Faves Roundup : Shopping Resources Edition

Who doesn’t love a good deal? When it comes to being mindful about the things we own it’s important to be mindful about how we acquire these things. Saving ourselves time and spending more wisely ultimately pay off in the long term; better, more mindful purchases now mean less waste later. Nowadays there are myriad apps, tools, and sites touting tips and tricks to help us save time, save dollars, and supposedly make our lives better.

Here I’m sharing my favorites, and will update the list as I find and fall in love with more of them.

Faves Roundup - Shopping Edition

For getting things done and taking names : Evernote | Todoist | Learnvest

Evernote

This site and app is something I’ve shared before, but it’s worth bringing up again. When I do a little stock taking of the pantry I’ll make two sets of notes in here for the “things we don’t need, yet” and the “things we could use more of if on sale” plus another set of notes that become the final shopping list. That keeps me on track at the store, I can pop in, buy only what we need, and not come home with ten more cans of coconut milk when we’ve already got five in the pantry. Additionally, I’ll keep notes on everything else from things I’d like to remember, to things I’d buy if on a good sale (like a particular color or cut of boot).

There are different plans, including a free option, and additional features beyond note taking abilities.

Todoist

Also have shared this one. It’s brilliant for keeping track of things that get lost in the back of the pantry or freezer (things really only last three months max in the freezer, people). It’ll alert you to use up that summer squash before the freezer burn sets in. Less food waste = more dollars in our pockets. Another great idea to use this platform for : meal planning.

This is a free item.

Learnvest

We’ve been here before, too, but let’s face it : you need a budget. You can’t go shopping if you don’t know how many dollars you can realistically spend.

There are different plans, including a free option, and there are financial planners available to help with getting things even more on track.

For finally treating yourself to your wishlist : Slick Deals | Shop it to Me | Shoptagr | Price Blink | CamelCamelCamel | Honey

Slick Deals

Looking for a good deal? Don’t have time to sift through endless Google results that lead to expired coupon codes and misleading ads? This site provides insight into just those things, sorting out which are legit, which are the best, and allowing you to avoid all that other nonsense. It’s user generated in that it’s members can submit coupons, codes, and deals to the community that are then analyzed by other members and the Slick Deals team. These are vetted and rated, giving you a clear answer about what will work and how.

This is free to use. There is also a price tracker tool that can let you know when prices change on items you’ve got your eye on.

Shop it to Me

If you’re short on time, know what you like, and don’t want to do the searching yourself then this site is for you. Just plug in what you’re looking for, size, brand, item type, etc., and they’ll scour the interwebs on your behalf, sending you suggestions on the best options out there. Keep in mind the things on this site tend to be higher end and name brand.

This is a free service, and will alert you to particular sales and deals once you “heart” things on their site.

Shoptagr

This one is brilliant in it’s ease of use. It’s a browser extension which means you download a button that will appear in your browser top corner much like a Pin It button. When you’re poking around your favorite shopping sites, just click that button and it’ll save whatever item you’re currently looking at. It’s a lot like Pinterest for shopping. You save your faves, curate them on their site, and receive alerts when sales or discounts are available for your saved items.

The button and service is free. The methodology here is shop now, buy later. Allowing you the opportunity to peruse, sleep on it, and know you’re getting the best deal possible.

Price Blink

Also a browser extension, this one will alert you in real time to better prices for an item you’re currently looking it. This is done a little discreetly with a small drop down list from the top of your browser with suggestions for other retailers with prices. Definitely handy to see things immediately, and can also be set to send you alerts.

This is a free browser button.

CamelCamelCamel

Much like the other price trackers, however, this one is only for Amazon. It’ll tell you the price history for an item, and possibly when the best time to buy might be, as well as alert you to when the price drops or changes.

This is a free service, but only tracks items on Amazon.

Honey

This is a magical thing that puts an extension in your browser. All you have to do is your normal online shopping routine, except when you get to the checkout screen Honey will suggest coupon codes, deals, etc. for you to take advantage of in real time. That easy.

It’s a free service with an accompanying browser extension.

Faves Roundup : Business Resources Edition

Let’s face it : life is hard enough without having to remember everything ourselves. Thankfully, we’ve got more and more resources appearing every day to help remind us, keep our lives on track, and automate everything from to-do lists to thermostats.

Here I’m sharing my favorites, and will update the list as I find and fall in love with more of them.

Faves Roundup : Resources Edition

For getting things done and taking names : Evernote | Todoist | Workflowy | Learnvest

Evernote

This one is, hands down, my lifeline. Everything goes in here, I’ve got a minimum of eight different themed notes at a given time, and use it nearly every day. Big bonus is that it can be accessed on multiple platforms, it syncs automatically, and keeps you logged in. I’ll keep a running grocery list, jot down notes on the fly, and even have a note dedicated to people’s contact info for when business cards are all out.

