I’ve always been a pencil and paper kind of girl. I have a hundred notebooks with checklists and my desk is littered with different kinds of pencils (my favorite is a Pilot Opt 0.5 mechanical pencil I got from a Japan airport store).
After 12 years of blogging, though, I’ve come to embrace technology and take advantage of the many apps available to make my blogging process easier. I like it when you guys comment on my blog posts and leave a link to your own blogs. You guys have amazing layouts and content, I’m quite flattered that you even bother visiting my simple blog!
So here’s a post for all my fellow bloggers! If you’re not one, don’t worry, some of these apps can also apply to those who’d simply like to manage their time better!
The premise of The Pomodoro Technique is simple: 25 minutes of working non-stop and a 5-minute break between each “Pomodoro.” The word POMODORO is Italian for Tomato, and I’m sure you’re familiar with the old-school kitchen timer that looks like a tomato. This helps me balance out work-mode and surf-mode when online. Watch the cute video that explains it better:
There’s a free version on the App Store that lets you put it in your Mac’s menu bar. For Windows users, you can download Tomighty for free. You can also use Tomighty for Mac, but I prefer the App Store one because it shows me how much time I have left for each Pomodoro/break. You can set a goal of how many Pomodoros you want to accomplish everyday.
UPDATE: I just discovered POMELLO, an app you can download thru Chrome. It’s a mix of Pomodoro + Trello. Trello is an alternative to Any.Do which is the next app on my list!
Any.Do is great for people who don’t like writing down lists on paper. It’s perfect for people who prefer having their to-do lists seamlessly synced between their devices. My favorite thing about Any.Do is its “moments” feature, where you get an alert at 9AM daily (you can choose to change the time if you’d like) and choose what tasks you plan to tackle for the day. There’s a free version but you can pay to get more features. Watch the video below for more info.
I have minimal graphic design skills and I like doing things myself, so instead of relying on a graphic designer I use Canva for blog images. I used it for all the images on this blog post! Cool, right? Plus, a lot of the designs are free! I still dream of having a graphic designer on my team who can create this stuff for me but until I’ve mastered managing myself, I don’t think I will be able to manage another person for now. Hehe.
I like having no distractions when I’m writing. Calmly Writer also has the option of going on “focus mode” where the rest of your content sort of blurs out to help you finish the paragraph you’re working on. You can try it in online mode! I also like the app Evernote as an alternative but I really love the clean look and feel of this one. Have to admit, it’s pretty difficult to copy-paste it with links and all onto WordPress. I’m better off just doing things directly on WordPress, actually. But the interface of Calmly Writer is just so pretty. Haha! Maybe this will work for you so I’m leaving this here anyway.
Note: Through Calmly Writer, I found out about the Typewriter Sounds extension on Google Chrome and I love it so much. Feel na feel ko, guys. Download it here.
When I’m done writing my whole post, I like to copy-paste the whole text onto HemingwayApp (there’s a desktop version but why bother?). It’s a great editing tool that lets me simplify my sentences and get rid of unnecessary words. Editing is very important to writers and I highly recommend this app. I’m not saying we should always aim for a first-grade readability level but it’s nice to know if we’ve got too many run-on sentences.
I hope you found something you like out of my list of favorite tools for blogging and time management! I figured, since I really enjoy checking out new apps, I’ll feature them on my blog just for fun :) Leave a comment below if you have any suggestions for productivity tools!