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Writer Resources: books, tools, and things that help me with my daily writing productivity

Updated: Jun 25

My Experience

Over the years I've read many books and articles on how to improve my writing, editing, and solo-preneurship productivity, so I could reach my goals in reasonable time frames, while also having quality of life, accommodating family life, and not losing myself in the process.

The following is a list of things that work for me. I would love to know what works for you! Give yourself permission to consider them all, try what you can, use what works for you and discard the rest. Some links may be affiliate links, in which case I may earn a small commission on a product (at no cost to you). Whenever possible, see if you can check out the books I mention from your local library first. If you like them, then consider buying them if your budget allows for it.

Lastly, remember, that for some things to work, they have to become habits. Meaning, they have to become simple daily practices that after a while feel effortless and give you good results. Also, keep in mind, that what works today for you, may stop working tomorrow, and that's ok too. We are constantly evolving, and as we grow, so does the world around us. Embrace where you are now, and respect where you are tomorrow, and remind yourself that sometimes, there will be things you need to let go of to move forward.

Productivity Books

These have really made a difference in my life as a writer.

Mindset Books

Other random things that assist me with productivity

A glass of water. Before I even roll out of bed in the morning, I sit up and drink a whole glass of water at room temperature to start hydrating (I leave it on my night stand the night before). I drink about 2 liters of plain filtered water per day.

Calm App (daily morning meditation with Jay Shetty, Tamara Levitt, or Jeff Warren)

I start my day with a short meditation (and sometimes two) before I do some stretching and reading.

Hotworx 45-minute workout (hot sauna workout), or a 10 to 30 minute workout at home with Yoga with Kasandra (free).

I've had this machine now for 10 years and it is THE BEST. Before I bought it, I did the math of how much I was spending a week to get the good, fresh-ground coffee we like, in local coffee shops, and it turns out it would have taken us three months of a few coffees a week, to pay for this machine.

A Stanley thermos with hot water and my Argentine mate (I use Yerba Mate Playadito 1000g and will sometimes mix it with Cachamate Serranas) which I sip first thing in the morning while reading the paper or The Daily Stoic. and throughout the morning.

Caffe Borbone Espresso Beans - Whole Bean ITALIAN Coffee (Miscela Blu, 2.2 lbs)

I love this coffee. It's strong, not acidic, and has a wonderful aroma and flavor. I will usually have an espresso around 9 am, and another one after lunch.

Motus Flex barefoot-feeling performance trainer (I am usually barefoot at home, but when I'm not, I wear these and I absolutely love them! Yes, they are an investment, but I only have one pair of these, and one pair of tennis shoes for when I play tennis as my "sporty shoes").

Standing Desk by Branch, 60" x 30". Because I work with dual monitors, I need to have a big desk. This one has customizable settings, so I have one for when I'm in my desk chair, one for when I want to work standing, and one for when I'm sitting on my exercise ball. The quality is phenomenal and I was able to assemble it myself. Again, this is another investment, but it's like a mattress. If I'm going to spend 8hs a day here, I need a desk that supports me instead of working against me.

Post it notes (small ones, square ones, flag-type ones, in bright colors). I use these above all when updating my personal Kanban on my whiteboard.

Appointment Book & Planner - Daily Hourly Planner from January - December, Weekly Appointment Book with 30-Minute Interval (I love having something to write in the 3 major things I want to accomplish every day and any client appointments I have. I was never able to do a bullet journal, but I feel this is what works for me).

Quartet Standard Whiteboard, Aluminum Frame, 36"W x 24"L (this one I use to organize my personal Kanban post its so I can see where I'm at with my project list)

Ember mug in rose gold. This was a gift from a friend, and I usually use it in the afternoons with herbal teas when I'm done with my mate and can't have any more caffeine.

A candle of the month which I usually buy from Trader Joe's or Home Goods. I love lighting a candle when I want to set the mood in my office.

Premium Liquid Multivitamin for Women | Sugar Free Women’s Multivitamin | 100+ Vitamins, Minerals & Herbs Promote Anti-Aging, Heart, Brain & Bone Health |98% Absorption Rate | Non-GMO | 32 Servings

I take 15ml of this every night before going to bed for better absorption. It was recommended to me by a doctor who specializes in nutrition, and I simply like it.

I should also mention that I work in absolute silence. I have a big window in my office that overlooks my vegetable garden, where I have a strategically placed bird feeder and bird bath. This lets me enjoy nature while I'm working.

And lastly, this is what my daily schedule looks like (with minor variations):

5:30 a.m. - wake up, glass of water. 10-minute seated mediation (Calm app)

6:00 a.m. - 45-min hot sauna workout at Hotworx (only 3 x per week), or yoga at home.

7 a.m. - breakfast: Argentinean "mate" with a home-made apple-almond streusel or flax granola (recipes from The Metabolism Plan). Make breakfast and pack a lunch for the little one. Read L.A. Times.

8 a.m. - catch up on business reading or sort out the house or vegetable garden for whatever can get done in thirty minutes

8:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. editing work, writing work, or presentations/classes with an espresso in between

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. daily walk around the neighborhood or tennis workout

1 p.m. light lunch

1:30pm - 5:45 p.m. - editing work or writing work with a cup of herbal tea

6 p.m. - drop off little one at soccer training, start prepping (vegetarian) dinner, get some last minute work in

8 p.m. -dinner with the fam

9:30 p.m. bedtime routine: vitamins, cup of hot donkey tea (Aloysia polystachya from my garden), read with the little one, hot shower, my fun reading, gratitude thoughts, sleep).

If you enjoyed this article, and want to continue being productive with your own writing, consider signing up for my tiny newsletter. You’ll be notified when the next post is up, and of tips, tools, books, and classes I think may be of value (“subscriber bar” at the bottom of the page). I promise to never misuse your information.


Linda Ruggeri is a nonfiction bilingual editor and writer based out of Los Angeles who specializes in memoir, biographies, cookbooks, and Spanish translation reviews. She’s the author of Networking for Writers, and coauthored the award-winning book Networking for Freelance Editors: Practical Strategies for Networking Success with Brittany Dowdle.     

Linda is on LinkedIn as The Insightful Editor, and on Instagram, where she likes to review books and posts tips for writers and editors.

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