Top Ten Things That Make My Blogging Life Easier/Better

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Top Ten Tuesday, asΒ  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Things That Make My Blogging Life Easier/Better

 

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I’ve been on Goodreads since 2008, so before I started blogging, but it really is an incredible tool for blogging. I keep track of which books I want to read, what I’ve read (helps especially for TTT) and to make a shelf for reviews I still have pending. Are we friends on Goodreads?

Best-blogging-tools-2I seriously don’t know what I would do without Evernote. I used it years ago for wedding planning and work and then once I started using it for blogging it was revolutionary. I have it on my desktop, am able to use the web application when I’m elsewhere and I have the app on my phone. I keep all my blogging ideas, lists of books I need to review, start fleshing out posts, add random links of things, etc. I love how I can organize by notebooks too. Seriously BEST EVER.

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Since I got laid off I haven’t been able to buy as MANY books as I used to and so I rediscovered the library again. I’m still able to read whatever I want and I love the interlibrary loan service. It’s rare I can’t find a book I want between all the libraries in the county.

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Blogging got so much better once I switched to WordPress. I can clone templates of things (my TTT layout and book review layout) and there are so many widgets that just make life easier for me. I can actually do things I want. Conversely, it’s probably made it more difficult because there are many more things for me to break and I want to DO ALL THE THINGS.

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Ok so I don’t know about you but I have major Internet ADD and I always struggle with productivity because the INTERNET IS FULL OF SHINY THINGS. So I could sit down to write a review and an hour later I’m only 2 sentences in because I clicked on THIS thing and it took me HERE and then I went here and then yep..down the rabbit hole. And then I’m mad because I still have a review to write. So Leechblock is an extension I use for Firefox that shuts me out of things so I can maximize productivity. I can block certain sites during a certain time frame or I can block ALL except for a certain site which definitely help me with the review writing. Granted this means I also need to put my phone away and close out of Tweetdeck but those are issues of my self control.

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I love Spotify! I was late to the game and only started using it this year but it is amazing. I need to listen to music when I blog and I’m able to really make great playlists for blogging on here — including my Monthly Rewind top picks and my bookish playlists. It also helps when I’m trying to get stuff done because I will make a playlist for a certain amount of time and try to get whatever post I’m working on done by the end of the playlist. Fun game I play! If I don’t make my deadline, I have to sit in silence and work for the same amount of time.

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I haven’t been very good about this as of late but it is so helpful. I have a reading notebook where I can jot down thoughts on books to help me when it comes to review time. I even have a mini one that can fit in my purse (plus I take notes on my Iphone). I also have a quote notebook to jot down my favorite quotes (I typically take a pic of it if I don’t want to stop or dog ear if it’s my own book so I can come back to it — shh yes. I commit book crimes.) I also have a blogging notebook that I carry around when inspiration strikes.

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I use Tweetdeck when I’m socializing but I use Hootsuite web app to schedule my tweets for posts because I don’t always have time to be in front of the computer to put them out. You can also schedule FB updates and other things. It’s nice to have one central location to do it so I don’t have to open up Tweetdeck and then FB — especially when I know I will get sidetracked!

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Rafflecopter is AMAZING and makes giveaways so much easier for me. No extra forms and me checking ot make sure “extra” entries are completed (even though I don’t do a TON of those/mine aren’t complex). It also picks a winner for me when the giveaway is over. EASY PEASY. All the info is right there and easy to check.

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I wrote a post a while ago about how audiobooks make me more productive and fit because I was using them to motivate myself to work out (seriously I have like a whole system of rewards and consequences). But now I’ve been really digging taking my kindle to the gym with me because the gym I go to now has a place I can put it down on the treadmill. I don’t mind going so much now. I also love my Kindle because of NETGALLEY. Helps me to reduce clutter of review books. My Kindle wouldn’t get much loving without the gym or review books.

 

 

So tell me…what things make your blogging life easier? PLEASE TELL ME. I am down for more easy peasy blogging. Have you used any of these things I talked about?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. I’ve never used Leeechblock but it sounds like a nifty tool! Duuuude I loooove Evernote. I use it for everything. Especially book reviews.
    I am soooo glad I use WordPress for blogging. I love it. I tried using tumblr for my book blog, but I wasn’t getting as much interaction. I mean, tumblr is fun, but WordPress is where it’s at. For rizzle.

