Resources

I have been blogging and writing for awhile now and occasionally I get asked what tools and resources I use to help me in my journey.  I must say I’ve come a long way from when I first started writing and this is primarily due to the tools and resources I have come across that have equipped me and inspired me to become better at crafting my content.  I thought it might be good to have a place here on my blog that you can use as a resource that may help you with blogging and writing and just being more productive.

I really think more people should be getting their voice out there in the blogosphere.  It has proven a great tool for me and I encourage you to give it a shot.  Hopefully some of what I have learned can help you take the step into blogging or enhance what you may already be doing.  I also have included some tools I use daily to help me be more productive in life.  This is a not a “for sure” list and I will probably update it as my needs and tools change.

BLOGGING

  • BLUE HOST:  This is the best hosting company for web sites that I have found on the web.  It is recommended by WordPress (which I also recommend and describe below) and is by far the easiest to work with online that I have found.
  • WORDPRESS:  I have used Blogger and TypePad and WordPress is the one to go to.  There is so much you can do with this platform and its free which is best of all.  There are thousands of themes and plugins that make WordPress the go to blogging platform.
  • GET NOTICED THEME:  My premium theme of choice.  This theme is a game changer.  I just recently switched to GN and I am not sorry one bit.  I have attempted to use free themes in times past and they worked but this theme blows them all out of the water.  It is so versatile and is recognized as one of the best themes on the market.  I have used Press75 and WooThemes before and they are fine but GET NOTICED is by far my favorite because of its versatality.
  • DISQUS:  In my opinion, DISQUS is everything you need for your commenting platform.  It is widely used and accepted by large and small sites alike as the standard on professional blogs.  It is super-easy for your readers and allows them to manage comments across many sites without having to sign in every time. It is also very useful to you as a blogger.

 PRODUCTIVITY

  • DROP BOX: I use dropbox to share files with my secretary, my family and my friends.  I can access the files I store there on any computer, my iphone and my iPad.  It is a great tool to have.
  • EVERNOTE:  Everything – I mean EVERYTHING goes into Evernote.  It is like my digital brain and can be accessed online and through multiple portable platforms.  This is a great tool right out of the shoot and it’s free!  Yes FREE!  There is a premium version that is available but starting out with the free version is sufficient.  It just went through a major upgrade and so far I like what I see.
  • EVERNOTE ESSENTIALS:  This is a great e-book intro to Evernote by Brett Kelly. It’s $29.00 and worth every penny. It will save you hours of learning on your own. Highly recommended.
  • THINGS:  I keep trying to find something for my task management and this seems to be the one I keep coming back to.  There are tons out there and if you are searching – give this one a try.
  • GETTING THINGS DONE:  I have read quite a few books on trying to be more productive with my time and energy.  GTD which is the terminology used for this concept written by David Allen is by far the most beneficial.  If you like organization and being able to become more productive by focusing on what needs to be accomplished, then this book is for you.  You will keep coming back to this book time and time again.  It sits in arms reach on my desk.

WRITING

  • JEFF GOINS:  One of the tools I have found effective in helping me become a better writer (and I got a long way to go) is a guy by the name of Jeff Goins. Jeff is a prolific writer with some amazing tools that I would highly recommend. For more info click here to visit Jeff Goins.  For an excellent book that will challenge you, you should read WRECKED by Jeff.  Amazing book!
  • WORD:  It is definitely my word processor of choice.  I started in Word and it is just hard to get used to anything else.  It has so many features that make it a great program.  I can write a document in Word and it be used almost anywhere.  It just works for me even though I probably don’t even come close to using all it has to offer.
  • PAGES: I am a Apple fanatic.  Although I primarily use Apple products I still have a hard time getting away from Microsoft Word as my word processor of choice.  But unlike Word, Pages is a bit faster and not as cumbersome.  I do use it on occasion when I need something quicker and a little more intuitive.
  • THE WAR OF ART: A kick in the seat book for those that may get stuck in the process of writing.  It is a classic by Stephen Pressfield and it makes it very clear why the creative process is often so difficult and what you can do about it.  I read it a couple years ago and I go back to it often.  I recommend it HIGHLY!

MY RECOMMENDED READING LIST

Click on link above to see my recommended reading list of books that have impacted my life.