Today is an especially exciting #AMonthofFaves topic for me because I really feel like I've found my blogging stride this year when it comes to tech essentials and planning. We're talking about essential computer programs, browser plugins, websites that rock for blogging, etc.! Feeling more organized has really stoked my creativity...especially in the latter part of the year.
In fact, let's kick this post off with a specific shout out to Tanya Patrice for her post, "How to Use Evernote as a Blogging Editorial Calendar!"Evernote has seriously changed my blogging life and my organizationalness (word). I've tried several digital platforms for organization in the past with no luck, but I'm really terrible at that first step....the setting up of all the things. I have a hard time envisioning what format will work best for me, so I followed Tanya Patrice's steps for setting up a blog editorial calendar and quite simply, I LOVE IT. I've long used Blogger drafts to see a view of my future blogging, but this gives a much better bird's eye view. I also really like Evernote's web interface (way better than the actual program on my computer), and I find that I keep it open at work for my daily to-do list all the time. I've also started using it to:
Keep up with my Christmas buying this year
Track posts from other bloggers that I want to re-visit or shout out
Catalog social media resources I want to read
Which leads to my next favorite...
Evernote has a Chrome browser extension called Web Clipper! It's a handy little button that lets you send bookmarks, articles, screenshots, email trails and other items straight to Evernote. You can easily pop them into existing notes and notebooks and you can even tag them!
When it comes to blog graphics, PicMonkey was all the rage for a long time. I loved it, too! But now that I've found Canva I may never go back. I especially love Canva for it's easy user interface and it's pre-sized graphic templates. I use the "social media" square graphic the most for event buttons and Instagram promotion. They do have a limited amount of free elements, and I've gotten by on those so far because you can also upload your own images to use in the graphics you create. A while back I was looking for an easy-to-use, high quality stock photography site, and Allison from The Book Wheel, mentioned Pexels.com! I had never heard of it, but I could not be more pleased with the quality of their free photos. Great range of subjects and beautiful shots.
Finally, I have a confession to make. I've given up Hootsuite. Maybe it's because I use it every day for work, but I got super sick of looking at ALL THE THINGS. Column upon column. I do my daily tweeting and interacting from within Twitter.com itself (what a concept!), but I still like to schedule out some of my posts...especially if there's an event going on. Buffer.comallows me to set up specific time slots and posts into it, Buffer will analyze my Twitter use to create a timeline of busy times, or I can schedule posts to go up at specific times. Or a combination of all of those! Options! I can integrate Twitter and Facebook and I can gather analytics. That's really all I want to do. I also have the Readathon accounts integrated into it because it's super helpful during those specific event seasons to keep the social action going around the clock.
Can't wait to see what you guys have to recommend on this topic!