Products that I LOVE

Products I love

by Michelle Lasley

Michelle Lasley is a mother, wife in Pacific Northwest learning to balance green dreams with budget realities.

September 15, 2020

We all have products we love. Right? Well, a long time ago now, I really really wanted to do Bullet Journal videos. In those videos, I dreamt about combining art, how-to, and products that I love. I really wanted to do these videos.

And, I still do. But, here’s the thing… to get video the way I want it, it takes SOOOO long to edit. At least with my set up. I have found audio is much quicker, so hey, glad I found podcasting as a way to share stories, and a little about products that I love.

In line with the how-tos, I was going to show you how I draw out my days. You see, I tend to get compliments on my penmanship. Sure, I have a good command of line, but there are also tools I use – products that I LOVE – that really help that command of line. So, why not a video on how I layout my days? Why not videos on me using my favorite tools and drawing?

Alas, the time.

And, then, one of my dear friends – she has an Enneagram 7 as a wing, so she’s great at saying, “Hey! Check this idea!” – said, “You could do a products that I love post!”

So, that’s what this is.

Here’s the disclaimer, some of these links are affiliate links. So, if you buy it on my recommendation, I get a kick back. Thank you multiple income streams.

Here’s my list of products that I love.

Software

First, I love systems. So, Acuity Scheduling software is at the absolute top of this list. I will say, it does take a little for other people to get used to using this weird link to “check my calendar” for certain things. I use Acuity to schedule EVERYTHING from paid client appointments, subscription packages, to coffee dates where I’m just getting to know someone, and of course, every single podcast-guest interaction.

I love this system because I can be absolutely terrible about saying no. And, remember, when we say yes to something, we do say no to something else.

So, I program in all my desired availability, and I try to trust I set it up right. I will say, it does hurt me when your schedule doesn’t jive with mine, because I really do want to have coffee with you or serve you in a way that I am skilled.

The second piece of software I absolutely love is a writing tool called Scrivener. I use this to organize my writing. It is so robust, my use barely scratches the surface. It is, however, the best tool I have found for organizing all of my thoughts from email drips to blog posts to rudimentary fiction I write.

A third software I use all the time is Zoom. It is hands down my favorite video conferencing tool, and I’ve been using it exclusively since 2014. It works across all platforms and is one of the most consistently connected I’ve used. Now, with COVID, everyone knows how to use it.

A new-to-me piece of software is a bibliography organizer. I chose the open-sourced, Zotero, for this tool, and I have been so impressed. It has cloud-syncing, and with my need to backup all of my data, I cannot love that more. It allows me to organize my references in themes, so I have oils in one folder, woo-related things in another, business development in another, and then I can see them all together. It imports, copies, or prints (or more) your chosen citations with many referencing types available, including MLA, Chicago, APA, and so much more.

Another new-to-me piece of software is GoodNotes 5. You know how I love Bullet Journaling? Well, this takes Bullet Journaling to the digital realm. I recently acquired an iPad, and the synchronicity between my devices is immediate. I can use it on my phone, my iPad, and my desktop, though writing with my Apple Pencil is restricted to the iPad. It allows me to be colorful, creative, and organized in a similar fashion to Scrivener.

Living in Mac land, other software I use every day includes most native software to the Mac, including the iWorks (Pages, Numbers, and Keynote) suite, Mail, Maps, Notes, and of course GarageBand for editing all of those podcasts.

Planning Products

I have been using the Bullet Journal system of planning for 3 years now. I love it for its flexibility and complete, 100%, customization. To support my Bullet Journaling, I use Leuchtturm A5 journals, dotted, exclusively. You will see a healthy mix of German and Japanese stationery. As much as I love my above-mentioned software, sometimes, nothing beats putting a real pen in your real hand using real ink on real paper.

I carry one Pentel click eraser with a white eraser and one Pentel 0.5mm Quicker Clicker mechanical pencil. My preference these days is writing with the fine liners (hence the Steadtlers mentioned above), but I used to take notes exclusively with these. And, sometimes, you just need a pencil. I have been using this combination since I was 11-years-old. One time, a Pentel pen I purchased didn’t work right. So, as a young teenager, I typed them a letter (yes, this was before we had a home computer) and explained my problem. Two weeks later they sent me two replacements! I love these brands. I guess I had a thing for Japanese stationery before I knew Japanese stationery was a thing.

And, of course, Fountain Pens. I prefer the TWSBI ECO for cost. I love the clear barrels where I can clearly see my beautiful Noodler’s Ink.

Book Buying

When it comes to book buying, I try first to go to my local woman-owned bookstore. Here, in North Portland, I go to Two Rivers Bookstore. Christine is an absolutely amazing curator of local authors, spreading the love of reading, and absolutely knowing what books to connect her customers with.

For books that are out of print, or haven’t been published in a while, my preference is the purveyor of used books, ThriftBooks.

Art Supply Buying (including some planning products)

Hands down, it is the Artist & Craftsman store in my neighborhood. They are employee-owned, have 34 locations across the United States, and seem to give their local outlets autonomy. I source my Leuchtturm journals, many of my pens, and my favorite paper from here. Recently, I purchased a black Fabriano sketchbook that metallic gelly roll pens do amazing work on.

I also love JetPens. While focusing on Japanese stationery items, they not only have a diverse selection, they also give great reviews and videos of products and how-to-use products. They have a smaller selection of German and other country-sourced. All of their products feel vetted, they ship free with purchases over $25, and their customer support is amazing.

Essential Oils

And, this list WOULD NOT be complete without talking about my essential oils. I love-love-love using essential oils to support my health and my home and my family’s health. If you’ve been following along, you know that I use doTERRA essential oils pretty exclusively. For oils that doTERRA doesn’t currently source, I love using Mountain Rose Herbs for their commitment to sustainability, testing, and education. You can learn more about my essential oils here.

Conclusion

So, there you have it, my favorite products, products that I love. Do you have products you just use over and over and can’t live without? I’d love to hear what they are for you.

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