I use an iPhone 11. And yeah, I do have a PC, I have a gaming one nearby that has an HTC Vive, a VR system connected to it, play that every once in a while mostly my son gets on there and does Minecraft, he types of things not too much. But every once in a while. And then also most of my online stuff I do live in the Google ecosystem. So that kind of gives you an idea of, of who I am as a platform wise. And so a lot of many of the tools that I use are Apple focus, but you can still find equivalents, like in the PC world, a lot of this is going to be about process to so being organized I have to LDC and I'm the you know, I'm the only person right I am so i There are no t LDC employees. I'm gratefully I have lots of folks that volunteer, lots of guests all that. But mostly, it's just me and I do just a ton of writing. And for my writing, I use something called drafts. And it is Mac only. But it is an incredible, just kind of text writing place that I can do stuff like basically, anytime I have an idea, anytime I need to get something out, I just drop it into drafts. And it's easy for me to go back and find, as you can see here, like you can see that it's got a way of organizing yourself, you can put tags, I thought it was funny because I was looking at it last night I had Karen North here, which I'm I'm kind of impressed that she has her own. She has her own filter. But I guess that's the case. And then more of my recent stuff, you can go in here. And then of course, this is where the the text is. And you can sort of see like my, my May 9 newsletter, I kind of break it down this way. Now you can create to do lists, you can do all kinds of different things you can synchronize this with, with, with devices, you can write blog posts in it, and then it'll synchronize with WordPress, there's a ton of stuff that drafts does that I don't even use. Mostly, it's my place to just get ideas out and to just get writing. Because a lot of what happens with CLDC is I just have to, it's just a process of building continually. And then part of that is also using a text editor because I do code and I do just just build, right even though I use a no code

platform for the website, I still do have to do some JavaScript and HTML coding with some of the things that I built for TD CLDC a lot for the stuff that I do for O'Reilly, and I use something called Sublime Text. But I can't recommend more highly finding a good sort of text editor or something, or Yeah, something like Sublime Text in which is free that you can download onto your computer in this one sublime text, you can it works on PC, too, just to have it just to have an interface that you could write every once in a while without having to open up a Word doc or something else. It's nice to have this there, but also like we'll strip formatting, like if you have something in a Word doc, and you're trying to paste it online, or you know somewhere and it's always bringing in like the word sort of what does that call it all the extra tags that are, you know, enclosed in that stuff. You can drop it in Sublime Text, it'll strip all of that recopy it and paste it, you know, it's so helpful, and I can't recommend Sublime Text more. I just love this thing. Oh, yeah, there you go. Obviously, notepad plus plus I used to use notepad plus plus when I was on PC. So blind. In Texas most is kind of the last two places I worked ended up that was like the, the text editor of choice. And so it's currently my text editor of choice now. And so here's sort of one of my newer cool tools that I think that you should check out. Every once in a while, if I need to come up with an idea, or I'm trying to sort of like, branch out and expand on a thought, I use an AI tool. And you can find this Ry And it's interesting, you can like take an idea or a snippet of text that you've written, and you could pop it in there. And this thing, I'm not exactly sure what it does it, I feel like what it has done it, it's scraped a bunch of or scrapes a bunch of stuff from the web. And it sort of applies it to what your ideas are, it maybe combines it with it, and gives you something bigger. Now, at first, I

Unknown Speaker  
felt like I was cheating. I was doing this because you could like put an idea and and get like

