If you don’t have the bank to hire an assistant to help you out with your blog or business, productivity tools and apps are the next best thing. And I’m sure you can agree, when it comes to your hustle, you need all the help you can get.
Here are 10 tools (I like even numbers) that I am currently using and have saved my sanity. (P.S. I’m not an affiliate for any of these.)
Trello is a project management system where you can arrange your blog or business projects into boards.
Inside each board are cards which can be rearranged depending on what step you are on in your project.
This makes it easy to see the tasks that remain or something that needs following up on. I’ve just started using Trello and as I learn more about it I’m seeing a lot of potential in helping me keep my shit together. My handbag is getting too heavy with the multiple notebooks I carry around. Dana Malstaff, aka BossMom, has a free training that has opened my eyes to what Trello is capable of.
Later is an app that helps you schedule your Instagram posts. You can load the picture, write your comments all in the app then schedule it for a specific time and day. The only thing is it doesn’t actually post to Instagram. I have only found one app that does that but the resulting product is not as clean and crisp looking as it is with Later. At least, in my opinion. However, Later will give you a notification when the time has come for you to post. You can login to Instagram directly from the app and it copies your comment so you just paste it into the comment section then hit post. Later can also schedule your Twitter posts.
Another app to help with your Instagram scheduling is Prime. Prime logs into your Instagram account and through whatever behind the scenes magic it’s capable of, it calculates when the best time is for you to post to Instagram. For each day there are numerous ‘prime times’ that should boost engagement and help you gain followers.
However, Prime is found on iTunes.
Tailwind is another tool that helps you schedule Instagram posts. But it also schedules and posts to Pinterest, which is how I use it. Many bloggers swear by Pinterest in that it helps them get readers to their blogs which in turn builds their audience and readership. Having eye-catching and branded post images are a must for this. Tailwind allows you to schedule pins not only from your website but any site you come across that has a pinnable image. You get a little widget that appears when you hover over a pinnable image. Click that and it drops your pin into the next available time slot to be pinned later.
Portent’s Content Idea Generator is a handy tool when you are stuck for blog post ideas and need a kick in the pants to get your brain running again. Some of the topics it comes up with are hilarious but you can always find a few that really click and get the ideas flowing.
CoSchedule’s headline analyzer is awesome. I always run my post headlines through this analyzer. The headline analyzer has some behind the scenes magic that tells you if your headline is catchy enough; if it’s too wordy or too short. The higher the score, the better the headline. Based on the score you can tweak your headline by rearranging the wording or switching out words. It also tells you the power words in your headline and shows you how it would look in a Google search or email preview.
Canva is a lifesaver when it comes to designing graphics. Whether you need something for Instagram, Facebook or designing a poster or Wattpad cover, you can do it all in Canva. It’s very user-friendly and you can load your own pictures for your designs. Photoshop is great and all but with Canva you can create a graphic quickly and it looks like you spent hours doing it.
Picmonkey is another design tool worth checking out. I use it especially when I need to resize a photo. It’s easier to do here than with Canva.
Dropbox is cloud storage where you can upload documents, pics, and videos. With Dropbox, you can also share what you have stored with others. This is where I store all my stock photos.
I recently started using LastPass to store my passwords because I was tired of swearing at my computer (and my son is usually nearby). I have so many apps and sites (all of the above) and email that I have to remember passwords for. It was frustrating to have to keep resetting passwords because inevitably I would forget one or two.
Lastpass stores more than just passwords. You can also use it to store credit card info and addresses for online shopping. Right now, I just use it for passwords. I have a thing (read: phobia) about storing my card info online.
All the tools I mentioned above have a free version that would likely cover all you need but as your business or blog grows you can always upgrade.
Right now there are so many tools and apps you can use to help make life and business a little easier. Try out a few and see which works better for your situation. There are other tools I use occasionally like Hootsuite but here I listed those that I’m using almost every day.
Are there any tools or apps that help make life a little easier for you? Share them with me so I can check it out.
Photo credit: CreateHer Stockphoto