  2. I’m going to have to look at Evernote- it looks like a more personal, private Pinterest (?).

  3. In a bizarre turn of events, it was actually my mother who introduced me to Evernote. I haven’t used it yet–I hadn’t thought of it having blogging applications, but it’s a good idea! I think I’ll try it. And I’m going to have to look into Leechblock. It sounds like something I really, really, really, really, really need.

  4. Elizabeth says:

    I use Evernote for everything else in my life, except for my blog. Thanks for the suggestion.

  5. Go libraries! I’m glad you’ve had such a great experience on WordPress, since I’m considering moving. Rafflecopter is really helpful.

    My TTT

  6. how can we not love goodreads? It’s such a wonderful place!
    And I absolutely agree with you on wordpress. Moving to WP made my blogging life just better and more awesome! I also have some templates I can reuse constantly and… I should add the Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin from Ashley makes it even better!

    I tried Evernote, but deleted it short after – maybe I should give it another try!

  7. I adore your list. Things got way easier for me when I switched to WordPress too. And I don’t even have self-hosted. Their back end functionality is just wonderful. I try to keep a reading notebook but it just doesn’t work. I’m so terrible at getting myself to write things down. Sigh.

  8. Adding Spotify to you list was pure genius!
    My TTT

  9. Nice list, thanks to you I’ve discovered Evernote πŸ˜€ I like being organized and keeping track of the things I have to do, so that’s a great piece of software for me.

  10. I should totally try the notebook thing instead of writing on random napkins when inspiration hits me. I love wordpress it’s so easy for me to use and customize. I just recently starting using spotify because pandora was limiting my play time. How dare they right? A girl needs a soundtrack when she writes!
    I haven’t tried Evernote or leechblocker yet.
    Oh and of course Goodreads is totally awesome! I love it πŸ™‚

  11. I love the library. The problem is, since I work casually at two branches of my local library, is that I keep adding books to my TBR list. I have to stop myself brining home new ones until I’ve worked my way through some of my current stash!

    Definitely going to try Evernote and Spotify though. Evernote sounds really handy.

  12. I actually didn’t even know Evernote existed! I’m definitely going to check out out, so thanks!

    I included Goodreads too, but that’s actually the only thing off your list we have in common. Mine’s here: http://thebookshimmy.blogspot.nl/2013/08/top-ten-tuesday_20.html#more

    Thank you so much for doing this post, because I think I have a lot to check out that will make my blogging life easier!

  13. Yay helpful tips! We have some of the same ones but not all. I haven’t heard of Hootsuite before, I definitely need to go and check it out. And a reading notebook is a great idea too. Great list!

  14. I completely agree with you about WordPress. It’s such a great site. We have a lot of similar things on our list. I might have to check out Evernote!

  15. Leechblock! I knew that there was an App of some sort that you could use to block websites for a certain amount of time, but I didn’t know the name of it. And then Evernote as well! I just use the sticky notes app on my computer, but I think I may start using Evernote again. (used it like crazy for scholarship applications)

    Great list!!
    – Tabitha @ Tabitha’s Book Blog

  16. Nice list. I think I must be the only one not using notes and calendars and Evernote or similar apps. I just don’t feel like I need them. I have a few notes in my Moleskine but it’s not primarily used for blogging.

    My TTT

  17. I’ve tried using Evernote before, but I’ve never been able to get it to work for me in a way I like. I feel it hasn’t really helped me organize things, so I stopped using it about six months ago. Perhaps I should give it another try. I’ve never heard of LeechBlock, but I’m TOTALLY going to check it out now! I always heard about a similar free extension that was for Macs-only, so I’m curious to see if LeechBlock helps my productivity!

  18. Great list! I find many of these things helpful as well! πŸ™‚

  19. I think you have managed to change things completely for me. I just downloaded Evernote, and checking out HootSuite and am lisenting to Spotify. Oh and I had no idea I could copy the template in WordPress. Thank for saying that. I’m still trying to figure all that out.

