My recommendations for the best tools and websites for your Busy Mama life
These are the tools and resources I use every day in my life and business. They rock! Cards on the table some of the links below are affiliate links, so if you choose to buy I will earn a small commission (with no additional cost to you) but I recommend them because they are helpful and useful. Please do not spend any money unless you feel you need them or they will help you achieve your goals and feel free to contact me if you have any questions about how I use them.
Busy Mama Work
DROPBOX - SECURE STORAGE
Dropbox allows me to safely and securely store everything for my home and business. Seriously, everything, from documents to images for my website, invoices, photos, info products, course materials, branding and anything else I would be lost without. Sharing Dropbox links makes it easy for me to share what I'm working on with other people too. The basic plan is free.
CANVA - ONLINE DESIGN TOOL
Canva makes design simple. I use it to create everything from social media images to presentations, PDFs for my courses and resources for my coaching clients. Choose from thousands of stock images and fonts or upload your own and apply them to Canva templates or your custom dimensions. All the main social media channels are covered so creating an image the right size for Instagram, for example, is a breeze. A basic account is free or upgrade to Canva for work to store your brand colours, fonts, templates and more.
CONVERTKIT - EMAIL LIST MANAGEMENT
I switched to ConvertKit from Mailchimp because it combines simple and elegant sending with the automation and tagging features that usually cost a LOT more. It's the power of Infusionsoft without the price tag. And it's perfect for pro-bloggers and busy mama solopreneurs.
TYPEFORM - ONLINE FORMS
Typeform is an online app for collecting information, in a conversational way. It's fab for creating customer or reader surveys, getting feedback and asking questions. If you have an online course use it to get feedback. If you have a blog use it to ask what your readers love about your site or what content they most enjoy. The basic version is free.
SHOPIFY - ONLINE STORE
Shopify is a powerful ecommerce site that's both a storefront and a way to manage customer orders and payment, control product inventory, and more. I use Shopify as the payment system for my courses. It's super easy to add products into my store dashboard and then add buy now buttons on my Happiness Habits Routine Squarespace site or here on WordPress.
i use my phone for everything from shooting videos for my courses to going live on Facebook or Twitter and creating images for Instagram... and good lighting is really important. This little ring led light clips easily onto my phone (or tablet or laptop) to give me extra light where I need it. There is soft silicon gel on the clip so it doesn't scratch the screen and it's battery operated (2 x AAA batteries) so it doesn't drain my phone battery.
When I need more light than the clip on ring light above, for shooting videos for example, I use two of these LED video lights mounted on tripods (or balanced on a pile of books!) to give me extra brightness. I've seen a big difference in the quality of my videos since I started paying attention to the lighting and this is an affordable option for dull days and shooting indoors.
TRELLO - GETTING ORGANISED
Trello is a visual project organisation and management tool that groups anything you need to get done into boards. In one glance, I can easily see what I'm working on, what needs to be done next and who's involved. I use it as a content management store, hashtag store, links store, development planner, to-do list and so much more!
BUFFER - SOCIAL SHARING
I switched from Co-Schedule to Buffer for all my social sharing because while I loved Co-Schedule's features, I didn't love the price tag. Buffer is £10 per month and it does what I need - namely I add text and image updates to my Buffer queue and they get posted on my social channels well spaced out over the day - and at the best times. Plus I can access it wherever I am. Job done.
Busy Mama Life stuff!
MODEL KT LUXURY WORK BAG by Jennifer Hamley England
I have literally been searching for the perfect work/laptop bag for EVER. But finally the Model KT ticks all the boxes for me! Luxury leather in gorgeous bright colours (mine is Salamander orange) with enough space for my 16" laptop, filofax, notebook, charger cables and everything else I could possibly ever need when I'm working away from home or meeting with coaching clients 121. And how many pockets?! You can watch me unboxing it on Facebook here.
I love to run every weekend - it gets me out into the countryside and out of my own way! I have some of my best ideas when I'm out running but I'm super careful to protect my knees so I run for 6 mins and walk for 1 min, repeating for around 8 miles. This simple compact interval timer goes out with me EVERY time, beeping to let me know when each interval is up.
HEADSPACE - MEDITATION APP
Meditation is one of the 8 daily happiness habits that I teach in my Happiness Habits Routine eCourse and Headspace is the app that I use every day on my phone to guide my own practise. I cannot recommend it highly enough... it ROCKS! You can sign up and take a free course to get started and a monthly subscription costs £7.95
NOOM COACH - HEALTHY EATING & WEIGHT LOSS
Stewart and I lost over 60lb between us using the Noom Coach app and we still both use it today to maintain our weight goals. The only way to lose weight is to burn more calories than you eat. We found every other solution was gimmicky and hard to stick to long term, while Noom is a simple to use app that combines food logging and exercise with habit-based advise.
Ok, I'm going to sprinkle some woo-woo on you now... I've started using these guidance cards every day to connect in to my feminine power, ask for inner guidance or just kick-start my intuition. They're beautiful with gorgeous artwork, inspiring messages and affirmations that I read again during the day to remind me to focus on the power of positivity and having a 'can do' attitude. They work, my friend.
You know I created an exclusive planner specifically for the students in the Happiness Habits Transformation™ right? (If not, find out more here.) But if you're not part of the course the Best Self Journal is a great alternative. I fully endorse the goal-focused approach this daily journal takes with spaces for gratitude, successes, lessons learned, reflection and more. Watch the video here.
Want an alternative? Check out the Daily Greatness Journal (and get a 5% discount, just because we're BFFs).
With little people in the house and visitors and elderly relatives staying over this LED night lights has been SO useful - we have one in almost every room! It comes on automatically at dusk and goes off at dawn, is bright enough to see where you're going without switching on the light and gives a soft white light. It's cool to the touch and a lovely glass-like design. A mama must-have for me.
Busy Mama Books & Podcasts
WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE by Oprah Winfrey
My all time favourite inspirational and motivational read. I've bought copies for most of my girlfriends and read it myself almost every day. It's a real 'life changer' of a book with short essays of wisdom and insight that have stopped me in my tracks on more than one occasion. I LOVE IT! (Read my review here.)
HEADSPACE GUIDE TO MINDFULNESS & MEDITATION by Andy Puddicombe
Meditation is one of my 8 daily happiness habits. But there's a lot of confusion about what it is and how to get started. This book has simple, straightforward approach that's accessible for absolute beginners and anyone who's tried meditation but found it challenging. Andy's fresh, practical approach is easy to follow in only 10 minutes a day. I read this and then started using the Headspace app every day. (And I'm so grateful to have Headspace content in The Happiness Habits Transformation.)
LETTING GO by David R Hawkins
Sir David R. Hawkins, M.D., Ph.D. is a nationally renowned psychiatrist, physician, researcher, spiritual teacher and lecturer. His practical book deals with the emotional blockages that get in the way of discovering our true freedom and it's been revolutionary in helping me understand more about how to let go of what doesn't serve me - emotions, attitudes, behaviours and more.
TOOLS OF TITANS by Tim Ferriss
I bought this book originally for Stewart, my husband, but it's one I'm dipping into all the time for inspiration and I'd recommend it to any budding Busy Mama entrepreneur. Tim Ferriss has brought together the best inspiration and life hacks from the nearly 200 world-class performers he has interviewed for his podcast. Not one for reading from cover to cover but definitely dip in for motivation - get your sparkly highlighter ready!
PODBEAN - MY FAV PODCASTS