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This is more than you will spend to use the software below.

The modern world is absolutely saturated in free tools that you can use to create any type of content that you could imagine. From software developers to writers to musicians, there are software options for any professional or hobbyist — in any industry! To a new content creator, however, the sheer number of options available can look a bit… intimidating.

Since there is a mountain of software available for FREE, you should check out the best, first. Don’t shy away from the options available to you these days just because you don’t want to invest time in learning yet another tool. It might look like a bit of a climb, but the view at the top of “Free Software Mountain” is amazing! I’m going to give you a brief history of free software, and then move on to a review of what I consider the best of the best. …

Many people suffer through a side of vegetables like a root canal. You don’t have to.

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Of course, steaming vegetables is a perfectly acceptable way of preserving the nutritional value of them, but it doesn’t do much for their taste. I’m a big fan of steamed asparagus and broccoli, for instance, but they’re not my favorite presentation. They’re bland unless you add a bunch of butter, which kind of defeats the natural healthiness of veggies.

But one of the best ways to cook almost any vegetable — in an easy, hands-off, and often overlooked way — is to simply roast it. …

Burn Rate Zero was started in part to help realign our thinking and behavior to make our lives easier and more fulfilling. So, let’s start by going over our relationship to the most basic of human needs…


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I can remember back when I was a kid, home-cooked meals were commonplace. There was no GrubHub, no DoorDash, no Uber Eats. Sure, there were delivery services from pizza places… That was pretty much it when it came to delivery, though.

And of course, there were restaurants. Eating out was a treat, not a daily thing. That might have just been my lower-middle-class upbringing coming into play, I guess. …

The objective of Burn Rate Zero is to provide resources that will help you radically refocus your ability to live in the modern world, no matter what your specific circumstances are. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Refactoring your daily workflow to allow for true deep work.
  • Cutting needless expenses so that you can achieve financial freedom.
  • Reviewing free resources and providing tutorials so that you can create things freely and without risk to your bottom line.
  • Examining modern social and economic concepts through a critical lens.
  • Exploring philosophical ideas and thinkers that support the above.

What does this look like in practice?

This looks like regular releases of easy-to-read think-pieces that you can get through on your bus ride or that boring time in between loads of laundry. This looks like in-depth explorations of free-to-use or open-source software to help you create content that is unique, high-quality, and supports your values. This looks like summaries of literature and theories that will help give you a framework of thought that can drastically restructure how you view the world. This looks like a place to help you learn practical skills to help free you from a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle. …

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You get slightly different results from slightly different tools.

There are pros and cons to any design decision. Knowing why a decision needs to be made is as important as knowing what that decision should be.

A little under a decade ago, CSS normalization became a design decision to consider. I’m a big fan of normalizing your CSS, because I think it takes a bit of mental workload off of the designer or front-end developer. Browsers apply styles to elements before you’ve written any CSS at all, and sometimes those styles vary. …

Gamification is… tricky.

I love games, in general, and in all their forms. Chess. Videogames. Sports. Card games. Logic puzzles. Just absolutely love ‘em!

A chicken pecking at a laptop and checking items off a list.
A chicken pecking at a laptop and checking items off a list.
…but will he live to see his performance review?

Games All The Way Down

Once upon a time, I graduated college with a degree in economics — a field that’s all about that sweet, sweet cost benefit analysis. I loved studying the field. It’s right there, smack-dab in the middle of my wheelhouse. Being able to analyze options and actions to see their positive and negative outputs is important not only in playing games, but also in designing them.

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