If you know me at all, you know I like my tools and systems and I’m an extreme maximizer. So, I do my research, I get the best when needed and/or the cheapest or best deal when possible. I have done / do a wide variety of work, and I’m crazy organized with my tools and systems, and yet while I’d hope to keep maybe a tad bit of credit for my work ethic and my Creator, much of my abilities come from the overarching ability to find and utilize good tools and systems.
So, I always enjoy when others share the methods to their madness so I can learn from them, and I want to be as helpful as possible too! If I’ve already done the research and investment, why should you have to? So here is a grand list of all my tools and resources I use for the many, many wide variety of things I do.
I will keep this as updated as possible, and I will link to posts with more detailed descriptions or methods in my blog as they come about. If you have any questions or suggestions, I’m happy to hear both!
A Whopper Index For A Whopper List Of Resources and Tools
I’ll try to keep things organized and categorized as I build this out; so here’s an index to make this more useful for ya – though I’m sure these will overlap some. Within them, they’ll also likely have sub-categories until I figure out a smarter way to do this. So, explore away…
- Web Development & Programming
- Pubic Speaking
- Social Media
- Productivity & Project Management
- Community Management
- Reading & Education
- Filing, Storage, & Backups
Macbook Air mid 2013 model – 1.3 GHz Intel Core i5
I put off buying an Air for years because they were simply underpowered and with too little of storage. However, with 4GB of working memory now, along with gobs of online storage, this little machine gets the job done nicely. The battery lasts me, well, half a day usually (for most it’d make a full day), and it’s insanely portable. I keep a rubberized hardshell on it and slide it in and out of bags all the time. The sucker is well worth it’s price tag compared to anything else out there. Now if they’d just put an HD screen in them.
Homemade Office Desks – 1 Sitting / 1 Standing
This may seem silly, but it’s absolutely not! Your desk and workspace environments make a world of difference on your health and your productivity. The better your posture and the more convenient to use, the more you’ll get done and feel good about getting it done! I fashioned my own standup desks with adjustable everything, as well as a sit down desk out of the adjustable Ikea Ikar desks and shelving and the (NAME) chairs. My wife even gets her own station now. View this blog post for the whole office tour and details [LINK COMING SOON].
Wireless Apple Mouse and Keyboard, and Adjustable Monitor
Again, posture and convenience = health and productivity. I got them all off Craigslist or Ebay for cheap cheap – read the above linked post. Totally worth it!
Minor Computer & Mobile
Toshiba Google Chromebook
Every household needs a backup computer. Something to write on, read on, do a little web surfing and emailing on. This Chromebook was the best there was, by far in 2014. Seriously, this thing is amazing for so many reasons and all we’d need for it’s purpose. I don’t know why more people don’t have these… ignorance, I assume. I’ll write a full review on it’s awesomeness soon. [LINK COMING SOON]
Apple iPad 4
Great for reading, managing social accounts, scanning documents, giving presentations on the go, etc. There’s so much I use this device for that it’s become essential to my workflow in many ways. You’ll see when we get to apps.
HTC One M8 Android Phone
Everyone needs a smartphone these days, right? This one is mine. I’m an Android phone user through and through, and this was the best one out there in 2014 in most regards – not the least of which was looks. It’s a beautiful piece of hardware with all the specs you could ask for. I’ll link here to why I use Android phones [LINK COMING SOON] and don’t see that changing.
Photography, Videography, & Audio Recording
This one is easy: if you get the right mobile devices above, you have this one mostly solved. Unless you’re a full time pro, these are everything you’d ever need for vlogging, photography, recording equipment, and more. The one exception I’d say is if you’re truly trying to record production type music or other audio, you’ll need higher-end mics…
Blue Yetti Audio Microphone
For podcasting, video production that I want to be super high quality (not most vlogs), and musical recordings, I use the Blue Yetti Microphone [LINK COMING]. Anywhere from $80 to $120 bucks usually. Be sure to get you a nice little pop filter and an adjustable stand and shock mount can’t hurt anything as well.
