Achieving a consistent workflow as a blogger is one of the first challenges for any beginner. I’m going to offer a short list of tools that help me be more productive in my blogging, either by enabling me to work faster or by providing motivation.
AutoHotKey (Windows) and TypeIt4Me (Mac)
Both of these programs offer what is called text-expansion. So if I type ìaadî or ìipn,î my computer will translate those to Android and ìPhone. AutoHotKey includes text-expansion as just one of its features, but it’s easy enough to learn. (And those other features are incredibly powerful if you’re willing to try some programming.) Check out this Lifehacker tutorial to get started. TypeIt4Me, meanwhile, is a dedicated text-expansion program, so it’s more user-friendly.
Unless you’re constantly on the move, a whiteboard or glass whiteboard can help you stay focused and organized. I use my own to keep track of my progress on different projects and to write down reminders that are impossible to ignore. Your options range from this super cheap DIY glassboard to a more upscale magnetic glass dry erase board.
Word Press Extensions
There’s so many I could write about, but I’ll stick to a couple of my favorites.
SEO Smart Links is a handy tool that automates the process of adding internal links to posts. The plug-in combs the content of your blog and inserts links to pages related to keywords within your posts.
As much as I believe in the benefit of bloggers knowing HTML, I’m not a natural code monkey myself. Tidy Up helps me achieve better HTML and avoid errors by cleaning my code for me. No more searching through lines of code to find that one missing ì/î that threw everything off.
WordTracker’s SEO Blogger is a handy tool for those who want to incorporate SEO best practices into their posts without all the hassle of conducting separate keyword research. As you type, it analyses your text and offers suggestions for high volume keywords.
As a blogger, I’m constantly saving URLs, both so I can have them as a reference and so I can incorporate them as links in my posts. Copy Urls Expert and Send Tab URLs allow one-click copying of all URLs in all tabs. Plus, you can configure them to include the page’s title or to format URLs as HTML links. I use both extensions and set them to format links differently.
Let me be the umpteenth person to recommend you give Evernote a try. All those copied links I mentioned in the previous item? They almost all go into Evernote. Using the note taking service, I keep research for my blog posts, lists of ideas for posts, and all kinds of stuff that I’d like to remember later. Because Evernote doesn’t use a standard file system, it’s extremely easy both to make notes and to retrieve them later. I shudder to think of the days when I kept notes in Microsoft Word.
This post was written by Ashlee McCullen, who is a staff writer for ApronAddicts.com, a website about kitchen fashion and home style. She also writes about mobile technology and self-improvement.