Alaska Office Specialists Home

Alaska Office Specialists can provide Consulting , Documents & Spreadsheets , Website Building , Website Maintenance & SEO services.

Consulting

MS Office Workflows
Technical Writing
Process Development
Process Improvement
Policy Development

Documents & Spreadsheets

Custom Templates
Form Design
Project Trackers
Data Collection
Charts & Graphs

Websites

Landing Pages
Small & Medium Sites
Ecommerce Sites
WordPress Management
SEO on Current Site
Social Media Setup

Maintenance

Site Maintenance
Site Redesign
Analytics
Social Media Management
Marketing Campaigns

Portfolio

Photography

Lady Code Monkey

Interesting Articles

Landing Pages

Old and newer pages with some dating into the late …

Project Planning

Planning a website is an incredibly important task. Without at …

Open Source Programs

Screenshot of all the software found in the Open Office suite a free alternative tool to MS Office.

Open source tools are great alternatives for new businesses. If you are bootstrapping your business then free and low cost open source tools are the way to go. Most if not all Open Source tools are cross platform or even portable applications which means they are less resource intensive on your machine as well as being free.

One of the great things about Open Source tools is the community. You can head for the website for any Open Source program and as questions. You can also find some great additional resources such as extensions and templates. You can create your own and share them with others! Some great tools are below:

Screenshot of all the software found in the Open Office suite a free alternative tool to MS Office.
Open Office Suite

Open Office

Open Office feels and looks like an older version of MS Office but has the functions and bells & whistles of the latest version. It has standard menus and not the Ribbon of Office 2007 and later but the same functions are available. It may take a few minutes to explore the menus to find a tool but it is worth the effort as your PC or laptop will be more responsive. You will find that the later versions of Office are not as stable and crash frequently, with Open Office you open it and can do my work without fear of it going **poof**! It is fully compatible with Office and Google Docs and just about every other office suite on the market.

Inkscape
Inkscape

Inkscape

Inkscape is for vector graphics like CorelDraw or Illustrator only with half the system resources used. Again it has all the bells and whistles of the paid programs but without the price tag. Some of the tools are in different places or might be called something different but once you are used to the layout it’s like any other graphics program, incredibly powerful!

Scribus
Scribus

Scribus

Scribus for desktop publishing and layout work like Publisher and InDesign. While I am familiar with Publisher, Scribus is a lot like it in layout and feel and so I am very excited to be learning this Open Source tool. You will love doing layout work and usually have worked in CorelDraw or Inkscape to do it but the tools in Scribus are built with layout in mind so I’ll be creating my assets in Inkscape and doing mock-ups and layouts in Scribus from here on. I might even be writing a book in it at some point. 

Recent Tools

Web Development History

Shirley’s Creative Designs Summer 1995 In the summer of 1995 I became interested in creating websites and started developing Shirley’s Creative Designs.  Sue’s Tiny Costumes Fall 1995 In the fall of…

Project Planning

Planning a website is an incredibly important task. Without at least a skeleton of a plan you jump from task to task and run yourself in circles trying to put…

Open Source Programs

Open source tools are great alternatives for new businesses. If you are bootstrapping your business then free and low cost open source tools are the way to go. Most if…

Blog Post Planner

This Blog Post Planner Tool is designed to track the skeleton pieces of post topics and outline your posts. If you are at all like me multiple topics hit you…

Weekly Planner

This is a full size weekly planner. It has no real bells or whistles to it but sometimes a simple planner is what we need most! Feel free to add…

Shopping Comparison Tool

This is a shopping comparison tools I built for shared shopping trips and price comparison between stores. You can change the name of the stores on both sheets but only…
1and1.com

Weekly Planner

weekly planner

This is a full size weekly planner. It has no real bells or whistles to it but sometimes a simple planner is what we need most! Feel free to add it to your collection of documents you use daily or weekly to plan your business or life or both! This tool is even mobile friendly but even better can be used in a paper format and scribbled on! As a planner myself I keep tons of lists and scribble on paper all the time. Once you are done with the paper however, the gems of ideas can be transferred to electronic formats to help schedule things out.

I generally use this format times two. One for personal items and another for business planning or project planning. I get an overview of what I have to do and when I want to achieve it. This template gives a nice overview. I’ll add more of my tools shortly.

