Resources

resources

No need to spend your time scouring the internet for resources to craft your best content –– we’ve already done that for you (and created some of our own, to boot!).

We continuously curate this page to highlight the top programs, tools, and reads from the writing/editing/entrepreneurship community to help YOU spend more finger time at the keyboard creating your next masterpiece.

CYC Guides & Downloads

Become a Better Writer Cheat Sheet – A Pocket-Sized Guide to Improving Your Writing

Self-Editing Checklist – For When You Don’t Have Another Set of Eyes

104 Blog Post Ideas – Twice-Weekly Content Ideas for an Entire Year

The Writing Rundown – Our Biweekly Blast of Writing Advice, with Resources and Prompts

Still jonesin’ to read more CYC material? Check out CYC’s Greatest Hits — all our most popular articles, all in one place.

Courses

7-Step Voice and Vision Course – Define Your Mission, Determine Your Message, and Develop Your Masterpiece

Become a Master Writer – Coming Summer 2017

Master the Media – Getting media coverage is not as easy as it sounds. Peter Shankman’s course will help you cultivate the perfect media strategy for your business.

Writing Software and Tools

Hemingway App – We’re obviously fans of working with professional editors (or a trusted peer) on your work. But if you just need a quick sweep, or don’t have your Grammar Girl Scout Badge just yet, this app will tear apart your writing with all the love of colorful highlights and squiggly lines. It’s like having Hemingway in your back pocket (whiskey not included).

Grammarly – Similar to the Hemingway App, Grammarly is the robot friend you didn’t know you needed. As a Chrome add-on, this handy tool sneaks into many of your text boxes you use all across the internet, from your email to instant messenger to online forms. Trust us, it will save you from more than a few “how could I have possibly spelled that so wrong” moments that you’d probably prefer to forget.

AP Stylebook – Ah, the AP Stylebook. It’s like the writer’s Ten Commandments, except there are dozens of rules to follow. We know many things are not absolutes when it comes to writing, but if there is anything close to an all-knowing deity in our world, the AP Stylebook is it, putting all your capitalization and comma fears to rest (you do have capitalization and comma fears, right?)

Google Docs – Before you roll your eyes, hear us out: this online word processing system has saved us so much time when it comes to editing our clients’ work. It works similar to Microsoft Word and Pages, but has much more interactive features. Anyone from your team can hop onto the document and view, edit, or comment, working collaboratively and simultaneously. No more email threads that lead to nowhere, or countless versions of the same document being traded back and forth. Welcome to the future.

You can read more about the Hemingway App, and other editing/proofreading alternatives in our article The Best Proofreading Services You Can Find Online – The Good, the Bad, and the WTAF

Reading on Writing Mindset, Style & Technique

Fact: Reading makes you a better writer.

(Source: Every good writer who is ever asked “How Do I Become A Better Writer?”)

We love reading great writers who write about writing for writers (say that five times fast). What follows are just a few of our faves we have saved on our (virtual) bookshelves.

Books

Stephen King’s On Writing

Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird

Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes

Stephen Pressfield’s The War of Art

Noah Lukeman’s The First Five Pages

William Strunk, Jr.’s Elements of Style (free for Kindle, btw…)

William Zinsser’s On Writing Well

Grammar Girl’s 101 Misused Words You’ll Never Confuse Again

Cal Newport’s Deep Work

Apps and Online Reading

Goodreads – Goodreads is the social media for book lovers — it  gives you book recommendations based on what you’ve liked in the past, as well as what your friends have been talking about. You can post reviews and give ratings to each book, and search their database to find exciting new reads. Not to mention, it’s a very public motivator to make good on your New Year’s Resolution to “read more” (remember that?).

Pocket – If your bookmarks bar is overflowing with articles, put them in your Pocket instead. Like a personal shopper for all your “remember to look at this later” moments, it holds articles, videos, and images you are interested in and recommends more based on what you keep in your archive. Meet your new best friend.

You can read more about how Elisa fits 2-3 hours of reading into her daily schedule in her article: The Simple Scheduling Hack To Find More Time To Read

Online Business

Sanebox – With all the emails you receive every day (especially if you run your own business), it’s easy to go crazy. The Sanebox app does basic triage for your emails, placing them into categories of importance based on your preferences, so you see what you need to see first, and aren’t letting menial tasks get you stressed. One less problem to tell your therapist.