Carrying & Transportation
I use a Fossil backpack for larger gear or overnight trips, and I use the grey Evernote Triangle Commuter Bag for work related or computing stuff. Always have one super nice actual luggage set too if you travel a lot like I used to for some work – worth it! Mine are these snazzy London Fog ones (hint: they make great anniversary gifts for both of you).
Cases are super important to me (partly because I continually resell my electronics and need them nice still, and partly because they maximize usability of your devices). So for my iPads, it’s always a simple, black, flip cover case of some sort – usually dirt cheap, just as long as it props up the iPad for viewing, and magnet turns-off the screen when close. For my phone I use a wallet case [LINK COMING] when out and about or traveling – definitely get you one of these for your phone! – and then a simple black gel silicone case [LINK COMING] for just about the house. Gel silicone cases don’t slide, are easy to grip, and absorb a ton of shock no matter how you drop your phone – better than most any case! They also cost $3 max usually.
This may seem silly, but actual vehicular transport is a huge part of life, right? Lots of money and time spent on this and without it, we don’t do much! So who doesn’t put serious thought and research into their vehicles and modes of transport? I sure do! These take me to airports, sales meetings, consultations, to visit family, friends, vacations, emergencies, and more… and I want them to work right and look right – just like my other hardware in life. So…
Fiat 500 Abarth Automobile
We have a Fiat 500 Abarth… a crazy-fun car! Super sporty (read: fast, fun to drive, and good looking), but yet smart in that it’s not crazy flashy (unless you rev the loud exhaust) and its gas efficiency is amazing. It’s not the most practical in that it can’t transport friends too easily, but it’ll get you anywhere and do it quickly, comfortably, and with fun. Why pay for anything less? We’re now saving for a Tesla in 2017 or ’18… oh yea!
Coming soon because bikes are cool and fitness is cool, and my wife and I can go on rides together in the evening… sounds fun doesn’t it, wife?
This one is different than “web development”, though there is obvious overlap since you have to build a blog first.
For publishing and managing my content, I use the self hosted WordPress software (WordPress.org not WordPress.com). Free and astoundingly adaptable and powerful. The only way I recommend anything else is if you’re main focus is actually e-commerce (though still usually WP is perfect) or you’re really not wanting to “go-pro” with blogging or your website. If you just want to do photos of your kids, or not sure you’ll like blogging, do WP.com or Blogger. Here’s a post I wrote (and update) on the difference.
I always recommend Bluehost. I’ve been with them for years and host everything with them. They’re affordable, dependable, and super helpful 24/7. I heard once they don’t host porn either, but I can’t prove that. There’s tons of options out there, but this is my go-to pretty much every time. They also have an affiliate program which is pretty nice. *hint hint* :) Use my link and you’ll get a few bucks off per month for your first year, and I’ll get a cut! I’d appreciate it if you’re shopping!
I’m a fan of saving time and not reinventing the wheel, so I use many different themes already made and then customize them to fit my needs with my own coding and plugins. I can create themes as well. If you’d like to inquire about me consulting or doing website design work for you, let me know! I sure enjoy it.
Every blog has it’s notebook and everything goes into this app. Everything starts here! Read my process and organization for this here (POST AND LINK COMING SOON). This is my digital brain and my most valuable app I have! I’d buy a device if this was the only app I could have on it. If you use my affiliate link, we’ll both get a month or so of “Premium” and that’d be awesome.
There are two ways I primarily do this for most of my blogs: (1) I use a desktop app called Desk PM that let’s me publish from the same app to multiple blog properties. It’s simple, quick, and aesthetically pleasing. (2) I also use the backend WordPress interface quite often. I like hitting the “Distraction Free Writing Mode” button in the top right of the editor and busting out posts from within it. Then, I can fine tune all the details easily. Occasionally, for short things, I use the WP apps too. Here is a full rundown of my writing process from idea to publish (coming soon).
Web Development & Programming
Productivity & Project Management
Project Management – Asana
By far my favorite project manager / task manager I’ve used, and I’ve used so many of them it’s kinda crazy. Asana really shines if you’re working with a team. You can assign tasks, track them, attach details and files, comment and send msgs, etc. I’ll be writing a review for it soon!
Reading & Education
Filing, Storage, & Backups
So Much More Coming Soon!
Anything you’d recommend or want to hear about? Tell me in the comments!