    My TTT List

  20. I am going to look into Evernote because that sounds really useful. I use Google calendar to keep my schedule straight and I have a spreadsheet in Google drive, as well. I would be lost without my little notebook to jot review notes….

  21. I use some of these things, but I made my post about Reading and Blogging so it’s a little different. Like for reading I put my earbuds and Audible and my library cards and my glasses and my shiny, sparkly box that holds my special bookmarks because I am a nerd. But yes to Goodreads – I think probably a ton of people will have that one today. And I put music on mine too – I like to listen to a certain kind of music – Explosions in the Sky-type, post-modern rock-type because music with words gets all jumbled up with the words I’m reading and my mind gets confused.

    YES to the Kindle while working out. My picture on my post today is my Kindle actually sitting on my treadmill. Twinsies!! Haha, I’m such an Asheley-nerd.

  22. Goodreads would definitely be high on my list, too! I keep seeing this Evernote app mentioned.. must find out what it is!

  23. I LOVED this topic. Not only a great way to rave about what we LOVE in the blogging world but also picking up some tips! I’m super curious about Evernote (and I totally LOLed at Leechblock, but could probably benefit from it haha!)
    I can’t believe I forgot to put Rafflecopter on my list!! I also LOVE WordPress. It would take SOOOO much time if I had to reformat every single post every time I posted!

  24. Leechblock! Oh I’m going to have to check that one out!
    ~Decadent
    My Blog

  25. Rafflecopter!! YES! Totally forgot that one! It’s made giveaways SO much easier! I’ve tried using Evernote and it never catches, but I’ve found Google Drive useful. I’m DEF going to try that Leechblock thing though!

  26. Great list Jamie! I forgot about Rafflecopter, duh! I wish I could say I used the library, but I’ve given up after getting fined so many times for returning books late. I just can’t:(

    I will have to try Leechblock! Great idea:)

    Here’s my Top Ten.

  27. I’ve never used Evernote, but I think I will be checking it out. I definitely need a way to stay organized. I am constantly forgetting things I need to do. I love my library! I am also unemployed and can’t afford to buy all the books I want. That’s how I rediscovered the library as well. Great list! I gave a shout-out to you in my Top Ten

  28. I put Goodreads, Rafflecopter, the library, and my tablet (Kindle App) on mine too. I think it’s amazing that more readers don’t utilize the library. I can’t buy every book I want so instead, I request that my library buy copies, and when they do, they usually buy multiples.

    My TTT post: http://knoxdiver.blogspot.com/2013/08/top-ten-tuesday-11.html

  29. So many things I have no idea about!!!! I did look into the Evernote thing… where has this been all my life?! Anything to make anything easier on me would be fabulous – I get so many ideas for things when I’m just out and about but then forget about them. Can’t wait to get started using this program! I don’t know about using the Leechblock though… My luck I’d forget to turn it off when I was finished working and would panic! πŸ™‚

  30. That’s awesome you have a reading notebook. My friend has one of those too. I think they must be helpful! And I’m glad you mentioned Evernote. I love Evernote but I haven’t tried to use it for reading/blogging purposes. That’s a great idea!
    My TTT
    Happy Reading!

  31. Decided to download Evernote, it sounds like it’s been really useful and I don’t think a little more organisation in my life would be a bad thing.

    I adore my Kindle too, it’s so perfect – and as you say, so handy for Netgalley.

    For me; wordpress, kindle, goodreads and twitter are essential blogging tools.

  32. I also have a reading notebook! Actually, I have several. There usually strewn all around the house (and in my purse) so that I always have something to write on when inspiration (or a good quote) hits. Really going to have to check out Evernote… I have never heard of it. Might use it for blogging but you piqued my interest with your mention of using it for wedding planning! I need all the help I can get. πŸ™‚

  33. I definitely agree with Goodreads (I just asked you to be my friend!) and Evernote. Plus Google Drive – I like it better than Evernote for looooong lists/posts because it’s easier to view on a big screen – and Instagram has made it so much easier for me to take my own photos for my blog instead of working about creative commons licensing and incorrectly sourced images on Pinterest. Gah!

  34. Most of these I know about, but I actually haven’t heard of a couple that I will definitely be looking into! Leechblock would certainly be helpful for me (I actually have 11 windows up right now). Great list. My TTT.

