6 Organization Tools for Bloggers With Day Jobs

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It's REALLY hard to stay organized and on-task if the multifaceted career that is blogging is something that you do full-time, however it becomes an even more incredible challenge if you work somewhere else full time.

Since a lot of the community can totally empathize with trying to do it all:  work full time, take care of chores/errands, a family, and find time for blogging, a commenter on my feature “Balancing Blogging with the Day Job” actually suggested a list of tools to share with the community to stay organized, and I couldn't agree more!  I've put together a list of them that I've found to be extremely helpful to me to stay organized, but also to manage my time wisely and help to take advantage of  ‘dead time,' i.e. commuting, when I could be working on ideas or even writing posts!

 

Dragon Dictation App

Forget about Siri; the Dragon Dictation App is a voice-recognition software, created by Dragon NaturallySpeaking, a software company that does the same thing for your PC targeted toward those with vision impairments, but costs hundreds of dollars. This free app version let's you talk and talk and talk until you lose your voice! You can write posts or ideas for them while driving, walking down the street, or anywhere you may have a few minutes to spare.

You can also dictate status updates directly to your social networks of Facebook and Twitter, send text messages, and email yourself the results of the dictation. The only caveat is that you must have an Internet connection for it to be able to do the dictation.

WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin

I find that I'm a highly visual person, and seeing what I do and don't have scheduled in a monthly calendar format helps me to plan and fill in the gaps a little better than the standard WordPress list form. You can limit the view to show only a few weeks at time which can be less daunting too if you have a lot going on and can only plan posts one to two weeks in advance.

Evernote

I honestly don't know what I did before I discovered Evernote, and I don't even use it to its full capacity! It's great that its always with you, and can be accessed via a button in your browser so that it's always top of mind, or as an app on your phone. I also like that you can search it via keyword or tag to find your previous notes, share them with yourself or others, and clip web pages, screenshots, handwritten notes, audio files (ahem, Dragon!), and more. I have blog and personal files in here, as I find it just a really great way to organize and keep track of all projects in progress.

Gmail Tasks

I feed a lot of my email addresses into my Gmail (12 to be exact– I know,  a little crazy I have that many), BUT I'm always looking at the account, so I use Google Tasks with multiple to-do lists hanging out on the bottom right of the screen. I sometimes jot down an inspiration lists of ideas there, but also the most important posts that I need to get to that day or week.

It just feels so good to be able to cross things off the list and throw them in the trash, and Gmail Tasks certainly gives me that satisfaction. If I don't want to look at the list on a particular day or for a few hours, I can just “X” it and it will be removed from the dashboard until I'm ready to deal with it again!

A Password Keeper

This may not be so blog-related, but if you can't remember the passwords and usernames to your hosting site, FTP site, Domain manager, etc, it wouldn't hurt to have a password keeper as your go-to for blog, and all password and important info. There are plenty of free apps available that do this for you, and the one I use is eWallet Go!, which cost $10 for eWallet for iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod touch), but is also available for the Android, Blackberry, and Windowsphone, and allows me to sync the content and access it on my computer, as well as produce backup copies, in case I ever lose my phone.

This saves me time because I keep info on there that I NEVER remember, such as my bank routing numbers, so that I save a few minutes by not having to locate and then blow the dust off of my checkbook when I get home from work in the evening.  Of note: you must be diligent about adding in, and updating your usernames and passwords, or it defeats to point of having a reference like this!

Computer Stickies

I'm a lifelong Post-It sticky addict, but the problem is that they are so easy to lose! As a Mac user the computer stickies application let's you have multiple open, change the color, add in graphics, and even make them translucent so that you can see what's behind them on the screen. I use them largely as a “in the moment” kind of resource; if I'm writing a post and don't want to get distracted, but need to remember later to fact check a date, I will just quickly jot it there, or if I'm on a call, reading an article or watching a video and need to take a quick note, it comes in handy. Lusting for a hard copy in your hand? Go ahead and print them out!

 What tool(s) do you use to help stay organized? 

[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]

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46 Responses

    • Elise

      Yeah right!! It isn’t that easy to become a part of this blogging universe! Just have to persevere and never give up I guess…

      cayennepepperstyle.blogspot.ca

      Reply
    • Noemi

      Glad to know I’m not the only one! I don’t use these tools, maybe I should, and I hope that one day (better sooner than later) I will be a professional blogger.

