Favorite Blogging Apps - OrganizingMonday, April 13, 2015
Today I'm continuing with some more apps and websites I use to help my blog be the bestest it can be. This time we're focusing on keeping everything organized.
When it comes to my blog, there are a lot of different apps and websites I use to get everything in some sort of order. I think organizing everything I have: pictures, half written drafts, and ideas is one of the easiest things to do because there are so many apps & websites that you can use with almost no effort on your part. Here are some of my favorites apps/websites and how I use them. Oh and they're all free to use!
Google Keep - available on Web & Android
Google Keep are like Post-It Notes on your phone. But unlike Post Its you can add pictures, hyperlinks, reminders!, lists, audio recordings, and label them for even better organization. You're also able to change the color of the note which makes for super easy color-coordinating. I use Google Keep for just about everything! It's so easy to use that it ends up being the app I open first. I make grocery lists and To Do lists for everyday use but I also have an ongoing list of blog posts ideas, a list of posts that need to get written, pictures I have to take for posts, materials I need to buy for a specific post, just whatever! The colors make the widget pretty to look at on your phone too (I have a Galaxy S5). What's great about the phone app is when I'm browsing the internet and I see a picture of something inspiring I can "share" it to Google Keep where it will automatically save the picture. Or, if I come across a blog that I like but don't have the time to add them or read all their posts I'll add the hyperlink to Google Keep and it will add a clickable link as well as a picture from the page. This can obviously be done with any website not just blogs. It makes it easy to go back and look at things later without having to copy & paste the URL into your internet browser.
Google Drive - available on Web & Android & iOS
Google Drive is like your own personal 15G flash drive that you never have to remember to take with you anywhere. As long as you have a Gmail account you can access Google Drive and I highly suggest you utilize it. Drive is similar to Dropbox in that it stores files, documents, pictures, and other things but with Drive you're also able to make documents, spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, forms, drawings, and probably a million other things, all within the app. So for someone who didn't want to buy Microsoft Office (yes, that's me) you can open and create .doc documents in Google Drive.
I use Google Drive in my everyday life for making budget spreadsheets, keeping track of my work hours & vacation days, as well as storing a current resume, generic cover letter, and other random stuff that could come in useful. For the blog, I have half written or just really, really rough drafts of posts that I haven't written out in full. I also have a list of writing prompts in case I get writer's block and I need a quick topic to get the juices flowing. Google Drive also stores your Google Photos which is nice since I use Blogger. All of my blog photos are right at my fingertips. Google Drive is easy to use, multipurpose, and an organizers best friend.
Google Calendar - available on Web, Android, iOS
Perhaps this one is a bit of a throwaway but I cannot even begin to tell you how much I LOVE Google Calendar. It's just so easy to add events, reminders, and share you calendars with others. I love all the color-coding that goes on too. What's even cooler is that if you have actually use Gmail as your email Google Calendar will automatically add things to your calendar when it sees dates and times in your inbox. It's pretty nifty.
In real life I share my work schedule with John because him asking me when I was working next got old real fast but I also have a Bills calendar, Birthdays, Fun Stuff, Appointments, Books, and Movies & TV calendar. Yup. I use Google Calendar to track everything I watch and read. For the blog I use it to see what posts I'v done and I use it to plan any upcoming ones. Looking at posts by month helps me see if there are any trends or reoccurring themes I can utilize. It also helps me see how often I post book or TV/Movie reviews. I tend to have those posts on standby and I don't want them to overwhelm what few readers I have or make my blog seem boring.
Dropbox - available on Web, Android, iOS, Kindle Fire, Blackberry, & Windows
Dropbox is similar to Google Drive. It's a cloud storage system that allows you to add, sync, and look at your files from any mobile device or desktop. You receive 9G of storage free when you sign up. I keep a lot of rough drafts, ideas, and graphics that are pertinent to my blog on Dropbox. There's not really much to say. It's easy to use and you'll have whatever you need right at your fingertips.
Trello - Available on Web, Android, & iOS
Last but not least, Trello. Trello may look similiar to Keep but this is a whole 'nother beast. Trello allows you to make lists and then cards within each list. Then each card can have hyperlinks, text, pictures, and you can even add members for collaborating. The system within a system within a system keeps all projects neat and orderly.
For the blog I have different cards for different topics and ideas. For example one card is for DIYs I want to work on and write up. When you click on the DIY card you'll be met with my ideas which are called a "list" but is within the larger label of DIY. Then, if you click on a specific list, let's say Painted Pot, you'll see a list of the materials I need, a picture of what I want the finished product to look like, or a hyperlink to the instructions. It may sound a bit complicated but once you get using it, you'll find that it makes organizing projects a breeze.
I also use Trello as a makeshift editorial calendar. You can see that each month has it's own "list" and then cards within the list. You can also add labels to your cards. For me, green is link ups; orange is a reminder to schedule the post; yellow is when guest posts are due. Obviously you can do what makes you happy but I find it so easy to glance at the year in this way and if I don't end up doing a post I can simply drag and drop it into another month. I type the dates on the left and put them in order so I know which posts are coming up, due soon, or if there is no date which can easily be moved around. I don't collaborate on my blog or have a group but if you do I would suggest you give Trello a try for that. It would make projects and ideas between people easier to see.
So that's it. It was kind of a long one but hopefully you've been introduced to a new application. I love trying out new organizing programs. Digital organization is my THING. So if you know of something I should try it out please, please, please leave it in the comments!