This is an ever-expanding collection of the tools I use and personally recommend. I hope they add value to your world, as they have to mine.
Please note: The resources below are both free and for purchase. For some, upon your purchase, I receive an affiliate commission at no cost to you.
Inspiration to ‘Do What You Love’
Need help growing your confidence in your Self and your Work?
- (un)workspace: (inner)preneur Nakul Patel’s unbounded and eloquent exploration/reflection of “(inner)preneurship.”
- The Crossroads of Should and Must: A gorgeous visual essay on who we are and what we do are and how they are one and the same.
- Why ‘Do What You Love’ Is About More Than You Might Think: An article on the external and internal value of ‘Doing What You Love’ and the life journey is comprises.
- StrengthsFinder 2.0: An interactive book with an online questionnaire that explores, identifies, and expands on your most natural talents and how to utilize them for your best Life and Work.
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Assessment: Get to know your Self better. This trusted psychological assessment traces the patterns in your behavior to one of 16 distinct personality types. (I’m an INFP.) With knowledge of your personality type, it provides you with an overview of your preferences, looks at typical characteristics of your type as well as your common interaction styles with others, things to look out for at work, and other personality details you might not be aware of.
Understanding Your Culture & Consciousness
Need help getting clear on your values?
- The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World: Are you a Cultural Creative? Come and meet your Cultural Creative subculture, a growing segment of our society whose values embrace a curiosity and concern for the world, its ecosystem, and its peoples; an awareness of and activism for peace and social justice; and an openness to self-actualization through spirituality, psychotherapy, and holistic practices. This growing segment of society includes people of all races, ages, and classes, from throughout the world. I love this book as holds up a mirror to the members of this vast but diffuse group, showing us we are not alone and that we can reshape society to make it more authentic, compassionate, and engaged.
- The Integral Vision: A Very Short Introduction to the Revolutionary Integral Approach to Life, God, the Universe, and Everything: Ken Wilbur picks up where The Cultural Creatives left off, expanding on the growing subculture of “Culturally Creative” and “Integral” humans who deeply value and pursue self-actualization. In this short book, you are introduced to Wilbur’s Integral Theory, an all-inclusive map for human potential that touches on the most important factors from all of the world’s great traditions. I love this book as it forever changed my understanding of how we, as humans, perceive the world.
Planning Your Business
Need help designing your business model?
- Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers: A visual handbook, co-created by 470 “Business Model Canvas” practitioners from 45 countries, guiding you in considering and determining the strategic aspects of your business and your unique model for doing business.
Designing Your Business & Brand
Need help shaping your business and its presence?
- Exploring Brand Me: A simple exercise I created to support you in focusing in on, and identifying, the most important aspects of your personal brand.
- Recognizing My People: A simple exercise I created to support you in focusing in on, and identifying, your ideal customer.
- Designing My Website: A simple exercise I created to support you in asking the important questions around what you want to achieve and who you want to serve when developing your online presence.
Understanding the Online Space
New to the web?
FirstSiteGuide.com: Offering useful, comprehensive and free resources, guides, reviews, and help for web newbies. This website can support you in skilfully choosing the web domain, web host, and website and blogging platform that supports your unique needs.
How Much Does It Really Cost to Build a WordPress Website?: Written by wpbeginner.com (a free online resource I recommend in the “Understanding & Using WordPress” section), this article gives you a great sense of what you’ll need to get started building a WordPress website, no matter the size. From building a low-budget site to a custom design, learn about the true costs related to obtaining web hosting, a domain name, design support, and the plugins and extensions you’ll need to run your WordPress site.
Web Hosting & Site Set-up
Need help hosting and/or setting up your blog or website?
EthicalHost: 100% powered by renewable energy and with 10% of their profits donated to charity, this conscious web hosting solution offers hosting for as low as CDN $5.60/mth. Owned by John MacKenzie, EthicalHost offers personal and responsive customer service and a secure, sustainable platform on which to build your website or blog. They also help you register your domain and install WordPress. Personally, I host paywhatitsworth.com with EthicalHost.
Bluehost: For as low as US $3.95/mth, Bluehost offers 24/7 customer service and supports you in getting started with registering your domain and installing WordPress. Bluehost hosts many of my clients websites and is one of the leading web hosts on the Internet.
Website & Blogging Platforms
Need help creating your blog or website?
WordPress: This free website/blogging platform is one I’ve used for over 7 years to build all the websites I create, for my clients and for myself. WordPress expertly provides you with the basic tools and framework needed to build your own self-hosted website or blog, for free. The link provided will take you to Bluehost where you can get your self-hosted WordPress blog set up.
Tumblr: Want to get started blogging quickly, without bothering with web hosting and site set-up? It’s easy to start your blog on this free and popular blogging platform. Hosted by Tumblr, with only a few clicks, you can create your own beautifully designed blog and begin sharing your creations with the world and Tumblr’s wealth of active users and creators. Personally, I love visiting and using Tumblr and I have multiple (private) blogs on it.
Understanding & Using WordPress
Need help growing your WordPress confidence?
- wpbeginner.com: This is an amazing resource for anyone running their website on WordPress. If you’re brand new to WP, the beginner’s guides are awesome support in getting started and are free to use. There’s also helpful reviews of a variety of WP plugins, and exclusive deals for a variety of web resources you’ll likely find helpful.
Need help keeping your WordPress site secure?
