To help you clear through the clutter, I’ve collected my favorite resources—the ones that help me grow in my devotional life, writing life, and blogging life each and every day.Click the links below to learn more.
The English Standard Version is both faithful to the original Hebrew and Greek and readable for modern readers. This Bible also comes with study notes, timeliness, cross-references, charts, an index, and more helpful guides. I turn to this Bible when I’m looking to dig into the meaning of a passage, or I want to go on a bunny trail in Scripture (which is always rewarding!).
If you’ve been following the Christian trends, you’ve noticed that Bible journaling is super-popular nowadays. And while I’m not particularly artistic, I’ve found that creative expressions are a great way to engage God’s Word. This beautiful Bible from She Reads Truth is my current fave for doodling, using colored pencils, and jotting notes in the margin. Plus, it includes a reading plan for each book of the Bible. You can check out my video review here.
Let’s face it: there are so many commentaries available online nowadays, but a screen means I’m likely to get distracted. So this book is the one I open up when I need extra historical background, cultural explanations, or just a better understanding of what’s going on in the text. Plus, since it’s from Moody Publishers, you know you can trust their theology.
No matter which Bible I’m using, I usually have a journal nearby to write down a verse that stands out, observations, application, and a prayer. I’ll admit: I may have a slight obsession with collecting journals, but there are worse things in life, right? I’ve found so many pretty ones at Dayspring, and I love that they’re filled with inspiring Scripture at the top of pages too!
Sometimes you just need a portable way to carry God’s Word with you. Verse cards have saved me from mindlessly scrolling my phone in the checkout line or carpool line, and they’re a great way to memorize and get God’s Word in your heart. This collection features my favorite verses for discovering freedom from food fixation, but you can make your own with index cards and your own favorite verses.
One of the biggest obstacles to consistently reading the Bible is not having a morning routine (or evening routine, if you like to read at night). That’s why I love this simple eCourse from my friend Crystal Paine. In just a couple weeks, you can make over your morning routine and experience the joy of starting your day with Jesus every day. It’s a game-changer.
Okay, so this doesn’t sound super-spiritual, but I’ve been looking for colorful pens that don’t bleed through the pages of my Bible, and I’m thrilled with this set. They glide smooth but thin, so if you want subtle color in your Bible underlining, this is what you’re looking for. When I want a bolder color, I underline the verse several times (just don’t press too hard or you’ll puncture the thin pages).
What’s better than curling up with a warm drink and your Bible? Not much. This mug features a favorite quote from a beloved song “Give me Jesus.” And it's made of stoneware but has a soft feel to the outside. All of the DailyGrace collection is darling, so you can't really go wrong here.
I would never want to write a book without Scrivener. Seriously. This software organizes my writing, research, and end notes beautifully, and it allows me to move around chapters and sections without clunky copy-and-pasting. But that’s just 5% of what this amazing software can do. Set writing goals and deadlines, track word count for individual sections, mark progress, create distraction-free zones, save multiple drafts of the same sentence, and more. I even wrote the copy for this resource page in Scrivener, since I use it to manage both my manuscripts and my blog. This is a writer’s dream come true (ahem, aside from its interface—see below).
Okay, for as wonderful as Scrivener is, it’s really not intuitive. I have friends who have figured out Scrivener on their own, but they’ll be the first to admit that they’re not using this powerful software to its full potential. I bought the Learn Scrivener Fast course right away, and I’m so glad I did! With bite-sized video tutorials and step-by-step written and photo instructions, you can go through the course a module at a time or jump to the skill you want to learn first.
If you've ever tried to write fiction, you know how challenging it can be to keep timelines and plot points straight. That's why when I started brainstorming my first novel, I researched the best plotting software, and I've come to love Plottr. It's simple and intuitive to use, and I quickly organized not just my major plot points, but also created character profiles, research notes, and when all my planning was done, I easily exported the file to my writing software. Give it a try with a free trial today.
Writing can be a lonely venture. I don’t know what I’d do without my mastermind community. I wish each of you could join in, but I’ve got the next best thing: Hope*Writers is an online community of faith writers who support each other in the writer journey. If you’re a writer—or you want to be but you’re not really sure you can call yourself that—you’ll want to join this wonderful community. You’ll get expert interviews, answers to your questions, and fun challenges to turn that work in progress into a published book!
When I first started blogging, I had no idea how to connect with my readers and turn this hobby into a sustainable full-time income. Elite Blog Academy was the guide I needed to walk me through refining my focus, creating content, and growing my online presence. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s an investment in yourself and your blogging ministry. Enrollment opens just twice a year, so head over to join the waiting list. (While you wait, get a copy of How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul to get a jump start on the process.)
Email outperforms Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest put together. Your email list is your biggest asset, and ConvertKit allows you to build automated sequences that serve your readers and work while you sleep. I switched to CK after maxing out my free Mail Chimp account [aff link], and I’m pleased with how easy it is to create lovely opt-ins, track open rates and conversions, split-test headlines, and so much more.
I resisted this one for years, but I eventually gave it a try and boy, am I glad I did! ClickFunnels takes your email opt-in page and supercharges it with funnels created specifically for your niche, whether you’re an author, speaker, coach, or consultant. Basically, once readers subscribe for a freebie, they get redirected to a special offer page which is only available to new subscribers. This helps my readers because they’re one step closer to their goals, and it also generates additional revenue without extra work.
I want to serve my readers where they are, but I can’t be glued to my phone if I’m going to serve my family first. Enter SmarterQueue. In just 30 minutes I can fill up my Facebook queue with 30 days of encouraging content, leaving me more time to enjoy with my family. Yeah! SmarterQueue offers a 14-day trial anytime, but when you go through my link you’ll get upgraded to a free 30-day trial.
I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. I love being able to encourage women there, but I hate getting sucked in and wasting precious time. A friend told me about Planoly, and it’s helped me plan my Instagram strategy, upload content, and schedule posts, all without checking IG. When it’s time to post, I get a notification on my phone and within 45 seconds I’m done, leaving my social time for actually responding to comments and loving on my readers, not scrolling through #whatsfordinner grams. You can purchase a paid plan, but I’ve found the free one to suffice for my own needs.
I’m blessed to have a husband who handles all the techy parts of running our online ministry, so I haven’t had to deal with site hosting in years. But I frequently get asked what hosting company we’re with, so for the three of you who care, it’s Site Ground. We’re pleased with their loading speed and customer service, and they offer a free secure certificate (that’s the https/SSL certificate that makes your shop safe for credit card purchases).
Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and we will be compensated when you make a purchase or sign up for a service by clicking through our links. Even if we weren't compensated, these are the tools we use on a daily basis and highly recommend.