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The 10 Best Photoshop Alternatives You Need To Know

The 10 Best Photoshop Alternatives You Need To Know

Although Adobe Photoshop is a wonderful program, it can be overkill for everyday image editing. Let’s look at the ten best Photoshop alternatives. We’ve chosen some Web apps, as well as apps for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows.

PicMonkey (Web, free)

PicMonkey image editor

    PicMonkey hides its power behind a simple and intuitive interface. It’s equally at home creating collages for scrapbooking, as it is enhancing glamor photos or creating images for your blog.

    To get started, just drag an image onto the app’s home page. Creating collages is a breeze: just upload your own images and drag them into place. If you wish, you can start off with a blank slate and design anyway you choose.

    Although PicMonkey is free, a small monthly charge for the premium version gives you a lot of extras.

    Canva (Web, free)

    Canva Web app

      Canva is a new app, and it goes beyond simple image editing. Its claim is that it can “make design simple for anyone.” To that end, the app is stuffed with thousands of wonderful design elements, including stock photographs, layouts, and fonts.

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      Many of these elements are free. You’ll pay a minimal fee for others, but far less than you’d pay for an image from a stock photo website. Of course, you can use your own images, also. With the ease of Canva, you can create a birthday card, business card, or blog image in seconds.

      Currently, this app is in beta. To use it, you will need to apply for an invitation, or get an invitation from a friend who’s currently using Canva.

      Pixlr Editor (Web, free)

      Pixlr image editing

        If you’re familiar with Photoshop, you’ll find Pixlr easy and intuitive. Unfortunately, if you’re new to image editing, you’re on your own. Finding tutorials or help files for Pixlr is next to impossible.

        Although beginners will struggle with this program, experienced image editors will like Pixlr. It offers many features and fast image editing. One of my favorites is the one-click photo enhancements, which is included in the Pixlr Express app.

        GIMP (Free, OS X, Windows, Linux)

        The GIMP Image editor

          The GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a totally free, cross-platform image editor. It’s a great Photoshop alternative, with Photoshop’s look and feel. One inconvenience is that GIMP can’t handle RAW files on its own. Fortunately, you can download converters, like UFRaw, to use with Gimp as a plugin.

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          In fact, Gimp has a huge library of plugins that can create layer and photo effects, and much more.

          Anyone who’s familiar with Photoshop can get up to speed with GIMP quickly. If you’re completely new to image editing, you’ll appreciate the GIMP tutorials which are handily divided into categories, from beginner to expert.

          Acorn (OS X, $49.99)

          Acorn Mac OS X

            Need a Mac image editor which is fast and fun to use? You’ll appreciate the Mac-only Acorn. Recently out in version 4, Acorn’s tools, such as instant alpha, custom brushes, and PSD (Photoshop format) import and export, make it a good alternative to Photoshop for easy image creation and editing. You can work through Acorn’s comprehensive tutorials, if you’re a beginner. Even if you’re an image editing pro, you can still find a tutorial to help you with more complicated tasks.

            Although Acorn isn’t a complete replacement for Photoshop, it can work directly with RAW files, so you may find the app has everything you need.

            Pixelmator (OS X, $29.99)

            Pixelmator OS X

              Pixelmator (Mac only) may not be a direct competitor to Photoshop but, in its latest version, it takes advantage of the new multi-monitor support and compressed memory features in OS X Mavericks. These features, combined with its low price, and ease of use, make Pixelmator appealing to anyone who needs a Photoshop alternative.

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              Both new and experience users will appreciate Pixelmator’s many tutorials, which include dozens of third-party tutorials from enthusiastic Pixelmator mavens.

              Paint.NET (Windows, free)

              Paint.NET image editor

                If you’re on Windows, and need a good Photoshop alternative, give Paint.NET a try. Originally created as a replacement for Microsoft Paint, the Windows’ built-in image editor, Paint.NET has developed into a superb and easy to use image editor.

                While it doesn’t offer all of the GIMP’s heavy-duty editing tools, Paint.NET’s easier to learn. Even if you’re completely inexperienced with image editing, you’ll be able to get results with this program immediately.

