Granted we are all super busy, zipping about the place and trying to blog well in between the other important bits of life. That is all the more reason to grab this bunch of useful tools that will help you sort, file and plan your way to a better blog.
I’d love you to add your faves in the comments and we can crowdsource a bit of blogging excellence as a gang!
Install Pocket in your toolbar and you can save things to read/blog about/learn about later. This is a good way to collect articles or posts that you want to go back to and serves as a bit of an information mine for those times when you are not sure what to write about. Like it? Pocket it!
Download the Flickr app to your phone and set it to auto-upload every photo you take to your Flickr account. It can do this privately (so only YOU can see those snaps) and serves as a great alternative to any other cloud software you might use.
The beauty of Flickr is that it can not only store and sort your images – you can edit them via Flickr’s Aviary software right on the Flickr platform. You can even cut and paste auto-generated html embed code for your images onto your blog (if you don’t want to host all your own images!) AND Flickr configures every image you upload into a host of useful sizes ready for easy download, cutting out manual image resizing. How good!
A tiny bit of me died when Google Reader bit the dust. Still, Feedly is quite good too and is a pretty and easy to use RSS reader, just perfect for keeping up to date with all that inspirational reading. It’s really very important to stay abreast of what’s going on in your community/the world and Feedly can help you to stay current and informed. If you like to publish curated posts or profile other bloggers, Feedly is your friend, keeping you in touch with your favourites daily.
You might think Tumblr is all thinspiration and angsty teens. Granted, there is a LOT of that over there, but Tumblr is also the perfect platform for clever bloggers. Set up an account (keeping the details to yourself) and it’s a great way to clip images and articles to scroll through or refer back to later. Unlike Pinterest you can view images/articles in more detail/larger sizes and the ‘archive’ function lets you sort through your ‘Tumbl’d’ posts quickly to find what you want. Tumblr has a bookmarklet which you can pop in your browser toolbar and click whenever you want to add something to your Tumblr account. Kind of like your own private visual diary. Win!
I’m a big fan of Google Calendar. It’s super easy to use and can not only talk to your phone, it can talk to other people you might be working with too. Use Google Calendar to create an easily updated Editorial Calendar or create a one-off calendar for blog events or guest posting schedules. If you’re trying to whip your blog into shape and post to certain categories on specific days, Google Calendar is a great way to remind yourself about what’s upcoming and plan for future posts.
Private boards on Pinterest are the perfect placer to store ideas for upcoming posts as well as inspirational images. Add the ‘Pin It’ bookmarklet to your browser and when you come across something that piques your interest or sparks some bright ideas, pin it to your private board. (NB: I am not encouraging you to copy other people – but sometimes a whole bunch of images can lead to a new original idea – and that process does not have to be a public one.)
Notebooks are the undisciplined friend of the diary! I am sure you have a notebook or two already, but I would strongly encourage you to have one by your bed, in the car, in your bag, in the kitchen. Be sure to take note when an idea strikes because ideas are like little seeds and you never know what they might bloom into. Don’t take those seeds for granted! Make sure you save them nicely in case you want to grow them.
Sometimes we are so focused on the small picture and getting through the day that we forget about life’s bigger goals. I love Go Mighty because you can create your own life list over there, declare your intention to do stuff and (hopefully) refer back to that stuff regularly to stay on track with the big picture too. It’s also really great to read everyone else’s life lists and get inspiration for your own adventures.
How do you store your blog inspirations and ideas?