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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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