4 Online Tools That Are Worth the Splurge

May 14, 2014

3:34 pm

Where is all of your money going?!

You have most likely heard this question from a partner, parent or friend at some point in your life. I know I surely have … more than once.

Aside from my love of scoring great deals at TJ Maxx and drinking delicious caramel macchiatos at Starbucks, my guilty spending is on software, online product downloads, and premium membership subscriptions.

While I feel guilty after a big splurge on material items such as clothes, I rarely think twice about a purchase on an online tool because I see it as an investment in the betterment of myself.

Below is a list of my favorite digital spends, past and present:


Free or $9.99 per month for unlimited

Signals is my favorite premium subscription right now. The tool created by HubSpot notifies you every time someone opens your email, and they click on links in it.

This is useful for not only sales people or anyone looking to close deals, but also job seekers and writers.

Would it not give you peace of mind to know when a hiring manager opens your email, how many times they opened it, and if they clicked on the link to your portfolio? It would be much easier to know when to follow up or if the open position is even worth a follow-up.

Writers submitting queries could use Signals in a similar manner also.

LinkedIn Premium

$29.99 per month or $23.99 annually

Features I like:

  • Unlimited who’s viewed your profile in the past 90 days
  • For job seekers, application analytics and featured applicant status
  • Ability to read full profiles without being connected
  • 25 in-mail credits

AppSumo: 30 Email Templates download

One-time download fee: $35

These are not flashy email templates coded in CSS or HTML5. And, they can’t be imported into Mailchimp or Aweber. However, these templates are WAY MORE valuable. Totally worth the $35.

Some of the templates include:

  • Get a meeting with a client/mentor
  • Get a guest blog post on that site you’ve always wanted to appear on
  • Close a partnership sooner than you could expect
  • Get a connection to tweet for you


$19.98 per month (quarterly)
$29.95 per month (monthly)
$11.66 per month (annually)

This is one of my most recent purchases. Grammarly not only checks your grammar, but also improves any text based on the writing type, i.e. academic, job applications, professional, blog, journalistic and more.

Another thing I like about Grammarly is that it provides grammar explanations with examples, when it suggests changes to your writing. You can write directly in Grammarly online or in a Word doc with the Grammarly plug-in.

That’s all for today! Remember: invest in your skills, processes and tools, and you will not regret it.

Stay tuned for my next blog post, which will outline the second half of my favorite, premium apps.

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Lauren Holliday is a journalist with a marketing mindset. She is in the top five percent of Elance for social media marketing and has written for publications across Florida. Lauren loves building startups.

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