screw the nine to five jill stanton

Stuff We Use & Recommend


Peep this: Nearly every week we are asked about the different tools and resources we simply cannot function without.

And since there are ohhhhh 629 tools (rough estimate!) we use on an on-going basis, we thought it would be easiest—and most helpful for you!—to create a mammoth list of all the tools, apps, software, and resources we cannot live without.

So with that being said…Behold! The list of tools to end all lists of tools!

We hope they help you on your journey to taking that 9-to-5 of yours and screwing it. Let’s dive in…



Blogging

WP Engine

In all honesty, we are OBSESSED with WPEngine and have a bunch of our websites hosted through them, including this one!

WPEngine is a WordPress hosting company that out-performs so many other hosting companies, especially if speed and security is a big deal for you.

It is for us, which is why we prefer this company above all else. Not to mention their customer support is beyond compare and lightning fast!

If you’re thinking about creating a personal brand (or already have one, but want to go pro with it) then you seriously need to consider WPEngine.

However, they aren’t the only hosting company we use *gasp*!

BlueHost

We used to be die-hard BlueHost’ers and we still have many of our affiliate websites hosted through them—yes, we have a LOT of websites!

What we really like about BlueHost is how easy it is for a non-techie to create a website in minutes using their service.

Don’t believe me? Watch Josh in action as he creates a website in a matter of minutes.

Another rad thing about BlueHost is that you get a free domain name when you sign up for a hosting package with them. Win!

WordPress

WordPress is hands-down the most popular blogging software out there.

It’s completely free, incredibly easy to customize, and there are hundreds upon hundreds of free and premium themes that you can download and use to get the exact look you’re going for!

Every single one of our websites uses WordPress.

Every. Single. One.

Woo Themes

Quite honestly, we freakin’ love Woo Themes!

Woo Themes is a marketplace for premium WordPress themes that you can buy and download quickly and easily.

We’ve used a bunch of their templates and have always found them insanely easy to customize and tweak.

Theme Forest

Similar to Woo Themes, Theme Forest is a huge marketplace for different web themes for anything and everything you could ever want.

From blogging themes to e-commerce themes, landing pages to “coming soon” pages, the options are a’plenty!

Genesis

We didn’t always use the Genesis Framework for our niche sites, but made the switch back in 2014 and have been wondering ever since what the hell took us so long!

Genesis is a simple framework that allows you to build beautiful websites on WordPress that are SEO-optimized, mobile responsive, easily customized, as well as loads of other features; like stellar support.

The beauty of this framework is you can get as slick or as simple as you like…the choice is totally up to you.

We even used Genesis for our affiliate marketing case study and have been nothing but happy with it since making the switch.

Long Tail Pro

Long Tail Pro is our #1 go-to resource for all things keyword research!

Not only is Long Tail Pro incredibly easy to learn and use, but it allows you to find those keywords that will allow you to get on the first page of Google and stay there!

We also really dig the “set it and forget it” functionality of this tool, meaning you can add your keywords, click the options you want, and go about your day as Long Tail Pro finds all your keywords for you.

If you want to learn more about Long Tail Pro, watch this video Josh shot with the LTP founder, Spencer Haws!

Branding + Marketing

LeadPages

We cannot speak highly enough of LeadPages and use them for so. many. things.

From opt-in pages to “coming soon” pages, webinar registration pages to surveys, thank you pages to waiting lists, our business took a serious step up the minute we incorporated this software into our lives.

Chances are you signed up to our email list using one…assuming you are on our list. You are, aren’t you?

But back to LeadPages

Not only are the templates oh-so-easy to customize, but LeadPages are designed (and tested over and over) to convert viewers into hardcore leads, easily and effortlessly.

They can also be used with WordPress AND non-Wordpress websites.

Aweber

Email marketing is hands-down one of the most important aspects in our business.

It’s how we keep in touch with you, get to know you, send you free valuable training, and honestly, it’s how we sell a lot of our programs!

Which is why we believe email is one of the most integral aspects to ANY business!

Now I know there are a few choices out there, and it can be hard to know which one to get started with.

I feel you.

That’s why I always suggest getting started with Aweber.

It was the first email provider we used and we kept it for years until making the switch to InfusionSoft (which I’ll explain shortly)!

In fact, we believe so much in Aweber, that we put together an in-depth tutorial that will walk you through how to setup and create a newsletter.

And by “us”, I mean Josh. Because he’s the techie one around these parts.

You can watch the tutorial here!

Best of all, Aweber is ridiculously easy to use and wicked affordable.

InfusionSoft

For months we resisted InfusionSoft.

Looking back now, I have no clue why, as it has been a total game-changer for us and has allowed us to automate many different aspects of our business.

In fact, EVERYTHING on the Screw runs through InfusionSoft.

From our 1-minute quiz to our Free Online Business Training, our premium training programs Screw U and Lifestyle Affiliate to sending simple emails—every. single. thing!

