Tools & Resources

An overview of tools and apps I use daily as an online writer. You'll see 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鈥檙e curious about a specific tool, ask away聽馃摤

1. Reading

Medium: The platform showcases the work of thousands of independent writers, myself included. My writing career would not exist without it. For writers, it鈥檚 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鈥檝e already blazed through your free three locked articles, consider becoming a Medium member for $5/month for unlimited access.聽

2. Newsletter

Upscribe: An easy-to-use newsletter builder that won鈥檛 overwhelm you with a million unnecessary features when you want to go beyond the 鈥渞eceive an email whenever I publish something鈥 on Medium. Pricing聽starts at $19/month for 400 contacts.

3. Writing

Grammarly: Before I touch any publish button, I run a Grammarly check. This gem of a tool is especially helpful if you鈥檙e not a native English speaker. Over time, you鈥檒l recognize common mistakes, make fewer of them and, as a result, improve your writing. So far, I鈥檝e been cruising smoothly on the free plan. Will report back here once I鈥檝e tested and tried the Premium plan.

4. Website

Journo Portfolio: I was looking for an easy way to set up a writer鈥檚 website.聽Journo Portolio makes all of this possible. Showcasing unlimited articles costs only $5/month on the Plus plan. The Pro plan聽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.

5. Organizing/Planning

Google Calendar: My go-to calendar.

Google Sheets: Check out the Google聽Sheets Geeks Medium publication for free templates.

6. Design/Illustration

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鈥檚 library holds thousands of templates and images for inspiration, and they鈥檙e customizable with a few clicks.

Illustration: I make all illustrations on the blog by hand. Read here how I聽learned illustration in Procreate in 30 days.

7. Focus Apps/Productivity

Toggl Track: A free time tracker I鈥檝e been using for years, together with this Chrome extension.聽

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,聽for free! The Turbo plan grants you unlimited sessions for $5/month. It鈥檚 well worth it. I wrote a massive blog to celebrate hitting 1K sessions on Focusmate and a follow-up at 2K sessions. Are you a brand new user? Get a FREE month of Focusmate and unlimited 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聽reach for my phone more often than. This defeats the purpose of screen breaks.聽 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聽horror.聽Pricing: $1.99.

8. Workflow Automation

Make (formerly聽Integromat): If you鈥檙e constantly repeating an action, it means it can be automated. Here鈥檚 an example of a use case.

9. Journaling

Notebook: When I need to clear my head, I tend to my brightly colored聽mini-notebook and brain dump until I feel lighter.