The most important aspect of any job is getting the workflow right. Once you know the steps you follow daily, you not only get used to it but get efficient as well. You can automate tasks, share your workflow with others and eliminate all the redundancies that contribute to making you slow. So, what could be a better topic than discussing the flow I follow here at Techwiser. It’s tried and tested and you can’t go wrong with it.
So, here are the best productivity tools we use at TechWiser and has stood the test of time. Let’s dive right into it.
Best Productivity Tools for Bloggers
A good writer is first a good reader. However, with so much information available on the Internet, you can’t keep a tab on everything. Enter Feedly, an aggregator that lets you subscribe to your favorite blogs, websites, journals in a single space, rather than visiting each website individually.
You can start your daily ideation process by using Feedly. For e.g, I use it to get all the tech news in one place. To start with, simply sign-in and choose the source of information you want to follow. If you search tech, it’ll show you examples like Engadget, Gizmodo, with the option to preview it. A bit more functionality is added with keyword follow option, Twitter feed, and of course YouTube channels.
Also read How to Use Feedly Effectively
Further, you divide these into feeds which consist of all similar websites or sources. If you like an article you can save it to a board, from where you can access it anytime. It not only helps you find information but also helps create a collaborative space where you can make a team and share information with all.
While the free version will be enough for most of you, if you need features like sharing it on Hootsuite, Zapier, accessing up to 1000 sources and many more add-on features, you can get the pro version for $ 6 or $ 18 depending on the plan you choose. Oh! There is a dark theme as well!
You can alternatively use Google News which is another aggregator. But personally I prefer the UI Feedly provides.
Get Feedly here.
2. Google Keyword Planner
Once you have a few ideas in mind, you are ready to write an article on it. But, before you spend any resources, it’s important to find out how many people are searching for that particular topic. Because, let’s be honest, without readership, even good content is put to waste. So whenever I’m writing an article I run it through Google Keyword planner to get an idea about the post’s out-reach, number of clicks, etc.
You need Google’s ad account to be able to access this section and also an ad. You can keep this ad inactive in case you just want to use the keyword tool. Simply enter a key phrase and run it through Google keyword planner. It’ll not only show you the total number of search for that keyword/keyphrase but also suggests you better keywords. Ideally, I pick topics with high demand and low supply, i.e. avg monthly searches of 100 – 1k or 1k -10k and competition low or medium.
Tip: You can use various card details generator to sign in without personal card details.
You can access keyword planner from tools and settings section under planning. The tool will show you attributes like average monthly searches and competition. So next time you’re too sure about a title, make sure to run it through the planner once.
Get Google Keyword Planner here.
Once you have a final list of keyword that has a high demand and low supply, you need a place to organize them. Trello lets you put all these ideas in one place with the option to collaborate and share those with more people.
You’ll be essentially working with three things, boards, lists, and cards. Board is a place where you organize your project in lists and further into cards which signifies the task in hand.
For e.g, Techwiser (Blog), Techwiser (YouTube) are boards that can be further separated into lists which be article ideas (To do), the article currently being work upon (Doing) and published articles (Done), this scheme can be duplicated to any board. Within lists, there are cards, which is the most essential part as it lets you assign tasks. You can add members to tasks, put a custom color, make a checklist, etc. There is no limit to the number of cards you can make and the ability to drag and drop to any list, putting a deadline, attaching images, etc, makes it really flexible.
Get Trello here.
5. Google Docs
Finally, it’s time to write the article.
While most people prefer WordPress, real-time collaboration is still an issue with WordPress which sometimes makes me work in Google Docs. When I’m done writing I simply copy and paste the text in WordPress. Just make sure you paste it without formatting i.e. instead of Ctrl +V, do Ctrl + Shift + V. (or Cmd + Shift +v if you are on Mac)
There are a few reasons why I suggest Google Docs, I can share the Doc with a client and get to know real-time feedback which lacks in WordPress. So if you’re not an individual and you’ve more people in your team working on the same project, this might be a great tool to save time. I am also bothered by WordPress’s inability to work smoothly with tables, which is a breeze in Google Docs. It also now supports Grammarly, which was one of the reasons users stuck to WordPress.
Well, yes it is a personal preference, but extensions like Google Scholar, Dictionary make it a better package overall.
Get Google Docs here.
At TechWiser, writing is a team effort, with constant input for SEO, and research. And that’s where Slack comes in.
Slack is a popular communication application targeted at workplaces. Consider it similar to WhatsApp or Skype, but for organizations. Besides being conventional space to chat and share files, it has a lot of subtle features that make it stand out and yes you can hibernate without disturbance after office, unlike the ever beeping a WhatsApp.
If you are a freelance writer, you can switch between multiple organizations, thus letting you manage everything from within one space, but still independent of each other. In addition to basic features like sharing images, documents, pinning messages you also get to utilize integrations with other apps such as Google Drive, Trello, Zapier, etc. You can choose a specific message and add a reminder. There is a dedicated formatting tool at the bottom which lets you tweak the text as well.
Get Slack here.
While most of the discussions happen on Trello and Slack, being able to automate certain tasks can come in handy and save a lot of time. Here’s how I do it.
I’ve created is a ZAP which is a term for automation inside Zapier. Next, I linked both my Slack account and my ToDoist account so both can work in tandem. As I discuss and finalize a lot of projects in Slack, I decided to create an automation that’ll let me use Slack messages as to-do tasks in ToDoist.
Choosing an app is the first step. Then you choose the event which triggers the automation, in this case, as soon as I start a message on Slack it creates the same text as a task in ToDoist, hence eliminating opening ToDoist, helping me save few extra steps. Integration with apps like Feedly, Trello among others makes it one of the best time-saving tools in the market.
- Not available on Android
Get Zapier here.
An article is incomplete without images. From Twitter, Facebook to Instagram, social media platforms provides a stage to showcase pictures, videos, infographics in a more interactive way. There is always an option to use dedicated software like Photoshop but why the hassle if you can do it easily and for free?
Also Read Best Photo Editors for Windows 10
Canva is a one-stop option if you want to design logos, pictures, quick video editing, and even birthday invites. It’s available on both phone and desktop so you can access it anytime. You can choose from templates or start with a fresh design. In terms of editing, you can do all the basic operations like changing the font, size, color, etc. Moreover, you can also add objects, video in pictures and add effects and filters to projects.
- Templates for almost all social media platforms
Get Canva here.
Do you often postpone your plans because you’ve to keep your social media feeds updated and you feel your presence is important? There are many apps that let you integrate all your social media accounts in one place and gives you the ability to schedule all your posts. Hootsuite is one of these platforms that lets you do that.
With a free account, you can connect up to three social media accounts like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. You can schedule posts for a certain date and time in the future. So if saving time is your priority sign-up right-away. The two main aspects are streams and publisher. While stream has a column layout. it helps you gain chronological insight in real-time in a more customized way. For example, seeing the Facebook timeline or messages. There is an analytics section as well, which tells you the basic metrics like followers growth, popular links, etc.
Get Hootsuite here.
While this is the chronology I mostly follow, it can vary from person to person. Nonetheless, all the applications are very functional and add a lot of value to your content. So when you have the option to accumulate all blogs in Feedly, search for the best keyword in Google Keyword Planner, add ideas to Trello and sub-tasks in ToDoist, you have the job half done already.
Then comes choosing a platform to write, which for me is WordPress, but as stated above you can try using Google Docs as well. With Slack, you can discuss and share details about the project with your team members and even add automation with Zapier. With most of the battle won, use Canva to edit your media posts and Hootsuite to plan the publishing for the future. Tada! Does it sound efficient? Try and do let me know in the comment section.