Now, I will say InfusionSoft ain’t cheap, but if your business is at a level where you’re craving some automation and robust capabilities, then you simply cannot go without it.

I’m face-palming myself for not making the switch sooner!

99Designs

If you are looking for someone to design your logo, sales page, website, app, swag, business cards, anything-you-could-ever-get-designed you are going to flip the hell out over 99Designs!

Essentially 99Designs is a design contest marketplace—meaning you upload a design brief for whatever it is you want to get designed, set a budget and push the contest live.

Then for the next few days a bunch of designers will work on your project and submit their work for you to consider.

At the end of the first round you choose the finalists you like best, request changes and improvements and pick a winner!

And if you don’t like any of the designs, you don’t pay!

We have used them for the design of our Screw U sales page as well as our Lifestyle Affiliate sales page and we are about to get a logo designed with them.

The process is always smooth, affordable, and best of all, we always walk away happy and armed with a killer design!

It’s a no-brainer.

PicMonkey

Of course, if design is your thing you’ll love PicMonkey!

Full of different themes, overlays, touch up options (hello, wrinkle remover!) fonts, and filters this free photo editing service is hands down one of our favorite websites out there.

I use it for most of our landing pages, Facebook ads, webinar slides, presentations and podcast images!

What’s even better is their monthly membership is only a few dollars and is SO worth it!

Canva

Canva is the new kid on the block when it comes to creating fun and funky images with different text overlays and free-to-use image-based backgrounds.

If picture quotes are your jam, you’re going to love Canva!

I also love their different template options, such as Instagram images, personalized cards, Facebook ads, PDF templates and just about any social media cover photo you could ever want!

PhotoDune

We use this seriously-cheap stock photo service for most of our affiliate sites, but it can be used for just about anything you could ever need a photo for.

You can find images for as low as $1!

Seriously.

Audio Jungle

We have used Audio Jungle soooo many times for different songs we’ve needed for various projects.

For instance, our editor found the theme song we use in all our videos and podcasts on Audio Jungle—for $17!

We also used it for the songs you hear in Screw U’s sales video, as well Lifestyle Affiliate’s sales video.

With literally thousands of songs to choose from in all different categories, finding the right song for your next project should be a breeze!

Meet Edgar

Oh ma gawd! MeetEdgar has changed my whole damn life when it comes to keeping up with our social media content.

Basically it’s a social media management tool like no other.

And unlike other social media scheduling tools, Edgar allows you to build up a bank (or a library) of content that is dripped out sporadically…so you always have content going up on your profiles.

Gone are the days where you would schedule something and only have it go out once.

With Edgar you can schedule up to 1,000 posts allowing you to keep your profiles flushed out with amazing content your followers absolutely love!

Oh, and they provide wicked analytics so you can know what content performs best and what time your followers are most active.

Hallelujah!

Video

Wistia

Anytime we’re creating a training program, such as Screw U or Lifestyle Affiliate, we use Wistia for all our video needs.

Hell, we even use it to host our Idea Inspiration Call replays!

Sure we could use something like Vimeo or YouTube, but we really love the additional features you get with Wistia—the option to add a clickable call to action at the end of a video is quite possibly our favorite!

On top of that, you don’t have to worry about people sharing your private video link with their friends!

A-freakin-men!

Screenflow

This is the Mac version of screen capture software that allows you to record whatever it is you are doing on your computer.

We use Screenflow for all our training and tutorial videos inside Screw U and Lifestyle Affiliate.

We also use it if we want to show our team members how to complete a task so we can cut out the back and forth of email.

Plus it’s so easy to add in different funky editing features that really bring the quality of your videos up a notch!

Camtasia

This is the PC version of screen recording software.

Before Josh went Mac (and never went back!) he was a die-hard PC user, and his go-to software for capturing his screen for training and tutorial videos was Camtasia.

Some of his Camtasia handywork can still be seen in a lot of our Lifestyle Affiliate videos.

There aren’t really that many differences and both screen recording softwares have served us well over the years!

Podcasting

Libsyn

Libsyn is the website we use to host all of our podcast episodes!

With plans ranging from $5 to $75, there is something to be found for every podcaster over at Libsyn.

Smart Podcast Player

This is the podcast player you see on all our episode pages.

The Smart Podcast Player was created by Pat Flynn from SmartPassiveIncome.com and it is an all-in-one podcast player.

What makes this player so different than all the others, is the options you have!

You can use it as a single track player, as we have for most of our episodes OR you can use it as a library with all of your episodes listed in one big player that your listeners can scroll through without having to constantly click on different post pages.

Plus it integrates with just about every RSS feed, can be customized to your brand colors, can be sped up or slowed down, is mobile-friendly, and can be shared within the player itself.

We absolutely love it!

Podcasters Paradise

This is hands-down the #1 go-to training program for anyone wanting to start a podcast and make it a success!

Podcaster’s Paradise was created by (who I like to call) the Podfather, John Lee Dumas of EntrepreneurOnFire.com, Podcaster’s Paradise will take you from start to finish (and everywhere in between!) of creating your own podcast.