      Reply
  1. Alicia

    I don’t have WordPress but I love the idea of an editorial calendar, so I physically draw myself a calendar every month (I’m drafting my June calendar) and I brainstorm ideas for posts. I try to stick to the calendar as much as possible, but I write in more posts on my calendar than I actually end up writing just in case life happens and I can’t make a post on a certain day.

    Reply
  2. Deirdre Jones

    Great list of helpful applications for organization! I use a couple of these already and can attest to their helpfulness. Dragon Dictation is wonderful, especially when I’m tired of typing.

    Evernote helps me organize more than just my blogging. I use it for all of my current projects. I LOVE that it syncs with my phone and Kindle as well.

    I will be using the WordPress Editorial Plugin shortly.

    Since I work on projects outside of home as well as at home, organization is essential. It is easy to get buried in the fray if you’re not careful – LOL. PLUS I’m loving the beautiful weather we’ve had recently here, so I MUST stay focused.

    Reply
  3. Catching Flight

    Great tips! I would love to hear a great way to organize blog photos though. Its hard keeping hundreds of photos in check.

    Reply
      • brighton

        I use dropbox and am obsessed! I have a few different computers I’m always switching between (laptop, desktop, and work computer) and so dropbox is my LIFESAVER in that it syncs all my hardrives. This is especially comes in handy with my photos because I have them ALL in one place (at least my blog-related photos!!!) let me know if you try it out!

      • dacy

        ooh, i’ll have to try that, i keep emailing myself photos which is completely inefficient!

      • Musank

        Ah yes, photos. Uploading every single pictures into WordPress media folder can weigh your server down, not to mention making your database bigger and more expensive (I have a self-hosted WordPress for my blog fafafoom). My blog is very picture-heavy, and one runway show can easily introduce 60+ pictures to share.

        So instead of hosting the pictures on my server, I put them into Google+. It’s basically creating photo albums into Google+ Photos section. It’s FREE as long as your pictures are less than 2000px x 2000px (which I’m sure a lot of our pictures fall into this category). What’s nice is also that Google doesn’t claim they own your pictures, unlike Facebook and its ever-changing privacy policy.

        From there, get a WordPress plugin that will communicate to your Google+ albums (Shashin plugin is my weapon of choice 🙂
        Super easy to use, just make sure your album is viewable to public, and that’s it!

        So you can display albums after albums on your blog, and you can organize them easily on Google+. Just go to a recent blog post on my blog fafafoom.com and you’ll see albums on them, especially if it’s a fashion runway review.

        That’s my trick, hope that helps!
        Musank

  4. Cara

    Awesome tips!

    The WordPress Editorial Calendar Plugin is absolutely awesome! I’m glad it made your list!

    I use Evernote as well, but like you I haven’t tapped its full potential yet.

    Best,
    Cara of http://StylishGeekBlog.com

    Reply
  5. Rachel

    Computer stickies all the way. They were the first feature I discovered ans got excited about when I switched to Mac (in the days before Windows 7 and you could get them on PC’s too) and I have been using them practically every day since!

    Reply
  6. Erin @ Loop Looks

    I actually downloaded a Blogger Planner layout, printed it out, and made myself a binder. The downside is that I have to remember to take the binder with me when I work from different places. I’d never heard of the WordPress editorial calendar plug-in so maybe I should check that out instead!

    Reply
  7. Sabrina

    I work a full time job next to blogging and can only afford to put about two to three hours of work into it daily. I’ve downloaded Evernote a week or so ago and already I get so many more posts done. I used to forget about many ideas during my hours at work.
    But now, whenever I have an idea for a post (one that I might have forgotten about rather soon in my pre-evernote days), I quickly create a note, jot down keywords and add pictures or links I have come across that inspired me or will be used directly for the post.
    I used to make post drafts in WordPress before, but it’s just not the same. Evernote is so much cleaner and more organized.
    And I also added an evernote notebook for private stuff I have to do, as I’ve got quite a tendency towards procrastination and it’s been so useful!

