Crys Wood

make the most of what you make

Online Business Toolbox

These are the digital tools I use for my online business, and I love them all. is supported by readers like yourself. When you try a product or purchase it through my links, I may earn an affiliate commission. This won’t increase the cost of your purchase, it enables me to create more useful resources, and this website remains ad-free 👍🏽

Website Tools

I chose SiteGround over other web hosts because:

  • Automatic WordPress updates with timing I can tweak!
  • Unmetered traffic/bandwidth, so no penalties for success
  • Free SSL that I can set and forget
  • Daily automatic backups

I love SiteGround’s GrowBig plan because:

  • Unlimited websites for building free-range side projects!
  • Free email accounts for those side projects
  • On-demand backups for times I feel extra-protective
  • Staging, so I can tinker without breaking the live website

photo credit: Fathom Analytics

I chose Fathom over Google Analytics because:

  • It’s so danged simple — omg, it’s literally one page! (see their pic, and no, those aren’t my stats 😁)
  • Free uptime monitoring for up to 50 sites
  • Privacy for my website visitors — it doesn’t collect or display individualized data

Fathom is worth paying for because:

  • All of the above, plus…
  • It’s adamantly GDPR-compliant
  • Lightweight WordPress plugin
  • Stats page is shareable — public or with a password

Psst! If you want to switch from Google Analytics, you can import your UA and/or GA4 data for free 👍🏽

Writing tools

I chose Marketing Magic over ChatGPT because:

  • Privacy! My prompts and results do NOT become part of ChatGPT’s general knowledge pool
  • AI use is pay-as-you-go, usually less than $1/mo
  • I could cancel my $20/mo ChatGPT Plus subscription (and I did)

I love Marketing Magic because:

  • It asks me questions instead of me prompting it
  • It’s built by a marketer who uses it for her own work
  • It creates detailed marketing-focused checklists
  • It’s like hiring myself, so my passion projects get time, too

I chose LanguageTool over Grammarly because:

  • Suggestions are on the page instead of lost in a sidebar!
  • Works in other apps, not just the browser window
  • Hardcore editorial suggestions for style + sentence structure
  • Clearer explanations with its suggestions
  • Picky Mode can be pickier than I am (and I’m really picky)

LanguageTool is worth paying for because:

  • Unlimited paraphrasing by AI!
  • More/Deeper checks for word choice, grammar, and punctuation
  • Rescues me from overused words, wordiness, and comma drama

Psst! I also use ProWritingAid, which may seem an unnecessary redundancy, but here’s the difference: LanguageTool is right there on the page the entire time I’m writing. All its features are instantly available without even clicking a menu. Immediacy isn’t everything, but for this, it’s a very valuable thing.

I use ProWritingAid along with LanguageTool because:

  • Category scores game-ify the editing process!
  • It grammar and style checks differently but/and just as deeply
  • As a standalone app, it can (and does) include way more features
  • Summary Report displays what I did well before what needs work 😊 #validation
  • Fine-tune how strictly it scores and what it looks for by selecting a writing genre (Creative, Business, Academic, etc.) and document type (Romance, Case Study, Abstract)

ProWritingAid is worth paying for because:

  • All of the above, plus…
  • Even deeper analysis and reporting!
  • Secure plagiarism checks that include offline documents
  • Unlimited everything: document storage, document length, rephrasing

Psst! Two writing tools may seem like wearing suspenders and a belt. But ProWritingAid supports me with an essential task — it’s what I lean on and trust as my fresh set of eyes for that final pass before pressing Publish or delivering content to a client.

Admin tools

I chose Wave over all others because:

  • My account funds are FDIC-insured, unlike PayPal!
  • Free business checking account at a real bank
  • Free invoicing and accounting (unlike FreshBooks)
  • Credit card processing fees less than PayPal’s

Other things I love about Wave:

  • Free instant transfers to Wave checking account!
  • Instant transfer fee to other accounts less than PayPal’s
  • Free direct deposit to other accounts
  • Free ATM withdrawals

Psst! Are you multi-passionate or have multiple businesses? You can create multiple “bins” for your income within Wave. For example, I separated client billing from my other writing income.

photo credit: motion

I chose Motion over all others because:

  • It automagically rearranges my to-do list if something changes! #whew 😅
  • It honors my boundaries around me time, client time, and weekends
  • It syncs appointments, meetings, and tasks with my Google Calendar
  • It gatekeepers meetings to maximize focus time — limits when and how many; won’t book new meetings around high-priority deadlines

Motion is worth paying for because:

  • All of the above, plus…
  • Its AI has more realistic expectations than I do!
  • Free built-in booking app for meetings — no need to pay for Acuity, Calendly, etc.


I chose Flown because:

  • Microphone is rarely required, and video never is!
  • Co-working sessions of varying length and format
  • Kind + supportive facilitators and co-workers — of all genders and colors
  • Itinerary and guidelines clearly stated (and followed) for each session

Flown is worth paying for because:

  • All of the above, plus…
  • Session formats that are a fab fit for folks with social anxiety (like me)!
  • A 24/7 session you can drop in and out of at anytime
  • Available on demand: Soundless recordings of creatives creating, aka Portholes

Psst! I have 3 other co-working platforms to explore, but I so love Flown that I have zero motivation to continue that research. #happycamper

I ❤️ Mai-Kee’s Coworking Cove because:

  • Video, mic, and interaction aren’t expected or required
  • Lonnnng coworking sessions: 90 minutes and 3 hours(!)
  • Super-clear boundaries, schedule, and itinerary
  • I feel safe there

Coworking Cove is worth paying for because:

  • Worth repeating: facilitated 3-hour sessions
  • Mai-kee honors the limitations of the shy and socially anxious (like me!)
  • I feel safe there

Psst! The Cove has 4 work sessions each month, and they’re worth waiting for. If you’re looking for a full calendar of shorter, daily virtual coworking sessions, check out Flown.

Social Media

I chose Publer over others because:

  • Text formatting in LinkedIn posts — a rare find!
  • Tag yourself in your LinkedIn post signature (unlike CoSchedule)
  • Link in Bio grid for Instagram (unlike Hootsuite)
  • Wide featureset for all platforms (unlike Later)

I pay for Publer’s Professional plan because:

  • Schedule unlimited number of posts!
  • Schedule follow-up comments
  • Eternal post history
  • Add collaborators and platforms for a few more bucks each, no need to level up to a bigger plan (unlike everybody)