Web Development History

Shirley’s Creative Designs Summer 1995 In the summer of 1995 I became interested in creating websites and started developing Shirley’s Creative Designs.  Sue’s Tiny Costumes Fall 1995 In the fall of…

Project Planning

Planning a website is an incredibly important task. Without at least a skeleton of a plan you jump from task to task and run yourself in circles trying to put…

Open Source Programs

Open source tools are great alternatives for new businesses. If you are bootstrapping your business then free and low cost open source tools are the way to go. Most if…

Blog Post Planner

This Blog Post Planner Tool is designed to track the skeleton pieces of post topics and outline your posts. If you are at all like me multiple topics hit you…

Weekly Planner

This is a full size weekly planner. It has no real bells or whistles to it but sometimes a simple planner is what we need most! Feel free to add…

Shopping Comparison Tool

This is a shopping comparison tools I built for shared shopping trips and price comparison between stores. You can change the name of the stores on both sheets but only…
1and1.com

Shopping Comparison Tool

This is a shopping comparison tools I built for shared shopping trips and price comparison between stores. You can change the name of the stores on both sheets but only change or add new items on the Master Sheet including prices.  Yes, this is a lot of what my household actually buys and eventually I’ll add some real price data to show it’s true power. Until then you can also download a copy for Excel here or Go to the Public Copy’s Google Sheet here.

To use this tool edit your list on the Master Sheet to reflect what you purchase at various stores.  On the shopping sheet indicate how many of which items are on your current list. The sheet will keep a running tally so that you can estimate your budget more accurately. This should be user friendly on both tablets and phones especially the Google Sheets version. You can save a copy to your personal account and share with family members for real time shopping updates.

Web Development History

Shirley’s Creative Designs Summer 1995 In the summer of 1995 I became interested in creating websites and started developing Shirley’s Creative Designs.  Sue’s Tiny Costumes Fall 1995 In the fall of…

Project Planning

Planning a website is an incredibly important task. Without at least a skeleton of a plan you jump from task to task and run yourself in circles trying to put…

Open Source Programs

Open source tools are great alternatives for new businesses. If you are bootstrapping your business then free and low cost open source tools are the way to go. Most if…

Blog Post Planner

This Blog Post Planner Tool is designed to track the skeleton pieces of post topics and outline your posts. If you are at all like me multiple topics hit you…

Weekly Planner

This is a full size weekly planner. It has no real bells or whistles to it but sometimes a simple planner is what we need most! Feel free to add…

Shopping Comparison Tool

This is a shopping comparison tools I built for shared shopping trips and price comparison between stores. You can change the name of the stores on both sheets but only…
1and1.com

About

Sue Darby

Sue started coding before the internet was popular and didn’t even realize it. She was 8 when her parents brought home a TI-994A console system.

It was chosen over the Atari as there were educational games in the line up of available titles. It was also chosen because it could be programmed.

At first her dad did the programming but over time Sue started to also get in on the fun programming Matilda and later on other small things.

Fast forward to high school and the introduction of an IBM based PC along with a 1200 baud modem and websites became the facination as well as chat rooms and research. “Get off the computer, I need the phone!” was probably her mother’s biggest complaint at some points.

As time went by Sue did more and more with old school HTML and a little bit of CSS. She then discovered WordPress and for a long while, while raising her own children, used that CMS to manage 14 websites of her own.

Now Sue would like to apply all this experience to your website and build something that will increase your bottom line.

Web Development History

Shirley’s Creative Designs Summer 1995 In the summer of 1995 I became interested in creating websites and started developing Shirley’s Creative Designs.  Sue’s Tiny Costumes Fall 1995 In the fall of…

Project Planning

Planning a website is an incredibly important task. Without at least a skeleton of a plan you jump from task to task and run yourself in circles trying to put…

Open Source Programs

Open source tools are great alternatives for new businesses. If you are bootstrapping your business then free and low cost open source tools are the way to go. Most if…

Blog Post Planner

This Blog Post Planner Tool is designed to track the skeleton pieces of post topics and outline your posts. If you are at all like me multiple topics hit you…

Weekly Planner

This is a full size weekly planner. It has no real bells or whistles to it but sometimes a simple planner is what we need most! Feel free to add…

Shopping Comparison Tool

This is a shopping comparison tools I built for shared shopping trips and price comparison between stores. You can change the name of the stores on both sheets but only…
1and1.com