Tools & Resources

I find myself mentioning different resources, programs I use, and products I buy in my blog posts; yet I did not have a separate page for them. After reading a blog post on resource pages from ProBlogger, I realized it is something I need to add.

So that being said, here it is!

I will be adding to this page as I expand my horizons and find tools and resources I feel are helpful to you.

Note: Some links are affiliate links, which means I will earn a small commission on any purchases made through that link. It keeps my website sustainable, and at no extra cost to you. Plus, it’s worth noting that I am a signed up, paid up, or regular user of the resources listed on this page.

Writing Software

Being a writer of novels and nonfiction, I found myself needing software that would work for more than one application. I was using MS Word initially, but found myself losing my place or having to scroll through a lot of pages if I was looking for something specific.

I also used Google Docs (which is great for on-the-go-writing), but I found I was having the same issues.

In 2012 I signed up for National Novel Writing Month (November) and was introduced to the software that would change my publishing future.

Enter Scrivener, by Literature and Latte.

The software has a trial period of 30 non-consecutive days of use before you need to pay for it. I wrote my entire novel during the trial period, and bought it with a discount after the month of November was over. I have since used it to write my romance novella series, other works of fiction, and several nonfiction projects.

Jasper AI – This is fairly new to me, but I have used it for some product descriptions and a blog post on my just-for-fun website. I am working on completing my certification (as of May 30/22) so I can better serve my clients, customers, and readers.

Design Programs

  • Canva – As a printables and planner designer, I needed something that would let me play around with designs, fonts, blocks of text, and placement of shapes. I started out with Canva Basic, and after several months of using it I upgraded to Canva Pro for $16.99/month. It allows me more features, such as additional fonts, photos, and some commercial use privileges. This one is web-based, so you’ll need an active internet connection to use it.
  • Affinity Publisher – I bought this one so I could design digital planners. I purchased a couple of courses on creating them, and realized Affinity was the way to go (since I’m a PC user). I use it for both digital and printable planners, and enjoy it because I don’t need to be connected to the internet to work on my projects.
  • PowerPoint – I had no idea this one was so versatile until I signed up for Create 30 Products in 30 Days by Dvorah Lansky. I am partway through the course and have learned so much already; I can’t wait to see what the next few weeks brings.

Courses and Workshops

  • Passive Income Planner Girl – In Passive Income Planner Girl, you learn how to turn your zone of genius into a digital planner. Then use it as a launching pad to a business full of raving fans. While honoring your desires, your personality, and your joy every step of the way.
  • Digital Planner Template – This is the course I bought to learn how to make digital planners. It has been a game-changer for me, and has enabled me to create more than just printable planners. I think one of the best features is it comes with a template which you edit and can sell as your own. The video tutorials are thorough as well, which makes it easy to follow along.
  • Share Your Brilliance – I have found the resources and information on this website to be so valuable. One of the things stressed is this: Done is better than perfect. I have several projects on my computer that I have started, but feel they’re not ready to be put out there yet. The problem is, if I don’t put them out there how can I tweak them so they help others? It’s definitely something to ponder, don’t you think?
  • Printables By Number – This is another course on creating printables, both in PowerPoint and Canva. I enrolled in this course and am loving Suzi’s enthusiasm and knowledge. Plus, she includes a lot of templates and resources within the course. I’m a printables creator, but I learned something new about PowerPoint that I didn’t know before. That’s why it doesn’t hurt to take courses by more than one person, as not everyone teaches the same way: just like we don’t learn the same way.
  • Blog By Numbers Ebook – I’m a blogger, and I wish I would have had this when I first started out. It’s an easy-to-follow plan on getting your blog started. Suzi concentrates on mom topics, but there’s no reason you can’t change the ideas and wording of the templates to suit your niche. There are so many helpful hints in this ebook, and even more in the course itself.

Images and Clipart

  • Creative Market – I buy the majority of my clipart from designers with commercial rights. That means I can use the images/products in my planners, journals, printables, etc., while being able to earn an income from them. I generally purchase the commercial rights which gives me up to 5000 products sold. If I anticipate more than 5000 products sold with each design I purchase, then I will buy the Extended Commercial Rights. That allows me unlimited use of the design. It’s best to check the End User Agreement with each designer to make sure you’re not stepping on any toes.

Creative Fabrica – I recently purchased an annual membership, which allows me unlimited downloads of clipart, designs, software, and more. You may purchase with or without a membership, which is great for anyone who doesn’t want to commit to an annual membership. I love the designs and assets available on the site.

Side Hustle Opportunities

Woodworking – When I was going to build my deck I purchased this set of plans. I used some of what I learned in the deck building section, plus incorporated a bit of information from DIY books I have in my office. What I love about this set is it contains plans for 16,000 projects; many of which are small and can be easily done in a few hours. That alone makes them perfect for a side hustle.

Shed Building – When my late husband and I moved onto this property it didn’t have a shed of any sort. We moved in a modular home, and planned to add a garage or shed a year or two after the move. I purchased this set of plans so we could figure out what we needed for our lawn tractor and other gardening tools. When he passed away suddenly shed building plans ended. I did incorporate some of what I learned when I built my temporary greenhouse though.

If you can tell the difference between a saw, drill, and hammer, then you will be able to follow these plans and build the shed of your dreams. Whether it’s for utilitarian use or as a quiet space (think she-shed or man-cave), you can build it. And if it’s not quite what you envisioned, advertise it and make some extra cash on the side.

Bath and Spa Products – In one of my posts I talked about making and selling bodycare products as a side hustle. This extensive resource contains information, recipes, and even a money-back guarantee. I personally love the essential oil blends, as I use essential oils in my home.

This resource also covers marketing of you products, packaging, and resources on where to purchase supplies. For anyone venturing into making bodycare and spa products, this is the perfect toolkit.


EverBee – For those who would like to open an Etsy Shop and are wondering what to sell, this is a great tool to help with analytics. And if you already have a shop, it’ll help you tweak your products so you can get more sales. I sell digital products in my TOLAPrintables shop and I see how helpful this is.

This list will continue to grow in the coming months. If you have any questions or suggestions on resources and tools, feel free to contact me.