Blogging || More Things You Might Like

life as unusuals more blogging things you might like

This post continues on from last weeks post of Blogging Things You Might Like. To summarise the previous – very long – introduction, here are few things that I like to use for blogging. Nothing is essential, everything revolves around making my life easier and/or because I just like it.

If you don’t have or use any of these things, don’t worry, I still think you and your blog are pretty great. But, if you might be interested to see what I use, here’s a few more things.

Be right back, got to go find a completely irrelevant photo to use as the title image.

Back. A picture of a bee, perfect for this post.

Feedly

What is it :: A blog reader. Similar – and superior to, in my opinion – to Bloglovin.

How I use it :: I use Feedly to read and follow blogs, like my own, because I think I’m that good.

I’ve used Bloglovin before and I still follow people on Bloglovin – I feel like that’s where all the followers are at, but I don’t use Bloglovin to read blogs any more.

Feedly is a lot smoother, the user interface is less awkward and it just works better for me. I like the Feedly app more than the Bloglovin one and since I quite often read on the go, a good app is very handy.

In particular, I like the feature “save for later”, I use this when I read blogs on the go since I tend not to write comments then. I just save the post for later and when I get home I go back and leave a comment. It saves me a bit of time in the evening too, since I’ve already read the post.

There are some things I don’t like, not being able to claim your blog like you can on Bloglovin for one thing and last time I looked there was something strange about page views if your post was read solely inside the Feedly app, but I’m not 100% sure on this. Just in case, I always make a point to click-through to the blog when I’m reading from my laptop, since the Feedly view doesn’t always show the photos correctly, and I just like visiting the real blog.

I don’t think it updates as often as Bloglovin with new blog posts, but that can be fixed by paying for the premium version of Feedly. But, who needs to pay for shit?! No one. I like me some free stuff, even if I get the occasional blog post pop up a day late. No big deal.

I like it and I’d totally recommend having a look into it if Bloglovin annoys the shit out of you.

life as unusuals more blogging things you might like feedly

Pocket

What is it :: An app/website that allows you to bookmark articles and webpages.

How I use it :: I use Pocket to bookmark blogs I want to check out. It was particularly useful at the end of Twitter chats when people would share their blog link, or if someone’s blog caught my eye. I do the same when new people comment on my blog, I bookmark their blogs to look at later and any other time I happen across a blog and think “hmm, I’ll check that out”.

I mostly use it on my laptop, I have the Chrome add-on and when I come across a blog, I just click the Pocket icon and it adds it to “my pocket”. Then, when I have extra time, I go to the website and I can see all the bookmarks I have and check them out.

It sounds a lot like using your bookmark bar, but I think it’s a lot easier and organised, you can add them to Pocket with a click and then delete them nice and easily afterwards.

On Twitter, when someone sends me a link, there’s a Pocket icon underneath and if I select “save to Pocket” it saves the link to “my pocket”. I just think that it’s pretty nifty and it means I don’t have to open new tabs or use the bookmarks bar, because I just hate that place.

There’s also an app, which I have on my phone and use now and then.

If you are a big fan of the ol’ Twitter chats and like to check out the links people send, I’d definitely suggest Pocket. Well, unless you get right in to checking out the links after the chat, then you probably don’t need it.

life as unusuals more blogging things you might like pocket

Dropbox

What is it :: Cloud storage for files.

How I use it :: I only use Dropbox for one function. Moving photos from my phone to my laptop and vice versa. I just find this to be the simplest way.

I simply upload the photos from my phone to Dropbox and then save them to my computer hard drive. If I fancy using one of the photos from my computer – that have been taken with my camera – I just place the file in to the Dropbox folder and download it onto my phone. And then upload to Instagram, because I’m sneaky like that.

That’s it really.

Mars Edit Offline Editor (trial version)

What is it :: Offline editor. You can write-up your blog posts without internet and then send the post over to your blog when you’re finished.

How I use it :: I actually just wanted an offline editor, Mars Edit just happened to be the first one I found. I’m using the trial version and won’t buy the full version as it’s just too expensive for me. I just wanted to try it out.

