Don’t you wish there were more hours in a day so you could get more things done?
I know I do.
Sometimes, there just doesn’t seem like enough time to finish everything.
And, if you’re like me, you probably hate those days when you’re busy all day…
Only to find out you completed just one or two tasks the entire day!
That sucks, right?
Well, here are a few tools that have helped me get over those days.
And you can too.
Here they are.
Content Creation Tools
In this first section, you’ll learn about the best blogging tools that will cut down your content creation time.
While none of theme will be able to automatically create your blog post’s outline or content, they’ll help you do a lot of things better.
These include write better, eliminate embarrassing typos and grammatical errors, and plan your content for the long term.
This is an online grammar checker. It’s one of the most important writing tools that will help you make sure that your articles are error free.
That means no more missed typos or grammar issues.
In short, Grammarly helps you sound better even if writing is not your forte. That’s something I know because I’m more of a numbers guy.
The tools comes in both free and paid versions.
- Free version– is more basic. That means it’s great a checking for misspellings, punctuation and simple grammatical errors.
- Paid (Premium) version– offers more advanced features. In addition to what’s offered in the free version, you also get better grammar checking and correction. It also offers vocabulary enhancement, checks for sentence structure and has a plagiarism detector.
As such, if you want to write and sound better the Premium version is a better choice. If you want a simple spelling, punctuation and grammar checker, go for the free one.
Readable is an amazing free text reading tool that allows you to see how “readable” your blog post is.
You can input your text into the online apps in a few different ways:
- Copy and paste it into a text box
- Upload it as a file
- Enter the URL (if your article is already published)
I prefer copying and pasting it straight from Microsoft Word or Google Docs. This allows you to check you article before putting onto your WordPress Editor.
Once the copy is pasted on Readable, you’ll instantly see a few stats, including:
- # of words
- # of sentences
- # of paragraphs
But, what makes it stand out is it lets you quickly know the issues your content has. These issues include spelling, grammar issues, sentence construction, length and word length.
Basically, many of the important things you need to check when writing for the web.
Best of all it shows you where the issues are so you can easily fix them.
Besides writing the actual content, you’ll also want to craft an engaging title.
This makes your post enticing for readers to click on.
It’s especially important to do so because your content will be competing with other similar articles on search results or social media feeds for readers’ attention.
And because they won’t be able to see your article without clicking on your title, your headline becomes more important than the blog post itself.
That’s where Coschedule’s Headline Analyzer comes in.
It allows you to input your headline and see how effective it is. That is, how likely it will entice people to click on it.
Based on the score you can create all sorts of headlines to see which works best.
While the Headline Analyzer may come after writing your article, you can use this tool to come up with creative blog post ideas.
This is very useful especially when you experience writer’s block or have a hard time brainstorming ideas for certain keywords or topics.
All you need to do is enter 3 terms related to what you want to write about and the Idea Generator will spit out a few ideas to get you started.
When it comes to organizing your content, this is a great WordPress plugin that allows you to schedule and manage your posts.
The best part is, it works within your WordPress dashboard.
This adjust the dates when content gets published and stay on top of what you have coming up in the pipeline.
The Hemingway App is very similar to Readable. I suggest you use one or the other because they basically work the same.
It all depends on your preference and which you like using more.
This is another free app that makes it fixing any grammar issues quick and easy. Thanks to its graphic interface which highlights all the phrases and sentences that can make your article harder to read.
This is my favorite tool when it comes to sharing articles, spreadsheets and presentations.
If you work with a team, you’ll find it indispensable.
While I prefer using MS Word to write my articles, I’ll then copy and paste it on Google Docs when it needs to be checked, edited or proofread.
That makes it easy to send the article back and forth between team members.
Social Media Marketing Tools
This section focuses on social media tools.
Here, their main focus is to help you be more efficient with your time. To do so, they’ll help you schedule posts and see how you strategy is working.
In doing so, they’ll help you increase your followers and traffic from different social media platforms.
Tailwind is the most invaluable tool if you want to grow your Pinterest traffic.
It’s the one tool you’ll want to have for that platform. Although, you can likewise use it for Instagram as well.
Tailwind is amazing because saves you from having to schedule and analyze your pinning results on a daily basis.
Basically, this online tool allows you to:
- Schedule a week’s or month’s worth of posts in one sitting
- Pick when certain pins get posted and how often they’re pinned
- Get in-depth analytics that lets you adjust your strategy on a regular basis
- Join Tribes where you can increase your pins’ potential reach
Altogether, they save you time and make you more efficient.
But most importantly, it helps you increase your Pinterest visitors and followers without having to manually do everything.
Milo Tree is a nifty pop-up app that shows up on your blog. It does so to entice visitors to follow your Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Etsy or Shopify account.
You can also set it to ask them to join your email list.
This makes it a useful tool that helps lots of bloggers increase their followers and/or subscribers, depending on how you us it.
That’s because you can only set the pop-up to work for one of the accounts at a time. The good news is, you can adjust as needed depending on which you want to grow at that moment.
It costs $9 a month or $99 a year which makes it very affordable. Plus, you get a 30-day free trial to see it actually helps you get more followers or subscribers.
Hootesuite is primarily a social media scheduling tool. It’s value comes in that it allows you to be “hands-off” with the scheduling of posts.
This is very handy especially because you have many social media profiles. And for each, you’ll be posting anywhere from 0 to more than 30 times a day.
Hootesuite saves you the time of having to do all the posting manually.
Plus, you get real-time analytics that lets you see what’s working and what’s not so you can change your strategy for that specific platform.
