My list of personal tools, habits, and books that keep me happy and productive:
Electronic Tools + Apps:
- Evernote for taking notes, writing and editing posts, and clipping interesting things off the internet. I prefer it to many other note-taking or organizing apps. I pay for the premium version.
- TeuxDeux for to-do lists. I previously used Todoist, but recently switched to TeuxDeux and I love it. It’s much more suitable for those who love making lots of different lists. I will gladly pay for this app.
- Spotify for music. I also pay for the premium version of Spotify. I tried Apple Music and really did not enjoy it.
- Passpack for storing passwords. I don’t use this as much as I should, but it has definitely come in handy.
- Pinterest for storing pictures I’ve come across on Tumblr. I don’t really use Pinterest for food or business-related content. Sometimes I use it to put together an outfit.
- Google Drive for storing pretty much everything. All my design files are here so I can access them at any computer if I need.
Making daily plans + writing things down:
- Ink + Volt yearly planner for keeping me on track with yearly, monthly, and weekly goals. I carry this thing pretty much everywhere with me. When I’m finished with any given week, I use the previous pages for my sticky notes. I used to Bullet Journal, but got pretty tired of having to set up my plans on a weekly basis. Ink + Volt is much easier.
- Amazon Basics notebooks for writing, sketching, and taking notes. I try to fill one of these notebooks each month. I usually transfer essays that I will turn into something bigger/better into Evernote at some point. When I'm reading a book, I outline it and take notes in this notebook. When I finish the book, I transfer these notes to Evernote to review concepts and make the content searchable. It's like my own version of a commonplace book, which you can read more about below! I carry this notebook with me everywhere.
I carry a pencil case with me pretty much all the time. Its contents include:
- Washi tape
- Glue stick
- Several Prismacolor soft-core colored pencils
- Some sharpie pens
- Faber-Castell pen in black
- Prismacolor fine line marker in black
- Mechanical pencil
Websites/Essays/People of Note:
- The Crossroads of Should and Must - incredible and wonderful essay by Elle Luna on Medium. It’s also a book now!
- The Ultimate Guide To Reinventing Yourself - blog post/essay by James Altucher. There is so much gold in this post. I have it printed out and saved in many different folders.
- James Victore's Youtube Channel - no-bullshit advice on being a designer and building a design career
- How And Why To Keep A "CommonPlace Book" - blog post by Ryan Holiday about taking notes from what you are reading and cataloging those notes for future reference.
- Rookiemag.com - website for teenage girls but I still love it
- 50 Book Pledge - pledge to read 50 books this year
- JordannaRowan.com - if you’re into minimalism and mindful living
- AlexandraFranzen.com - if you’re into great, relatable writing and lots of amazing content
- RosieLeizrowice.com - writes about minimalism, growth, and creativity; she inspired me to start this blog and really dedicate myself to it
- JennyBlake.me - if you’re into mindful entrepreneurism and career type content
I will update with more once I think of them…
- Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert - ugh I love Liz Gilbert
- 99% Invisible - a beautifully produced podcast about the design of everyday things that we usually don't think about
- The Accidental Creative - how to build practical, everyday practices that help you stay prolific, brilliant and healthy in life and work
- Invisibilia - a popular podcast from NPR
- Making Oprah - I LOVE OPRAH AND THIS PODCAST!
- If There’s Hell Below - for indie music
- Creative Pep Talk - on making a living and making great art
- The Chase Jarvis Live Show - interviews with creatives + entrepreneurs sponsored by CreativeLive.com
- ChoiceLess - of you’re into hearing stories about abortion and abortion access
- Design Matters with Debbie Millman - interviews with designers
- Pivot Podcast with Jenny Blake - interviews and advice from entrepreneurs
- The Positive Head Podcast - meditations and tips for healing past trauma and keeping a positive perspective
Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop. Because, yeah, they really are the best. If you're interested in learning to use these programs, I recommend Lynda.com, CreativeLive.com, and SkillShare.com.
- You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
- Magic Lessons by Elizabeth Gilbert
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
- Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
- Pivot by Jenny Blake