If you’re not sure whether podcasting (or this training program) is for you John offers a free webinar that breaks down why podcasting is too hot to ignore, and how to make it work for your brand.

Disclosure: That link is an affiliate link, and if you choose to buy Podcaster’s Paradise we will receive a commission. However, the price will in no way be affected to compensate us.

Digital Product Creation

Clickbank

Clickbank is an online marketplace for all things digital products—meaning you can either buy, sell or promote digital products you enjoy!

We use Clickbank to sell our affiliate marketing training program, Lifestyle Affiliate as it allows us to attract other affiliates (within their marketplace) to promote the program for us.

Another thing we really dig about Clickbank is that they also handle the payments and refunds…making your job that much easier!

Paid Memberships Pro

Paid Memberships Pro is the membership site plugin we initially used for Lifestyle Affiliate, and absolutely loved it.

Chocked full of handy integrations you can use to level-up your membership site, this easy-to-use WordPress plugin allows you to set different membership levels from free to paid, subscription-based to paid trials—allowing you to monetize your membership site however you see fit.

On top of that you can use it in conjunction with any theme you want, not to mention different payment processors, email newsletter providers, and loads of other third party tools.

SpeechPad

SpeechPad is what we use for transcribing videos for our different training programs.

You can get transcriptions of your podcasts or videos for as little as $1/minute!

Stripe

Known as the most popular alternative to PayPal, Stripe provides virtually all the same features as PayPal, but has a few lower service fees when it comes to issues like refunds, chargebacks, and international cards.

The only thing we don’t really dig about Stripe is it takes 7 days for you to get your money.

However, they transfer your money directly into your bank account, without you having to do anything…unlike PayPal.

PayPal

Currently the industry leader for accepting any and all online payments.

The only real benefit to using PayPal over Stripe is that most people seem to be comfortable paying through PayPal, and you can get your money faster than if you use Stripe.

Everyday Essentials

Google Drive

We live and die by Google Drive!

We use it for just about anything: Cloud storage, tracking sales with spreadsheets, editorial calendars, and so, SO much more.

What makes it so good is not just the fact that it’s free—although that helps—but the fact that you can use Google Drive at the same time as any of your team members, meaning you can edit as you go through something at the same time—regardless of where everyone is in the world!

Dropbox

Dropbox is our go-to cloud service and is what we use every day to share files with our content manager and VAs, as well as our video and audio files with our editor.

It’s easy and secure…two things we really appreciate when sharing important files on a daily basis!

It also ensures that you can access all of your pertinent business info no matter where you are, or what happens to your computer.

Sweet Process

Simply put, if you want to grow and scale your business, you are going to have to create some solid systems for yourself and your team.

That means documenting your repetitive tasks and creating Standard Operating Procedures (or SOPs) out of each and every task you do to keep your business running and generating money.

Sweet Process allows you to create and store all of these SOPs inside their incredibly easy-to-use dashboard.

And not only that, but it allows you to share them with team members, reduce errors and even track how they are doing—ultimately helping you to free up more of your time.

Pretty Link Pro

Pretty Link Pro is a plugin we use to change our affiliate links from a jumbled set of characters to a “pretty” URL that looks something like this: screwtheninetofive.com/prettylinkpro

Odesk

We use Odesk to hire all of our VAs and any one-off contractors for different projects we might need help with.

We have never had a problem with them, their customer support is amazing, and they have always had our back if any issues arose!

We simply cannot speak highly enough of them!

LastPass

LastPass is a handy (and free!) service that allows you to set one master password that you can use for every single site you ever need to sign into.

It simplifies the process of logging into a website, and keeps things nice and secure.

Just how we like it!

Slack

Thank tha lawd Slack came into our life!

Slack is a communication platform for teams. It allows you to get out of your inbox and keep all communications organized into relevant “channels” or threads.

You can also upload files, send private messages to a particular team member, it is searchable and can be synced across your devices.

It’s been a huge revelation for us to streamline our communication with our different team members, and has made running an international team a total breeze.

Asana

Asana is a free project management tool is all we use to delegate deadlines and projects to our team.

While it may take a little bit of getting used to it, once you’ve mastered it you won’t be able to go back to just regular ol’ email.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics allows you to track your website stats and see who has come into your site, where they came from, how long they stayed, and what page they left off of.

You can also monitor which keywords are getting you the most traffic, as well as create goals to track how well different campaigns or funnels are performing.

Clicky

Similar to Google Analytics, but easier to use (in my opinion!)

Clicky allows you to see who is on your site and what they are doing…in real time!

Free to use (for only one website) you can also set up goals, track conversions, and even view outgoing links with Clicky—a feature we really like when it comes to seeing how many people are clicking on particular links on our different websites!

AFFILIATE DISCLAIMER

Please note that some of the links included on this page are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you decide to purchase using these links. We truly appreciate you using these links and are happy to answer any questions you may have!