The internet is full of stuff that can eat your time away — articles, posts, videos, music, photos, tutorials, emails, social media — the list goes on and on. As a blogger, this means you will have less time writing your own stuff. Ah, the great internet conundrum.
And much to everybody’s delight, the internet is also full of useful tools and apps that can help you do more in less time. That’s do more useful stuff in less time so you can use more time doing other useful stuff. Efficiency FTW!
We’ll discuss these tools in this article. Get ready to dive into a trove of new tools!
How can they save time? Well, most of us are guilty of forgetting passwords, and at the same time using different websites, tools, and social networks for our blogs. If you are one of the gifted children who never forget his or her passwords, then skip this.
Otherwise, password managers will save you a few minutes and some brain cells because you don’t have to remember all of your passwords. All you will need to remember is one master password and these password managers will enter your password for you.
The caveat, though, is that you should secure your master password because it will be the key to a chest of gold — that is, your chest of passwords.
Boards and a cute mascot called Taco — that is what Trello is. The idea is to put everything in cards and stick them below a particular list in a board.
For example, you have a blog called Fun Stuff. Suddenly, you remembered you wanted to make an article about “cute armadillos” under it. Here’s a sample flow for you: make a board called “Fun Stuff”, and under it a list called “Next Article to Create”. Then you may add the card “Publish article about cute armadillos” under the list. If you have a deadline, you can add it; if you have other writers working for you, you can give them the task; if you have a checklist in mind like “Pics of armadillos” and “Lookup Wikipedia for armadillo entries,” you can add them to the card. After publishing the article, drag the card to the “Finished articles” list.
How about managing your documents (as well as your spreadsheets, forms, and presentations) in one central location that can be easily shared to co-bloggers? Wouldn’t that be nice?
Google Docs (which I personally use, even for this article) is a free tool from, well, Google (who else?). It offers some advantages over Microsoft Word and Office 365, like:
Connecting to other bloggers is one of the secrets to success and to being known. Reaching out to successful and well-known ones is a must — whether you just want to know who the competition is, or if you want to make a guest blog, ask for a product or blog review, link building, content promotion, and more — Ninja Outreach is the service to use.
With their awesome search tool, you can find up to 4 million+ influencers in your niche. You will also be able to organize your guest blogs from within their service.
We mentioned Trello, which can also be used to manage tasks, above. But don’t overuse one tool to do what two or three can do. Otherwise, you will lose time switching between boards.
Most of these task managers do the same thing: list down your tasks, allow a subtask, put a deadline, sync to other devices, etc. Some are free, while some will burn small holes in your pocket. Try all of them to see which fits you the best; there is no one-size-fits-all app for this.
Simple and easy to use, Workflowy is like a bullet-point-list software on steroids that is like a task manager without the deadlines. Crazy? Yeah, it made me crazy, too. But in a good way. At first, I thought, “why would I use it at all?” But later, I found out that I can list down things in a very fast way, without organizing them myself like crazy.
In a nutshell, it helps you to organize your thoughts, your projects, your blogs, or your articles, in a simple app that puts everything in expandable bullet points. You can even put your grocery list there. Just try it, it offers a free option anyway.
When creating a post or engaging with audience, time flies so fast that you may end up pulling your hair. The thing is to control how much time you use on each task. It may feel like limiting at times, but it makes you work faster and smarter.
There are web-based and smartphone app timers out there. Most of them work on the Pomodoro technique which gives you 25 minutes to work, 5 minutes of break after that, another 25 minutes, and then a long break after 4 sets of 25-minute work. Examples include Tomato Timer, Marinara Timer and probably a thousand others.
Other apps, like e.ggtimer allows flexibility in terms of the time you would like to work.
At first, you may find it hard to cope with the set time. But as you become more attuned to any of these tools, you will find that you can finish more work by setting up reminders.
When it comes to ideation and publishing, Trello is my go-to. But when it comes to managing WordPress blog’s editorial calendar, I recommend CoSchedule. They have plugins for WordPress, Google Docs, Evernote, and more.
CoSchedule makes planning and managing your posts very easy and intuitive. The drag-and-drop feature is fantastic and, again, very easy to use. Social sharing is also covered. You don’t have to scramble around using different apps to do a task.
Writing down ideas, notes, description, scribbles, and drawings, are a blogger’s key skills.
There are many tools for this task: Evernote, Google Keep, Microsoft OneNote, Trello, and many others. You can also use Notepad or Notepad++. I would also recommend keeping a pen and small notebook, just in case and because it has a “good” feel to it.
What sets each apart is how they handle the notes (into notebooks, lists, cards, etc), syncing to cloud storage, GUI, and your personal preference. Most of them can do the job very well (I use Evernote personally because it is easy to use, and it is free). It doesn’t matter if it is simple or complicated. Try each one to feel if it works for you.
Free for SME’s. Yes, free, with almost identical features with the paid option.
Blog posts require photos and other assets. In time, it can be frustrating to see a picture of a dog together in a folder designated for tech-related products. If you find yourself scratching your head because you cannot find a photo you need for your blog, then use MavSocial to manage your media.
Don’t waste time searching; use your time to make good stuff. MavSocial gives you access to over 70 million royalty-free images.
All these wonderful tools are under your disposal now. Take time to familiarize with them and you will find yourself churning out post after post in the future. There is no easy way, though, but to try them all.
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