Luis Malbas  
almost an entire blog post, just by putting something in. And of course, it wasn't wonderful. It was very machine sounding. But for inspiration and for just giving you a little kind of kick in the butt whenever you need it for writing, which I'm not sure about you, I need that a lot. Nowadays, this is really, really helpful. Also, I'm a you know, I've been a songwriter for years and years and years. And this actually helps me kind of expand on ideas I do sometimes I feel guilty about it, like I'm not being 100% like creative like I should be and turning to this to help me make stuff. But I actually think it's useful. So check it out, write it out me. Yes. Laney it's it is it's, it's an interesting little, you know, apt to go out there and use. Okay, so let's go to images and stuff for T LDC I have to make, I feels like I spent most of my time trying to come up with design, like images and banners and things like that, for events. Um, I use Canva I use it 80% of the time of everything that I do Canva is my go to any other Canva uses out there. Now I know that Canva kind of can have a bad rap. Or rap, I can't remember how that isn't rapper rep. Because the designs that it outputs can feel a little stale or very, I don't know, just kind of typical. But when it comes down to it, if you're just wanting to get something out and wanting to express to people, you know, an idea about like, like, say what your event is, and, and all of that. It just is it just works. And, and I use it all all the time for for TL DC stuff. I do have like a paid subscription, the pro subscription, as you can see somewhere on here. Yeah. And I think it's been worth it, it took me a long time to actually subscribe and pay. Because I wasn't quite sure, but then I finally did it. And I'm glad that I did. Um, I do want to talk about pre Canva what I was using, I was using something called stencil. And you could find this one at get It's actually a plugin that you can plug into a Chrome browser. And similar to Canva, it helps you kind of build out sort of image banners and put together designs. Now I'm not a diet designer, I have no like design experience whatsoever. And so this is one of the first things that I made was stencil. I went all the way back to you know, prior to you can actually see in this image there is the 2008 tl DC conference, you know, so this is an old image and we have well timer in here. It was a guest on CLDC way long ago. So you can see not great, like, not as good as Canva Canva would, you'd be able to plug in pieces and it looks way nicer. But stencil is cool. And I actually don't know how much it costs or if it costs anything anymore. But every once in a while I'll go back to it and use it if anything I grabbed like stock photos and different things like that from it. And then there was another one that I use called relay that and see Yeah, you can go to app that relay that dial comm relay that is another web based tool that you can dump or create a design in it. And what it'll do is it'll push out that design in a bunch of different formats. So for instance, like for an event, if I, you know, this like this one, which I actually never use for ideal 21, if I'm creating an event, and I'm going to need a banner for air meet, I'm going to need a banner for my email newsletter, I'm going to need images for the website, just all these different things for social media, all that I can make a design, put it in and relay that and it'll push out a variety of sizes and, and, and, and, and formats that I can choose from, and just I take all of those, put them on my, in one of my folders, and then I just throw them wherever I need them. And it's really, really helpful that way versus me having to make, you know, half a dozen different designs in Canva. You know, moving stuff around. Really, that can really help me save time. And so

speaking of images, and all of that, I did post the link to this in the Slack channel, and TLD If I think that this special is still available for deposit photos, now, um, I know that a lot of folks go out there and use like the free services online for, for getting stock photos, you'll find a lot of that stuff here and deposit photos. But I pay for this service simply because there are a lot of things on deposit photos that aren't out there for free that you'd only find in paid services. But this one every once in a while you can get a really, really good deal on it. And I bought like access to 100 downloads for this, I think I first bought it in 2017 for like 3999. And I ended up I haven't even used them all up yet, I think I have five left. And it's just been really, really helpful. A lot of if I just want to save time and find a stock photo that will work for me right now, usually deposit photos is going to have it I used to go to Unsplash. But like I stock photos, I think bought Unsplash. And now it's not so great. I don't know there are places like Pixabay different, you know, other resources for this. But I just save time when I use deposit photos go to TLD And maybe you can find the link there to to the special that they're running right now. They do it like maybe once a year where they'll where they'll sell a subscription for really cheap. Okay, so moving on to transcription, I do try to transcribe all of these all these to LDC broadcasts and episodes. And I do I use a couple of things. This first one is a very cool tool, it's called spoke dot app. And

