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