- Sucuri Security: I’ve been continually amazed by the effectiveness of this paid plugin in keeping my (and my clients) websites safe and secure from hackers. Unfortunately, the reality of being a website owner is it’s only a matter of time until hackers will strike. I suggest being prepared for them, so they cause minimal, if any, problems when they do.
Need help deploying your message?
- Mailchimp: An easy-to-use email marketing system free to use for your first 2000 subscribers. It also has the option to email your latest blog posts to your blog subscribers (when you set up this campaign).
Need help setting up your marketplace business, online shopping cart, and/or product distribution systems?
- Sharetribe: A simple, low-cost platform supporting you in creating and building your own online marketplace for goods and/or services. Through it, you and your users can sell or rent goods, spaces or services online.
- PayPal: This online payment processor makes it easy for you to securely receive payments and money from around the world. For tips on using PayPal in Pay What It’s Worth scenarios, read this.
- WooCommerce: A free WordPress-compatible ecommerce store platform. A ecommerce store is valuable if you create and sell products and/or services and would like to sell and distribute them directly on your website. I run my Pay What It’s Worth ecommerce store using woocommerce where I sell both my services and my digital products.
- Name Your Price + WooCommerce: When combined with the free ecommerce toolkit WooCommerce, the Name Your Price plugin allows your customers to determine the price they pay for the goods and services they buy through your woocommerce-powered online store.
- Gumroad: This digital sales tool allows you to securely sell, store and distribute your digital products; this tool is especially good for selling ebooks when you do not have an ecommerce store on your website. This tool also allows you to let your customers to determine what to pay for your products (Pay What It’s Worth).
Being Social Online
Need help managing & simplifying your digital life?
- Buffer: Schedule and distribute your updates to multiple social channels through Buffer. The tool allows you to connect Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.
- Hootsuite: You can schedule and distribute your social media updates to multiple social channels through Hootsuite (similar to Buffer) but I use it primary to track various topics and people on Twitter.
- IFTT: If This Then That is an online tool to support you in automating your repetitive computer and internet-based tasks and actions.
Digital & Print Design
Need help creating beautiful communications?
- Canva: This amazing online design tool makes design accessible to us all. With easy to use templates and tools, and tips for achieving great design, Canva is a perfect design tool for those beginning to make visual communications; for those without design support; and for those without design software, such as Photoshop. Take a peek and see how easy you can create beautiful designs.
- Creative Market: This visual design marketplace is full of beautifully-crafted and affordable tools and templates to build your next communication project. You can find such things as logo templates, stock photography, presentation decks, resume templates, website themes, and much more. This is my go-to place to find inspiration for my projects.
- EnvatoMarket: A online market for more website-focused tools such as plugins, themes, and other tools for doing business and being visible online.
- Skitch: This application makes it easy for you to cut, copy, and edit anything on the web.
- iStock: A beautiful, diverse, and affordable online market of stock photography, illustrations, and videos.
- UnSplash: A constantly growing collection of free and beautiful, high-resolution photographs.
- Flickr Creative Commons: The majority of the images I use in blog posts I find for free on Flickr. To use a Flickr photo licensed under Creative Commons, you must follow the outlined guidelines.
Need help expressing and reaching your communication goals?
- Defining My Communication Strategy: A simple exercise I created to support you in determining what you want to say and why you want to say it.
Managing Your Projects
Need help tracking and billing your projects?
- Pancake: With a one-time fee to purchase and use it, this self-hosted project management software is fantastic for managing your projects, and billing for them. It is versatile, well-designed, and the fact that you do not pay monthly to track and bill your projects is a huge value-add to Pancake’s unique offering.
Storing Your Information
Need help organizing and accessing your info?
- Evernote: A place to store and file every piece of information you ever want to save, including both digital and tangible sources. You can save business cards, web pages, hand-written notes, and anything else you can think of.
- Dropbox: A secure online space connected to your desktop where you can share, store, and access files and folders of information. I love using Dropbox and their secure private folders with my clients as they make it easy for us both to access, share, and store project files.
- Pocket: Put those webpages you usually save by leaving the in an open tab in your Pocket instead. This web tool helps you temporarily save and store those online pieces of info you need for just a little while.
- Feedly: A clean and simple RSS feed reader. Use this tool to subscribe to your favourite blogs, and read their updates on your device of choice.
Building Your Pricing System
Need help designing your system for not setting prices?
- Pay What It’s Worth: Building Your Sustainable System for Not Setting Prices: An ebook I wrote exploring what is needed for you to build a pricing system with integrity.
- Is Pay What It’s Worth for Me?: A checklist I created to help you explore if not setting prices, and Pay What It’s Worth pricing, is for your business.
Creating Business Cards
Need help designing and printing your cards?
- Jukebox Print: This online design and print shop makes creating and printing beautiful and unique business cards easy. They ship globally, have sustainable ink and paper options, and have a wonderful and diverse selection of paper stocks, sizes, and weights. My business cards are printed by them and I think they’re amazing at what they do. They also offer free business card design tools for you to use.
- Hoban Cards: Evan has created a large sampling of affordable, mininimal letterpress-printed calling cards that I absolutely love. If you’re looking for a beautiful design that you can simply drop your information into, these cards are for you.
Making an Online Questionnaire
Need help creating an online form or survey?
- Typeform: Create beautiful and engaging questionnaires, surveys, and any other form you can think of to collect information.