A few weeks ago, I wrote a quick post about how to stay organized as a creative entrepreneur, my go-to organization tools, and the importance of setting up a system that helps you stay focused. Today, I want to share a post on pretty much all of the tools, products, and services I use to manage my blog and business—plus, why I love them.
Don’t worry if you’re not a tech-savvy person! Many of these resources are easy to use and $free.99.
**Some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Find out more HERE.**
CANVA is the tool I use most frequently for my blogging design needs and arguably the best free alternative to Adobe Creative Suite software. You can use it to create Pinterest graphics, logos, and content upgrades (i.e. opt-ins, worksheets, etc.) for your blog.
CREATIVE MARKET is an excellent resource for blog themes, stock photography, design templates and so much more. In addition, one of the benefits of subscribing to Creative Market is that you get free design goods delivered to your inbox every Monday. I’ve really taken advantage of this feature and highly recommend that you subscribe if you haven’t already!
VSCO is a free app for editing photos, and you can either purchase VSCO presets or just use the default filters like I do. (Sometimes, VSCO releases free presets, so always be on the lookout for updates.) Even though VSCO is my go-to app for photo-editing, I use it in conjunction with other apps as well.
UNSPLASH is definitely one of my favorite stock photography websites, even though there are plenty of other places to find free photos. I’m a fan of the minimalist images available on Unsplash and have used many of them to create my graphics for Pinterest.
SITEGROUND is currently my web hosting service, and I’m in love with their customer support. I can always count on Siteground to respond quickly to my questions regarding plugins, backups, and anything else that comes to mind.
MAILERLITE is what I use for AMM’s email service provider. Send an unlimited amount of campaigns to up to 1,000 subscribers every month for FREE! This is a perfect email list service for beginner bloggers on a tight budget. I’ve used Mailchimp before but I find it a little outdated in comparison to Mailerlite.
WORDPRESS.ORG has been my blogging platform since August 2017. Ever since I switched from WordPress.com to self-hosted, I have not looked back! Definitely take the self-hosted route if you want to monetize your blog properly and own all your content.
NAMECHEAP is where I purchased my current domain name. FYI: It has the best reputation of all the domain name services out there.
KOTRYNA BASS is where I found my current WordPress Theme “Memory Lane.”
BLOGLOVIN is a wonderful curation app I use to keep up with my favorite bloggers.
“HOW TO MAKE YOUR FIRST AFFILIATE SALE IN 24 HOURS” BY ELISA MCDOWELL for advice on how to leverage Pinterest to make affiliate sales. Read my review of her ebook HERE.
“THE BILLIONAIRE BLOGGING PINTEREST MANUAL” BY PAUL SCRIVENS for a comprehensive guide to Pinterest marketing. I’d recommend this ebook to new and intermediate users of Pinterest.
AUPHONIC is an audio post-production service that I use to clean up my podcast files. It’s user-friendly and free for 2 hours of monthly processed audio!
AUDIO-TECHNICA ATR2100 is the USB microphone that I use to podcast. It’s an affordable entry-level mic that produces great sound quality, and I highly recommend it.
DRAGONPAD USA POP FILTER is a super cheap noise protection filter that minimizes ‘popping sounds’ or plosives when recording on your mic.
TRELLO to store and organize all my potential blog post and podcast ideas. I use it more as a content management system than a content calendar.
ASANA is what I use as my content/general calendar for all creative projects and business-specific tasks.
ACUITY for scheduling clients and podcast guests. I also use Acuity’s “forms” features for podcast guests to fill out their information.
G SUITE for the Gmail account associated with my business. The reason I recommend switching from free Gmail to paid G Suite is that you get access to some really important features such as a custom business email @yourcompany, unlimited group email addresses, 99.9% guaranteed uptime, twice the storage of free Gmail, zero ads, 24/7 phone, and email support. I’m on the basic plan, and it only costs $5/month.
Other features include: file ownership, multiple email aliases, group email addresses, extra security
Within my G Suite account, I use Google Drive for documents, spreadsheets, and forms that I need to edit on-the-go. I honestly don’t know what I would do without G Suite, because I need a lot more storage than the free version allows.
BOARDBOOSTER is one of the best and most popular Pinterest scheduling tools on the market. In my opinion, it possesses slightly more advanced features than its competitor, Tailwind. Even though the interface looks and feels more old-school than Tailwind’s, Boardbooster is definitely a powerful tool. Sign up for Boardbooster’s free trial and schedule the first 100 pins for free.
TAILWIND is another powerful tool for scheduling and finding pins. If you haven’t already, give the free trial a shot! You’ll be able to schedule and publish up to 100 Pinterest Pins and/or 30 Instagram Posts for free.
PLANOLY is different from other automation tools in that it allows you to schedule and visually plan your Instagram photos before they go out. The only downside to the free plan is that you can post up to 30 photos per month (including the test images that you decide not to post). So keep that in mind! If you have a “theme” for your Instagram feed, then you’ll probably find this app more helpful than I do.
BUFFER is a service that I use to schedule my Tweets. Gets the job done! You can connect it with your Facebook and Instagram accounts as well.
SONY ALPHA A6000 is my camera of choice for taking high-quality photos. It’s a powerful mirrorless camera that has lots of features that I probably don’t know how to use… I love how easy it is to pack and carry around with me on my travels. I’ve taken lots of photos with this camera and can’t wait to unlock more of its features.
AMAZONBASICS 60-INCH LIGHTWEIGHT TRIPOD to film videos and take photos indoors and outdoors. It’s super cheap, useful, and easy to set up. Comes with a bag too!
2017 MACBOOK: After lugging around my old 13″ Macbook Pro for seven years, it was about time to switch to a new computer. I love how portable my Macbook is and honestly don’t think I can go back to a laptop heavier than this. I had actually purchased a Dell 13″ XPS before buying my 2017 Macbook. Unfortunately, I had to return the XPS due to several recurring issues and since that incident, I do not take Apple’s customer service for granted.
CREATIVELIVE is by far my favorite learning platform online. It’s free to use and a goldmine full of valuable content. In fact, some of the world’s top experts, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs have taught courses on this platform (e.g. Vanessa Van Edwards, Tim Ferris, Ramit Sethi). Each week, CreativeLive broadcasts a new selection of classes that you can watch live for FREE. If you miss an on-air broadcast, you can always buy the class and tune in on your own time. I definitely recommend “Ditch Your Day Job” by Michelle Ward, “Start Late, Finish Rich” by David Bach, and “Create a Knockout Graphic Design Portfolio” by Ram Castillo.
BRIT+CO is a great online resource for creative women of all ages. I’ve found courses on all sorts of creative skills and a great selection of free courses as well. My favorite classes on Brit+Co include “Build Your Digital Brand Online” by Caroline Winegeart, “Digitize Lettering in Adobe Illustrator” by Rosee Canfield, and “How to Build an Online Shop” by Liz Powers.
CREDIT KARMA is a free online service that help me keep track of my credit score and overall credit card usage.
BARCLAYS is my online savings account! No minimum balance or deposit required to open.
VANGUARD is where I manage my ROTH IRA. I don’t know think it’s really necessary for me to mention this here but thought I’d throw it in anyway.
EXCEL is a classic! I use it to log my overall expenses (both personal and business).
If you want more of my favorite tools and resources, along with ways to figure out how to combine your different passions, sign up for my newsletter below! I’d love to stay connected.