Tools and Resources I love and use every day.
Below is a list of products and resources I love and use every day in my business. I’m happy to share them with you in hopes that one or more of them might work for you, too!
Please note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you choose to buy or subscribe but those perks come at no additional cost to you. I never recommend tools that I don’t use, love, and believe to be of value.
Mailchimp is my go-to email marketing resource. Here’s how they describe what they do:
Bring your audience data, marketing channels, and insights together so you can reach your goals faster. With Mailchimp, you can promote your business across email, social, landing pages, postcards, and more — all from a single platform.
I love Mailchimp because I can keep my lists organized, my campaigns simple, and integrate landing pages and social media efforts all with ease. I also use Constant Contact from time to time and work with clients who use Constant Contact because of their great partnerships with nonprofits. But when it comes to user interface, price and flexibility, Mailchimp is my favorite!
I build all of my websites in Squarespace and I absolutely think they are best website platform for my audience (small business and nonprofits). There are several reasons why I continue to use Squarespace and you can read all about them over on my FAQ page! If you’re trying to choose a platform, you can try Squarespace for free and do not have to give credit card information to try it!
I manage all of my business finances using Quickbooks. I tried using other products when I first started out. The only other product that came close to being what I needed was 17 Hats and I don’t have anything bad to say about them! However, I prefer Quickbooks for the ease of the desktop app, for the professional invoicing and billing options, and the seamless integration with my bank account. If you’re interested in using Quickbooks, you can receive a special discount by following my Quickbooks promo code link.
I would not survive running my business (or my life) without my Simplified Planner. I’ve written a few blog posts about it (you can read those here and here) but I’ll never stop telling people how great these planners are. They are simple! They are fun! They are flexible for so many reasons and affordable. You can find a less expensive version in Office Depot and Target but I definitely prefer the Signature edition sold online. The paper is much better and pens do not bleed through. From someone who has tried many, many planners in my life, I cannot recommend the Simplified Planner enough! If you use my affiliate link, you can save $10 on your planner. (Note: they sell out when they launch and they offer both an academic and calendar year version).
Setting goals and staying centered
I tried something new in 2019 and purchased my first Powersheets from Cultivate What Matters. Powersheets are not planners. They walk you through setting intentional goals for the year and then how to break those goals down by season and month. With space for reflection, brainstorming, and prioritizing, the Powersheets quickly become a staple in your life. Every month has a Tending List where you can write encouraging words, set monthly priorities, and then record monthly, weekly and daily action items. I have found that I don’t use all the things every month but I like that they are there! And my favorite part is being able to flip back to the beginning each month and remind myself of those January goals I set!
I also just purchased a Write the Word journal from Cultivate last week and will begin using it on August 1st. I’m excited to incorporate that into my fall rhythms a few times a week.
When it comes to sharing my design work, Smartmockups is my go-to choice! I spent a few months using free mockup sites and it just wasn’t worth it. The photos wouldn’t be high-res or clearly represent my work. When I found Smartmockups, I was hooked. I can choose from a ton of mockup backgrounds, upload my photo or just insert the url, and save with all kinds of other options. This is my go-to choice when it comes to any type of mockup. The subscriptions are priced competitively and worth every penny. I highly recommend Smartmockups.
I prefer to use Adobe Illustrator for the majority of my creation design work (plus website design planning) and I gladly pay for Adobe Stock images each month, too! Adobe products are versatile, comprehensive and allow me to work both via desktop apps as well as online.