I only got it because I kept getting distracted by the internet when I was trying to write and I thought having something other than the Blogger interface to write in might be nice. I quite enjoy writing in the editor now and then.

I use it for writing up my blog post text and then send this to Blogger as a draft when I’m done. I add all the photos through Blogger though, because I prefer that. It’s a bit of a faff to upload the photos into Mars Edit, especially since it wants to go through Photos on my MacBook and that application just drives me insane.

There’s not too much to say about it, from what I can see it’s similar to other offline editors. My only gripe is that the formatting goes a little wonky when I export to Blogger. But once everything is in place that only takes about ten minutes to fix, probably five if Blogger itself wasn’t such a wonky twot. But hey ho, I’m too lazy to change to something else.

I’ve not used it a huge amount and once the trial runs out, I think I will try another one. Or I might continue writing posts up in the notes sections of Wunderlist. Having wrote about ten posts through Wunderlist lately, it’s growing on me. It can also be used offline and everything syncs when I have internet again. Not that I’m supposed to be talking about Wunderlist here, It’s meant to be about Mars Edit.

It’s possible that Mars Edit is only available for Mac though, I think there’s Windows Live Editor for Microsoft, or plenty of other options.

life as unusuals more blogging things you might like mars edit

Google Inbox

What is it :: A mail client from Google. You can set reminders, pin important things and just generally move all the crap out-of-the-way and leave things you want to take care of on the front page.

How I use it :: I use it for my blog email, or any other junk that I’ve set up through my blog email. Mostly it’s emails about comments on my blog, replies to my comments on other blogs and the occasionally PR/PR-spam email.

It’s pretty perfect for me and how I work. It works like a to do list and not like an email – it’s a bit difficult to explain. For example, I get an email about a Twitter notification, I see it and I tick the “done” button, it goes away.

If I get an email about a comment on my blog post, I don’t tick the “done” button and it remains on the Inbox site. It combines emails into categories too – and you can make your own, I have a “comments” category, so everything from Blogger Comments goes in there. It only takes up one line/email space and not one per comment.

It’s especially great for Twitter, they combine themselves together and then I can just tick “done” for the category and not each email.

For PR emails it’s good too, I can read it and then it remains on the front page until I sort it, then I mark it as “done” and it disappears. I really just like the idea of things disappearing.

Additionally, you can make reminders in it like “check out this website/email this person”. I really like that, since I look at my email a bit, it’s nice to have those bits and pieces there as well, so I actually remember they need to be done.

I just think it’s better than regular email, as it clears things out of my sight and allows me to see the things I want to see, instead of a bunch of other emails that I don’t care about.

life as unusuals more blogging things you might like google inbox

Anything here that you might like to try out? Anything of your own that you think I should try out?

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Blogging || Things You Might Like

life as unusuals useful blogging tools

I’ve been wanting to try this kind of blog post for a while. I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about. But I’ve decided now.

I admit, I’m one of those people who dislikes posts about blogging, not all of them, but most of them. For me, the most useful are ones with tools and real information that people can put into practice like posts with your favourite apps, how you organise you blog/social media/dog walking/hair washing, or blogging tools that you think are crap – not that I’ve ever seen that blog post before, because positivity yo.

What I don’t find useful are posts about what people hate on others’ blogs, what you consider to be essential for blogs or bloggers, and just basically a list of reasons why you think another person’s blog is shit. That’s what it reads like, if you see these lists, and you don’t have these essential things or you’re ticking 6 of their 10 things they don’t like, it’s pretty much telling you that your blog is shit. When it’s not.

OK, your blog might be shit, but that’s for you to decide, not for someone else.

So, in my blogging mind, I started to wander how I could write a blog post that, as a rule, irks the shit out of me.

I decided I’d share some of the apps/tools that I enjoy for blogging – which are in no way essential since I blogged just fine before I used them, blogged just fine when using only a few and I am still blogging just fine now.

Maybe there’s something interesting in here for you. You never know.

I thought I would include some photos too, to show you how I use everything and a quick over view of how things work. I never claimed to have screenshot skills, just keep that in mind.

life as unusuals useful blogging tools

A break-up-the-text-with-teapots photo

If This Then That Recipes

What is it :: IFTTT, is a website of recipes that basically say “if something happens, then do this”.

