This is a page where you can find all the tools you need to live a better life through quotes and self-development.
I have personally read and used all the resources here.
The tools on this page are critical to the growth of GQ – they have impacted this community in one form or another.
Do you want to read more books?
I’ll show you my secret below…
Best Personal-development Tools of 2020
Click below to start:
My Daily Essentials
Kindle Paperwhite – Investing in a Kindle Paperwhite back in 2014 was one of the greatest investments in my entire life. I read more than 400 books. This particular Kindle serves me well after 6 years of nonstop perpetual usage. It saves me a lot of trouble carrying physical books (imagine having 400 books in my tiny apartment). Carrying a kindle also helps the planet to be a little more green by saving trees. Last but not least, investing in a kindle also saves me money (Kindles are a tad cheaper than physical books). Invest in one!
Kindle Unlimited – This is the perfect combo with my Kindle Paperwhite. I can literally read 100 books per month (if I have the capability to read that fast) with less than $10/month.
Blinkist – This is a premium book summary service that helped me to digest the key insights of books in just 15 minutes. I use Blinkist to make sure the ideas make sense first before committing my time to read the entire book. I also use Blinkist to recall certain ideas.
Audible – I believe in life education and the easiest way to improve myself is through books and audiobooks. Audible offers the biggest variety and is the most affordable one. I’ll usually listen to Audible when working on this site.
Panda Planner – My focus for 2020 is to be more productive. Investing in Panda Planner makes me happier, tidier and more gritty. It is not the cheapest planner (still extremely affordable though) but it is definitely the best one.
Books that Changed my Life
Atomic Habits – This book literally changed my life by helping me to cultivate healthy and meaningful habits. No jargon and it is anti-gimmicks. Down-to-earth and the solution herein are easy to replicate. Click here to check out the quotes about the power of Atomic Habits. If you want long-lasting results that are fun to achieve, read this book.
The ONE Thing – I created a website about Fashion. Though that site is garnering more than a million pageview annually (& 3.2M Pinterest views monthly) it is a site with no clear direction. Click on the link and see if you can tell me what is that website about. It is havoc and chaotic. Reading The ONE Thing inspired me to start something I truly enjoyed and it gave me a clear sense of direction on where I want to go with graciousquotes.com.
The Compound Effect – I have started many websites over the years, many of them I gave up despite having significant traffic. The power of the compounding couldn’t unfold its true potential when I jumped ship so many times. This book inspired me to start GQ because I know accumulating quotes is something I enjoyed doing even when I don’t get paid. I love quotes (find out why here) and I don’t mind doing it for the long haul. I trust that I can see the power of compounding effect with this site. If you are keen, bookmark GQ on your browser and come back a year later to see how much the site grows (hopefully it surprises you then – if it does, it is the Compound Effect at work).
Grit – Over the years I gave up many endeavors much sooner than I’d like. I seriously had enough and I do not want to give up this site. That’s why I picked up this book. Reading Grit by Angela Duckworth challenges me to work hard on GQ every day because this project doesn’t just affect me, it affects my readers.
The War of Art – I have been in business long enough to know that competitors are not my greatest enemy; I am my own biggest enemy. The hardest thing about starting a blog is not writing but sitting down to write. The War of Art helped me to see that procrastination didn’t just happen to me, it happens to everyone and that the secret to overcoming resistance is to just sit down and do the work. If you want to turn pro then this book is the tough love you need. It kind of psychologically slaps you across the face so you wake up to do the most important work every day.
Quotes Websites That I Like
These are the websites I used frequently to curate content for GQ:
Cool Funny Quotes – This is not your typical quote website. You can find a lot of bizarre, humorous and sometimes ridiculously funny quotes that you wouldn’t usually find on other sites.
Wisdom Quotes – I love the story of how Maxime Lagacé started wisdomquotes.com. It is sad and inspiring at the same time. Wisdom Quotes offer a lot of unique angles when it comes to curating quotes.
Famous Quotes & Authors – This site is a great resource if you are finding classic inspirational quotes. Though they have not updated their SSL this site is still extremely user-friendly. You can find outstanding quotes by Oscar Wilde, Mark Twain, and Ernest Hemingway to name a few.