There are different plans, including a free option, and additional features beyond note taking abilities.

Todoist

This is another note-to-self option. Personally, I prefer jotting down wisps of ideas in Evernote and then putting actionable items on my calendar, however, for a traditional to-do list that can be accessed anywhere and shared with a team I’d highly recommend this platform.

This is a free item.

Workflowy

Prefer traditional to-do lists to a bulleted option? This is for you. It’s great for tracking all those big, hairy goals and the ambitious long-term to-do lists that it never seems like the right time to tackle. It’s a brilliant tool that holds you accountable to the promises you’d otherwise never keep. It’s in a bulletted list format that allows you to zoom into and zero in on specific lines or sections. Super easy to add and subtract info, rearrange, and otherwise see clearly your BHGs.

This is free to use once you sign up.

Learnvest

Everyone needs a budget. End of story. If you don’t have one stop what you’re doing immediately and go to this site to get your finances in order. I can’t stress enough how important it is to know where your dollars are going (and coming from), how much you’re tossing every month on trivial purchases (and could trim back to invest in meaningful things), and to have a long term savings plan. Emergencies happen, unexpected life events happen, and there’s no reason to not be prepared.

There are different plans, including a free option, and there are financial planners available to help with getting things even more on track.

For finally acting on those ideas : Canva | Lynda.com | CoSchedule | Headline Analyzer | Jaaxy

Canva

Need a quick graphic? Don’t have design skills? This should be your go-to. Yes, I have a design background, and yes, I use this in a pinch. I do prefer to create my own original content, however, on occasion, I’ll dip into this well for creating a punchy graphic on the fly. This site uses stock imagery, endless colors, and a wide selection of fonts in conjunction with an easy to use layout tool. Of course this means there are limitations when it comes to number or variety of images and fonts, and the designs will only be as good as your own taste. Keep in mind it’s really a band-aid for custom design work, but a very good band-aid at that.

In Canva’s own words : Canva allows you to use and export content submitted by other users to create beautiful designs. If you download any designs containing anyone else’s content, you have to license it under one of the licenses in this section.

That means you don’t own the “design” you create within Canva and may have to credit the creator. Be sure to refer to the site for more info.

There are different options for use, including the ability to create free things, and also items that will require payment to use.

Lynda.com

If you’re a newbie to the design scene, looking to advance the skills you’ve got, or just want to find a shortcut for whatever creative/techy thing you’re working on then this site is your Mecca. This is a website dedicated to tutorials of all things design, tech, etc. It’s brilliant for quick refreshers of things you’ve not done in forever all the way to learning brand new skills you’ve never had before.

There are free trial promo codes floating around out there, but you’ll have to pay for a subscription.

CoSchedule + The Headline Analyzer Tool

Headlines can make or break your traffic. They can determine whether a browse becomes a click. That’s one step away from a click becoming a sale. Headlines are important. Enter this nifty tool that tells you just how terrible your headline writing skills are, offers ways to improve those headlines, and overall helps you building a better practice.

The tool is free, there are other features of this site that will cost a monthly fee.

Jaaxy

Keywords are something I have a love-hate relationship with; they’re absolutely necessary to get your posts found, but they’re also sort of a shot in the dark. Here’s where Jaaxy comes in. Pop in your keywords, see how terrible they really are, learn how to make them better.

You can get 30 free searches, but eventually you’ll have to pay.

For where to store all those ideas once you’ve finally done ‘em : Google Drive | Dropbox | Box | WordPress Backup | Backup Buddy

Google Drive -OR- Dropbox -OR- Box

Now that you’ve created all sorts of fascinating content you’ll need a place to store it safely away. This is where our trusty cloud services come in. The easiest and most accessible, if you’ve got a GMail account is Google Drive. Other options that I love and trust are Dropbox and Box. All of these have large amounts of storage capacity and can be accessed anywhere. I can’t stress enough how important it is to back up literally everything you ever create, and I don’t mean on your computer. Save your stuff somewhere that floods, toddlers, pets, and acts of god can’t reach.

These are typically free up to a maximum storage capacity. Adding on additional storage capacity will incur a (usually) monthly cost.

WordPress Backup

Do you have a WordPress blog? Use this tool to back it up. Like, use it right now. You can’t back things up too early or too often. Trust me, between losing everything you’ve ever done and not, I’ll always choose the latter.

It’s free if you’ve got a WordPress blog.

Backup Buddy

This one is also compatible with WordPress, but it offers other features beyond just backing up and restoring your blog. Other services include themes you can apply to your site and the ability to use the service to move your blog to another server.

This is a paid service.