As a writer, entrepreneur, coffee shop meandering, general misfit nobody, the TOOLS I use and the RESOURCES that get me through the day are important indeed. In this Post, I detail the products, books, courses, services, and people I love; and will update as time goes by…

This is a peek into the world of Turndog, and whether you’re just starting out, a seasoned pro, or a curious mind, I’m sure you’ll find a few gems. But before we begin, I must say that the majority of links are affiliate ones – meaning if you happen to trial or buy said product or service, I receive a commission in return. But don’t worry, it costs you no extra.



LAPTOP = I do the majority of my work on my trusty MACBOOK PRO, which isn’t only a great machine for writing and travel, but for more robust editing and design.

WRITING PROCESSOR = The best money I’ve ever spent to further my writing career is on SCRIVENER, my processor of choice. Tailored for every type of writer, this is an absolute vital-addition to your world.

RESEARCH/NOTE TAKING = I almost exclusively use EVERNOTE to make notes, which is a simple yet wonderful tool connected to the cloud – meaning you have access at all times, on laptop, phone & tablet. I also use BYWORD to make quick notes on the go.

EDITING = I use professional editing whenever possible, but when it comes to self-editing, there are a couple tools I use. One is HEMMINGWAY,  a super simple app; and another is AUDACITY, to record myself reading.

BOOK PRINTING = For POD (print on demand) I use CREATESPACE to both print and publish my books. For closer to home, I use fellow Yorkshire company, BOOK EMPIRE.

BOOK PUBLISHING = I do the majority of my publishing through the AMAZON KDP PROGRAM and CREATESPACE. Both are simple to join, and place your book in front of a global audience.






CAMERA = My main camera is the CANON 600D, which is a wonderful DSLR and starter camera. So light, yet oh so powerful, too. (Check out my current Camera Wish List)

LENSES = I’m a fan of vintage prime lenses, and love the TAKUMAR 50MM 1.4, and the TAKUMAR 28MM. I like other lenses too, but there’s something about these old boys I doubt I’ll ever grow tired of. (Check out my current Lens Wish List)

AUDIO = I use the RODE VIDEO PRO for most of my audio, a lovely little mic that can fit practically everywhere. If you only have a budget for one mic, I’d personally look no further. (Check out my current Audio Wish List)

TRIPOD = I’m in the process of acquiring a FANCIER FC270A, a tripod with a lovely fluid head and a sturdy set of legs – vital for visual storytellers like me(Check out my current Tripod Wish List)

POWER SUPPLY = I take a DIY approach to my battery solution, using a combination of a LANPARTE PORTABLE BATTERY and an ANKER to power my gear. Won’t a suit every setup, but a great alternative to more expensive options.

MEMORY = I use LEXAR PRO SD CARDS to capture my HD Video footage. Fast, powerful, and robust, these little beauties are top notch.

RIG/STABILISATION = I’m currently building a DIY Cage & Shoulder Rig, which I shall document in detail once complete. I sense this will be one of my more enjoyable blog posts once finished

LIGHTING = My current lighting setup is rather sparse, but you may like to: Check out my current Lighting Wish List

EDITING = I use my MACBOOK PRO for editing, combined with FINAL CUT PRO (for more robust edits) and SCREENFLOW (for  smaller projects and capturing screenshots and presentations). (Check out my current Editing Wish List)

MISCELLANEOUS GEAR = I use the 50 DOLLAR FOLLOW FOCUS to improve my video footage, and get most of my DSLR parts from SMALL RIG. As for where I place my videos, I use VIMEO (for The Purple Coffee Podcast), and YOUTUBE for almost everything else.


***I’ve included links to my WISH LISTS, because I’m always researching new gear and building my own kit. Hopefully you can see how I capture my storytelling ways, and what I have planned for the future. It may also help you build your own setup, but be sure to visit: DSLRVIDEOSHOOTER.COM & CHEESYCAM.COM – two sites I visit often***






HOSTING = This website is hosted by SYNTHESIS, which is optimised for WordPress. An alternative you may like to check out is my very first hosting partner, WEBHOSTING.COMIn terms of who I use for my Domains, I look no further than DOMAIN.COM.

WEBSITE THEME = This entire website is built using DIVI BY ELEGANT THEMES. I’m blown away with how simple, intuitive, and lovely this theme is. I’ve used several over the years, and this gets my vote by a country mile.

BLOGGING = I’ve used many apps & plugins over the years, but a few stellar examples I use again and again include: MARSEDIT (write blog posts offline and on the go) and SCRIBE (brilliant SEO and optimisation tool).

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGEMENT = My main social media management system is HOOTSUITE, which covers just about all your social media needs. I also use PAGEMODO (for Facebook), and am a HUGE fan of BUFFER. Finally, I use COSCHEDULE to schedule my messages prior to a Blog Post’s publication. This has proved to be a real time saver.

