Behold the enormity of my epic TOOLBOX!
This is a long list, but I couldn’t do what I do without these apps, plugins, podcasts, gadgets… and I had to say thank you somehow.
Click on the thumbnails below to hop straight to what interests you most!
I did a lot of research after getting burned by my previous hosting provider and am now very happily with Crocweb. Great value and great customer service from this Canadian company.
I haven’t migrated to a more ‘comprehensive’ (ie. confusing) email provider yet, but that’s mostly because Mailchimp is a breeze to use and just does the job!
For my clients who can’t afford a custom-build WordPress site, the themes on Themeforest have been a godsend. Great designs, functionality and support.
Trello dictates my life. I rearrange my approach to organise boards from time to time (this is one example of how I use it) but one thing never changes: my daily reliance on Trello.
Our second brain. I think Evernote is a grower. I (and apparently many others) start using it’s bookmarking functionality. Then slowly we get to grip with tags (and regret not using earlier). Then, we’re making notes. Blog posts. To-do lists. Then… it becomes our brain.
I jumped ship on Dropbox a few years ago when I did the math: Drive was literally 10x cheaper! Plus, Google. I love the Docs, Sheets, Slides… I love having everything neatly organised in one place. Even though the cost gap has closed up between the services, I won’t be going back o Dropbox any time soon.
Before Buffer I don’t want to think about how I tried to manage social media. Scheduling posts to send when I want? Lifesaver. Plus the guys and gals who work at Buffer are legends! Great customer service.
Another huge help with social media management. I use Hootsuite as my dashboard: I can check what’s going on on all my platforms in one place, and do a bit of scheduling while I’m at it. They’ve got a great blog too.
Moz are the wizards of SEO and one day I do hope to delve further into their other products, but right now I’m just stuck on one: the Moz bar. It sits at the top of my browser and tells me all about how my site (and everyone else’s teehee) are doing in terms of authority and all that juicy SEO stuff.
I tend to hop on my email at inappropriate hours (I like to get the worm) so in order not to freak out my clients who work more sociable hours, Boomerang lets me schedule when an email sends. It also notifies me if I need a reminder to follow up.
I was pretty nervous to take on my first freelancer, but Upwork made it super easy and I found a fantastic lady to help me out with the icky workload I chose to dump on myself 😉
One of the biggest perks of working for yourself if the flexible schedule. Travelling and working from my laptop is something I do every 6–8 weeks, and Airbnb has (1) saved me a ton of money and (2) introduced me to some amazing people from all over the world.
If I was to shut down the laptop as soon as it gets dark in the UK winter I’d be out of action by 4pm! But I like to minimise the daytime-like ‘blue light’ that screws with our circadian rhythm and that’s exactly what F.lux does. Note to designers: I don’t recommend picking colour schemes when this is on!
I’ve dabbled with a lot of audio-to-text (great for when I’m doing audio interviews) and this has been the best paid-for service I’ve found.
Even though I have the full Adobe suite and I love it very much… sometimes Canva just does the job quicker. Great for making quick quote images, infographics and even presentations.
I’ve been a (somewhat reluctant) user of stock photography for a decade now, and iStock has been my go-to for the majority of that time. A paid service, but a super comprehensive catalogue of great stock photos and vector graphics.
… but there are plenty of free stock photos too! Check out these if you’re budget is tight:
One of the best free security plugins I’ve found. Super easy to install, and does regular backups.
Does what it says on the tin! Simple forms that integrates with my MailChimp lists.
I love everything Yoast does basically, and their Analytics overview is much nicer to look at that the native Google one when I’m feeling data-overwhelm.
What doesn’t Jetpack do? Related posts, site analytics and social sharing are some of my favourite features.
I installed Ninja Forms because I wanted a simple (and free) way to make bookings. I might invest in a more fancy booking system further down the line, but right now Ninja Forms is doing a great job!
Fantastic little helper when it comes to digging out older posts to tweet – it makes sure all my hard work doesn’t get lost in the archives!
Ever wanted to know what title works better? What photo gets more clicks? This plugin is a great, simple A/B page tester.
Hands up who isn’t using SumoMe? I bow down to Kagan and whether you like the look of it or not, the pop-ups and share icons provided by SumoMe just work.
Facebook tracking codes, Google tracking codes… it can get overwhelming (for me anyway!) but this plugin let’s you control everything very easily from your WordPress dashboard.
Again – love what Yoast does for SEO on our WordPress sites. A simple addition that really helps me remember all the fiddly stuff I’m meant to do to optimise my sites.
Ever the analyser 😉 I love how this app cleverly tracks how well you sleep. It’s kind of creepily good…
I like to workout, but I keep it brief! 7 minutes of high intensity interval training (HIIT) does the job for me, and this is the very best interval app I’ve found (and I’ve tried a lot!)
Did I mention I like to analyse? I’m not consistent, but when I’m trying to clean up my eating habits I use this app to keep track of what’s going in.
So far no app lets you schedule your Instagram posts, but this is a great step in the right direction. It reminds you to post an image you have scheduled, which is still a great use for my goldfish brain.
This is how I keep track of all the blogs I subscribe to – and check on how my own is looking.
How would I get home without it?
I don’t use one of Wacom’s fancier drawing tablets, but I’ve tried and tested 5 in my time, and I think they’re all fantastic – even the lower-end models.
I don’t know why more tablets don’t learn from the note 10.1 – the amazing writing-to-text recognition is a game-changer for me – I can draw and take notes like I would with an old fashioned pen and paper! It’s also speedy, fairly lightweight, takes good photos and I just love it.
The ultimate pen. Honestly: this is the one.
I took note from James Altucher on this one: great for making lists of ideas (one of my daily rituals) and always easy to throw one in your bag for note-taking emergencies (ie. my Note is dead… my iPhone is dead…)
*The asterixed ones are affiliate links, so if you’d like to support my work click on them! I’ll send you virtual bear hugs.