Free Business Plan Course

The UN-conventional


Top 2023 Recommendations

recommendations Dec 21, 2023
Woman on Walk

What we loved enough to recommend this year.

Sarah's Top 2023 List

Productivity Tools

Long walks - I have one thing I do every day that has transformed my life and productivity: a one-hour walk with Foffee. It’s my prayer/meditation, fitness, sobriety, and mental health habit all in one. It also allows for lots of podcast listening time.

Notion - As a lover of AirTable, Notion works like a more user-friendly, supped-up with AI Airtable. Use for productivity, note-taking, writing, lists, and project management. Airtable is still my go-to for tracking data or comparing options. Like secondary schools for our eldest.

Descript - Great AI and easy video editing. Both Seth and I have used it to start our YouTube channels this year.

Kajabi - I set up a Kajabi website for a client last year and continue to find it to be a great web builder and tool for online courses and email marketing. It’s not cheap, but worth it if you’re ready to have an all-in-one platform for online courses.

Canva - Canva continues to reign as the design app for non-designers. They've added new features, like applying your branding to any template, turning docs into designs, and background remover photo editing. It’s well worth the annual fee for anyone in this modern digital world.

Auto Calendar Scheduling (Google or Calendly) - Game-changing for anyone who has trouble keeping track of time zones, meetings, and digital catch-ups. I started using both for all personal and business relationships. It takes most of the back and forth out of planning time to see others.

Notebooks & Daily Planners

I need to handwrite on paper 3 things:

  1. My daily priorities and review of the day.
  2. Notes while talking to people - my brain is wired to remember what I write by hand.
  3. Evening or morning reflections, thoughts, and prayers. I just got an iPad with iPencil and a paper-like screen to see if this can replace the 10+ notebooks I have lying around my desk and bedside table.



One of the problems with marketing, selling, and business podcasts is they are usually a marketing tool that leads to selling something - usually business programs. So you have to take these with some skepticism and skip the lame introductions. With that caveat, here are the top three I got the most out of this year:

  1. I Am Your Korean Mom - Very grounded, human marketing approach.
  2. Sell Without Selling - If you've never been in sales, this is a great how-to and not-feel-icky approach to selling with authenticity.
  3. The Life Coach School with Brooke Castillo - Brooke is not for everyone, but I love her concise mindset approach that helps me live my values and overcome unhelpful survival brain thinking in business.

Mental & Physical Health - I am always looking for ways to optimize my health - mentally and physically.

  1. A good friend turned me onto Huberman Lab this year and it's been a game-changer. Get ready for 2 hours of deep scientific explanations and protocols!
  2. Tara Brach for mindfulness, meditation, and feeling all the feels.

Just great listening - I love a highly produced and reported podcast. The standard for this is This American Life which I've listened to weekly since I was in HIGH SCHOOL (almost 25 years). Every year new podcasts are born from the descendants of This American Life. You can never go wrong following this family tree which includes podcast media giants like the (now defunct, but still great shows) Gimlet Media & Serial Productions.

Here are my two favorite TAL descendants from this year:

  1. Heavyweight to laugh, cry, and be overall entertained.
  2. Lastly, I just binged all 3 seasons of The Dream. She covers 3 industries I find deeply fascinating because of my experience with them: MLMs, Wellness, and Coaching.



Laura's Top 2023 List


I’m always listening to something. This year I got really into multi-episode non-fiction stories (Serial style) that I could binge. I enjoyed listening to The Retrievals and The Girlfriends. Both were, at times, heavy and hard listens, but for very different reasons. On a much, much lighter side, the Shameless podcast (which is exactly what its tagline says - for smart people who love dumb stuff) is perfect. Their three-part series on Drew Barrymore was fascinating.

When I’m not trying to escape in my listening, I’ve been deep in parenting, fueling for long runs, and coaching.

Apps and Tools

With building out the business this year, like Sarah, there are so many apps and tools that I've been playing with. Canva, mural, Asana, and Calendly are go-tos.

My favorite though (and wish they would pay me for how much I’ve promoted them!) is the Intelligent Change Quarterly Productivity Planner. Over the past nearly 3 years, I’ve tried the daily one and the weekly one, and keep coming back to the Quarterly. Nothing like some old-fashioned paper notes and to-dos.


If you’ve known me a while, you know I LOVE Michelle Obama. So of course I read and recommend The Light We Carry. I also finally read Quiet (should have read ages ago) and Happier has been a guiding force in my work this year. For anyone with pubescent or prepubescent children, This is So Awkward is a must-have resource book.


Need Support Now?

You can book a no-obligation session to chat about your business or business idea. It can be invaluable to talk with someone who "gets" it.

We love meeting with and hearing from owners and not-yet entrepreneurs alike. Fill in the form and you'll be taken to our booking calendar. 

You're safe with us we will only send you good stuff, we'll never sell your data or spam you and you can easily unsubscribe anytime. By filling the form you are agreeing to receive promotional materials from Laura & Sarah.