My Favorite 11 Tools for Success in 2018


I have to say, I don’t care for the saying “new year, new me.”  Why do you want a new version of yourself entirely?  It’s hard enough being just yourself, so why try to reinvent the wheel completely?  This year instead of trying to break myself down and build myself back up I want to focus on emphasizing my good habits and breaking the bad.  Rather than throwing out the old and trying to build a brand new me from the ground up, I prefer focusing on the good I know I contain and emphasizing it which is why I have decided to dedicate this year to focus on being even more of a successful artist. It’s not going to be easy which is why I have invested in some tools that I have started using towards the end of 2017 and am looking forward to continuing implementing in 2018 while I work towards growing this blog and the other endeavors that I am passionate about.  

1. Productivity Planner

I actually purchased this planner without opening it or knowing anything about it, I just knew I wanted it.  It was at a time in my life where I wasn't as productive as I knew I could be because I was grappling with my anxiety.  I was desperate to try anything, so I rolled the dice and made the gamble on it, and it has paid off significantly.  


2. The Five Minute Journal
This journal is an excellent tool for jotting down the daily highlights and a constant reminder to be grateful.  This isn’t the type of journal that asks you a question about your day but instead lets you list the things you are thankful for, what you would like to accomplish, highlighting the good of the day while reflecting on what you can improve on.  It is the ultimate positivity journal, keeping it concise and straightforward without all the doohickies and constant upkeep that are required by some of its contenders making it my favorite and go to journal. 

3. 2018 Rifle Paper Co Planner
Keeping my life on track and on schedule has never been my strong suit.  I continuously forget appointments and mix up times, so I have started to put a great deal of effort into making sure I write down my dates when I set them and also working hard at planning ahead, so I stay on top of my creative ambitions.  With this planner, I can see and know what I have to write and look forward to because I have started writing out what blog posts I want to share on what days.  Having a planner used to bum me out because I never put anything into it, so it always looked as if I didn’t do anything, but I am getting past that and staying on top of jotting down everything that needs to happen on what days.  Not only does it make me feel productive and positive, but it’s also cute ta-boot thanks to Rifle Paper Co’s adorable and sleek design that makes it easy to fit into all of my purses. 

4. Habitica App
If you love to gamify your life (like I do), then this is the to-do list app for you.  Every step you take towards knocking out you're to do list or building a better habit for yourself you earn XP, join guilds and pretty much turn your actual life into a real-life RPG.  If you are an RPG addict such as myself, you will find yourself EAGER to check off your daily responsibilities because they suddenly feel like a quest to earn you some XP to get to the next level.  And aren't we all just trying to level up when it comes to adulting at the end of the day?

5. Bookout - Read More
One of my major goals this year is to read at least two books a month.  It may not seem like a lot to you bibliophiles reading this, but I have a nasty habit of taking long breaks in between books.  I will admit to upgrading to the pro so I can keep track of my library (and I am 100% all about support app developers who make things I actually enjoy and use) but you don’t have to if you are just using this app as a reading tracker.  I love the break down of my reading stats because it makes me feel all brainy and sexy, even if I am just reading The BFG by Roald Dahl.  As someone who is continually scribbling or taking pictures of quotes from books I like, I love the integrated favorite quote section and the ability to add notes about my thoughts on the book while reading.  I will be honest, the recent reads posts that I work on are some of my favorites because I have always loved reading, and book clubs and they allow me to do both but on my terms.  This app helps motivate me to work on most reading posts as well as helps keep track of my ideas and ramblings so my reviews are as genuine as they can be, which is essential when it comes to picking out a new book, right?

6. Meditation Studio App
I have talked about my anxiety before, and the steps I have started taking to combat it on a more constant and mindful basis and the meditation studio app has been an enormous help for it.  It helped me discover Elisha Goldstein who has quickly become one of my favorite meditation teachers.  I even turned my dad into this meditation app before he passed and it helped him so much with his insomnia. I usually turn sleep aid meditation on before I go to bed and have been known to turn on a calming guidance when my fear of flying kicks in and we’ve hit a rough patch in the sky.  It is uncomplicated and straightforward which I like in my meditation app, and there is a teacher for everyone there.  As I said, I am impartial to Elisha Goldstein (who you can also find on YouTube) but will jump around and dip my toes in the waters of the pools of other meditation gurus words.  I consider myself a meditation newbie and this app has made me all the more excited to get my daily dose in.

7. Yoga Studio App
I love this app because it is so gentle and easy to use.  It is excellent for some intro yoga or if you just want to get a good stretch in.  If you are looking for a hardcore yoga app to work out with, this isn’t it, but there are others out there.  This is a great yoga app for taking a step back and taking the time to meditate while getting some quality yoga time in.  Plus it is so convenient to do, you can carry it around with you wherever you go if you add it to your phone.  It is my number one traveling yoga app and will continue to be as we progress through 2018.

8. The Knot
Ah yes, The Knot.  I have a wedding to plan after all and by the gods, I will plan this freaking wedding.  I will admit to being the girl who never really dreamed of her wedding. I always imagined myself eloping somewhere, but since my partner in crime is very much so about having a wedding, we have some planning to do.  Which is why The Knot has been a godsend.  Everything from ideas to vendor lists is there but the main reason I use The Knot...THE PLANNING!  Wow, I love that checklist.  What a great feeling it is, just checking off another thing done for our big day.  I know there are plenty of wedding planning sites out there, but for me, the knot has been my go-to choice. 

9. Adult Workbooks
I love adult workbooks of all types.  There are so many to choose from, from creative habit building to mindful ways of living.  I have to stop myself from jumping onto the next workbook and work on finishing one at a time because I love them so much.  They are a great way to take a mental break from whatever is stressing me out or just at the end of the day for some unwinding time without feeling like I am wasting time.  It feels good to feel entertained guiltlessly. 

10. Alexa Dot
I love my Alexa Dot, not just because it is an Alexa Dot (I would probably love the Google Home just as much) but because of the efficiency she has allowed in my life.  I use her daily for some things but mainly, keeping me on track which is something I struggle with greatly, but with a couple of small dots scattered around the areas I work mostly in, I am finally able to stay on top of my daily responsibilities. 

11. Rifle Paper 7-day desk calendar
Ahhh yes,  Anna Bond and her romantic designs are everywhere in my home.  I will admit to wanting to be her with some Martha Stewart.  And then also a heaping dash of Kelly Mindell and tablespoon of Tina Fey while I think about it.  Then, I think to mix it all up, add like a cup of Joan Didion and then to REALLY finish it off, Emily Weiss just sprinkled all over.  And now I am hungry.  I am not sure how this ended up as a recipe for the creative person I want to be, but that is my dream sundae and goals.  I hope all of these tools help me take even one step closer to being that giant, dessert of a woman. 

I need lunch.  Also, no one asked me or paid me to write this post, but if you click on a certain link and buy something, a few bucks will be kicked my way.