Tools shouldn't get in the way, they should provide leverage – but far too often our creative flow is interrupted by technical issues. That's why I've worked so hard to build this list.
This list of tools is carefully curated and updated to represent the best tools available. These are things I use with my clients, and some are even included in my basic hosting plan.
Note : A couple items are affiliate links, so if you like, let them know you heard about it here.
Websites & Communication
Websites are complicated enough, your tools shouldn’t be. Here’s how I keep it smooth for myself and my clients.
Flywheel is the premium hosting option for WordPress websites. It’s for people who want to keep things simple and provide the best possible experience for themselves and their website visitors.
It’s expensive, because it’s actually worth it. You can set up a self-hosted WordPress site in 30 seconds for free, give it a spin, and even migrate your existing site to Flywheel free. www.getflywheel.com
This is the most robust, tested, flexible, and simple content management system (CMS) available for websites. Don't confuse this with the popular WordPress.com (next on the list). This is confusing, I know – but when a developer installs WordPress on a website, they are simply installing the software which allows you to easily manage your site content. Did I mention that it's amazing? www.wordpress.org
Are you starting from scratch and want to do it all yourself? Even though I specialize in custom design, I would never pitch a project to someone who could build it themselves and run an effective website on WP.com for just $4 a month. Plus, you can start here and then easily upgrade to a professional self-hosted WordPress website later on. WordPress.com
Domain management. DNS, IP addresses, all this stuff can give any content creator a headache, even if you know how it all works.
Setting up and making changes to your web domain should be simple, and you should have to wade through a swamp of salesmen to get your work done. That’s why I use premium domain management at Hover.com
If you're a Gmail user and you ever need to followup with people, this extension is an absolute MUST HAVE. My friend Zach does a great 10 minute tutorial about Boomerang at www.automateyourbooking.com – so make sure to check that out.
But head over to their website and see for yourself. This tool gives you massive leverage and you'll never look back. www.boomeranggmail.com
Beaver Builder installs a visual builder on your website which lets you manage content easily. You can literally open a page, click on a section, and make changes without having to know code. It's magic – and I assure you, I did a lot of research on this before installing it on client websites. Most builder tools don't make the cut, but this one does. www.wpbeaverbuilder.com
CoSchedule is a premium WordPress plugin that helps you manage your editorial calendar and promote your work on social media.
When I figured out what CoSchedule provided it blew my mind. They save me the time of posting social media content related to my posts and better yet, save me time from being on social media. www.coschedule.com
In Real Life
Here are some real life objects I've come to rely on in my client work.
This is my USB microphone, the one I carry around with me everywhere so I can record tutorials on the fly. I almost switched to a headset, but after listening to Ways of Hearing on Radiotopia's Showcase I understand what a profound difference it makes to use a good microphone. Since it connects with USB I don't need anything else (no mixer, no amp, etc...).
I bought this on Allison Usavage's recommendation and I'd trust anything she uses on a regular basis. This is the camera I use for recreational photography and client photoshoots – really though, it's mostly for fun. I love this camera because it takes all kinds of professional lenses, but it's smaller than a big professional DSLR camera.
This isn't my actual bicycle, but I'm still picking some more items for this list and I needed a placeholder. Also, my bike is totally my go to form of transportation. It's so fun, seriously, even in the rain.
On My Computer
I use these tools to be efficient, organized, and digitally minimal with my computer.