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Katie Zana’s Desert Island 5

The five things Sydney‑based agency owner Katie Zana can’t live without.

Katie Zana, the founder of Pearler, a Sydney, Australia-based micro-agency, is a self-described “digital fairy.” What’s that? Well, after almost a decade of working with startups, Katie has evolved into a jack of all digital trades. “When you’re a one-man band, you need to be able to do everything from web development work to email marketing,” says the Mailchimp partner, whose funky fun-first design aesthetic appeals to millennials across the globe. “A lot of what I'm doing is targeted to people like me,” says Katie. “People who like fun graphics, animation, and good copy that makes you sound human.”

Here are 5 things Katie can’t live without:


This is a great app to use if you have any forms on your website. Instead of a long, daunting form, it asks you one question at a time, mimicking a live chat experience. With Typeform, I have a 90% finish rate, which is great for clients who are health practitioners and more likely to have quite a lot of intake questions. It's bloody good, so I use it a ton in my business.


Any chance I get, I’m working fun gifs into websites. I think there's too much online that takes itself too seriously. Everyone loves a laugh—personally, I love when a reaction gif pops out after your mouse scrolls over a text header—but it doesn't have to be funny all the time. Sometimes, something subtle, like a pretty flower opening, adds just enough flash. People love those little details on a website, or even in an email.

Creative Market

A lot of the people love the idea of commissioning custom illustrations, but they can't afford the investment yet. Creative Market is basically a digital marketplace for graphics, photos, and templates. For a small business owner, being able to spend $20 for a package of beautiful artwork and illustrations is fantastic. Not only does it look super profesh, but you're also supporting the artist. When you buy something off Creative Market, you pay what you need to use it anywhere: on your social, website, or newsletters.

Adaptology Co Superfood Lattes

During the pandemic, I got to the point where I thought, drinking this much coffee is insane. So, I stocked up on a bunch of adaptogenic powders and medicinal mushrooms. Sitting at my desk with a flower-topped, blue-colored butterfly pea latte just raises my vibrations. It makes me feel good while working. Now, I drink vibrantly colored potions almost exclusively.

The Foreward

This is one of my favorite career-focused Instagram accounts. It’s run by two awesome Aussie women—who I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Essentially, they interview millennial women by email, talking about everything from mental health to navigating your career consciously. It’s a real unique interview format, and at the end each person nominates the next interview subject. Thus, The Foreword.

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