How I use it :: I use a recipe to share between Instagram and Twitter. Instead of selecting the option to share to Twitter on Instagram, which only shares a link to the Instagram photo, I use a recipe from here so that the photo is shared as an actual photo.

I just think it’s a nice way to share between the two and it allows people to see your Instagram photos when they might not be following you on there, all in the hope of enticing them over there.

I recently found a new recipe that uploads all photos I post to Instagram to Dropbox, which I’m intrigued to try since I’ve been using Dropbox a lot for blogging. I can report: so far, so good.

It’s free. I’ve yet to come across any problems with the recipes I use. I like it.

To show you want I mean, here’s an example of a photo I uploaded to Instagram and then how it seems on Twitter.

life as unusuals useful blogging tools IFTTT

My Diaro

What is it :: My Diaro is a journaling app. It allows you to make diary entries, which you can categorise and upload photos to.

How I use it :: I think this is really great. At the beginning of the year, I wanted to try to keep a daily journal but I’m not really into journaling on paper. So I started looking for an app or something that I could use.

This is how I found My Diaro. I use both the online version and the app. It’s really simple to use, like easy peasy and although I don’t use it as much any more – I gave up daily journalling ages ago, I’m just in denial about not completing that goal – it’s still great for sitting down and recording eventful days. Even if it’s two weeks after the event.

Mostly, I just wanted somewhere I could record our trips, and not my day-to-day business.

Again, it’s free. It’s available as an Android or iOS app or online. Occasionally the sync hasn’t worked but I think it’s because I have the App and the online version open at the same time now and then, but other than that, no problems.

I really like it. I need to start using it more often.

life as unusuals useful blogging tools  diaro
Just an example picture of the app and my sporadic entries.

Wunderlist

What is it :: It’s a to-do app, that allows you to make tasks which can be further divided into categories, you can also set reminders and have sub-tasks within a task.

How I use it :: This is where I store all my blogging ideas. I’ve faffed about with it a bit, but I think I’ve got a nice system at the moment.

I have a selection of different lists such as “currently”, which contains to-dos which are my most recent things I want to blog about. I have another list for posts that are already drafted up and then have the odd lists of just generic to-do things.
I also have my blog ideas list, which I have tasks based on the blog post category and then I have sub-tasks with the post idea. Then I’ve bundled all these list into a “Blog” folder. Ta da!

It sounds complicated, but I really like it now that I’ve got the hang of it. It’s also pretty good for keeping track of my goals too. Plus the little tick-y box is oh so satisfying to tick.

In addition to the lists, you can write notes about a task and that’s where I’ve been jotting things down for this post. I use the notes section quite often to write out posts.

Wunderlist has an online version and an app for the mobile and the laptop. I mostly use the laptop application.

life as unusuals useful blogging tools  wunderlist

In case all that was a little confusing, I have included a handy-dandy annotated picture!

Buffer

What is it :: A social media scheduling app.

How I use it :: Just for scheduling my promo tweets. That’s it.

Buffer allows you to make a schedule for your tweets, I have it set up for three tweets a day – morning, lunch and evening – and every tweet I schedule goes into this pattern. I like it, as I don’t have to specify the time and date, it just continues the pattern for me.

Minimal effort. That’s what I like.

You can upload photos for your tweets, you can re-buffer a tweet for another day and it gives you some stats which I don’t really look at.

The thing I like most is being able to write one tweet and photo just once, and then being able to re-buffer and edit that tweet multiple times without having to get the link and the photo again. As I said, minimal effort.

In addition, Buffer also has a Chrome add-on which I can use to share blog posts straight to Twitter. Since it’s linked to my Twitter, it also fills in people’s Twitter handles so I don’t have to remember them. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

life as unusuals useful blogging tools buffer

Here’s just a little screenshot of what it looks like. You can see your scheduled tweets and then you can see some analytics after the tweet has been posted. Which, in the case of the example tweets are rubbish – who am I kidding, all my stats are pretty rubbish but we don’t care about that.