                Serif PhotoPlus X6 (Windows $89.99)

                Serif Photo Plus

                  Serif PhotoPlus has been around for years, and has many loyal users. If you’re looking for a Photoshop alternative, Serif PhotoPlus is well worth considering, especially if you’re new to image editing. There’s excellent support for both new and experienced users. Not only are there written tutorials, there are helpful videos as well. There’s also an active user forum which means that you can get answers and image editing tips, quickly.

                  The app’s latest release offers enhanced selection tools and updates to its RAW Studio utility, to simplify your work with RAW images.

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                  Corel PaintShop Pro X6 (Windows, $69.99)

                  Paintshop Pro

                    PaintShop Pro has been around for decades and, as with Serif PhotoPlus, if you’re new to image editing, you’ll appreciate the great education and support this program offers. New goodies in this latest version include Auto Selection, which helps you to make composite images quickly, and Smart Selection Brush, which expands your selections at a click.

                    If you regularly batch-processing hundreds of images, you should consider this app, because it can record scripts which automate repetitive tasks. You will also appreciate the hundreds of filters and plugins available for this app.

                    Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 (OS X, Windows $69.99)

                    Photoshop Elements

                      Adobe Photoshop Elements isn’t Photoshop, but many people will find that this app has everything they need for image management and editing. Yes, it’s a stripped down version of Photoshop, but it’s also a powerful image editor in its own right. If you want an editor to manage your own photos, or a good editor to create images for social media, Elements is your perfect choice.

                      You’ll appreciate Elements’ layer support, because Adjustment and Blend layers can quickly take an image from ho-hum to spectacular. Anyone who’s new to image editing will appreciate Elements’ Guided mode, which does as its name suggests: it shows you how to perform editing tasks, which are new to you, without leaving the app.

                      As you can see from our list, there are many Photoshop alternatives. Experiment to see which ones you can integrate into your own workflows. You may find, as I do, that using a combination of several of the above apps lets you do all your image editing without ever opening Photoshop.

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                      40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                      40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

                      Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

                      There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

                      Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

                      It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

                      Productivity apps to help you get things done

                      1. OmniFocus

                      This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

                      Download it here.

                        2. Forest

                        Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

                        Download it here.

                          3. Things

                          Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

                          Download it here.

                            4. 30/30

                            Recently covered here at Lifehack

                            , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

                            Download it here.

                              5. Any.Do

                              A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

                              Download it here.

                                6. PocketLife Calendar

                                This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                                Download it here.

                                  7. Asana

                                  We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                                  , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                                  Download it here.

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                                    8. ToDoist

                                    This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                                    Download it here.

                                      9. FlowTasks

                                      From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                                      Download it here.

                                        10. Calendars 5

                                        This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                                        Download it here.

                                          11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                                          A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                                          Download it here.

                                            12. Due

                                            A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                                            Download it here.

                                              13. Checkmark 2

                                              I use this app

                                              for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                                              Download it here.

                                                14. TeuxDeux

                                                Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                                                Download it here.

                                                  15. Wunderlist 

                                                  Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                                                  Download it here.

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                                                    16. Nirvana

                                                    For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                                    Download it here.

                                                      17. Priorities

                                                      An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        Productivity apps that help you build habits

                                                        18. Productive

                                                        With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                                          You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            20. Streaks

                                                            This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              21. Remember The Milk

                                                              Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                22. Day One Journal

                                                                When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                                Download it here.

                                                                  Productivity apps that makes organization easy

                                                                  23. Evernote

                                                                  Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    24. Pocket

                                                                    You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                                    Download it here.

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                                                                      25. Sync.Me

                                                                      This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        26. Droplr

                                                                        One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          27. Dropbox

                                                                          Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            28. iDolly 

                                                                            In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                                            Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              29. Soulver

                                                                              It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                Productivity apps that help you work smart

                                                                                30. Captio

                                                                                A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  31. Drafts

                                                                                  A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                    32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                                    This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                                    Download it here.

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                                                                                      33. Doodle

                                                                                      This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                                        34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                                        I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                                          35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                                          A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                                            36. GoodReader

                                                                                            This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                                              37. LogMeIn

                                                                                              Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                                Productivity apps that improve security

                                                                                                38. 1Password

                                                                                                There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                                  39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                                                  You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                                                  All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                                    40. Truecallers

                                                                                                    Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                                      There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                                      Reference

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