SEO = I use YOAST, which have numerous apps and plugins to save your SEO bacon – which is great for someone like me who hates SEO

EMAIL = All of my newsletters are sent via CONVERTKIT, an amazing and affordable email & marketing solution. For personal emails I use GOOGLE APPS, and link it with two amazing plugins: FOLLOWUP.CC (use code MA30TT14 for 30% off any annual/monthly plan) and SIGNALS. Check them out and thank me later

LANDING PAGES = I use LEADPAGES to build many of my landing pages, and the Pop-Up type option boxes you’ve no doubt come across. These guys and gals are awesome!

MARKETING = At this moment in time I don’t do much in terms of advertising, but I do love what BOOKBUB are doing (Ebook promotion experts) and ADROLL (a re-targeting platform that puts others to shame).

ECOMMERCE = For selling books and products through this website, I use SELZ – a simple and effective platform that makes venturing into the world of Ecommerce a breeze. By linking this to PAYPAL, I have little else to worry about.






I Detail My Complete Podcast Setup In This Post

MICROPHONE = I record my interviews and podcasts with the BLUE SNOWBALL. For the price, it truly is the best bang for your buck. When capturing audio direct form a camera, I use my RODE VIDEO PRO.

RECORDING = I capture the majority of my interviews via SKYPE, and record these through the ECAMM RECORDER software. I love this little plugin, and is a must for all bloggers and podcasters.

EDITING = As I publish The Purple Coffee Podcast in both video & audio, I edit everything in FINAL CUT PRO, and export a video & audio file. Sometime I need to compress my files (if they’re too big), in which case I use HANDBRAKE.

HOSTING = I host The Purple Coffee Podcast on LIBSYN, which allows me to link my account to the iTunes Store. For video, I upload to VIMEO, a site I use exclusively for the podcast.






FINANCIAL STUFF = For my accounts, invoicing and bookkeeping, I use WAVE: a free platform that’s rather incredible to be honest. You have to see it to believe it.

CRM SYSTEM = I use the wonderful CONTACTUALLY to organise my life, and to ensure I stay on top of new and old relationships alike. I LOVE this piece of kit. I value relationships a great deal, and this is what keeps me on the right path. I’m not sure how I used to manage without it, to be honest.

TIME MANAGEMENT = The three tools that keep me on top of my daily day are EVERNOTE, WUNDERLIST, and ICAL. Seriously, I could not function without these three cloud based apps.

DESIGN & ARTWORK = I love designing my own book covers, t-shirts, and promotions, and everything I do is within the ADOBE CS6 SUITE (I primarily use Photoshop 90% of the time).

MUSIC = When it comes to music, I’m an avid listener, and I look no further than SPOTIFY.

HEALTH & WELLBEING =  Staying active and healthy is important to me, and use use several apps to track my progress. these are: MOVES (a step counter on steroids), SLEEP CYCLE (measures your sleeping patterns), MY FITNESS PAL (measures my calorie intake), and RESCUE TIME (tracks when and how I work).






If you’re new around these parts, or would like to read my most popular posts, the following is a good place to start:




**To be honest this merely scratches the surface, but I’ll update this list over time, I’m sure** 



THOMAS JOHAN PHOTOGRAPHY = Many of the pictures on this website were taken by the very talented Thomas Johan. Much love for this man.

HANNAH CORDINGLEY PHOTOGRAPHY = The rest of the pictures taken on this site were shot by the equally talented Hannah, who I also have much love for

THE LIONS RAMPANT = I’ve known Stu-Mac for years, and when it came to choosing an intro song for The Purple Coffee Podcast, this classic tune was a no brainer. It literally takes me back to the summer of 2005

DARREN FLEMING = A local photographer and budding videographer I’m lucky to know.

EFFY AUTUNNO = My cousin, who just so happens to be a super skilled photo taker. She’s rarely in the country to come say hello to me, but I love her all the same.

AJ LEON = The king misfit himself, AJ and his crew of misfit inspire me no end. Lucky to know him, and excited about EVERYTHING he does.

JIM HOPKINSON = Jim is one cool guy, with an awesome podcast, a great style of writing, and a general winning attitude that is always great to see.

SRINIVAS RAO = One of the main men behind The Unmistakable Creative, Srini has crafted an incredible journey over the last few years. Such an inspiration, and what a set of guests he chats to on a weekly basis.

NATALIE SISSON = A true nomad, Natalie roams the lands helping entrepreneurs and business folk alike. Smart, witty, and pretty, Naltalie has it all (plus an awesome Kiwi accent).

MARIANNE CANTWELL = From a Kiwi to an Aussie, Mariane also nomads the globe, helping an array of business folk fulfil their dreams. Such a wonderful lass, with a great book to her name, too.

CHRIS BROGAN = One of my biggest influences when first starting out, Chris Brogan is ‘da man!. To not follow Chris would be crazy. So, be sure that you do – and you know, not be crazy and such.



This is my list of the TOOLS & RESOURCES I love and use, but I’m sure I’ll add to this post as time goes by. After all, barely a day passes without me finding a great new brand.

However, if you happen to know of something amazing that I have not listed, please let me know. I’d love to hear your own daily-day-loves, so don’t be shy and share your nuggets of wisdom with me 🙂

Speak soon, cool cat


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