My Favorite Tools and Resources

The right tool for the job is one that can help you get your job done faster and not take up space in your head with needless worry. There are many many very good tools available to us today, and the following is a list of personal favorites that I use every single day.

Bluehost…top-notch web hosting

If you don’t have a website nowadays, you’re going to have a rough time making money. For that reason, we’re going to start off here with finding you a great host. I’ve been using Bluehost since 2007. In fact I’ve never hosted a site of my own anywhere else.

Their tech support people are fast, they listen well, and they never talk down to you if you happen to break everything. Which I’ve done a couple times.

Lastly, you can host unlimited domains at Bluehost for the same price as hosting just one. This is perfect if you want a home website and then want to build on separate landing pages, solo projects, secret things for clients, and other discombobulated busyness.

Bluehost
$3.95/month
Click here

Convertkit

“The money is in the list,” they say, and for my email lists I trust only Convertkit.

For a long time I used Aweber and MailChimp, simply because they were the big players I always heard about. But I found they were just…meh. So when I tried Convertkit during a free trial, I immediately (as in that day) dropped Aweber and Mailchimp forever. I’ll never go back.

Convertkit does everything I need and makes it all very easy. I can segment customers, tag them as I please, send out timed courses/autoresponders, and a whole lot more. Convertkit makes mailing lists a walk in the park. And unlike their competitors, you won’t need a PhD to design a slick-looking, branded email template that makes you look pro.


Evernote

Evernote is the brain I keep outside of my skull. It is where I keep my notes, screenshots, writing snippets, ideas that hit me at random times throughout the day, endless lists of headlines for blog posts, etc. It is actually quite a bit like my mind: a seemingly disorganized pile of mush that somehow just makes perfect sense to me.

It is great for note taking and jotting down stuff that matters one millisecond and is gone the next. Because of this somewhat fast and random action, it becomes a bit disorganized. At least it does for me, and for that reason I tend to not use it for work things. For work things I use…well…Things actually. You can see that in the next section.


Things

I have tried dozens and dozens of scheduling and to-do software options and it has been one of the more frustrating parts of my work life. Being primarily a solopreneur running my own business, I have discovered very few workable solutions in this arena.

So much of today’s get-stuff-done software is either too robust and built to support massive groups, or it’s just too minimal.

Things by Cultured Code is the perfect middle ground for me. You can see all of your projects at a glance, categorize them as you see fit, and even give them deadlines. Better yet, you can add notes to each project and keep track of changes as they come along. And it all takes place on virtually one screen, so it’s quick and visible. Absolutely love it.


Tools I Use For Writing

I’m picky when it comes to writing things. There are three things I look for:

  • Has to be clean and unobtrusive
  • Has to accommodate both short writing and longer works with multiple chapters
  • Has to work with Markdown

Well, I found exactly what I need, and what you might love as well. The only thing I write with anymore is Ulysses.

The awesome thing about Ulysses is that it can do everything you need. You can write blog posts and full-length books with multiple chapters, all with sensible organization. It also auto-syncs to Dropbox or iCloud or to your local computer so you won’t lose anything and can work wherever you are.


WordPress

I’ve seen it reported that WordPress powers roughly 25% or so of the web. I have no idea if that’s accurate but I really wouldn’t be surprised.

Because WordPress is amazing. It is a simple, update-it-yourself content management system (CMS). That may sound complicated but it isn’t. All it means is that you get to manage its content. You log in securely to a very intuitive administration area, write a new post, hit “Publish” and the post shows up for the world to see.


Free Images

Images are a win-win-win for your blog. They capture the eye, they hold people on your site for longer, and they can really drive your message home. Problem is that you’ve got to find photos that (A) don’t suck, (B) aren’t going to cost you money every time you post, and (C) aren’t going to get your ass sued if you don’t use them properly. We’ll I’ve got this solved for you.

Here are some great places to get images for your blog posts and projects. As of this writing, these sites all offer free photos you can do whatever you want with. But as a disclaimer, they may change their licenses at any time. So do yourself a favor and always read licenses for yourself just in case. Here are the goods:

And I’ve got an added bonus for you. As you may know, big images can slow your website down. This can lose you customers and adversely affect your SEO juice. Not good. So if you’re using WordPress, look into this free plugin called WP Smush. It does just what it says and smushes your images down to a more respectable size, without losing loads of fidelity. This plug-in does it on the fly for you.


Summary

Hopefully you found some of this useful. If you have any questions about the tools or need help with anything, just let me know. I put all my trust and confidence into the software and companies on this page, so I’ll do my best to help you have the best experience possible with them as well.

Friends, Clients & Appearances