These are the resources and tools that I have found the most helpful in running my business. Don't miss my book recommendations at the end—especially those on the social justice side of things, they're inspiring for all who are passionate about making a difference in their community and on the other side of the globe.
Adobe Express: This is where I recommend creating pieces in your season of making DIY graphics for your business or organization. Got questions on how to use it? Let me know! (comparable to Canva and soooooo much better!)
MailerLite: For email marketing, this is a great option. Their free plan is perfect when starting out and they have pricing options as your list grows and you need additional features. PLUS, if you sign up from my link for a paid account (for a comparison of features/pricing) you'll receive a $20 credit.
Namecheap: Registering domain names? This is my go-to recommendation. I have all my domains registered here and recommend them to clients (even for domain transfers). Plus, their site is so nice to look at!
Websavers: They are a small company with really affordable website hosting plans and stellar customer service (a feature that is highly prized in a hosting company). Websavers includes a free SSL certificate with their hosting plans. TIP: if you run an eCommerce shop look into paid SSL certificate options to make sure you have the highest security for financial transactions.
Evernote: This is how I keep track of everything! Business + personal. I save resources and things I want to remember (easier to search/find than web browser bookmarks, Pinterest, or social media "saves") plus I use it for business management.
Adobe Acrobat Reader: This free app is an essential tool that you will need to have during the design process of your projects with PDFs. It allows you to fill in forms, provide feedback (edit/markups) on the PDF, and add your signature for approval.
WeTransfer: this is the tool I use the most for sending/receiving large files throughout a project with my clients and independent contractors.
Dropbox: Great for storing project-related files (long-term) and also a great tool for housing downloadable graphic files and PDFs. Sign up for your own account to gain file storage accessible from all your devices.
Wave: This is a fantastic free financial/accounting website with apps for your mobile devices. Wave is an easy-to-use tool that is great for online businesses to use for invoicing and tracking receipts for expense records. And it's free!
MyFonts: When you're looking for typefaces this is always the top resource I mention … their explanation of font licensing is one of the best out there!
Creative Market: AND, if you want to find quality design elements to use in your DIY season of creating graphics, I highly recommend Creative Market. Get on their email list and you gain access to freebies, package bundles of art/illustrations. Most artwork and font licensing on Creative Market is very affordably priced.
Biz Book Recommendations:
A few highlights from my list of 100+ business books … ask me for specific recommendations.
+ Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines (16th Edition) by the Graphic Artists Guild
+ Before You Hit Send by Dr. Emerson Eggerich
+ Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller
+ Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business by Meg Mateo Ilasco & Joy Deangdeelert Cho
+ Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High (3rd Edition) by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMilllan, Al Switzler
+ Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown
+ Soar!: Build Your Vision from the Ground Up by T.D. Jakes
+ The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery by Ian Morgan Cron, Suzanne Stabile
+ Write.Publish.Market. From Idea to Published Book (2nd Edition) by Jodi Brandon
"Make a Difference" Books:
These books have inspired my journey of awareness and passion for making a difference in my local community and globally.
+ Be the Bridge by Latasha Morrison
+ Girls Like Us: Fighting for a World Where Girls Are Not for Sale by Rachel Lloyd
+ Love, Skip, Jump: Start Living the Adventure of Yes by Shelene Bryan
+ No Longer A Slumdog: Bringing Hope to Children in Crisis by K.P. Yohannan
+ The Green Book: The Everyday Guide to Saving the Planet One Simple Step at a Time by Elizabeth Rogers & Thomas M. Kostigen
+ The Slave Across the Street by Theresa Flores
+ Thirst: A Story of Redemption, Compassion, and a Mission to Bring Clean Water to the World by Scott Harrison
Faith + Life Inspiration Books:
These books have had a big impact on my life … I highly recommend them all! Grab yourself a copy and cozy up in your favorite reading spot.
+ The Five Languages of Apology by Gary Chapman & Jennifer Thomas (previous title: When Sorry Isn't Enough) … this book could change your life for the better in all your relationships—personal and professional
+ 9 Things You Simply Must Do To Succeed In Love and Life: A Psychologist Learns from His Patients What Really Works and What Doesn't by Dr. Henry Cloud
+ Beyond Boundaries by Dr. John Townsend+ Cupid Is A Procrastinator by Kate Hurley … if you got married before 30, this is a good source to better understand those in your life who are still in singleness
+ Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: It's Impossible to Be Spiritually Mature, While Remaining Emotionally Immature by Peter Scazzero
+ Everybody's Normal Till You Get to Know Them by John Ortberg
+ It's Not Supposed to Be This Way: Finding Unexpected Strength When Disappointments Leave You Shattered by Lysa TerKeurst
+ Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs … transform your relationship!+ The Gate Seldom Found by Raymond Reid
+ The Power of Uniqueness: How to Become Who You Really Are by Arthur F. Miller (previous title: Why You Can't Be Anything You Want to Be)
+ Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Finding True Intimacy by Donald Miller
+ WomanCode by Alisa Vitti
Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don't be impressed with yourself. Don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.
Galatians 6:4-5 (MSG)
Galatians 6:4-5 (MSG)