Here’s a list the online tools, books, and courses I’ve used in growing creative confidence and becoming a digital entrepreneur.
Some of these links are affiliate links, meaning if you click through and purchase the product, I’ll earn a commission. While this adds no cost to you, your purchases help me keep Mintedleaf running. But, you are in no way obligated to buy through this site. Enjoy!
Recommended Tools & Courses
- StudioPress WordPress Themes – I recommend Studiopress WordPress themes because I’ve used them on ALL my websites since 2011. The themes are well documented (big plus for me), and customer support has been very responsive when I’ve had a tricky technical question.
- StudioPress Sites – If you don’t want to fiddle with installing WordPress and themes, this is a cloud website builder. All you do is select the theme you want and Studiopress Sites does the rest. Learn more about StudioPress Sites here
- Dreamhost Web Hosting – With so many web hosting companies around, it’s easy to get lost in the weeds deciding which one to use. We’ve had our share of trial and error with different webhosts but Dreamhost is the service we’ve used and continue to use since we started in online in 2003.
- ConvertKit Email Marketing for Bloggers– This is the email and newsletter platform I currently use to send out the Mintedleaf newsletter. I’ve used Mailchimp and Aweber in the past, but I really love how much ConvertKit has built into it. And it’s easy to get started. For example, I can collect email addresses, send newsletters, segment my list based on subscriber categories and interests, include downloadable PDFs in my signup forms, and tons more I haven’t even discovered yet!
- CreativeLive – I’m very excited to list CreativeLive here becuase I’m addicted to taking online courses. They have hundreds of classes available that you’ll love, from printmaking to photoshop to negotiating. The production quality is amazing and the courses are delivered toa very high standard. I’ve taken several CreativeLive courses, including Planning a Standout Business with Tara Gentile, and Podcast Storytelling with Alex Blumberg.
Some Free resources
These resources have free forever and paid options which means you can try them out at no cost.
- Trello – This is a a free, easy to use project management tool that lets you organize tasks and workflows using “cards” that you can drag and drop in any order.
- Snappa – This is a free web graphics tool I’m trying out and so far it’s been fantastic. So easy to use! The free version is limited to just five downloads a month, but if you’re just starting out, this is plenty.
- Canva – If you don’t have a lot of time, and need a Facebook, Twitter, or blog graphic in a hurry, Canva has ready to use templates that are easy to customize. Many design elements are free and others are $1 each.
- Evernote – I am a dedicated notebook person, BUT this is the online note taking and organizing tool I can’t live without. I’ve just recently upgraded to Premium, but the free version is more than adequate if you’re just getting started. You can clip snippets, pictures or whole articles from a web page, easly add notes, index the text in Instagram photos, and so much more.
I come back to these books again and again:
- Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work!, both by Austin Kleon – two MUST READ books that will inspire you to chip away at your ideas, start making things, and sharing them with the world. Kleon’s is a required mindset for getting unstuck
- Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do, by Chris Guillebeau – my favourite book from this world travel hacker and side hustler. You must read this if you are thinking of exploring side projects or side hustles that don’t require you to give up everything and start over
- Life Reimagined: The Science, Art, and Opportunity of Midlife – consider this a resource book for that age between being young and invincible and old and wise. Geek out on the brain science, be inspired that you can and must exercise your brain for lifelong health and happiness
- Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All, by Dan Kelley – a MUST READ and gamechanger book for me, from the founders of design thinking studio IDEO. I felt myself nodding my head throughout this book and continue to reread.
- Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert – on the nature of creativity her thoughts on where it comes from, how to handle you fears and live a creative life