Tools & Resources
This page contains an overview of tools and apps I use daily as an online writer. You will notice the startup costs for an online writing business are close to zero. All of the tools below can be tested for free. Some contain affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase at no extra cost to you.
If anything is missing from this list, or you’re curious about a specific tool, ask away 📬
Medium: The platform showcases the work of thousands of independent writers, myself included. My writing career would not exist without it. For writers, it’s a great place to hone your craft and build up a content portfolio. Readers will find a wealth of stories on nearly any topic of their interest. If you’ve already blazed through your free three locked articles, consider becoming a Medium member for $5/month for unlimited access.
Upscribe: An easy-to-use newsletter builder that won’t overwhelm you with a million unnecessary features when you want to go beyond the “receive an email whenever I publish something” on Medium. Pricing starts at $19/month for 400 contacts.
Grammarly: Before I touch any publish button, I run a Grammarly check. This gem of a tool is especially helpful if you’re not a native English speaker. Over time, you’ll recognize common mistakes, make fewer of them and, as a result, improve your writing. So far, I’ve been cruising smoothly on the free plan. Will report back here once I’ve tested and tried the Premium plan.
Journo Portfolio: I was looking for an easy way to set up a writer’s website. Journo Portolio makes all of this possible. Showcasing unlimited articles costs only $5/month on the Plus plan. The Pro plan costs $9/month, allowing for a custom domain and automatic article import. Here's a public review. Or, you could, ya know, just scroll through this website.
Google Calendar: My go-to calendar.
Google Sheets: Check out the Google Sheets Geeks Medium publication for free templates.
Design: Make a decent-looking graphic within minutes for your website, social media, or blog post with Canva, even if your design skills suck. Canva’s library holds thousands of templates and images for inspiration, and they’re customizable with a few clicks.
Illustration: I make all illustrations on the blog by hand. Read here how I started to learn illustration in Procreate in 30 days.
7. Focus Apps/Productivity
Toggl Track: A free time tracker I’ve been using for years, together with this Chrome extension.
Focusmate: 25 or 50-minute on-demand and around-the-clock virtual co-working sessions with strangers around the world. Sessions start every 15 minutes. You get three sessions per week, for free! The Turbo plan grants you unlimited sessions for $5/month. It’s well worth it. I wrote a massive blog to celebrate hitting 1K sessions on Focusmate and a follow-up at 2K sessions.
Go F*cking Work: Another free Chrome extension that scolds you when you try to visit distracting websites.
Forest app: During laptop screen breaks, I reach for my phone more often than. This defeats the purpose of screen breaks. Forest app prevents me from the eternal scroll. If I stay inside the app for a preset duration, it plants cute trees. When I do leave the app, the trees wither. Imagine the horror. Pricing: $1.99.
8. Workflow Automation
Make (formerly Integromat): If you’re constantly repeating an action, it means it can be automated. Here’s an example of a use case.
Notebook: When I need to clear my head, I tend to my brightly colored mini-notebook and brain dump until I feel lighter.