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❤️ Things I Love

Here are some of my favorite tools and things I recommend. All opinions are honest. Affiliate links are noted.

If you’re looking for books I love, I’ve dedicated a whole page to my favorite books.

✏️ For Writing

I write my books in Ulysses, a Mac-only app that utilizes Markdown language. It’s minimalist and mobile-friendly so I can write on the go, and my work-in-progress is always backed up. It’s unfortunately exclusive to Apple devices.

If you’re writing on a Windows computer, I recommend Scrivener as an alternative to Ulysses. I find it to be a lot more cluttered than Ulysses (which doesn’t work well with my creative process), but it also has a ton of great features.

I create a Trello (← affiliate link) board for most of my books. It includes scene list, revision notes, character descriptions, photo inspiration, research materials, and wordcount/goal tracking.

I listen to Brain.FM when I need to do deep work on important tasks, as well as during creative work.

📁 To Stay Organized

Notion (← affiliate link) is the most-used app on my computer. It’s the digital equivalent of my Lauren Layne headquarters. You can learn how I use it here, or try it yourself here.

Notion is incomparable its ability to organize large amounts of information, but it’s not ideal for jotting down notes “on the go.” For that, I use Evernote (← affiliate link).

I used to be a planner addict. Erin Condren. Day Designer. Emily Ley’s Simplified Planner. The list goes on. There are great things to say about all of them, but there was always at least one thing that wasn’t quite right. Then I discovered the Bullet Journal system, which adapts to the user’s needs, not the other way around.

I use Dropbox to back up everything. Literally, everything. Not a single file on my computer lives “locally.” If my laptop caught on fire tomorrow, I could buy a new laptop, install Dropbox, and not lose a single thing.

💼 For My Business

I use Fathom Analytics (← affiliate link) to get my website data. I used to use Google Analytics with the rest of the world, but had a few hang ups. Mostly, I had some privacy concerns. It weirds me out that Google knows everything about everyone. If none of that sells you: Fathom Analytics doesn’t collect personal data or use cookies, which means you don’t have use that stupid cookie popup. No, it’s not free. But it’s also not creepy. Boom.

I use Tailwind (← affiliate link) for Pinterest scheduling. It’s admittedly not the sleekest app. I wish they’d redesign. But its Pinterest capabilities are unrivaled (trust me, I’ve tried every alternative). I’m no longer on Instagram, but if you are looking for a solid Instagram scheduler, Tailwind’s smart.bio option is very useful for being able to link posts to a webpage.

This website is built on ShowIt, which ends a very longterm relationship with Squarespace. I still recommend Squarespace for basic website needs (use 7.0, not 7.1), but ShowIt’s ability to customize the mobile experience (more than 2/3 of my traffic) was too good to pass up.

For laying out graphics and social media assets, I generally use Adobe InDesign, but there’s a steep learning curve. If you want something easier, I have a PicMonkey and Canva account ( ← affiliate links). I prefer PicMonkey for my Pinterest pins; I find their templates more sophisticated than Canva’s. But Canva is my go-to when I need to put together a basic graphic quickly.

FloDesk (← affiliate link) filled a big gap among email marketing platforms. It’s the first platform I tried that allows you to create on-brand emails quickly that actually look good. It also doesn’t hurt that I pay half of what I was paying with Mailchimp, and a full third less than I was paying with ActiveCampaign. Flodesk isn’t as feature-rich as the other options, but it has almost everything I need.

💄 Personal

A few years ago, my husband got me a weekly flower subscription for Christmas that’s easily one of the best gifts of all time. Fresh flowers are my favorite “little luxury,” and I feel genuine pleasure every Wednesday morning knowing that my Bouq roses are on the way.

These Dennis Gross facial pads are expensive and worth every penny. Even Anthony agrees that they’re magical. I don’t use them the recommended every day (again, they’re expensive), but every time I do use them, I’m shocked at how different my skin feels after. I used to have rough patches, eczema, and dull, uneven skin. Fixed.

I switched to linen sheets last year, and I will never go back. I used to think silky smooth sheets were the way to go. But as someone who’s always slept hot, no matter the season, linen’s breathability and moisture wicking qualities (see ya clammy sheets) was life changing. Yeah, I said that. Parachute’s pricey as heck, but worth it.