These are my favorite tools for making printables, running an Etsy shop and blogging.
This list contains some affiliate links. If you click one of these links and make a purchase I’ll receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you).
I’ve done a few roundups of my favorite planning supplies:
- My all time favorite planner supplies
- Planner Organization: Why I use the Arc Planner instead of binders
- My favorite cheap stationery for planning
- My Favorite thin washi tape for planning
- Ultimate list of the best planner pen brands and how to choose colors for color coding
- Why horizontal is my favorite weekly planner layout
- Favorite planning supplies from Amazon (Gift Guide)
- After trying 52 planners, these were my top 7 favorite weekly planners
- After trying more than 20 pen brands, these are my top 5
This is the software I now use for making printables. It’s very affordable and a one time purchase (no subscription!), quick and easy to use. There are nifty tools like automatic page numbers, setting up templates with pre-formatted text that will appear one every page and it’s quick to change font styles and colors. When you design, you see 2 page spreads at the same time and can quickly copy things between Affinity Publisher files.
I did a detailed explanation about why I use it in this post: making printables – 10 reasons why I switched from Adobe Photoshop to Affinity Publisher
This is the software I used to use to make my printables. Nowadays I use Affinity Publisher but still use Photoshop for making party printables, seamless repeating patterns and labels. For instructions on how to download Photoshop, see this post.
Photoshop is also useful for creating:
- How to make a product catalogue/line sheet for your business (selling to wholesalers or retailers)
- How to effectively use and make an Etsy shop banner (step by step video tutorial)
- How to make a logo for your Etsy shop (with step by step video tutorial)
- How to use mockups in Phothoshop (using smart objects and styled stock photos)
If you’re not familiar with Photoshop, I’ve posted quite a few introductory tutorials to get you started!
I’ve done numerous tutorials on some of the ways I use Canva including my Pinterest optomised blog images.
Some other Canva tutorials from the blog:
- How to make business cards for free
- How I make my blog graphics (for Pinterest)
- How to make a monogram desktop wallpaper – you can also download the wallpaper from the free printables library which you can gain access to when you subscribe to the blog
- How to make printable labels for FREE (using Canva)
- How to add your own text to printable labels (plus FREE printable cleaning labels!)
- How to make a personalised screensaver/computer or laptop wallpaper/desktop background
Trying to choose a graphic design program? I did a comparison of Picmonkey versus Canva versus Photoshop versus Adobe Illustrator: Which one is best for graphic design?
I shared my favorite color tools in this post.
- How to use the color tools in Photoshop
- How to color match anything in Photoshop (step by step tutorial)
Fonts are one of the main design elements of a printable or planner sticker so you’ll want to choose a good one! Most fonts are able to be used for commercial use without a licence or giving credit but be sure to check before downloading.
Some of my favorite places for free fonts are:
- 1001 Free Fonts
- Font Squirrel
- Font Zone
- font bundles
- font fabric
- font space
- Urban fonts
- Google fonts
- Type wolf
Some of my favorite places for paid fonts are:
I make printable planner stickers in Photoshop and printed and kiss cut stickers (sold via my sister’s planner supplies shop) using Silhouette Studio. It’s a free software that can be downloaded here.
I use Silhouette Studio Version 3.8 – all tutorials I record use version 3.8. There is a version 4 of the software but it’s relatively new and has a few kinks to sort out. I personally prefer to use version 3.8 which can be downloaded here.
I’ve made tens of thousands of dollars from my Etsy shops, AllAbouttheHouse (printable organization tools, planner stickers and business resources) and PaperCravings, my graphic design resources shop.
When you’re ready to expand beyond Etsy, I use BigCommerce to host my online store. I did hours upon hours of research comparing different shopping cart providers and ended up choosing BigCommerce for quite a few resources
- Unlimited! Unlimited products, bandwith etc. – it’s an ecommerce provider I knew I could grow with. Don’t under-estimate the time it takes to upload product images and descriptions to your site, SEO optomise, sort categories, choose a store layout etc. It’s not something you’re going to want to keep redoing multiple times as your business grows
- Cheap – even with unlimited the cost of BigCommerce was the same or less tha
- In-built digital file delivery. Most ecommerce providers charge a transaction fee on top of a monthly hosting fee. So basically you’re penalised when your business does well!
- Discount if paid the whole year’s hosting fees upfront, rather than month to month
More details about why I use them in this post: Why I use Bigcommerce to host my ecommerce online store
Excel for tracking income and expenses
This is the software for keeping track of income and expenses for my Etsy shop. I’ve also created inventory tracking spreadsheets and pricing calculators using Excel . Excel spreadsheets will also work in Google Docs (free) and Numbers for Mac.