Like Tailwind and Milo Tree, this is a paid app. It costs $19 a month for 1 user giving you the ability to schedule 10 social profiles.
For teams, it costs $99/mo. up to 3 users and 20 social profiles.
Graphics & Image Creation Tools
Another very time consuming task for bloggers is creating graphics. That’s because graphics have become a huge part of making (or breaking) a blog.
Plus, they’ve been shown to make people share your post on social media more as well.
As such, creating graphics for your blog and social media posts is crucial
Here are some tools that will allow you create more engaging photos and graphics without having to spend a ton of time doing so.
Canva is one of the most useful online graphics tools for bloggers. That’s because it allows you to create custom images for your blog and social media accounts.
It works very differently from traditional photo editing and graphics software in that it works more like a layout tool.
That is, you won’t be able to edit images or adjust their color saturation like you most photo editing software tools do.
But, what it does best is allow you to upload or pick from Canva’s pre-designed templates and design your own graphics.
This means being able to rotate and flip existing images and backgrounds. You’ll then be able to add fonts of your choice, adjust their sizes and change their colors.
These features make it perfect for creating Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and poster images.
PicMonkey is a great complement to Canva. They’re similar in that they’re graphics editing software.
But, unlike Canva, PicMonkey is more similar to Photoshop and other photo editing software. It allows you to touch up images, edit them and even create collages.
This lets you modify images online and not have to deal with the high learning curve of Adobe Photoshop.
Time Management Tools
Next up is time management.
This is essential if you want to succeed in blogging because:
- There are so many different tasks involved
- You only have a limited amount of time
So, it’s important that you:
- Make the best use of each work session
- Don’t get distracted when you’re working
- Know when to start and stop doing one task and move on to another
- And a few other things
Here are the tools that will help you do just that.
This is a tool I love because it lets you time block effectively.
Time blocking lets you split up a workday into different tasks. Each task being assigned a certain time block say 9:00-10:00 a.m. for promoting on social media.
Then 10:15-11:15 a.m. for writing articles. And so on
Since you don’t know how long it can take to achieve one task, you may end up spending the entire day doing one, maybe two tasks only.
Toggl prevents you from doing so by tracking how much time you’re spending on specific tasks. You’ll see the timer on your desktop or mobile device depending on where you use the app.
This way, you know exactly how much time you’re spending for each task on any given day.
If you want something simpler, try EggTimer.
This is basically a timer you can set.
It works perfect with the Pomodoro Technique where you block out a few minutes for each specific task.
In it’s traditional form, you work for 25 minutes and rest for the next 5 minutes. After 4 of these cycles, you take a longer rest period before starting over again.
Of course, you can adjust the 25 minutes to something longer or shorter. Elon Musk for example uses 5 minute blocks. I don’t recommend doing so because you may end up feeling in a hurry all the time.
With the EggTimer, you’ll be able to set it to the number of minutes your work or rest block requires. That way you’ll know when time’s up.
StayFocusd is a tool I use to keep myself from distractions.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to resist taking a peek at your email, social media or stats while you’re supposed to be working.
I know I do, and you probably do too, right?
So, to keep yourself from surfing the web, checking out a YouTube video or scanning through your email or social feeds, you can use StayFocusd.
Basically, it’s a Chrome extension that allows you to temporarily block certain sites. You pick which sites and for how long you can’t access them on your browser.
This allows you to stay focused on your work and away from distractions.
Last but not least, are the tools that will boost your overall productivity. This includes tools for organizing your work throughout the day as well as collaborating with other members of your team.
I love to-do lists. In fact, I always have my small notebook with me to make sure I’m on top of everything I need to do.
But, if you want something more sophisticated, Trello is where it’s at.
This tool is especially useful if you work with a team. That’s because it’s able to work between team members. This way, everyone knows what tasks are done, being done, are yet to be started.
Doing so, prevents confusion. And eliminates a lot of time spent due to miscommunication.
Similarly, you can use it for yourself as well.
It comes in handy when you’re doing several projects at a time. This lets you keep track of where you’re at for each of the projects.
Speaking of projects, Asana is a project management tool designed for multiple users. It helps your entire team to stay organized while collaborating together.
While Trello is designed for ease of use and simplicity, Asana comes with more project management features.
This includes things like task dependencies where you need to complete one task before the other one can be done. Often because the second task will use items created from the first task.
As such, for larger projects and more complex workflows, Asana is a better option.
Evernote is something I and many people I know can’t live without.
Basically, it’s note taking app on your phone.
But, it can do so many things that once you learn how to use all its power (or most of it), you’ll find it hard to live without it. I know I do.
Here are a few things it can do besides you typing in your notes into it.
- Use it as a journal
- Track your time
- Save articles you want to read later
- Use it to save your contacts
- Make voice reminders
- Create a to-do list
- Save images
- Save coupons
- Scan business cards or other things
- Many more
Workflowy is probably one of the simplest apps around. It creates bullet lists.
Really, really long ones too.
And, those that nest a few levels down as well.
It’s simplicity is what makes it super versatile.
You can use it:
- As a to-do list
- To outline your article and it’s sub-topics.
- For project planning
- To instruct VA’s or content writers on what to do or take note of
- Pretty much anything else
It all depends on what you’re using it for, be it planning, project management or remembering things.
Thanks to the internet and apps, there are all sorts of tools available.
This helps you as a blogger since they speed up the time you spend on doing something. In doing so, they’ll let you get more things done in order to succeed.
The list above covers all sorts of time-saving tools from content creation and graphics design all the way to project and social media management.
What about you, what blogging tools do you find indispensable? Let me know in the comments below.