Over the years that I’ve been making content, I’ve built up a collection of free tools that I use to help me script, film, edit, publish, and promote my videos on YouTube.

In this post, I’m going to be sharing my 7 (actually more like 9) favourite tools so that you too can get the most out of your content creation.

Pixlr Background Remover is a simple online tool that will automatically remove the background from your photos and leave you with just the subject.

This is super useful for any thumbnails where you want your face or a product included, but with the ability to create a more interesting background.

The automatic removal seems to work really well, especially if your image is sharp enough, but if it doesn’t get it quite right, adjusting the image to remove bits around the subject is really easy.

You can then download the finished image, without the background, so you can use it in whatever software you wish to, or upload it to Canva, which is our second tool.

Pixlr - 9 Free Tools For YouTubers

Canva is a free-to-use online graphic design tool that you can use to create thumbnails, logos, end cards, social media posts, really anything you want.

It’s really intuitive to use, even people completely new to graphic design can easily create something by starting with one of the thousands of templates and changing colors, text, fonts, and images as they please.

I use Canva every week to create Instagram Stories that promote when my podcast is live on Spotify or Apple Podcasts, and I’ve even used it a few times when needing inspiration for some of the thumbnails you might have seen on this channel.

Some of the templates and stock footage are locked behind their premium tier, but there’s absolutely loads that you can do with just the free tier that I’d heavily recommend creating an account and having a play around.

Canva - 9 Free Tools For YouTubers

Thumbsup is an absolute must-visit website if you’re serious about YouTube. It allows you to test various titles and thumbnails to see exactly how they will be shown in various different places on YouTube.

From Desktop to mobile, home page to suggested, you’ll be able to check that your thumbnail is visible even at the smallest resolutions.

I use this for every single upload to test things like the length of my titles to make sure they don’t get cut off, and also to make sure that none of YouTube’s UI elements block any important parts of my thumbnail.

You can even use it to toggle between seeing it in YouTube’s light and dark mode, to make sure your thumbnail always stands out.

Thumbsup - 9 Free Tools For YouTubers

A couple of last little design websites that I’ve had bookmarked through the years are Design Gradients and Coolors.

Design Gradients is a simple website full of beautiful gradients and their color hex codes that you can use if you ever want a background gradient. I also use it to generate new gradients for the lights I use in the backgrounds of my videos.

Coolors is a website that generates full-color palettes for you, where all the colors will work aesthetically together. You can even lock certain colors and generate the unlocked colors again until you find a scheme that works for you.

This is super useful if you ever need to generate a color scheme for thumbnails, icons, or even emotes!

When it comes to what software I recommend for editing video, the answer no longer depends on if you’re looking for a free or a paid product, it’s DaVinci Resolve.

Long gone are the days where I recommend Adobe’s Premiere Pro as the software just feels archaic now, ridden with bugs that cause crashes and it’s just not built to take advantage of these fancy encoders we all have in our NVIDIA GPUs.

DaVinci Resolve - 9 Free Tools For YouTubers

DaVinci Resolve however feels fast, and modern, it comes in free or paid studio versions, but the free version really doesn’t feel limited at all. It still gives you loads of the editing, color grading, visual effects and exporting options you’d expect for a modern editor, but all for free.

Seriously, there’s no reason to learn anything else nowadays, if I was starting from scratch, I’d 100% be learning DaVinci Resolve.

There are some great YouTube channels to watch if you want to learn DaVinci Resolve, MrAlexTech and Patrick Stirling are both awesome dudes with great channels that you should definitely check out.

Photopea is a browser-based image editor that basically replicates 80-90% of Photoshop’s capabilities, but for free, and in your browser.

You can even open Photoshop PSD files, so if you’ve ever downloaded a stream design or thumbnail PSD file, you can open it, edit any of the layers as you please, and export it, just as you would with Photoshop.

If you’ve ever used Photoshop before, all the tools should be instantly familiar, and if not, the layout is so similar that you can basically follow any Photoshop tutorial on YouTube and still achieve the same results with Photopea.

The number of times I’ve needed to edit a PSD file whilst away from home has made Photopea a permanent bookmark in my browser, it’s just such a handy tool to have at your disposal.

Photopea - 9 Free Tools For YouTubers

One of the biggest mistakes I see YouTubers making is not using enough B-Roll to keep their audience engaged and while ideally, I’d always recommend going out and capturing this footage yourself, sometimes it just isn’t feasible. Maybe you don’t have access to the right equipment, or don’t live near a location that you need to include.

That’s where stock footage can come in to save the day, and more specifically the website Pexels which offers free stock footage for use in your videos.

There’s a massive library which is easily searchable and videos can be downloaded in a variety of resolutions to suit your project.

You don’t even need to create an account, just simply browse and download any videos you wish to use.

Pexels - 9 Free Tools For YouTubers

I use Notion to manage pretty much everything I do with Gaming Careers, whether that’s scripting videos, publishing podcasts, managing B-Roll, or writing a newsletter.

It is single-handily the best workspace for managing and collaborating with other people that I’ve ever used, and I’ve been using it for about 3 years now.

You can build templates and databases to function completely as you wish so things can be as simple or as complicated as you need them to be.

You can view databases as Kanban boards, calendars, or tables and it makes managing multiple projects, with multiple team members so much easier.

Notion - 9 Free Tools For YouTubers

There’s a free personal plan to use indefinitely, or a paid version if you want multiple team members to collaborate together.

Most of my Notion setup was originally based on Thomas Frank’s video from a few years ago, which I’ve slowly adapted over time to better suit my needs.

Honestly, I could probably dedicate an entire video to how I use notion for my YouTube channel, so let me know if you’d like to see that, but I’d highly recommend you start managing your videos with Notion, it’s a game-changer.

Notion 2 - 9 Free Tools For YouTubers

The final tool that I’ve heard a few members of the community have really enjoyed using is called Mercury by StreamElements. It’s essentially a handful of tools that help automate some unique functionality for your YouTube channel.

You can do things like dynamically update your YouTube banner with subscriber goals, or thank your latest members in YouTube descriptions that automatically update.

For anyone using Patreon, you can even automatically generate graphics that thank your latest supporters that you can put in your videos.

StreamElements are constantly adding to this list of features so I’m hopeful that in time this could become a useful tool on your YouTube Swiss army knife.

Mercury - 9 Free Tools For YouTubers

Video Guide

As with all of our guides, below I have included a full video tutorial if that is your preferred method of learning.