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Here are some of my favorite resources for blogging, writing and managing chronic illness that I wanted to share with you because I find them useful.
I am a fan of Grammarly but I don’t use it when writing fiction. I do use it for pretty much everything else. Its in-browser editing has worked well across three of my computer for school, work, and blogging.
What I love about Notebook by Zoho is that I was able to fully replace Evernote for free. Zoho handled migrating all of my Evernote Notes into Notebook seamlessly and notified me when it was done. For FREE! It has the same or similar features as Evernote like writing a note, voice record a note, take a photo note, make a check-mark To-Do List, draw or attach a file. What I LOVE about Notebook which was the same feature I wanted from Evernote is the ability to save websites into a Notebook with the Chrome Extension called Notebook Web Clipper. When I find a useful blog post, I click the web clipper and save it to one of my many organized notebooks. Did I mention, for FREE? And it works on macOS, iOS, Android, and Windows. I’ve been using it as an Evernote replacement for 2 months now and love it. On my phone, I can share things into Notebook and create a note for later as well.
Like Grammarly but Pro Writing Aid has a more in-depth writing tool for analyzing writing style as well as style and sentence structure. I primarily use this for writing fiction or nonfiction, not blogging.
Ulysses is a writing program that uses markup styles but with organized. The downside is that it only works with macOS and iOS. I use this on my iPhone, iPad, MacBook and iMac. This software is a markup program that uses the iCloud (and now supports other options but for the best sync possible, iCloud is recommended) to sync so you always have access to your work. It is subscription-based but at a very reasonable price. I started using this several years ago before they were subscription-based and I still love the program.
Looking for a domain? Why not use Hover? I’ve been using Hover for the last five years for all of my domain needs and they are easy to use and offer a lot of deals. Now if you get your domain through your hosting provider, I get it, it’s usually free but what about when you need another domain? If you decide to try Hover, you can get $2 off your domain purchase with my Link.
I use MailerLite for my email needs, primarily because they offered one of the best plans for free (free for up to 1000 subscribers!) and the reviews favored this over a few others. For now, this works well and is easy to use. You get access to quite a bit for free so to me, it was worth a shot.
Without Tailwind, I would have to manually pin all of my pins. This is a pain in the best of days so it saves me so much time allowing me to work on writing more and pacing myself so I don’t get overwhelmed. I also really love the Tribes as it extends my reach further than I could have imagined. The analytics really help to tell you which pins are performing well as well as which boards are getting the most repins. I’ve learned a lot from this service. They off a Free version and various Plus Versions with monthly or yearly options. If you haven’t tried Tailwind, you should. You can also use Tailwind to post to Instagram so keep that in mind too.
This is a rather new hosting company BUT they come well regarded. What I liked about them right away was that they offered a monthly subscription plan. When you are just starting out as a blogger, the idea of dropping one or two hundred on your hosting can be daunting. Lyrical Host offers monthly plans starting at $11.99 and yearly plans. I came from SiteGround originally and Lyrical Host handled my site migration for free and offer a lot of free perks. There have been a few bumps here and there but the customer service has been wonderful and quick. Be sure to use promo code: chronicwanderer for 10% off.
If you’ve read any of my book reviews then you’ve seen my opening setup. It provides the layout for the book cover, synopsis, page numbers, etc. It speeds things up so I can just get to writing without having to hunt down all of the necessary information. I love this plugin. I found it on a book blogger’s website when she posted about why she uses the plugin. It has a lot of customizability and it the only book review plugin I’ve seen that is still being updated.
I use Canva a lot for my graphical needs because I enjoy the ease of access of its setup. Everything you make is saved to your Canva Designs page so no need to save it all to your own storage right away. If you upgrade, then you can upload your own brand fonts, create color palettes to easily grab from and upload your logo to keep your branding consistent. Ease of access if major with Canva as it comes preloaded with tons of free templates, fonts, stock photos, and exporting options. There is also a mobile app but I find it to be difficult to use for anything more than backgrounds with text on top.
Affinity Designer is an amazing graphical design software that uses vector and pixel, allowing the user to easily go back and forth. I had been using Gimp and Inkscape prior to Affinity Designer. Picked it up on a whim, bought their design workbook to learn the full layout and have been loving this little powerhouse since. Also, this is a very community-driven company and program. If you are looking for a feature that AD doesn’t already have, let them know and the developers will probably put it on their list of things to add.
