The love list: tools, books, music, projects & people that I love and recommend. [2015-2016]
Once a year or so, I release a new “love list”:
A collection of time- and sanity-saving tools, service providers that I heartily recommend, books that have inspired me, groovy music, and more.
Here’s my list for 2015 / 2016. All my current favs.
If you’re a writer, creative freelancer, business owner, or simply someone who enjoys discovering new tools to help your workday flow more productively, this list is for you.
Enjoy! I hope you find something that delights you.
LIFE / BUSINESS TOOLS
– Freshbooks. I use Freshbooks to keep track of business expenses. I love it! There’s a little squirrel who dances while your financial data is being imported into the system. Delightful!
– AWeber. My newsletter software. Thanks to Aweber, I can send out emails to the 12,000 or so folks who subscribe to my newsletter. I also use Aweber to create “special” email lists for specific purposes—like keeping track of people who are interested in hiring me for a writing project in the future. I’ve used Aweber for many years. I’ve always been a happy customer.
– Spotify. Oh, Spotify. How you’ve changed my life! I listen to music almost every single minute of the day, and thanks to Spotify, I have a limitless supply. I’ve particularly been enjoying the Discover Weekly playlist and this Lush & Atmospheric playlist, which contains lots of awesome, chilled out “background music” for writing and working.
– Gumroad. HANDS DOWN the simplest, easiest system for selling things online that I’ve ever found—and I’ve tried a LOT of ’em. I use Gumroad to sell e-books, digital tickets for workshops, my e-course, pretty much everything. I recommend it mightily.
– Unroll.me. I am obsessed with Unroll.me. It instantly compiles a list of every newsletter that you are subscribed to (you won’t believe how many you’ve accumulated through the years!) and then you can “bulk-unsubscribe” from dozens of lists that you no longer want to be on… in just a few clicks. SWEET GLORY! DO IT!
WRITERS, DESIGNERS, AND OTHER PROS THAT I LOVE
– Paul Jarvis designed my current website and he is a consummate pro. I’ve worked with him on multiple projects over the years and he’s always punctual, smart, and all-around delightful.
– I’ve done several photo shoots with Danielle Cohen and she is just… divine. She’s based in California but travels often. If you’re looking for gorgeous professional shots (or, ahem, sexy, rrrromantic shots) she’s got you covered. Or uncovered, as the case may be!
– Looking for a professional copywriter / ghostwriter / word-wrangler? When my own client docket gets overly full, I happily refer people to my smart, wonderful colleagues, including… Alison Chino (she’s soulful and lovely). Annika Martins (my former assistant). Laura Belgray (I connected with her recently—she’s a riot!). Sally McGraw (a longtime friend). Cher Hale (smart cookie with a big heart!).
– Looking for someone to do proofreading, research, manage projects, and generally just make your digital life easier? A gal named Woz has helped me out with various projects over the past year or so. She’s wonderful. Want to discuss a project? You can reach her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
BOOKS / SHOWS / MEDIA / INSPIRATION
– Die Empty left a powerful imprint on my heart. I think about this book’s message almost daily.
– My Fight / Your Fight by Ronda Rousey reminded me that being a “champion” is not a title you earn, one time, but a choice you make—and keep making—every single day. Ronda’s focused, disciplined work ethic is unbelievable. A seriously motivating story!
– Unplug Every Day is a sweet journal filled with 365 ideas to inspire you to do a few “unplugged,” non-digital things every day, like “Call someone out of the blue” and “Ask a stranger for directions” and “Write your grocery list by hand.” I keep this journal on my coffee table and I browse through it often.
– Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris is tremendously entertaining and inspiring. Neil is hugely famous—these days—but what most people don’t know is that he endured many years of frustration where he felt creatively stuck and struggled to get the types of acting jobs he really wanted. But despite countless rejections, he did not give up. Neil’s story proves that “success” is built with a combination of talent, persistence, and often, a huge deal of patience.
– I love podcasts! I listen to podcasts from the Maximum Fun network every single week. Fav show: My Brother, My Brother and Me, a zany advice show hosted by three brothers who mainly just tell hysterical stories and rarely give out actual “advice.” It’s the best.
– I can’t stop watching old episodes of Gilmore Girls. Stars Hollow (the fictional small town where the show is set) is my “happy place.” Apparently there is going to be a “revival” of the show soon! Be still, my beating heart!
– I haven’t watched Mister Rogers and Me yet, but it’s next on my must-watch list. The trailer alone is so beautiful.
– To adorn your workspace, I recommend candles from Voluspa… pens and notebooks from Ban.do… and perhaps a Chess board? (I recently started playing Chess again—it’s so mentally stimulating! Side note: did you know there’s a musical about Chess called Chess? My mom, sister and I are obsessed with it. We know pretty much all of the lyrics by heart. We are odd birds.)
A FEW MISCELLANEOUS THINGS THAT I LOVE VERY MUCH
Caramels from Quin. This cheerful website. Seeing my boyfriend bring his new business, HunnyMilk, into the world (if you’re based in Portland, join him for weekend brunch! His food is insanely delicious). This cool list of industries that need more women—in case you’re considering a dramatic career change! Getting a surprise shipment of bagels from Zabar’s. This AWESOME song. Discovering that TWILIGHT-inspired soap and candles EXIST. My clients, who inspire me and challenge my creative muscles in all the right ways.
So much love.