I really would like to use this more what it is, is I can dump a like a TLD cast one of these videos into spoke dot app, and it's going to transcribe the entire thing. Once it transcribes it, I can highlight like say the the part of the conversation that I want to that I want to create a snippet of. And so you as you can see here, this one was with Lisa and Stephanie and Parker a grant. They're talking about freelancing. I've highlighted this whole area of their conversation. And once that's highlighted, you can actually export it and it'll export with the video. And the transcription is a caption and turn it into its own single file which is really awesome for like sharing to people and it's one of the reasons and it's why I'd like to use this more because every single broadcast that we have on to the PC there's always valuable stuff that I should be sharing to everyone I just don't have the time but spoke out app I can dump it in I'm like okay, here's the part where they were talking about, you know, measurement or something and just grab that part export it and I can share it on social media wherever LinkedIn and it works really well. So spoke dot app. I got this one at a pretty cheap price. I'm not sure how much it is nowadays, but it's it's a good one. And then of course my main my go to is I was really like an early adopter on and, and but now I'm just you know, a regular dude bought a bought a subscription to it. They just did some like major change to our otter looks. I'm not sure if any of you other otter users notice that but I really have to get into like what is going on with otter nowadays. Here just as a screenshot, just a sample of what otter looks like. And it works well. I have to go through and I do have to edit the transcript option as best I can afterwards is never like 100%. Good, never capitalized as training, learning and development communities. And that's one of the that's always the first thing that I do. But I love it. And, gosh, I have like so many transcriptions in my otter account. It's crazy. But I can't I totally recommend It just works really well. I know, the newer the newer things that they've done with it, it's integrated into meetings so that you can pretty much transcribe every meeting that you you know, that that you're in, I'm not sure if it like, plugs into zoom or what, but it's a great tool. Now, there you go. Richard loves otter, and Mark uses descript. Yes, I have used this script in the past, but it didn't. That's, that isn't in my workflow now. But I'd love to look back at it, because I know that the script has some really, really powerful capabilities. Okay, so now we're going to talk about messaging and email. I don't know how much this is going to, to apply to a lot of folks that are in the l&d space. But for me, I have been actually doing email stuff. Since like, 2005, I think that's one of the one of the things for me that has been consistent throughout my, my career in this space is that for some reason, I've always been in charge of, of the email and the newsletters. And in fact, that's a big part of what I do at O'Reilly is I literally send like millions of emails out every week. And I know, email really, really well, if any of you have any questions about email systems, or even producing newsletters, things like that, hit me up, I'm happy to share whatever I can, I've just been doing it for so long. I don't know of anybody else, in fact, that has been working in, you know, as a specialist with email, as long as I have, and it's, it hasn't even been my main thing, it's just always been something that has consistently been a part of my my world. And the one thing that where I am right now, after, you know, using pretty much everything that's out there, all the big popular players like MailChimp, and daily I use Salesforce marketing, cloud, and Adobe's Marketo. But you know, I've been constant contact, you know, everything. I've mailer light, I have been all over the place on the male side, right now, where I've settled is this, this company, a Khumba mail, which is based out of Spain, if you have a newsletter, or if you send out a lot of emails on a regular basis, this is a great tool, and you can be had for very, very cheap. So I highly recommend it. And this is coming from somebody that has literally worked with almost everything that's out there. So I've just this is just a screenshot of what it looks like, I sort of wanted to show you just how interesting this community is, in that I have like, like a 44.3%, open rate on the last email, and you can kind of see to the right just how well my the emails are, are opened, I just you know, this is a great community that actually pays attention is fairly engaged to, to what gets sent and I try to be respectful about

going into your inbox, and a combo mail helps that just helps with just does everything that I needed to do and it doesn't well. Now, here is my this is the cool tool that like is basically worth this entire broadcast. I think that is sort of the secret that I feel like nobody knows, because I use this tool all the time. And I'm like, I wish I had had this, like, forever. But I found it a few years ago, it's called Yet Another Mail Merge. All it does is you know, for somebody like me, that puts together these events, and after it has to send emails to, you know, people that register speakers, just small subgroups, sending out an individual email to everybody every time is just such a pain. So if you're somebody that has a team or are you have a group of learners that you'd like to send them a message via Gmail, but you know, there's like 100 of them. And you can't possibly just, you know, include everybody in from your address book into into a Gmail mail out, you can actually get something like this, which is called M yam. And it plugs into your Gmail. And basically what happens is you write a draft, you compose a draft in Gmail, and then you create a Google sheet with the list you want to send it to, and then it will actually send to that whole group through Gmail. You could do up to 50 100 1500 people at a time. And I think I pay something like $20 a year for this. But for what I do, this is an invaluable tool. It's like one of the coolest ones I have, if I had a smaller group of people that I was serving in this community, and, you know, and wanted to send a newsletter out on a regular basis to them, I would use something like this and just write it all in Gmail, because then I have all of that, you know, in my inbox, when I need to search and and do all of that. So this is a really, really useful tool for anybody that does messaging like, like, what I have to do and even just smaller. So keep that in mind. Yeah, it's an interesting one. If you have questions about it, let me know. And I will totally help you out with it. I only have a couple cool tools left, look, I'm right on time, too. This is great. So I have this friend Alfred. plugged into my, my Mac, both all my Mac's actually. And it has it's like this plugin that does all these different things. Now I have to tell you, the main thing that I use is snippets, which is text expansion. I'm not sure if any of you familiar with that. But snippets are basically like for instance, if I want to, if I have a template that you know, an email template, or say document that needs updating, and there are multiple copies of it, what I can do is I can create a snippet of it, which is basically take all the copy, put it here into Alfred as a snippet, and then assign it kind of some hotkeys or word, a lot of times, I'll just do something like, you know, Z cast, every time I type in Z cast, it's going to like, expand. And in that case, it does when I type in Z cast, it expands and posts my entire podcast, intro and outro, and all of that, so that I can just plug in what I am going to say. Whenever I do release an episode, I'm probably not explaining that great. But text expanders are really, really cool just for if you have, if you do a lot of repetitive copying or pasting, you can actually put that stuff here in in a tool like Alfred, and use the Text Expander features. But this thing has all kinds of other things that it does, too. And I'm finding really, really interesting stuff on a regular basis, like I know doesn't show it here. But down below, there's like a Spotify plugin, where it gives me recommendations about stuff that are actually better than Spotify. So I really love it Mac only if you're on a Mac, check it out. It's actually a very, very popular plugin for Macs. And it's one of the reasons why I found it. Let me see what else do I have here, oh, where I get all of this stuff at and this is a little dangerous. But I get this stuff at a place called App Sumo. And if you go to app Sumo, you will find most of these items, the items you won't find Alfred, and Canva. I think that they've run specials on Canva in the past, but a lot of TLD C runs on products that I found here. Now.

