One of the most frequently asked questions that I get is “How to Start a Blog”.
As blogging becomes more mainstream, everyone wants to get in on the action. Whether it’s choosing to start a blog to keep your friends and family up to date on your travels, or just a place to share your side hobby- blogging has become the new way to documenting your life.
I am a very goals orientated person. I like making lists and crossing things out as I go. I am also a firm worshiper of my Moleskin agenda. I know this sounds backwards, but I use that agenda for everything even though I have all of my appointments in my Blackberry, Ipad, and on my Google calendar. There is something so secure about having things written on a piece of paper.
Because of most of my work involves some sort of project management, and time management, sticking to deadlines is key for me. And because I am technology geek, I am always on the lookout for things that make my life easier and allow me to save valuable time that I can spend on my blogs. I know there are a lot of people who live by SMART goals, and have no problem setting them, but get stuck on the execution. I want to share some of my favourite time management tools that help me reach my goals and allow me to take action on tasks that seem daunting initially.
1) EVERNOTE. I can not live without this tool. It is kinda like Pinterest, but I use it for , you know, work. It allows you to clip infomation from around the web and post it in one central location. You sign up for an account and can use it on your mobile and computer. Take 3 minutes and check it out.
2) MOLESKIN agenda/notebook. Please see above. Also, I want to buy shares in this company if possible, or become a spokesperson, or both. Seriously, I love my planner. They cost about 2-3 times as much as a regular planner but there is no comparison.
3) BOOMERANG for Gmail. It is an add-on for Gmail that allows you to schedule emails in advance. For example, I just finished writing 35 emails but I don’t want them hitting peoples inboxes until tomorrow morning, so I have them set to be sent then. The free account allows you to schedule 10 a month. Definitely worth the upgrade if you write emails late at night.
4) DROPBOX. All my files are in the cloud. Enough said.
5) PODIO. Amazing Project Management software along the lines of Basecamp, but free. We have a standard one at work, but I like this one for my side business.
6) A GIANT PURSE. At any given time, I have my laptop/IPAD, my notebook, and a million other knick-knacks (lotion, contact solution, highlighters, pens, my huge wallet) with me. My purse keeps me sane. Ladies, you know what I am talking about.
7) GOOGLE Calendar and GOOGLE DOCs. This is where I back up everything.
8) WAVE ACCOUNTING. Its free, and it keeps all my finances in order. I use it for both personal and business.
1) HOSTGATOR. Some of you might remember the fiasco that happend a month ago when the server that hosts my blog crashed. Well, it took my old hosting company 1.5 to get my site back to normal. I finally gave up and moved to Hostgator since I had them for a few other sites, and haven’t looked back.
2)THESIS THEME for WORDPRESS I can build sites left, right and centre. Once you get the hang of it, it only takes a few hours and I can customize to look however I want.
3) PICNIK. Niki, from Debt free by Thirty, told me about Picnik, and it has become my go to place to make simple graphics. I normally outsource anything complicated, but the simple ones (including my header) are made by me.
4) AWEBER. While I don’t use a mailing list on this blog, I do use it for a few other sites that I manage and I can’t say enough good things about it. The auto-responders alone save me sooooo much time.
5) EDITORIAL CALENDAR plugin. This is fantastic for anyone who uses WordPress. This allows me to sort all my thoughts and keep a somewhat decent writing schedule.
There are a few more tools that I use, and I will keep adding them as I go, but for now, I would like to extend a thank you to all the people who created the tools above. My life and schedule has been benefited immensely.
Ps. There are a few affiliate links above.