As a full-time freelance writer and blogger I am on my laptop a good portion of the time, but I also lean heavily on my smartphone as well so that work doesn’t stop when I leave my desk. Below are some of the blogging apps that I use daily. Most are available on both my laptop and my smartphone. I find they make my job that much easier which was one of my goals this year, working productively.
WordPress – This app is essential to my business whether I am blogging on my own website or contributing as a registered guest blogger on someone else’s site. It’s great for blogging and monitoring comments wherever you are. I also find it has helped me to not forget that “brilliant blog post” idea I had while out and about. I can’t be the only one that has repeatedly made the mistake of not writing down my brilliant post idea! With the app, I can start the post on my smartphone and leave it in draft mode until later or if it is time sensitive I can post it immediately.
Speaking of blog comments, Disqus is a great addition to your blog; although they don’t yet have an app. Disqus is great for participating in breaking news and discussion and live events. But it also helps monitor comments on the go so you don’t sit down to check your blog only to find hundreds of spam comments.
Dropbox – I simply can’t rave enough about Dropbox! You can sync all your files across all of your devices with a simple drag-n-drop system. Whether you are at the coffee shop with your laptop, smartphone or perhaps your tablet you can start a project and then make sure it is accessible across each device. All of your files will be “in the cloud” and easily accessible. This might sound obvious but you have to make sure you upload the file you are working on for this to be effective. Just a mere suggestion, not like I have done that or anything…
Evernote – As I mentioned earlier, one of my big goals of this year was learning to be more productive with my time. This app ensures that you will never run out of ideas or inspiration as it has the ability to collate a mountain of information from websites that you browse. Save ideas, articles you read access the information from anywhere so that when you sit down to write you already have an idea or two.
Skype – This app helps with Skype-to-Skype calls or calls to landlines and mobile phones. I personally like the instant message options so that keep me connected to friends, family and work associates.
HootSuite – Chances are you are already addicted to Twitter. If not, what are you waiting for? I’ve tried many of the desktop and mobile options for Twitter and I end up back with HootSuite every time. It works and it works well. You can schedule posts, reply, retweet and do everything with the app that you would otherwise do from your computer. I especially like the function to monitor certain #hashtags which has led to writing gigs for #freelance and #ghostwriting and also #guestposting.
PayPal – Most, not all, freelancers use PayPal to get paid. I like having the app on my phone so I can easily check how much money I have in my PayPal account before using my PayPal debit card.
Pandora – Okay, so this app is obviously not about freelancing or blogging but it’s a must have. I love listening to music while I work and this app is by far my favorite. So if you are your desk you can listen or if you are the nearest Starbucks with some headphones, you can listen then too.
Side note: Cell phone plans can be tricky! Before making the choice to lean heavily on your smartphone, if you don’t already, make sure you have a plan that won’t overcharge you if you suddenly find you are using your mobile device more frequently. I recently called my carrier to ask if I could save a few bucks and they were trying to save me $10 a month but in the long run it would have cost me much MORE because they were putting me on a smaller plan that didn’t allow my phone to use free Wi-Fi hotspots. That was a disaster waiting to happen!
Ann Fleming is a freelance writer for andgeeks.com and bbgeeks.com. She has a knack for clarifying the more complex side of technology and how to use it for the average person.