Almost everyday as I meet and work with writers, editors, managers and small business owners I am asked what do you use or what do you recommend. Throughout my years working as a professional Writer, Editor and Social Media Manager I have picked up many helpful tools of the trade that I use regularly. Since others often ask me for advice, I thought a list of resources might be useful for many. Check back frequently as I will continue to grow this list.
Kindle – This is the Kindle I own and use daily. I love it! I still love physical books of course, but since I got my Kindle my bookshelves are reserved for books that have been autographed, books that I love, and books that I’ve purchased on the spur of the moment at launches, festivals or readings. All my guilty pleasure reading, reference textbooks, personal development books, free eBooks, and even cookbooks are in my Kindle library.
I love that I can carry around my own personal library everywhere I go. And if I forget to pack my Kindle (which rarely happens now, as it is the first thing to go into my suitcase!) I can easily access my library on my phone from the road. Of course, my phone screen has a glare, but it will do in a pinch if needed.
I even make quick and dirty eBooks of my own writing and add them to my Kindle so I can read from it instead of off loose paper when I am invited to read at events and launches and I want to test some new work. If you haven’t transitioned into the world of electronic publishing yet, I highly recommend you do. It has completely changed my reading habits.
Gel pens – I absolutely love BIC Velocity Gel pens or Gelocity! They are super smooth and last a really long time. I like the way they feel in my hand. I prefer black ink for everyday all day writing, but I also use blue and red inks, depending on the project.
I feel like I have spent the better part of my adult life seeking the best pen to suit my personality that can perform the sometimes huge amount of work I am doing. There have been some favourites that have come and gone, but I started using this brand a few years ago and I will be sticking with it for as long as the product is being made. Best pens ever! In my opinion, of course!
Yellow Notepads – You can get these types of canary yellow notepads nearly everywhere you can buy paper supplies including Staples and the Dollar Store but it is just as easy to order them from Amazon. I keep a supply on hand at all times.
I use them for everything from taking notes in meetings and seminars to jotting down ideas and making my grocery shopping list. I love that single pages are easily detached and removed without destroying the integrity of the whole notepad. And there’s just something inspiring and soothing about the yellow colour that just makes me happy!
Daily Planner – Since 2015 I have been loyal to Brownline Daily Planners. The version I use is pretty huge and could be considered a bit pricey, though for my needs it is a very worthwhile investment and I use up every bit of all that space. If your needs aren’t quite as robust as mine though they do make more compact books and I would highly recommend any Brownline planner.
The things I love about this particular planner are all the calendar options. At the front of the book, I can briefly sketch out the entire year in advance, so at any point in time I can take a glance at my year and assess whether I’m on track, whether I need to make course adjustments, or whether my needs have changed and I should revamp the plan entirely. Each day has space for appointments every half hour from 7 am through 8:30 pm with an additional block of 10 lines dedicated to evenings. Each day also offers eight big blocks of space for your Things to Do checklist. With so much day to day space I love that I’m able to manage my entire life (personal and business) on a single page.
At the end of each month there is a full page dedicated to tracking expenses. This is great for entrepreneurs and freelancers like me to jot down things like hotel, taxis, meals, and other business expenses on the fly during the month to reconcile with your receipts at month’s end. I have used a lot of planners and even tried my own makeshift planner in a notebook in order to get all the space and organization that I need to stay on track, but nothing has worked as well for me as this one. It’s huge, it’s an investment, but it’s perfect for me!
The Elements of Style – It can never be repeated enough that this is the Bible for all writers. I personally own at least three dog-eared copies. I try to read this guide from cover to cover at least once every couple of years just to remind myself of its valuable lessons. If you are a writer, editor, or just a business person who writes a lot of memos or emails, you need to read this book. It is a classic but the information is as valuable and relevant today.
Full disclosure: I am an affiliate with Amazon and may earn a few cents if you purchase any of these items. That being said, I am also a frequent shopper there and I only recommend items that I personally own, use and enjoy.