  35. I have Evernote in my computer because I’m using a friend’s spare hard-drive after mine died, and she had it loaded. I’ve never given it a second glance…Maybe I should.

  36. I have never heard of Leechblock and I really need to learn how to use Evernote.

    And you are the second or third person I know how uses a blogging/reading notebook. I really need to invest in one. It’s brilliant.

    This is such a fun list! I think this is one of my fave TTT topics so far.

  37. Wonderful choices this week, Jamie! I must admit that I had never heard of Evernote prior to your Top Ten Tuesday post, but I’m certainly interested in learning more about it now πŸ™‚ It sounds like it could definitely come in handy when it comes to blogging, and there are few things I enjoy more than organizing something (Yes, I’m a nerd. Guilty as charged!) Hootsuite is also something I’ll be looking into as I think having the ability to schedule my promotional tweets for Pop! Goes The Reader ahead of time would be such a weight off my mind, especially when I’m at work and don’t have the time to manually do it myself throughout the day. Look at you, helpfully introducing me to a whole new world on the internet *Hugs* My time and organizational obsession thanks you!

  38. I just tried Evernote and it is so handy! I’m definitely going to be using it now, because I really needed somewhere to keep notes all organised. I always lose pieces of paper!

    Great picks! I’m definitely going to test the ones that I haven’t used before. Thank you!

  39. Goodreads and the library are awesome! Great list. πŸ™‚

    My TTT:

    http://qaisracetusbookblog.blogspot.com/2013/08/top-ten-tuesday-82013.html

  40. You’re the first person I’ve seen besides me that uses Evernote! I cannot get enough lists in my life.

  41. Goodreads was my number one pick too. Evernote is the best! LOL I know what you mean about wanting to do all the things. πŸ™‚ Leechblock sounds like something I need. I love all your picks – I had a lot of the same ones πŸ™‚ Your graphics are adorable. <3

  42. Your list is the one I was most looking forward to Jamie because you seem to love organizational stuff & things that just make your life easier!

    I love Evernote, but I SERIOUSLY need to clean it out and start fresh. It’s kind of a mess right now :/ I’ve taken to using Google Drive to store my things lately.

    Libraries FTW!

    I used Leechblock and sites like it for school but I could probably use them for blogging too! I’m like you – I can easily fall down that rabbit hole and click random links for 2 hrs, haha.

    Great list! Here’s what helps make blogging & reading easier for me!

  43. I immediately clicked on your Spotify link and fell in love! Where was this in my life? I usually use songza, but I am going to try this out for sure!!

    Great list by the way!

    Here is my TTT:

    http://champagneandbooks.blogspot.ca/2013/08/top-ten-tuesdays-things-that-make-your.html

  44. Great list – love the library love!

  45. Great list – thanks. I started blogging this year (not about books much). I was happy to see a few things on your list. Love GoodReads, been there since 2008 also – and we’re friends, yay! Pure GENIUS to use Evernotes for blogging – thanks for mentioning it!! I use it for book lists and shopping for book lists and shopping in general, never crossed my mind to use it for blogging ideas and things. I read my Kindle on the elliptical – and books too – sometimes I hit the handles if I get a little lopsided but I love to read and workout. I wish I could figure out how to read and take the dog on a walk at the same time (maybe audio books).

  46. Wow, lots of good stuff here! I haven’t heard of a few of them! Leechblock is what I need when I need to get homework done! I’m a huge fan of Spotify! It makes my life complete! πŸ™‚

    My Top 10 Tuesday!

  47. I will have to look out leechblock, it always takes me forever to write a review because of distractions…this is one of them right now!

  48. I LOVE Evernote! I use it for my lesson plans and to take notes at meeting and conferences I attend. So much better than having random notebooks and pieces of paper floating around. All my notes are in one place, I can access them from any of my electronic devices, and I can search for a specific piece of information easily.

  49. This is such a helpful post, especially about scheduling Tweets and FB. With my return to blogging after a 4 year hiatus there are so many tools that weren’t available to me before. I also need to start keeping a book journal. Goodreads is awesome, but I find I am forgetting things before I can get the, down in a review. I have many cute journal-type notebooks people give me as gifts so now I’ll finally use one.

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