I can tell you right now we do all of our virtual conferences, on a platform called Air meet, I bought access to air meet lifetime access to air meet with 1000 people per month on the event for a flat rate, I'm not going to say the flat rate because it's just crazy cheap. But I have that lifetime now. And it's one of the reasons why I can host those events. If I had to pay that for that on a regular basis. It'd be really, it really affect the bottom line because aremy can be expensive. But since I got on it really early on, I have access to that and it's been so helpful with CLDC having that aremy to go to and I do occasionally have to buy supplemental things to aremy like for instance for AI DC in June I need to buy I'm buying like captions to add to to air meat and they do have things like that where you can you can you can purchase for extra, these different things. So, you know, app sumo introduced me to that bought the product. It's great. A Khumba mail, same thing. I think they there's still a special running for a Goomba The one thing I can say with App Sumo is you have to be a little careful because like you know, I've probably bought dozens and dozens and products of products but there's a bunch that I haven't haven't used and like I said like that deposit votos one is was available there are more Hopefully it still is. And so, so check it out there. That is like cool tool central for me. And that's it. It's 830. I did it. Now, that's a bunch of stuff. I'm hoping that. Let me here I'm going to stop my share real quick. I'm hoping that that this was helpful and that you have found stuff that you might be able to take into your own workflows. There are more things that I use, I use a lot of no code tools. You know, for building the T LDC website, I use web flow, I use Zapier, there are all kinds of other things that I use. But when I first came up with this, I just sat down and wrote, like some of the coolest stuff that I use, and that's what I went with. And what I'm hoping is that if you have some cool tools, and you want to share them with the community, let's do a broadcast. I can, you know, was just set aside 30 minutes, 20 minutes, and show off some of the stuff that you got, I would love to get more cool tools that instructional designers use learning experiences and stuff that is probably more specific to l&d. For me, since I'm mostly supporting a community and building events. These are some of the things that I use. Hopefully, they've been it's been helpful for you. Um, let's see any questions? I'm not seeing anything on here. Yeah, this is great. Recordings. I don't know. Let me see, just to be sure that you guys have this. I'm going to post the link to the recording of the elearning tool Summit. Getting a lot of traffic on LinkedIn, I guess people are watching it. I'm terrible about paying attention to stuff that's on social media like LinkedIn included. But I really feel like people are Why are checking out these recordings. I haven't looked since I posted them kind of cold over the weekend. But if you want to get if you want to see more cool tools, check out that record that the links to those recordings, there's some amazing, amazing things on there. And then also, I want to mention this Monday, I mean, this Friday, we are having an open table Friday. And that means that in aremy, we're we have a few tables, like virtual tables that you can jump into and chat with folks about different topics. And like for instance, we have Stephanie Diggins coming back talking about freelancing. Let's see, Liz and Leanne are actually going to have a table this week to talk about a tool that was in the tool summit called bubble up. It's really interesting tool. Cindy is going to be there Cindy, I'm not sure your topic, but I'm sure you can share it. Tamra, who I think was signed up and registered might be in the audience is going to be talking about creative processes. It's free. And it's I don't know, it's really, really fun just coming in and just chatting. It's only an hour. I think it starts at 9am. Eastern, and goes for an hour or whenever people are done. And yeah, so go. Actually, let

me let me just click, post the link to that. So that you have it because that one is gonna be fun this week, I'm going to be promoting it a lot more. Last week was the first time that we did it. And and I had fun. We had a bunch of people sign up, but we didn't have a ton of people actually show up. So here's the link if you want to do that. Okay, and Cindy wants is going to be talking about LMS is that's always a fun one. All right. And that's it. I'm going to wrap it up 8:34am Pacific time. Thanks, everybody for showing up. Don't forget to hit me up at t If you have any cool tools that you'd like to share, and just want to do broadcast, please. Yeah, send me a message. All right. Bye, everybody. Thank you so much.

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