Marmalead is an Etsy specific tool I use to conduct market research. All of their data surrounding what products are most popular, average sale price, keywords etc. are based on data pulled from Etsy. If you’re a fellow Etsy seller this will give you more accurate data than tools such as the Google Keywords Planner. I shared a step-by-step video tutorial on how to use Maramalead to conduct market research for your Etsy shop.
Some of the reasons I love it:
- Videos, photos, word documents, excel documents, jpg files – any type of file can be backed up
- It backs up your computer AND hard-drives you have plugged into your computer
- It doesn’t slow down your computer (I don’t even notice it’s there)
- It’s extremely affordable at only $55USD for an entire year (or $5/month if you want to pay month by month or $95 for a 2 year plan) – for my peace of mind and less stress, it’s definitely worth it (and it’s tax deductible)
- Unlimited storage
- You can choose what frequency to back up your files (automatic, daily or other scheduled point in time)
Bulk listings and editing manager
To batch edit your listings, another tool I love is Shop Shaper (they have a free 7 day trial!). I did a detailed review and step by step tutorial on how I use it manage my Etsy shop listings. It’s a must have tool if you have a lot of listings to keep track of.
Run a sale tools
If you want to run a storewide sale without having to manually change the price of every single product, Etsy on Sale will do it all for you with just a couple of clicks. You can schedule when the promotion starts and ends so you don’t even need to be at your computer. You can also use this tool to quickly change the tags of your listings – a huge time saver.
Writing product descriptions
Keywords are essential to getting your products found. Some of my favorite keyword tools are:
- Google Adwords Tool
- Etsy and Google’s suggested keywords (those words and phrases that appear below the search bar when you start typing)
Reducing image file size
If you have large image files that need to be compressed (i.e. they take a long time to upload), I recommend Compress JPG (it’s free). They also have a compress PNG version.
Snapseed is a free tool for editing photos on your phone – handy if you don’t have a point and shoot camera. You can also whiten photos, crop etc.
To remove the backgrounds from photos and make them white
Mockups make your products look super professional and help customers visualise how the products will look in real life. You can find mockups for almost anything from cushion covers, to frames for wall art, to mugs, to styled desktops etc. You can also find entire ‘scenes’ so customers can see how the product could look in their home (such as a couch with a blank wall behind it where you place your wall art). They are great for digital and physical product sellers. The best places to find mockups are Design Cuts and Etsy.
I also shared a roundup of 100 Free and Paid Stock Photo Websites for Bloggers, Etsy sellers and Entrepreneurs.
To create preview images of your products and use Mock-ups, you’ll need to download Photoshop.
This is what I use to host my blog. I chose it because it has a cheap entry price but the ability to scale up at blog traffic and the number of posts I publish increases. At the starting price you’ll be put on shared hosting which is ok to begin with, but then you’ll need to pay more to upgrade to dedicated hosting. Once your blog grows the price becomes more comparable with Bluehost’s competitors so it’s a toss up between whether you want to keep your blog as a hobby, and how many photos and storage you need.
They have live chat which I’ve used many times over the years when something has gone wrong with a WordPress or plugin update. The live chat can sometimes br frustrating as they can be slow to reply (I assume they are managing multiple live chats at once). I’ve had to escalate things higher up the line and wait a few days while my site is down.
I’ve never tried another hosting company and I cannot switch at this point due to the storage I need which most hosting companies do not offer. So while it’s not perfect, it works for my blog.
if you’d like to start your own blog using bluehost, instructions are in this post.
This is what I use to manage my email list. When you click on one of the opt ins for the free printables library e.g. a checklist, the master task list, planner stickers or any other free resource I have on this blog, you’ll be taken to a landing page. That landing page was creating using and is hosted by Convertkit.
Convertkit was fine when my email list was quite small. But now that it’s around 50,000 people it’s way too expensive to justify the cost. If I didn’t have to go through each blog post and change all of those opt in forms, I would switch to Flo Desk (which came out years after I joined Convertkit) which looks very similar but is far cheaper and has a fixed price per month, no matter how many subscribers you have.
Ok, so I’m a bit bias with this one. This is a mega list of all the blog post ideas I could think of – the list grew to so many that I’ve found really helpful at keeping blog post ideas flowing. If you want to get a copy of this list, it’s available here.
- Monthly blog post planning using sticky notes (my 6 step process)
- 52 Life admin tasks to add to your planner this year
- Planner Organization: How to color-code your planner (so you’ll actually use it effectively)
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