That’s it for this post, I have a few other things I think you might like, but I’ll share them another time. Turns out, I bang on and on about any topic, so we had to split this post in two.

Anything here that you might like to try out? Anything of your own that you think I should try out?

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Saturday Spotlight || Underland To Wonderland

It’s been an age and a half since I have done a spotlight post! April was the last time I put one of these together. May just kind of ran away with itself and now it’s the end of June so it’s high time I got cracking on another one and, hopefully get myself back into the rhythm of putting these together regularly again.

Today, I’ve got a corker of a lady to share with you today! So, with no more babbling from me…

Let me introduce you to…

newbannerjan15test copy

Today’s spotlight goes to Danielle!

The Introductions

I don’t even know where to start. I like to think that Danielle and I would make great friends in real life, not only because I think I make a great friend, but because she’s one of the kindest, most generous and caring people who I’ve met in a while. Maybe kindness and caring are one and the same, but Danielle has enough to justify using both words. She’s also a dab hand at capturing animals in their element, has this unwavering love of Disney– granted, I don’t quite understand that, but there’s something about people being passionate about things that just makes me like that thing a little more – and she, well, she’s just quite alright.

Danielle’s blog is one of those smaller ones, the kind of blog that’s makes a reader feel at home. Blogging from the North of England, Danielle shares her life with her partner in crime, Baker, as they go on adventures together around the local area or heading up to Scotland for more exotic adventures. Or maybe she’s sharing her in-depth knowledge about Disneyland Paris, or maybe it’s DIYs, or maybe it’s just a simple tag post. Whatever it is, you can guarantee there will be some pretty awesome photography along side it!

If you’re looking for another lifestyle blog to read, I’d give this one a chance. Maybe you don’t like Disney, don’t worry there’s plenty else to enjoy. Maybe you don’t like DIYs, don’t worry there’s plenty else to enjoy. Maybe you don’t like great photos of animals, alright maybe this blog isn’t for you then. You win some, you lose some. But what have you got to lose, get over there, have a poke around – mention that I sent you – and make yourself a new friend.

Something to see

life as unusuals spotlight underland to wonderland blog
All taken from Danielle’s blog

Something to read

Just one more thing

Not only does Danielle have a blog, but she’s also recently opened up an Etsy shop selling some of her photos as cards, for snail mail and greetings cards! The cards are sold in sets of four but there’s also the opportunity to mix and match from any number of Danielle’s gorgeous photographs. In addition, although not listed on Etsy, you can also request photographic and poster prints up to A3 in size.

Speaking off all this greatness, Danielle sent me a few of her cards in the post a couple of weeks back. Not in exchange for this spotlight I might add, I’m doing this as a surprise for her but I wanted to share the cards that I got and what I thought about them.

I got a selection of four cards. Easily my favourites were the sheep one and the riverside walk one. I totally admit, my least favourite was the Disneyland themed one, but that’s because I’m not a big Disneyland fan not because it’s a rubbish print. I secretly like the print.

On the shop, a collection of four cards would cost €7.25 (or about £5) that’s €1.80 a card which is a pretty good value to me. They are not thick like a card you get from a stationary store, it’s more heavy-duty photo paper, but they stand up, they shine and the quality of the print is great, in terms of the detail in the image and the colours. I definitely prefer the three without the white border, but that’s just my personal preference. They are a great weight for people who like to hang their cards up on the wall using string – you know, those people who get loads of cards and like to show you they do.

And I’ll definitely be posting these back to the UK around Christmas time to use as Christmas cards so that’s saved me the effort of going to town to buy cards, which I inevitably forget to do. Maybe I can pass one off as Kris’s birthday card too, since I don’t think he’s looked too closely at them to remember which ones I was sent!

If you are genuinely interested in these, please do let Danielle know! Although there’s not too much on her Etsy Store at the moment, she’s just starting out and I think a spark of interest is just what someone needs when they are just starting with a new venture like this! Maybe some British Wildlife tickles your fancy?

The all important links

// The BLOG

// The BLOGLOVIN

// The TWITTER

// The FACEBOOK

Happy Saturday!

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