Boomerang –  Do you ever find yourself hunched over your computer late at night, sending emails at all hours, wondering about what the 3 AM timestamp will say about you to the recipient? Fear no more. This Google app helps manage your emails by allowing you to schedule when you send and receive them. If you’d rather your emails get sent at, you know, a normal hour in the morning rather than the bowels of a late-night frenzy, this might be the app for you.

Slack – Slack is one of our favorite apps for in-house communication at CYC. The professional instant messaging tool takes team conversation out of the clunky, old-school trappings of email inboxes, and into dynamic messaging threads for different topics and projects, ongoing group chats, teamwide channels, and file sharing, all with customizable emojis for funsies. Color us charmed.

Calendly – Put the kabosh on email and phone tag. Calendly makes scheduling the ideal time for appointments and meetings easier than pressing a button. Literally.

Trello – Once upon a time, people used bulletin boards and file systems to keep track of project development. Now? Trello is to the rescue, and holds a special place in our hearts as our primary Content Management System for all our editorial processes, both internal and external, from manuscripts to blog posts to marketing emails. Separate your tasks into different sections on multiple boards and keep tabs on your progress as you work.

Learn how we manage our entire editorial process, as well as a dozen other client systems, with our monster explainer blog post on using Trello as an Editorial Calendar.

Website Setup and Support

The Search Engine Shop – Having a strong online presence is important if you want to succeed as an entrepreneur. When building your business, you may have some questions or need some assistance getting optimized. The Search Engine Shop has a number of services to help you, plus a free 2017 marketing blueprint that you can download to get started.

Thrive Themes and Content Builder – We recently started using Thrive to build out our website. So far, we’re big fans. The content builder gives you dozens of themes that you can customize to your brand, or you can start from scratch with their user-friendly design options. As an added bonus, they have tons of how-to videos and troubleshooting solutions in case you get stuck.

Photos for Your Site

Stocksnap.io – Staring at walls of text on a site is really no fun, and who can afford to pay for images? Stocksnap.io’s database for photos is free from copyright restriction, and well, free. New images are added weekly.

Deposit Photos – Ok with spending a few bucks? The Deposit Photos database contains images, videos, and vectors that you can download and use without paying royalties, with different packages that allow you a certain number of downloads.

Email Marketing

Drip – Email automation marketing software that doesn’t suck. In fact, we use it for all of CYC’s automation emails. It allows you to insert text, pictures, and links directly into the layout you want, then sends it to your email list. Boom, baby.

WiseStamp – We know what you’ve been wondering — how can I really jazz up my email signature? Wonder no longer, friend. WiseStamp is a signature creation app with templates and design features to create your own personalized email signature. Depending on the level of snazz (snazziness? snazzitude?) you’re looking for in your email signature, it offers both free and premium plans.

Rapportive – Have you ever considered adding “pro social media stalker” to your secret resume? Or is it just me? If you find yourself frequently snoopin’ around the profiles of your contacts, Rapportive can help you get even Nancy Drew-ier — connecting LinkedIn to your email, so you can see everything about a recipient and their business when they email you.

Social Media Marketing

Buffer – Buffer’s homepage promises to save you time managing your social media, and that it does, with the ability to schedule, manage, and track your social media activity all in one spot. Take an hour a week, scour your feeds and bookmarks, and schedule everything in Buffer for the upcoming week. Syncs with Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and a few others.

MeetEdgar – We gotta admit, this is our favorite scheduling service. So much so, that we use it to run CYC’s entire social media calendar. MeetEdgar syncs with Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn and allows you to schedule recurring posts, as well as posts you wish to share only once, by separating your content into categories. You probably wanna MeetEdgar.

We do make money when you sign up for or purchase some of these resources, through their affiliate programs, including Amazon Service LLC Associates. There is no increased cost for you, and sometimes we’re even able to swing some sweet affiliate deals for our audience. It is important you know, we’d promote these resources even if we didn’t make money from them. Which is why you can choose to purchase and show us some love, or just do business on your own. No hard feelings.