I have a set routine in the morning. Get up, grind and brew coffee, sit down with the iPad and do some reading. Ever since Google Reader bit the dust I’ve been using Feedly, and loving it. They have some kinks to work out on the desktop site, but the mobile apps are easy to use and organize feeds with.

I find getting some reading done first thing in the morning can get my brain moving for the day ahead. I’m more focused, inspired and motivated. I want to share with you the three blogs I always make time to read.


Zen Habits


The blog I find helps me the most is Zen Habits By Leo Babauta. While some of the things Leo does are a bit extreme, like only eating plain food for a month, the ideas and ideals he has and aspires to have helped me in running my business. His writing helps to center myself in tough times, and to realize there are better things ahead if we just push on.

Published in February, I still keep an article called This Moment saved in my list. Not because I haven’t gotten around to read it, but because I read it almost everyday.

Leo has an eBook out now that I’m planning to read for the second time on my upcoming travels. Not only because I’d like to do a review of it for a future article, but also because it’ll be beneficial to dealing with the stress that traveling brings. Yes the eBook is called Letting Go and yes I get the song stuck in my head every time I read it.


Brain Pickings


People make some really, really cool things. Brain Pickings by Maria Popova is the site that shares them. My favorite articles of recent are Vintage Illustrations for Tolkien’s The Hobbit from Around the World and Van Gogh and Mental Illness. I’m planning on visiting the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam next month.

The articles that Maria shares are always high quality, full of visuals and quotes and interesting to read. I don’t always read every story, but those I do I love and try to share on my ashleyidesign on Facebook.


Start Up Blog


Start Up Blog is the place to find articles on creating and managing a business. Often the articles that Steve Sammartino write have actionable items I can take to improve my business. I’ll read an article of his and immediately feel motivated to go do work. Not helpful when I’m passing time in a restaurant, more so first thing on a workday morning. I love the article We’re all faking it since it showcases the need to talk less and do more. Also, Steve was a part of an air-powered LEGO car, so that’s pretty awesome.


Seth Godin


Anything Seth Godin writes.

So now you. What do you read in the morning? Please comment below and share your favorite blogs, sites, books, what have you. Who motivates or inspires you through their writing?

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