Since I started blogging in the summer of 2012, I’ve used and tested many products and applications. By now, I finally have a solid setup of working tools that I love using every day.
Below you’ll find a list of these tools, plus a few other recommendations, which range from lifestyle programs and travel essentials to fitness and diet resources. This is the good stuff that I keep recommending (asked and unasked) to my friends and everyone I meet.
Most links will lead you to a resource’s original website, while the 🛒 emojis bring you to the resource’s Amazon product page. Book titles are directly linked to the Amazon store.
Last updated: December 30th, 2016*
*Please note that this page is a work in progress. Next update is scheduled for summer 2017.
· Simplenote – notes app
Whenever I want to make a quick note, I use Simplenote. My list of working priorities for the week is on here as well. Keeping the later in Simplenote, helps me stay away from “the real to-do list” (read: the infinite, overwhelming one). Except for my priorities list, however, I don’t use Simplenote to store any notes. The scribbles on here either get deleted or copied to OneNote.
· Pages – word processor
Pages is what I use to edit my blog posts before copy/pasting the final draft into WordPress. Link-heavy articles, like this one, though, I prefer to edit directly in WordPress. I write my first drafts by hand before typing them out on the computer, by the way.
· Grammarly (premium plan) – grammar checking tool
I use Grammarly to check all my writing, that is, not only my final drafts but also my e-mails. This tool always finds a few (crucial) grammar mistakes that I missed or didn’t even recognize as such. I love it because it makes me hit those send and publish buttons with much more confidence. It’s like having my own editor (a position previously filled by Mr.G).
· Google Drive – cloud storage
Where I save my final drafts. I never save anything on my computer, by the way, and every file I own is backed up in at least two different places.
· Sony Cybershot DSC-RX100M II – camera 🛒
This point-and-shoot camera is the only camera I’ve used for the last 2,5 years. It’s compact, takes great pictures, and has built-in WiFi.
· Adobe Photoshop CC – photo editing software
I may say I use Photoshop to resize my images and adjust brightness and contrast levels, but the truth is, I essentially use it to retouch my wrinkles.
(For more photography resources: Photographer for a Month: A Journey into Learning to Shoot Strangers)
· Canva – graphic design tool
I use Canva to add text to my images, like in this photo above. The many templates and example layouts make designing in Canva a far more fun and straightforward process than, for instance, Photoshop does. Once you’re familiar with the interface, you can create anything from a social media post to a magazine cover and have the result looking super pro in no time.
· Multiplicity Photography Tutorial
The tutorial that I used to clone myself in the same picture. (It’s not difficult.)
· Amazon Drive (unlimited storage plan) – cloud storage
I use both an external drive and Amazon’s Cloud Drive to store and backup all my images. (That’s two backups of the same content in two different places.) I also have the Amazon Drive mobile app installed on my phone, which gives me access to all my photos, wherever I am.
· Mosaico – Instagram planning and curating app
Before Mosaico, I had to use a complicated workaround to check whether or not my “next planned Instagram post” would fit my feed. I looked ages for an app like this one and at some point even considered hiring someone to make it for me.
· VSCO – photo filter + editing app
The photos on my Twitter and Instagram are nearly all edited in VSCO (and on the phone). My editing routine doesn’t involve much more work than adding a filter (C1, H3 or K1) and adjusting exposure, contrast and temperature levels.
· QuickTime – media player by Apple
When I want to upload a video of me browsing my blog, usually to announce a new blog post on Instagram stories, instead of using my phone’s camera to film my computer’s screen, I use QuickTime to make a proper screen recording.
· Dropbox – cloud storage
· OneNote – digital notebook
Reading & Listening
· Kindle E-reader – eBook reader
· Audible – digital audiobooks shop and app
· Spotify – music streaming system
· Sonos – home sound system
· “Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It” – Gabriel Wyner
· Anki – flashcard program
· Forvo – online pronunciation dictionary
· “Practical Spanish Grammar: A Self-Teaching Guide” – Marcial Prado
· “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron – 12-week creativity course
· www.theminimalists.com – website about minimalism
· Headspace – meditation app
· Quote Cards by kikki.K
Fitness & Diet
· I Quit Sugar 8-Week Program by Sarah Wilson
· Bikini Body Guide by Kayla Itsines – 12-week exercise and training plan
· Nike+ Run Club – running app
· “The Little Book of Skin Care: Korean Beauty Secrets for Healthy, Glowing Skin” – Charlotte Cho
· Philip Kingsley Swimcap – haircare
· Philip B. Rejuvenating Oil – haircare
Tell me what you think. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and let me know: If you could recommend me one website or product (book, course, application, etc.) in any of these categories, what would it be?