S Memo on my Samsung Smartphone
Why do all my best ideas pop up at 3am? I am happily married so switching on the light and scribbling furiously in my notebook is not really an option. Getting up and going to my computer is also far too much effort. Instead, I use the handy S Memo app on my phone. I give the page a title, save it and write down one or two word ideas.
When I surface I can decide if those ideas were worth writing about or just a load of codswallop.
Love it or hate it, Google has so many useful tools for keeping me on track.
I create a spreadsheet called Blog Topics. It is very simple. I have 2 columns for each blog that I manage. In the 1st column I list relevant blog topics and the 2nd column is the date when I write that blog. Nothing fancy but it helps me when I need to write a post but my mind goes blank about what to write about.
Google Docs and Presentations
This is where I draft my posts and presentations. I can download them as Word or Open Office or Text if I need to work offline.
There are so many fantastic features in Gmail but I am only going to mention one aspect here. Twitter is my personal addiction and I frequently lie in bed when I have my siesta or at night and go through my Twitter streams. Any gems I come across I simply share via Gmail on my phone to my Gmail account.
I can read the posts at leisure on my computer which is less hard on my failing eyesight ... old age is a terrible thing ... and once I have done so I either ditch them, move them to one of my Gmail labels or save the article to Evernote. (see further down)
Google gives you up to 15GB storage in the cloud for free. This includes your photos, Gmail, and anything else you want to store no matter what format the files are. If you have ever had a hard drive crash or your computer stolen you know how devastating it is to lose all your data.
The great benefit of Google Drive is, not only does it store everything in the cloud but also creates a folder on your hard drive so you can access your files offline. You can also choose what to share with colleagues and friends and you can work simultaneously on your posts and presentations in real time.
For about R25 per month I get 100GB worth of data which is absolutely fantastic value. Not to mention that you can access the data on your computer, laptop, tablet or phone as long as you have internet access.
Evernote is an amazing free programme (yes there is a pro version as well) that lets you create as many notebooks as you wish. For example I have notebooks for each of my clients and also for each of the topics I am interested in. If I think an article is useful and that I might want to refer to it again I save it to the relevant notebook. Either I save the web address or clip the whole article and paste it into the notebook.
I recently did a Social Media for Journalists MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) where we were given lots of really valuable resources which I know I will refer to again and again. Evernote is perfect for this.
There is also now a wonderful Evernote Moleskin A5 notebook where you can make notes, draw mind maps or jot down ideas. Simply take a pic of the page with your phone that has the Evernote app and it is instantly uploaded to Evernote for you. This is a premium product though.
Trello is an online programme where you can create numerous boards for each of your projects. It includes checklists and you can even integrate it with your Google Calendar. I wrote a blogpost on our ADHD website how we use it to keep us on track with our goals.
Managing Social Media with Hootsuite
When you are managing several social media accounts for various clients it is essential to be able to schedule your posts and also to be able to see how they perform. I use the Hootsuite Pro version which costs around R50/month. I can prepare my posts for the day, decide which post goes to which social media account and at what time they should be sent.
However I only use Hootsuite on my computer, not on my phone or tablet as I need the bigger screen to manage this process.
I hope this has given you some ideas. What tools do you use?
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I am writing this series of 30 Posts for a 30 Day Blog Challenge that I am participating in. This is Day 29 and once the challenge is over I will be compiling this series into an e-book.