Cool N Smart – I leverage on this site to find interesting quote-topics to write about. They have many captivating topics such as Cheating, Cow Boy, Ego, Math, Lust, etc. (I mean, seriously?) I love this site because they are peculiar in that way.
Positivity Blog – The name speaks for itself. Not exactly a quote website per se but this site (owned by Henrik Edberg) is filled with tons of happiness tips and ideas.
Movie Quotes & More – Stumbled upon this blog many times when I was curating the best Disney quotes. If you are a fan of movies then check out this site. They are constantly updating their list of latest movies.
Quotes Pedia – Nothing you can’t find from other quote websites but this one has a very sleek and minimalist look to it. I love their image quotes. If you enjoy image quotes over words, you’ll love Quotes Pedia.
Wealthy Gorilla – The curated quotes are mediocre but what I really love about Wealthy Gorilla is their cartoon featured images. I find them incredibly cool and I took inspiration to create my first featured image with a cartoon here (don’t judge the bad quality, I’ll do better as I grow).
My Favorite Books About Quotes
Great Quotes from Great Leaders – This is one of the BEST curated quotes by our world’s greatest leaders. Whenever I’m in need of motivation, I just flip to a random page to see which leader speaks to me. It works like a miracle!
After A Million Quotes – What Matt Williford learned after reading a million quotes. He shows us which are his favorites ones and goes into detail in explaining why they are important to our day-to-day lives. PRICELESS!
Blog & Hosting
WordPress Theme (Genesis Framework) – Migrated my theme over to Genesis (from PenNews) in early May 2020 to take advantage of the lightweight and extremely fast theme (I’m using Brunch Pro) so you can enjoy quotes at a blazing fast speed.
Email Autoresponder (ConvertKit) – Most user-friendly, minimalist, and affordable Email Marketing tools on the internet today. I use ConvertKit to follow up with all my loyal readers. Works extremely well for both beginners and veterans.
Hosting (Cloudways) – I have tried all the popular WordPress hosting such as WPengine and Kinsta but nothing beats the classic Cloudways in terms of reliability, affordability, and speed.
KeyCDN – SEO ranking factors in user-experience. The faster a website loads the greater the UX. That’s why it is crucial that we invest in a good CDN network. KeyCDN is the cheapest and MOST reliable of all.
Perfmatters (Plugin) – An extremely lightweight WordPress plugin created by the Jackson brothers. This is the most effective plugin to speed up a WordPress site. If you are serious about UX and SEO, Perfmatters is a must-have.
Novashare (Plugin) – Another plugin by the Jackson brothers. This is the most lightweight social-sharing plugin I’ve come across. This plugin is optimized for speed and I couldn’t be happier with the results after installing it. See the results here.
Email Capture Forms (Sumo) – I started off with a free plan and slowly work my way up to the paid version. Sumo interface is incredibly user-friendly, designs aren’t annoying and more importantly, it converts. I use this software concurrently with ConvertKit to maximize the value I bring to my readers. Smush Pro – GQ is heavily reliant on images that is why I decided to invest in Smush Pro for its Lazy-load and Super Smush saving features. In layman terms, it means less stress on the actual server and an overall faster loading site. (update 4 April 2020: I’m no longer using Smush Pro on this site)
How I Curate Quotes
Opening Up Several Quotes Websites – Another way I do is to open up 4 to 7 quotes websites I found on Google and read the quotes 1 by 1. I don’t usually copy and paste every quote I see – in fact, I purposefully missed out on a lot of ‘important’ quotes – I only add quotes that I find meaningful and/or I can relate with.
Books – Author quotes such as this and this was curated when I was reading through their books. I wrote down all the quotes and sayings I found meaningful on a piece of paper first before converting them to images and saving them digitally to GQ.
Examples of how I curate quotes the traditional way:
Software For Quotes Images
Canva – All the image quotes you see on this site are designed on Canva.
Any suggestions on what we can include or how we can improve our resources page? Please contact us.
Disclaimer: The links herein may contain affiliate links. Meaning to say that I may make a small commission whenever you buy something through the links. However, this comes at no additional cost to you. Commissions made from this page will be reinvested into building the Gracious Quotes community.