I recommend all of the apps and tools below. 99.9% are FREE!
- Canva: A free online image editor, Canva allows me to avoid the challenge of Photoshop. ;)
- CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer: I never write a blog post (or guest blog post!) without first consulting this tool to see if I’ve nailed the title or not.
- Tech Help: Gretchen Louise is my go-to tech guru. Not only did she code my site, she goes the extra mile to get my site back up and running when I let a rogue curly quote or unclosed italic wreak havoc!
- Google Calendar: I always have Google Calendar open on my laptop, and I love that it syncs to my phone–and with my husband!
- Bullet Journal: My friend Kalyn hooked me on this idea. Check out her guide to creating your own bullet journal!
- Podcasts: While listening to podcasts, I can learn while I’m housecleaning! I use the standard iPhone Podcasts app.
- Buffer: Buffer allows me to schedule social media statuses. The Chrome extension allows me to easily add articles from across the web to my feeds.
- Pocket: This tool changed how I read online! Now I save articles to read later rather than getting distracted by twenty million open tabs.
- RecurPost: Although a lot of work on the front end to set up a content library, I love that now my social media statuses are mostly automated and recurring, so that evergreen post from six years ago still gets recycled through my status updates.
- BoardBooster: The only tool I currently pay for, BoardBooster allows me to schedule my pins to Pinterest. No more hours of manual pinning. I pin once and BoardBooster does the rest, pinning to my boards (and group boards) throughout the week.
- Gmail/G Suite: Everything integrates with it. And the search function is amazing. I use it for everything.
- Gmail Canned Responses: Type once, send the same template countless times!
- Mailchimp: The free plan includes 2,000 subscribers, plus MailChimp is easy to use, perfect for many beginning bloggers and small businesses. I have used MailChimp for years.
- MailerLite: MailerLite seems to me to have the best features of MailChimp and ConvertKit all rolled into one. I’m currently trying it out for one of my email lists.
Files & Backups
- Dropbox: My no-brainer backup solution is this: all my files live in the Dropbox folder that is constantly syncing with the cloud. I love knowing that my files are backed up automatically.
- Google Photos: Because I believe in multiple backup options, I use Google Photos for free “good quality” unlimited backup on my phone and computer.
- Amazon Prime Photos: I use Prime Photos for an additional cloud backup. Prime Photos is free with Amazon Prime, unlimited and backs up the full resolution file. (When it comes to backups, one can never have too many!)
Freelancing: Bookkeeping, Invoicing, and Contract Generation
- EveryDollar: I have used EveryDollar for years and adore it! Although not as robust as some paid programs, this free budgeting tool is perfect for my husband’s and my needs. I love knowing where each hard-earned dollar goes.
- HelloSign: This app makes contract generation a breeze and helped me finally make the step into contracting each and every project I commit to.
- Paypal: Still the most trusted name online, Paypal makes sending and receiving money digitally quick and easy. I trust Paypal enough to connect to every bank account I have.
- Invoicely: Although I used to primarily use Paypal’s invoice generator, I now prefer Invoicely’s free branded invoices.
- Books That Will Make You A Better Writer: A list of the five books I rave about to all my writing friends.
- Books for Fiction Writers: Here I share my list of highly recommended reads for aspiring novelists.
- Create If Writing: Kirsten knows her stuff. She’s especially knowledgeable about email lists and blogging, but overall she’s all things writing.
- Grammarly: Even though I’m happy to help edit your project, most likely you won’t hire me to read every email, etc. This free browser extension is a must for everyone.
Fellow Freelance Editors I Recommend
- Amber Holcomb: Amber was my first editor (she read an incredibly early version of Diamonds) and I highly recommend her work!
- Anne Mateer: A fellow historical fiction author, Anne is well-versed in the publishing industry as well as indie publishing and will take good care of your work.
- Joanne Bischof: Joanne is the type of writer who knows how to apply talent and skill. I am so grateful to have Joanne to call on to critique my words.
- Elisabeth Adams: Elisabeth is a gracious and gifted editor, with the ability to see the big picture.