It’s a small one time fee and you are on your way. It works on macOS, iOS, and Windows. I bought the Mac version which works flawlessly on both of my Macs. Also, its functionality with the iPad and Apple Pencil is a major selling point. After two years of use, I can’t see going back to Inkscape and Gimp. If you are interested in giving it a shot, scroll down to the bottom of the page where they hide their free trial offer.
Chronic & Mental Illness
Migraine Buddy is a free app available on Android and iPhone for tracking headaches and migraines. I haven’t tried any other migraine apps besides this one and I don’t want to. It has so many features for free and they are adding more frequently. You can use it to track other types of headaches as well.
Curable is an app that I highly recommend trying out even at 14.99/month because I found it invaluable. It uses interviews, podcasts, journal exercises and guided questions to allow you to retrain your thinking and help relieve pain, depression, and anxiety. This app was significant in my improvement and really helped me get to a better place. I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t found it.
I’ve mentioned this on My Chronic Illness Survival Kit, but the TENS 7000 is seriously one of the best $30 ever spent for muscle spasms, nerve pain, migraines and headaches, and more. Right now you can get 10% off your entire purchase by using the code TENS.
Tapping Solution was my introduction to EFT Tapping. EFT stands for Emotional Freedom Technique which uses a variety of alternative medicine theories like acupuncture, neuro-linguistic programming, energy medicine, and Thought Field Therapy (TFT) to relieve pain, depression, anxiety, ADHD, etc. It is a painless process that involves tapping on meridian points (a concept in traditional Chinese medicine involving the path through which life-energy (qi) flows).
I’ve mentioned MyID Bracelets before and I still highly recommend them. They are comfortable and lightweight. Check out my post for more information.
I can’t make it without Orgain Grassfed Shakes. I am not a fan of the Vegan All-in-One shakes (too gritty, too thick and too sweet) but the Grassfed shakes (Vanilla Bean Flavor is my favorite). They also offer protein powders, nutrition bars, and kid’s drinks. Get 30% Off All Protein Drinks – use code SHAKE30 at Orgain.com
Sometimes you just need a distraction and Humble Bundle is one of the best places to find distractions. From games (DRM free, Steam engine, Uplay or other requirements), book bundles, software bundles, and graphic novels, Humble Bundle has a lot to offer while helping charities. You can select the charity they donate to and many bundles are ‘pay what you want’. I love computer games and sometimes they are the distraction I need and other times they are the distraction I need for my kids so I can take a breather and deal with my pain.
This is my one-stop-shop for fountain pens, ink, notebooks, and other writing paraphernalia. Goulet is an awesome pen shop run by husband and wife, Brian and Rachel Goulet, a team that makes you feel like part of the family. Their weekly newsletter isnt just filled with sexy pens, beautiful pens, and artistic drawings, but they include you in the new, old and sometimes sad information about their lives showing you how much they care. It is a community with them.
If you are anything like me then you are constantly learning. I love learning if I could get paid to learn all day, I would. Udemy has been a go-to learning website for me for years. Right now I am learning EFT/TFT Tapping to help myself manage my chronic illnesses. Start learning on Udemy today!
Amazon Prime is a valuable resource if you find that you already shop there often. Also, free Prime TV makes this worth it. I don’t have Hulu, only Netflix so I don’t get overwhelmed by my options but Amazon Prime TV being offered with two days shipping on most items, subscribe and save, as well as many other perks. If you have tried it, sign up for a free trial.
Formerly Ebates, Rakuten is a great tool and browser addon to get some cash back for many of your online shopping sites. I’ve been using Rakuten for over five years and get back on average $50 a year. This is great if you shop online often.
If you like getting money back for things you’re already buying then Fetch Rewards is perfect. You scan your receipt and get points per receipt, some items give bonus points. If you’re an Amazon shopper, you can also login to Amazon to get points for those purchases too. Sign up with my link and you’ll get 2,000 Fetch Points to start. You only need 5,000 points to get your first gift card. Available on iOS and Android.
Similar to Fetch Rewards, with Receipt Pal you scan your receipts and have to fill a card with 4 receipts to get points. It actually adds up quickly and I’ve already redeemed $20 in Amazon Giftcards
This is my go-to but you have to remember to use it before you go grocery shopping. What I love about this one is that if you link some of your accounts, then they automatically give you cash back on the things you’ve added to the list. Be sure to use my referral code znvta if try Ibotta. My lifetime earnings currently are $132.36. You can check out when you reach $20 and you can get that cash in PayPal or gift cards.