5 Awesome Tools to Make Blogging Easier

One of the things I hear most frequently when people find out I not only have multiple blogs (8 at time of writing) but manage them all with 3 children at home & no daycare is, “How do you find the time?” My answer is always productivity & cheats. Also, my house is a wreck, so I save a lot of time not cleaning.

Of course, I’m probably more excited than most for back to school time. That’s really going to help, but I’m always on the lookout for ways to make life easier. Here are a few of my latest discoveries for blogging quickly & easily:

  1. Verizon MiFi—this is going on my list of “things I want to pay for as soon as our budget looks better” for sure! Verizon sent me this cute, little card to take to BlogHer earlier this month. And, had to pry it out of my hands at the end of BlogIndiana last week. I had no idea what it was, but they were looking to send a few on the road to New York—and I took that quite literally! We enjoyed road trip wifi, blogging on the long drive.

    Basically, it becomes a wifi hotspot anywhere Verizon covers. It was spotty in the middle of nowhere, PA but worked well for me most of the time. You can even connect up to 5 wireless devices so my roommates, carpool buddies & fellow conference attendees had the luxury of free wifi. I desperately want one for everyday use—I’d love to work from the park or pool while the kids play.
  2. Shortkeys: Robby Slaughter exploded a few minds when he showcased how quickly & easily you can insert common phrases & links with text replacers. A few days later, I stumbled on someone else singing the praises of shortkeys. So, I downloaded the free trial—but I’m already considering the full software. It’s going to be perfect for quickly calling up the text for things I frequently type (like html for the links to my various sites!).
  3. Automatic SEO Links: This WordPress plugin is pretty similar to the text replacer idea, but it does it automatically (hence, the name) with a link. Choose your keywords, set the link and never think about it again. For example, when anyone on Team Inexpensively includes the phrase “grocery lists” in their post, it will automatically publish with a link to our grocery lists.
  4. Lists & Drafts: This one isn’t so much a tool as a technique, but it works well for me. I keep a running list of blog posts as the ideas occur. Then, when I have time set aside to blog, I pick one or two, and get started. Recently, I have started to just enter the topic idea as a draft so it’s attached to the correct blog. If I come up with ideas on a post, I bullet point them in to use as idea or paragraph starters when it’s time to write.
  5. Voice Recorder: I have to admit I feel like a total douche when I pull out my phone to record notes, but it’s effective! I also have to admit that I don’t always remember to go back & listen, but often the act of saying it out loud burns the thought into my brain. I’ve also been known to jot notes the back of receipts, junk mail envelopes or school notes—but I’m much less likely to lose my iPhone.

Slaughter Development’s classes always send me home with more productivity tips & tools than I can ever manage to implement. Robby Slaughter’s BlogIndiana session was no different & much of this list is straight from his presentation. While I might not be able to write a full blog post in under 5 minutes, I’m getting pretty good at cranking out posts in what little free time I can squeeze out of my day.

What tools or techniques do you use to save time?