    Sabrina

    Reply
  8. Clever Little Buttons

    I use some f these and find it so much easier than trying to remember everything. I still find that the majority of my blog priorities simply end up in my notebook, but I am old school – the emphasis on old haha!

    When you work full time it is so difficult to keep on top of everything! Would love to hear more tips xx

    Reply
  9. Barbara

    I am a blogger, makeup artist, Advertising/digital marketing manager beauty contributor and a social media manager for 2 brands so I have a LOT of things to organise ALL the time. Dragon Dictation app sounds exciting. I currently use Astrid even though I have evernote.

    Barbara
    http://www.barbara1923.com

    Reply
  10. Tieka, Selective Potential

    I personally LOVE Wunderlist. You can sync it with your iPhone, iPad, and computer and it’s free! If you have the newer operating software on a Mac, you can use it as an “app” on your computer. You can have separate lists, assign things to others and set up reminders. I get so much more done with it!

    I also just use Google calendar to schedule all of my blog posts in advance. I try to plan out an entire season and if things shift, that’s fine, but at least I have a game plan!

    Having a full time job + blog is definitely a challenge, but is really fun once you get into an organized routine!

    Reply
  11. Every Bliss

    Awesome ideas! I love the suggestions, and I actually use a few of them myself! Curious to try out the Dragon Dictation app – have never heard of it!

    Reply
  12. theKacar

    If you’re blogging and have a full time job, you MUST have some sort of organization. All of these options are great.

    Reply
  13. Tallook

    Great list! I personally love my iPad and iPhone and use these apps a ton along with my social networking apps:

    –paper: sketching
    –trello: organization
    –iA writer: create articles before coping the over
    –feedly: read all my feeds for inspiration
    –pocket: articles I want to reference later
    –captureaudio: I talk to myself so I can remember things later

    Tallook.com

    Reply
    • julia

      This is a GREAT list – I’m going to make note of it and try them out – thanks Tallook!

      Reply
  14. Tiera

    I’m just starting to get into personal blogging again, but I also manage a corporate blog — so I’m always on the lookout for things to help me be more organized & efficient.

    I really like Wunderlist for keeping track of ideas and tasks, Pocket for saving blogs/articles to read later, The Old Reader for subscribing to blogs, and Hootsuite for scheduling social media posts and following specific streams of content.

    Reply
  15. Ana and Diana

    Since i have discovered Evernote, my blogging life has become much more easier to organize. I m a full time student (PhD… so you can guess i don’t have much free time) and i still don’t know how i have survived before installing evernote on my mobile!

    Reply
  16. Joana

    Thanks for the tips…..I have a full time job and I just have time to blogging at weekends….and sometimes at night…..but I am also a mom and sometimes I just don´t have time. But I love blogging so…I take a few minutes to write some notes on my smartphone and on blogger drafts everyday…. so I can post at weekend.

    Reply
  17. Puja Sharma

    A Great way to manage your blog and day work and social life is Via http://www.SpotON.it. Its a new website that I came across and they sync your calendar to events happening in your area and plan your day ahead filling up the gaps in your calendar. Try it its fun. Besides that another great way to manage time would be listproducer.com. Great to do list options.

    Reply
  18. Benny Addision @ Indian Traditional Jewelry

    Very nice! I had trouble with it at first. It didn’t seem to be working at all, so I uninstalled and started over. Still didn’t seem to be working, so I upgraded some other plugins that don’t seem to be related. Then the calendar showed up. Maybe it just needed time to pull itself together. :shrug: Either way – very cool! Thanks for the tip!

    Indian Traditional Jewelry

    Reply
  19. dacy

    I am SO embarassed that i never thought of using google tasks, but also grateful you mentioned it, since i read this post a few days ago, it’s all i’ve used! you’re right, i ALWAYS have my email open, and it’s perfect for “jotting” something down when you think of it. thanks!

    Reply
  20. Ashley

    I have the Dragon software for my computer but was unaware of the app! Thanks for these great tips! I think Dragon and Google Tasks will be a great help to my ever-growing schedule.

    Reply
  21. Leanne

    I keep Gmail open on my computer all day every day and I had never noticed Gmail tasks before. Thanks so much for drawing that to my attention!

    Reply