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These are just some of the TOOLS and GEAR (both physical things and software) I actually use and have found incredibly helpful in my life, both personally and professionally.

Please note that some, but not all, of these links are affiliate links, which means if you click on it and purchase something I get a small referral commission.  If you prefer not to use them, just search for the thingie in Google.  I personally use all of the things on this page and would never recommend something I didn't truly get value from just for a kickback.


Shoeboxed - Automatic Receipt Organization for Personal and/or Business Taxes

Shoeboxed is AMAZING.  I've use it for more than 5 years now.  Just collect all of your tax deductable receipts and either take pictures of them with the App, or mail them in a pre-paid envelope and Shoeboxed people will automatically scan and catagorize them.  In early April each year,  I simply go through to make sure it didn't mis-catagorize anything and print out a report for my accountant.  This tool saves dozens of hours of frustration every year, maximizes my deductions, thus mimimizing the tax burden.  It's one of my most highly recommended tools.

Cost:  $9.95/month or $99/year

Dropbox - Your Hard Drive in the Cloud

Almost everyone knows about Dropbox, and maybe you have it and don't use it for much.  I use it almost every day, for a variety of reasons.  It automatically syncs across devices.  Save a file on my desktop?  It's available on my phone within minutes.  Here's a neat way to use dropbox for us freelancers:

1.  Show up to a job or get an email requesting YET ANOTHER W4 or I9 tax form?

2.  Fill out W4/I9 ONCE, upload PDF to Dropbox folder.

3.  Someone needs it?  Share the link in an email or instantly Airdrop/Email it to the contractor on the spot.  I haven't filled out one of these stupid forms in years.

Cost: FREE for limited storage, but you'll want to upgrade!

Focus@Will--Performance Enhancing Music

In this day of notifications, dings and pings all around us, focused attention on a task is among our most precious resources!  Focus@Will is a focus tool that I use almost every day.  It plays "focus-music"; mostly drones, hypnotic beats, ambient sounds.  I'm able to consistantly work 90 minutes+ of FOCUSED productivity at a time while it is running (it is running RIGHT NOW while I'm making this site.)

Cost:  $8.99/mo or $69.99/annual, free trial available

Jing - Screenshot and Screencast Recorder

Jing is a super cool little program that sits in your system tray ready for action.  It can take a screenshot of just the window/space you want or the entire screen.  It can also easily record short screencast movies that you can narrate over using your microphone.  

Cost: FREE

Evernote - Remember Everything!

I use Evernote on my phone, and laptop to organize and easily find ANY text, checklists, pictures, screenshots, or websites I want to remember.  I use it to brainstorm and reseach new products for my business, take pictures of wine bottles that I enjoy, make lists of Instagram hashtags I can easily copy and paste in my business accounts, even make a checklist of my goals for future planning.

Cost: I use the FREE basic account, paid accounts with more features and storage are available.  They recently dropped the free account down to syncing only 2 devices, and since I don't use it on my iPad that much it's ok so far.

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